Differences between VMware Aria Automation Orchestrator Forms and VMware Aria Automation Service Broker Forms

Starting with vRealize Automation 8.2, Service Broker is capable of displaying input forms designed in vRealize Orchestrator with the custom forms display engine. However, there are some differences in the forms display engines.

Orchestrator and Service Broker forms

Amongst the differences, the following features supported in vRealize Orchestrator are not yet supported in Service Broker:

  • The inputs presentations developed with the vRealize Orchestrator Legacy Client used in vRealize Orchestrator 7.6 and earlier, are not compatible. vRealize Orchestrator uses a built-in legacy input presentation conversion that is not available from Service Broker yet.
  • The inputs presentation in vRealize Orchestrator has access to all the workflow elements in the workflow. The custom forms have access to the elements exposed to vRealize Automation Service Broker through the VRO-Gateway service, which is a subset of what is available on vRealize Orchestrator.
    • Custom forms can bind workflow inputs to action parameters used to set values in other inputs.
    • Custom forms cannot bind workflows variables to action parameters used to set values in other inputs.

Note You might have noticed VRO-Gateway service when you use WFs as a WBX (Workflow Based Extensibility) in Event Subscriptions where these WFs get triggered by this service.

Basically, It provides a gateway to VMware Realize Orchestrator (vRO) for services running on vRealize Automation. By using the gateway, consumers of the API can access a vRO instance, and initiate workflows or script actions without having to deal directly with the vRO APIs.


It is possible to work around vRealize Automation not having access to workflow variables by one of the following options :

  • Using a custom action returning the variable content.
  • Binding to an input parameter set to not visible instead of a variable.
  • Enabling custom forms and using constants.

The widgets available in vRealize Orchestrator and in vRealize Automation vary for certain types. The following table describes what is supported.

vRAvRO
Input Data TypePossible Form Display TypesAction return type for Default ValueAction return type for Value OptionsPossible Form Display TypesAction return type for Default ValueAction return type for Value Options
StringText, TextField, Text AreaDropdown, Radio GroupStringArray of StringPropertiesArray of Properties (value, label)Text, TextFIeld, Text AreaDropdown, Radio GroupStringArray of String
Array of StringArray Input (vRA 8.2), Dual List, Multi SelectArray of StringPropertiesArray of PropertiesArray of StringDatagrid, Multi Value PickerArray of StringPropertiesArray of PropertiesArray of String
IntegerIntegerNumberArray of NumberNot supportedNot supportedNot supported
Array of IntegerArray Input (vRA 8.2), Datagrid (vRA 8.1)Array of NumberArray of NumberNot supportedNot supportedNot supported
NumberDecimalNumberArray of NumberDecimalNumberArray of Number
Array/NumberArray Input (vRA 8.2), Datagrid (vRA 8.1)Array of NumberArray of NumberDatagridArray of NumberArray of Number
BooleanCheckboxBooleanNot supportedCheckboxBoolean
DateDate TimeDateArray of DateDate TimeDateArray of Date
Array of DateArray Input (vRA 8.2), Datagrid (vRA 8.1)Array of DateArray of DateDatagridArray of DateArray of Date
Composite/ComplexDatagrid, Object Field (vRA 8.3)Composite, Properties, Array/Composite, Array/PropertiesArray of CompositeDatagridComposite(columns…)Array/PropertiesArray of Composite
Array of CompositeDatagrid, Multi Value PickerComposite, Properties, Array/Composite, Array/PropertiesArray of CompositeDatagrid, Multi Value PickerArray/Composite(columns…)Array/PropertiesArray of Composite
Reference / vRO SDK Object typeValue PickerSDK ObjectArray of SDK Object (vRA 8.2)Value PickerSDK ObjectArray of SDK Object
Array of ReferenceMulti Value Picker (vRA 8.3)Array of SDK ObjectArray of SDK Object (vRA 8.3)DatagridArray of SDK ObjectArray of SDK Object
Secure StringPasswordStringNot supportedPasswordStringNot supported
FileNot supportedNot supportedNot supportedFile UploadNot supportedNot supported

For use cases where the widget specified in vRealize Orchestrator is not available from Service Broker, a compatible widget is used.

