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vCloud Automation Center -vCAC 5.1 – Conifiguring Multi-Machine Services

A Multi-Machine service is a Blueprint that is configured to deploy multiple blueprints/machines from one request. Essentially let’s say you have a blueprint that is configured to deploy a Windows 2008 Server with SQL, and you have another blueprint that is configured to deploy a Windows 2008 Server with an application installed such as vCAC. You can create a Multi-Machine service blueprint that contains both blueprints. You Multi-Machine service can be vCAC Server and when it’s requested it will deploy both blueprints each with their own configuration as well as overall multi-machine configuration that can be laid on top.

If you think about it vCAC can manage different hyperervisor such as vSphere through vCenter or vCD, Hyper-V, XenServer, it can manage Physical Servers, and external Amazon EC2 resources. So you can have individual blueprints configured to deploy to these different types of infrastructure. This gives you incredible flexibility. You could have a Multi-Machine service that has a blueprint that provisions an application server to a vSphere environment, a database server to a physical server, and multiple web servers to Amazon EC2. So let’s see how we configure a basic Multi-Machine Service.

Be sure that you have completed the steps in the below posts before configuring a multi-machine service:

First things first. We need at least two blueprints to be able to create a multi-machine service so let’s make a second blueprint. This can be done very easily by making an existing blueprint copyable. To do this perform the following:

Making a Blueprint Copyable

1. Go to “Enterprise Administrator“, then select “Global Blueprints” and select a blueprint and select “Edit
2. On the “Blueprint Information” check “Master (copyable)” and click “ok”

Create a New Blueprint

3. On the “Global Blueprints” page hover over “New Blueprint” in the upper right corner and select “Virtual
4. On the “New Blueprint – Virtual” page click the drop down box at the top of the page labeled “Copy from existing blueprint” and select the blueprint you want to copy.
5. Next give your new blueprint a “Name“, assign it to a “Group” and click “Ok“. (You can make additional changes to your blueprint if you like, these are just the minimal setting you need to set when you copy a blueprint.)
Now let’s crate our Multi-Machine Service blueprint by completing the following steps.

Creating a Mutil-Machine Service Blueprint

6. Go to “Enterprise Administrator“, select “Global Blueprints“, and then hover over “New Blueprint” in the upper right corner and select “Multi-Machine“.
7. On the “Blueprint Information” tab gibe your blueprint a “Name“, add it to a “group” and then select the “Build Information” tab.
8. On the “Build Information” tab select “Add Blueprints” next to “Component machines“.
9. When the “Add Blueprints” dialog box appears select “two” “blueprints” form the list and click “Ok
10. When the dialog closes you will then see your selected “blueprints” in the “Component Machines” section. You can now click the “Pencil” next to the blueprint to configure additional settings such as display “Name“, “Max” number of machine that can be added to request, and the “Startup” and “Shutdown” order.
11. Under “Machine Resources” you can configure a “Lease” period for the “Multi-Machine” app that will override the individual blueprint “lease” periods. Next click the “Scripting” tab.
12. Here you can define scripts that execute during the “Provisioning Process“, “Startup Process” and the “Shutdown process“. This sections allows you to select a workflow you would like to execute for each. This will be covered in more detail in a separate article. Next click the “Security” tab.
13. Here you can choose “Security” options that apply to the “Multi-Machine” service as a whole. Click “Ok” to create your Multi-Machine Service Blueprint.
Finally let’s request a Multi-Machine Service.

Requesting a Multi-Machine Service

14. Navigate to “Self-Service” and select “Request Machine” form the standard portal (http://host/dcac and select the “Multi-Machine” blueprint you just created. Alternatively from the Self-Service portal if installed (http://host/dcacselfservice) you can select “New-Request” and select the “Multi-Machine” blueprint you just created. On the initial request screen you can set the “lease” duration for the request.

15. In the “standard portal” you can select the component machines listed and configure additional setting including adding additional storage to your machines. The “Request Information” tab also includes “CPU” and “Memory” selections if the blue-print was configured to be with min and max values for the resources. Click “Ok” to submit your request. Alternatively on the “self-service” portal you can also customize the request by clicking the “customize button“.

16. In the “Self-Service” portal you will click “Next” and be taken to the “Custom Properties” step. (It’s important to note standard users will not see the “add property” dialog. They will only be able to modify custom fields that are defined in the blueprint. This will be covered in more detail in a future article.). Then click “Next

17. Next in the “Self-Service” portal you will be brought to the “Confirm and Finish” step where you will see a “Daily Cost” break out. Click “Finish” to submit your request.

18. Now that you have submitted your request it will show up under your “My machines” section where you can monitor the status. In the “Self-Service” portal you can expand the details to see the machines that are part of the request.

19. In the “standard portal” you can hover over the “Multi-Machine Service” and then select “View Components” to get more details on the progress of each machine. In the “Self-Service” portal click “View-machines” to get more details.

20. Here you can see the detailed status for each machine that is part of the service.

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Sid Smith, founder of DailyHypervisor is considered to be a cloud expert in the IT field with over 10 years experience in Virtualization, Automation, and Cloud technologies. Sid Smith started in the industry designing and implementing large scale enterprise server and desktop virtualization environments for fortune 100 and 500 companies. He later went on to become a key employee at DynamicOps the well know creators of Cloud Automation Center. In July 2012 DynamicOps was acquired by VMware who has adopted Cloud Automation Center as a center piece for it’s vCloud Suite of products. Sid has helped dozens of fortune 100 and 500 enterprises successfully adopt both private and public cloud strategies as part of their IT offerings. The result of which was large operational and capital savings for his customers. Sid continues to help large enterprise customers reach their hybrid cloud strategies at VMware. On DailyHypervisor you will find exclusive content that will help you learn how to adopt a successful cloud strategy through the use of VMware Cloud Automation Center, Open Stack, and other industry recognized cloud solutions.