VCAP6-CMA Deploy – Objective 4.3: Manage Custom Properties and Build Profiles

Objective Overview

Objective 4.3: Manage Custom Properties and Build Profiles

  • Add / edit Custom Properties to add new attributes or override default attributes.
  • Create a Build Profile according to Custom Properties from a deployment plan.
  • Use Property Dictionary to define new Custom Properties.

When using a Custom Property it is important to understand the Order of Precedence:

  1. Build profile
  2. Blueprint
  3. Business group
  4. Compute resource
  5. Reservations
  6. Endpoint
  7. Runtime

What this means is that if the same Custom Property is specified at a different levels, the highest (1 being lowest) level wins. (i.e. a value set in a Build Profile can be overridden in the Blueprint, but also the Blueprint value can be overridden at runtime.)

Objective Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are assumed for this Objective:

  1. A full deployed vRealize Automation 6.x solution (minimal or distributed).

Objective Breakdown

Add / edit Custom Properties to add new attributes or override default attributes.

In this example, we’re going to add some simple custom properties to override the default attributes of a Windows Blueprint/Machine by asking the user to enter a hostname and IP address at request time.

Navigate to the vRealize Automation Portal (https://vra.fqdn/vcac)

Log in with a user that has the Tenant Administrator role assigned and then navigate to Infrastructure > Blueprints > Blueprints.

Click on the Blueprint you want to update.

Note: I’m going to update the Windows Server 2012 one

Click the Properties tab.

Click New Property.

Enter hostname into the Name text box, leave the Value text box clear and check the Prompt User checkbox and click Save.

Click New Property.

Enter VirtualMachine.Network0.Address into the Name text box, leave the Value text box clear and check the Prompt User checkbox and click Save.

Click OK.

When you log in as a Business User and request a Catalog Item you will see the following:

Create a Build Profile according to Custom Properties from a Deployment Plan.

A Build Profile is a collection of Custom Properties that are commonly used together.  The creation of a Build Profile is the responsibility of the Fabric Administrator.

In this example, we’re going to create a Build Profile for Windows deployments using the two custom properties from the previous section.

Navigate to the vRealize Automation Portal for the Default Tenant (https://vra.fqdn/vcac)

Login with an account that has the Fabric Administrator role assigned.

Click Infrastructure > Blueprints > Build Profiles

Click New Build Profile.

Enter the name of the new Build Profile into the Name text box, (optionally) select an appropriate Property Set from the Add from property set drop down and click Load.

Click New Property.

Enter VirtualMachine.Network0.Address into the Name text box, leave the Value text box clear and check the Prompt User checkbox and click Save.

Click New Property.

Enter Hostname into the Name text box, leave the Value text box clear and check the Prompt User checkbox and click Save.

Click OK.

Use Property Dictionary to define new Custom Properties.

The Property Dictionary is used to define Global properties to be used throughout the Tenant.  In this example, we’re going to create a “cost centre” Customer Property.  Whilst this will not, necessarily, directly impact the delivery of a Machine it can be used to, as an example, update a CMDB.

Navigate to the vRealize Automation Portal for the Default Tenant (https://vra.fqdn/vcac)

Login with an account that has the Fabric Administrator role assigned.

Click Infrastructure > BlueprintsProperty Dictionary

Click New Property Definition.

Enter a property Name, Display Name, select a Content Type from the dropdown,(optionally) check the Required checkbox.

Click Save.

Note: As this a dropdown, we now need to add the values that can be selected.

Under Property Attributes, click Edit.

Click New Property Attribute.

Select ValueList from the Type dropdown, enter a Name (not displayed on UI), a comma separated list of values to be displayed in the dropdown in the Value field and click Save.

Click OK.

Now if you add the Company.CostCentre Custom Property to the Build Profile previously created, the Business User’s request then changes again.

Note: There is plenty more that can be accomplished with the Property Dictionary such as establishing relationships between Custom Properties to help drive decisions at request time.

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