Because the data being passed to and from the widget might expect different types, formats, and values in the case they are unset, the best practice to develop workflows targeting Service Broker is to:

  1. Develop the vRealize Orchestrator workflow. This can include both the initial development of the workflow or changes of inputs.
  2. Version the workflow manually.
  3. In Cloud Assembly, navigate to Infrastructure > Connections > Integrations and select your vRealize Orchestrator integration.
  4. Start the data collection for the vRealize Orchestrator integration. This step, along with versioning up your workflow, ensure that the VRO-Gateway service used by vRealize Automation has the latest version of the workflow.
  5. Import content into Service Broker. This step generates a new default custom form.
  6. In addition to the input forms designed in vRealize Orchestrator, you can, if needed, develop workflow input forms with the custom forms editor.
  7. If these forms call actions, develop or run these from the vRealize Orchestrator workflow editor.
  8. Test the inputs presentation in Service Broker.
  9. Repeat from step 5 as many times as needed.
  10. Repeat from step 1, in case workflows inputs or forms need to be changed.

Either distribute and maintain the custom forms or alternatively, design vRealize Orchestrator inputs by using the same options or actions as in the custom forms (the above step 1), and then repeat the steps 2 to 8 to validate that the process works.

Using this last option means that:

  • Running the workflow from vRealize Orchestrator can lead to the input presentation not working as expected when started in vRealize Orchestrator.
  • For some cases, you must modify the return type of the actions used for default value or value options so these values can be set from the vRealize Orchestrator workflow editor and, when the workflow is saved, revert the action return types.

Designing the form in the workflow has the following advantages:

  • Form is packaged and delivered as part of the workflow included in a package.
  • Form can be tested in vRealize Orchestrator as long as the compatible widgets are applied.
  • The form can optionally be versioned and synchronized to a Git repository with the workflow.

Designing the custom forms separately has the following advantages:

  • Being able to customize the form without changing the workflow.
  • Being able to import and export the form as a file and reusing it for different workflows.

For example, a common use case is to have a string based drop-down menu.

Returning a Properties type can be used in both the vRealize Orchestrator input form presentation and vRealize Automation custom forms presentation. With the Property type you can display a list of values in the drop-down menu. After being select by the user, these values pass an ID to the parameter (to the workflow and the other input fields that would bind to this parameter). This is very practical to list objects when there is no dedicated plug-in for them as this avoids you having to select object names and having to find object IDs by name.

Returning an array of Properties types has the same goal as returning Properties but does give control on the ordering of the element. It is done by setting for each property in the array the label and value keys. For example, it is possible to sort ascending or descending properties by label or by keys within the action.

All the workflows included in the “drop down” folder of the sample package include drop down menus created with actions that have array of Properties set as the return type.

An Introduction to Cloud-Config Scripting for Linux based VMs in vRA Cloud Templates | Cloud-Init

  1. Introduction
    1. Use cloud-init to configure:
    2. Compatible OSes
  2. Install cloud-init in VM images #firststep
  3. Where cloudConfig commands can be added
  4. General Information about Cloud-Config
  5. YAML Formatting
  6. User and Group Management
  7. Change Passwords for Existing Users
  8. Write Files to the Disk
  9. Update or Install Packages on the Server
  10. Configure SSH Keys for User Accounts and the SSH Daemon
  11. Set Up Trusted CA Certificates
  12. Configure resolv.conf to Use Specific DNS Servers
  13. Run Arbitrary Commands for More Control
  14. Shutdown or Reboot the Server
  15. Troubleshooting
  16. Conclusion
  17. References

Introduction

Cloud images are operating system templates and every instance starts out as an identical clone of every other instance. It is the user data that gives every cloud instance its personality and cloud-init is the tool that applies user data to your instances automatically.

