Improving the vRA Admin Experience – Reservation Alerts to Slack

The Reservation system in vRealize Automation (vRA) provides a bucket of resources to a team or business unit via Business Group.  A risk with Reservations comes about with how I think VMware intended them to be used vs how some organisations may use them.  I suspect VMware’s intention was that Reservations should be self-managed by the Business Group associated with it.  This makes sense if each individual team has a Business Group as the scope of what’s in the Reservation is “their stuff”.  It would mean if a Reservation reached capacity, it would be up to that team to manage the situation.

What if the Business Group was being used differently, where it covers multiple teams?  In the event of the Reservation becoming full, the scope is larger than one team.  In this situation, it might be good to get a heads up on when Reservations are running low on resources.  Email alerts can be setup and yes, sent through to Slack, the formatting in Slack is less than desirable.  So I decided to look at a way of doing it better.

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Improving the vRA Customer Experience – Send Chef errors to Slack

One of the issues that can be amplified by automation is logging.  Some logs have an ephemeral nature, having a short lifespan due to various factors.  This can be especially painful if the logs relate to failures and contain information that could assist in fixing the problem.

This was the issue I was seeing when vRealize Automation (vRA) requests would fail when Chef attempted to apply settings.  If Chef failed critically, vRA would be made aware of it and fail the entire request.  Of course, vRA would then delete the virtual machine and the local Chef logs.  In many cases, there was a gap of only a minute or two between the Chef failure and the vRA cleanup tasks.

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Installing ElasticStack Beats on vCenter 6.7

I recently deployed a vCenter appliance to 6.7 after a power outage corrupted the 6.5 instance.  A followup task for the virtual appliance was getting the ElasticStack Beats (MetricBeat, Filebeat) installed again.  In this post, I will go through the process of installing the Beats and some of the minor issues I ran into.

Read moreInstalling ElasticStack Beats on vCenter 6.7

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