Use cloud-init to configure:

  • Setting a default locale
  • Setting the hostname
  • Generating and setting up SSH private keys
  • Setting up ephemeral mount points
  • Installing packages

There is even a full-fledged website https://cloud-init.io/ where you can check various types of resources and information.

Compatible OSes

While cloud-init started life in Ubuntu, it is now available for most major Linux and FreeBSD operating systems. For cloud image providers, then cloud-init handles many of the differences between cloud vendors automatically — for example, the official Ubuntu cloud images are identical across all public and private clouds.

cloudConfig commands are special scripts designed to be run by the cloud-init process. These are generally used for initial configuration on the very first boot of a server. In this guide, we will be discussing the format and usage of cloud-config commands.

Install cloud-init in VM images #firststep

Make sure cloud-init is installed and properly configured in the linux based images you want with work with. Possibilities are that you may have to install it in some of the OSes and flavors. For.eg: cloud-init comes installed in the official Ubuntu live server images since the release of 18.04, Ubuntu Cloud Images, etc. However, in some of the Red Hat Linux images, it doesn’t come preinstalled.

Where cloudConfig commands can be added

You can add a cloudConfig section to cloud template code, but you can also add one to a machine image in advance, when configuring infrastructure. Then, all cloud templates that reference the source image get the same initialization.

You might have an image map and a cloud template where both contain initialization commands. At deployment time, the commands merge, and Cloud Assembly runs the consolidated commands. When the same command appears in both places but includes different parameters, only the image map command is run. Faulty cloudConfig commands can result in a resource that isn’t correctly configured or behaves unpredictably.


Important cloudConfig may cause unpredictable results when used with vSphere Guest Customizations. A hit & trial can be done to figure out what works best.


General Information about Cloud-Config

The cloud-config format implements a declarative syntax for many common configuration items, making it easy to accomplish many tasks. It also allows you to specify arbitrary commands for anything that falls outside of the predefined declarative capabilities.

This “best of both worlds” approach lets the file acts like a configuration file for common tasks, while maintaining the flexibility of a script for more complex functionality.

YAML Formatting

The file is written using the YAML data serialization format. The YAML format was created to be easy to understand for humans and easy to parse for programs.

YAML files are generally fairly intuitive to understand when reading them, but it is good to know the actual rules that govern them.

Some important rules for YAML files are:

  • Indentation with whitespace indicates the structure and relationship of the items to one another. Items that are more indented are sub-items of the first item with a lower level of indentation above them.
  • List members can be identified by a leading dash.
  • Associative array entries are created by using a colon (:) followed by a space and the value.
  • Blocks of text are indented. To indicate that the block should be read as-is, with the formatting maintained, use the pipe character (|) before the block.

Let’s take these rules and analyze an example cloud-config file, paying attention only to the formatting:

#cloud-config
users:
  - name: demo
    groups: sudo
    shell: /bin/bash
    sudo: ['ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL']
    ssh-authorized-keys:
      - ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQDf0q4PyG0doiBQYV7OlOxbRjle026hJPBWD+eKHWuVXIpAiQlSElEBqQn0pOqNJZ3IBCvSLnrdZTUph4czNC4885AArS9NkyM7lK27Oo8RV888jWc8hsx4CD2uNfkuHL+NI5xPB/QT3Um2Zi7GRkIwIgNPN5uqUtXvjgA+i1CS0Ku4ld8vndXvr504jV9BMQoZrXEST3YlriOb8Wf7hYqphVMpF3b+8df96Pxsj0+iZqayS9wFcL8ITPApHi0yVwS8TjxEtI3FDpCbf7Y/DmTGOv49+AWBkFhS2ZwwGTX65L61PDlTSAzL+rPFmHaQBHnsli8U9N6E4XHDEOjbSMRX user@example.com
      - ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQDcthLR0qW6y1eWtlmgUE/DveL4XCaqK6PQlWzi445v6vgh7emU4R5DmAsz+plWooJL40dDLCwBt9kEcO/vYzKY9DdHnX8dveMTJNU/OJAaoB1fV6ePvTOdQ6F3SlF2uq77xYTOqBiWjqF+KMDeB+dQ+eGyhuI/z/aROFP6pdkRyEikO9YkVMPyomHKFob+ZKPI4t7TwUi7x1rZB1GsKgRoFkkYu7gvGak3jEWazsZEeRxCgHgAV7TDm05VAWCrnX/+RzsQ/1DecwSzsP06DGFWZYjxzthhGTvH/W5+KFyMvyA+tZV4i1XM+CIv/Ma/xahwqzQkIaKUwsldPPu00jRN user@desktop
runcmd:
  - touch /test.txt

By looking at this file, we can learn a number of important things.

First, each cloud-config file must begin with #cloud-config alone on the very first line. This signals to the cloud-init program that this should be interpreted as a cloud-config file. If this were a regular script file, the first line would indicate the interpreter that should be used to execute the file.

The file above has two top-level directives, users and runcmd. These both serve as keys. The values of these keys consist of all of the indented lines after the keys.

In the case of the users key, the value is a single list item. We know this because the next level of indentation is a dash (-) which specifies a list item, and because there is only one dash at this indentation level. In the case of the users directive, this incidentally indicates that we are only defining a single user.

The list item itself contains an associative array with more key-value pairs. These are sibling elements because they all exist at the same level of indentation. Each of the user attributes are contained within the single list item we described above.

Some things to note are that the strings you see do not require quoting and that there are no unnecessary brackets to define associations. The interpreter can determine the data type fairly easily and the indentation indicates the relationship of items, both for humans and programs.

By now, you should have a working knowledge of the YAML format and feel comfortable working with information using the rules we discussed above.

We can now begin exploring some of the most common directives for cloud-config.

User and Group Management

To define new users on the system, you can use the users directive that we saw in the example file above.

The general format of user definitions is:

#cloud-config
users:
  - first_user_parameter
    first_user_parameter
    
  - second_user_parameter
    second_user_parameter
    second_user_parameter
    second_user_parameter

Each new user should begin with a dash. Each user defines parameters in key-value pairs. The following keys are available for definition:

  • name: The account username.
  • primary-group: The primary group of the user. By default, this will be a group created that matches the username. Any group specified here must already exist or must be created explicitly (we discuss this later in this section).
  • groups: Any supplementary groups can be listed here, separated by commas.
  • gecos: A field for supplementary info about the user.
  • shell: The shell that should be set for the user. If you do not set this, the very basic sh shell will be used.
  • expiredate: The date that the account should expire, in YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • sudo: The sudo string to use if you would like to define sudo privileges, without the username field.
  • lock-passwd: This is set to “True” by default. Set this to “False” to allow users to log in with a password.
  • passwd: A hashed password for the account.
  • ssh-authorized-keys: A list of complete SSH public keys that should be added to this user’s authorized_keys file in their .ssh directory.
  • inactive: A boolean value that will set the account to inactive.
  • system: If “True”, this account will be a system account with no home directory.
  • homedir: Used to override the default /home/<username>, which is otherwise created and set.
  • ssh-import-id: The SSH ID to import from LaunchPad.
  • selinux-user: This can be used to set the SELinux user that should be used for this account’s login.
  • no-create-home: Set to “True” to avoid creating a /home/<username> directory for the user.
  • no-user-group: Set to “True” to avoid creating a group with the same name as the user.
  • no-log-init: Set to “True” to not initiate the user login databases.

Other than some basic information, like the name key, you only need to define the areas where you are deviating from the default or supplying needed data.

One thing that is important for users to realize is that the passwd field should not be used in production systems unless you have a mechanism of immediately modifying the given value. As with all information submitted as user-data, the hash will remain accessible to any user on the system for the entire life of the server. On modern hardware, these hashes can easily be cracked in a trivial amount of time. Exposing even the hash is a huge security risk that should not be taken on any machines that are not disposable.

For an example user definition, we can use part of the example cloud-config we saw above:

#cloud-config
users:
  - name: demo
    groups: sudo
    shell: /bin/bash
    sudo: ['ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL']
    ssh-authorized-keys:
      - ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQDf0q4PyG0doiBQYV7OlOxbRjle026hJPBWD+eKHWuVXIpAiQlSElEBqQn0pOqNJZ3IBCvSLnrdZTUph4czNC4885AArS9NkyM7lK27Oo8RV888jWc8hsx4CD2uNfkuHL+NI5xPB/QT3Um2Zi7GRkIwIgNPN5uqUtXvjgA+i1CS0Ku4ld8vndXvr504jV9BMQoZrXEST3YlriOb8Wf7hYqphVMpF3b+8df96Pxsj0+iZqayS9wFcL8ITPApHi0yVwS8TjxEtI3FDpCbf7Y/DmTGOv49+AWBkFhS2ZwwGTX65L61PDlTSAzL+rPFmHaQBHnsli8U9N6E4XHDEOjbSMRX user@example.com
      - ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQDcthLR0qW6y1eWtlmgUE/DveL4XCaqK6PQlWzi445v6vgh7emU4R5DmAsz+plWooJL40dDLCwBt9kEcO/vYzKY9DdHnX8dveMTJNU/OJAaoB1fV6ePvTOdQ6F3SlF2uq77xYTOqBiWjqF+KMDeB+dQ+eGyhuI/z/aROFP6pdkRyEikO9YkVMPyomHKFob+ZKPI4t7TwUi7x1rZB1GsKgRoFkkYu7gvGak3jEWazsZEeRxCgHgAV7TDm05VAWCrnX/+RzsQ/1DecwSzsP06DGFWZYjxzthhGTvH/W5+KFyMvyA+tZV4i1XM+CIv/Ma/xahwqzQkIaKUwsldPPu00jRN user@desktop

To define groups, you should use the groups directive. This directive is relatively simple in that it just takes a list of groups you would like to create.

An optional extension to this is to create a sub-list for any of the groups you are making. This new list will define the users that should be placed in this group:

#cloud-config
groups:
  - group1
  - group2: [user1, user2]

Change Passwords for Existing Users

For user accounts that already exist (the root account is the most pertinent), a password can be suppled by using the chpasswd directive.

Note: This directive should only be used in debugging situations, because, once again, the value will be available to every user on the system for the duration of the server’s life. This is even more relevant in this section because passwords submitted with this directive must be given in plain text.

The basic syntax looks like this:

#cloud-config
chpasswd:
  list: |
    user1:password1
    user2:password2
    user3:password3
  expire: False

The directive contains two associative array keys. The list key will contain a block that lists the account names and the associated passwords that you would like to assign. The expire key is a boolean that determines whether the password must be changed at first boot or not. This defaults to “True”.

One thing to note is that you can set a password to “RANDOM” or “R”, which will generate a random password and write it to /var/log/cloud-init-output.log. Keep in mind that this file is accessible to any user on the system, so it is not any more secure.

Write Files to the Disk

In order to write files to the disk, you should use the write_files directive.

Each file that should be written is represented by a list item under the directive. These list items will be associative arrays that define the properties of each file.

The only required keys in this array are path, which defines where to write the file, and content, which contains the data you would like the file to contain.

The available keys for configuring a write_files item are:

  • path: The absolute path to the location on the filesystem where the file should be written.
  • content: The content that should be placed in the file. For multi-line input, you should start a block by using a pipe character (|) on the “content” line, followed by an indented block containing the content. Binary files should include “!!binary” and a space prior to the pipe character.
  • owner: The user account and group that should be given ownership of the file. These should be given in the “username:group” format.
  • permissions: The octal permissions set that should be given for this file.
  • encoding: An optional encoding specification for the file. This can be “b64” for Base64 files, “gzip” for Gzip compressed files, or “gz+b64” for a combination. Leaving this out will use the default, conventional file type.

For example, we could write a file to /test.txt with the contents:

Here is a line.
Another line is here.

The portion of the cloud-config that would accomplish this would look like this:

#cloud-config
write_files:
  - path: /test.txt
    content: |
      Here is a line.
      Another line is here.

Update or Install Packages on the Server

To manage packages, there are a few related settings and directives to keep in mind.

To update the apt database on Debian-based distributions, you should set the package_update directive to “true”. This is synonymous with calling apt-get update from the command line.

The default value is actually “true”, so you only need to worry about this directive if you wish to disable it:

#cloud-config
package_update: false

If you wish to upgrade all of the packages on your server after it boots up for the first time, you can set the package_upgrade directive. This is akin to a apt-get upgrade executed manually.

This is set to “false” by default, so make sure you set this to “true” if you want the functionality:

#cloud-config
package_upgrade: true

To install additional packages, you can simply list the package names using the “packages” directive. Each list item should represent a package. Unlike the two commands above, this directive will function with either yum or apt managed distros.

These items can take one of two forms. The first is simply a string with the name of the package. The second form is a list with two items. The first item of this new list is the package name, and the second item is the version number:

#cloud-config
packages:
  - package_1
  - package_2
  - [package_3, version_num]

The “packages” directive will set apt_update to true, overriding any previous setting.

Configure SSH Keys for User Accounts and the SSH Daemon

You can manage SSH keys in the users directive, but you can also specify them in a dedicated ssh_authorized_keys section. These will be added to the first defined user’s authorized_keys file.

This takes the same general format of the key specification within the users directive:

#cloud-config
ssh_authorized_keys:
  - ssh_key_1
  - ssh_key_2

You can also generate the SSH server’s private keys ahead of time and place them on the filesystem. This can be useful if you want to give your clients the information about this server beforehand, allowing it to trust the server as soon as it comes online.

To do this, we can use the ssh_keys directive. This can take the key pairs for RSA, DSA, or ECDSA keys using the rsa_privatersa_publicdsa_privatedsa_publicecdsa_private, and ecdsa_public sub-items.

Since formatting and line breaks are important for private keys, make sure to use a block with a pipe key when specifying these. Also, you must include the begin key and end key lines for your keys to be valid.

#cloud-config
ssh_keys:
  rsa_private: |
    -----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
    your_rsa_private_key
    -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

  rsa_public: your_rsa_public_key

Set Up Trusted CA Certificates

If your infrastructure relies on keys signed by an internal certificate authority, you can set up your new machines to trust your CA cert by injecting the certificate information. For this, we use the ca-certs directive.

This directive has two sub-items. The first is remove-defaults, which, when set to true, will remove all of the normal certificate trust information included by default. This is usually not needed and can lead to some issues if you don’t know what you are doing, so use with caution.

The second item is trusted, which is a list, each containing a trusted CA certificate:

#cloud-config
ca-certs:
  remove-defaults: true
  trusted:
    - |
      -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
      your_CA_cert
      -----END CERTIFICATE-----

Configure resolv.conf to Use Specific DNS Servers

If you have configured your own DNS servers that you wish to use, you can manage your server’s resolv.conf file by using the resolv_conf directive. This currently only works for RHEL-based distributions.

Under the resolv_conf directive, you can manage your settings with the nameserverssearchdomainsdomain, and options items.

The nameservers directive should take a list of the IP addresses of your name servers. The searchdomains directive takes a list of domains and subdomains to search in when a user specifies a host but not a domain.

The domain sets the domain that should be used for any unresolvable requests, and options contains a set of options that can be defined in the resolv.conf file.

If you are using the resolv_conf directive, you must ensure that the manage-resolv-conf directive is also set to true. Not doing so will cause your settings to be ignored:

#cloud-config
manage-resolv-conf: true
resolv_conf:
  nameservers:
    - 'first_nameserver'
    - 'second_nameserver'
  searchdomains:
    - first.domain.com
    - second.domain.com
  domain: domain.com
  options:
    option1: value1
    option2: value2
    option3: value3

Run Arbitrary Commands for More Control

If none of the managed actions that cloud-config provides works for what you want to do, you can also run arbitrary commands. You can do this with the runcmd directive.

This directive takes a list of items to execute. These items can be specified in two different ways, which will affect how they are handled.

If the list item is a simple string, the entire item will be passed to the sh shell process to run.

The other option is to pass a list, each item of which will be executed in a similar way to how execve processes commands. The first item will be interpreted as the command or script to run, and the following items will be passed as arguments for that command.

Most users can use either of these formats, but the flexibility enables you to choose the best option if you have special requirements. Any output will be written to standard out and to the /var/log/cloud-init-output.log file:

#cloud-config
runcmd:
  - [ sed, -i, -e, 's/here/there/g', some_file]
  - echo "modified some_file"
  - [cat, some_file]

Shutdown or Reboot the Server

In some cases, you’ll want to shutdown or reboot your server after executing the other items. You can do this by setting up the power_state directive.

This directive has four sub-items that can be set. These are delaytimeoutmessage, and mode.

The delay specifies how long into the future the restart or shutdown should occur. By default, this will be “now”, meaning the procedure will begin immediately. To add a delay, users should specify, in minutes, the amount of time that should pass using the +<num_of_mins> format.

The timeout parameter takes a unit-less value that represents the number of seconds to wait for cloud-init to complete before initiating the delay countdown.

The message field allows you to specify a message that will be sent to all users of the system. The mode specifies the type of power event to initiate. This can be “poweroff” to shut down the server, “reboot” to restart the server, or “halt” to let the system decide which is the best action (usually shutdown):

#cloud-config
power_state:
  timeout: 120
  delay: "+5"
  message: Rebooting in five minutes. Please save your work.
  mode: reboot

Troubleshooting

If a cloud-init script behaves unexpectedly, check the captured console output in /var/log/cloud-init-output.log inside vRealize Automation.

Conclusion

The above examples represent some of the more common configuration items available when running a cloud-config file. There are additional capabilities that we did not cover in this guide. These include configuration management setup, configuring additional repositories, and even registering with an outside URL when the server is initialized.

You can find out more about some of these options by checking the /usr/share/doc/cloud-init/examples directory. For a practical guide to help you get familiar with cloud-config files, you can follow our tutorial on how to use cloud-config to complete basic server configuration here.

References

Free vRealize Automation 8.3 Enterprise Course by VMware

Disclaimer Turned out that this course is not freely available for everyone. I would suggest you give it a try and see if you’re lucky enough.

If you are looking for a course on vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) which is officially developed by VMware, is enterprise-level, not just the basic one and most importantly FREE, then you should go for this course. It has 41 lessons, more than 70,000 views and is a ELS (Enterprise) course and talks on vRA architecture, installation, Cloud templates, integration with NSX-T, Kubernetes, Public Clouds, SaltStack, vRO Workflows and extensibility and a lot more. I personally went through this course after I completed the Udemy’s Getting started with VMware vRealize Automation 8.1 and while Udemy’s push start your journey in vRA 8.x, this VMware course will take it to another level. Recommended for someone who is in VMware Automation, coming from vRA 7.x, Looking for migrating from 7.x to 8.x, deployment of vRA etc. In this post, I have shared some basic steps on how to get to that course and get yourself started.

Bonus Tip

VMware will accept this course as prerequisite for Cloud Management and Automation 2022 (VCP-CMA 2022) certification.

How to enroll?

  • Scroll down and search for vrealize automation.
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Course Content

Let’s see what you will find in the course content.

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