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Deploying vRA 8.3 using the Easy Installer

In this guide i will go over the deployment of vRA 8.3 using the Easy Installer. The reason i like the Easy Installer is because it deploys everything that i need. vIDM, Lifecycle Manager as well as vRA.

To get started we need to download the installer from here.

Once downloaded mount the iso as a drive using your favorite tool or extract it as a archive using something like 7-zip

Once mounted go to the CDROM in the mac directory if on mac or win32 if you are on windows. In here run the installer file

We will be presented with the following window:

The migration option allows us to migrate from from vRSLCM 2.1 to 8.3, it can migrate Datacenter and vCenters, all existing environments, DNS, SNMP, NTP, My VMware, proxy details, migration of vIDM installation as well as Blackstone Content endpoints. For the purpose of this guide we will process with the Install option

Once we click Install we will be presented with an Introduction of what components will be included part on the installation. In my case i can see vRealize Automation 8.3, Lifecycle Manager 8.3, Identity Manager 3.3.4.

Click Next, Review, accept the agreement and click next

Provide the vCenter details and click next. In my case i used the administrator account. A detailed list of permissions needed for deployment can be found here

Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 are straight foward so i will skip them

In section 8 select a password that will be used across all products for the local usernames. ex for LCM root and local admin, vIDM admin, sshuser, root etc

Select a VM name for the Lifecycle Manager appliance and its ip credentials. If you are expecting a large repository in lifecycle manager we can add additional disk under the Increase Disk Size in GB section.

The FIPS Mode compliance option enforces FIPS compliance, however keep in mind that with the FIPS mode enabled there are limitation on what the product can do. This can be disabled later and re enabled as needed.

Complete the fields and click next

The next portion is vIDM. In case there is an existing vIDM appliance in the environment we can also import and existing vIDM appliance. In my case i will deploy a new one.

One important option under vIDM is the Sync Group Members to the Directory When Adding Group. When enabled, members of the groups are synced when groups are added from Active Directory. When this is disabled, group names are synced to the directory, but members of the group are not synced until the group is entitled to an application or the group name is added to an access policy. Note: Post deployment this value cannot be changed from vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. To update this field post deployment, navigate to VMware Identity Manager

My configuration page looks like this:

The next section is the vRA Configuration. In here we have a couple of options. We can perform a standard 1 node deployment or a cluster deployment which includes 3 appliances. The FIPS Compliance mode enables FIPS compliance. Unlike LCM this mode cannot be disabled after the deployment. This disables a number of options in vRA from an LCM perspective. Please make sure that its only enabled if required.

The advanced configuration at the bottom of the page includes the option to change the internal Kubernetes cluster and Service ip range. This is useful if the default range is already in use on the internal network. We want to make sure we pick an ip range thats not used somewhere else in order to avoid conflicts. Once complete click next

The next page gives us a summary of our deployment and we can click submit to start the deployment.

Next we are presented with the installation process. We can follow it along, in my environment the full deployment took about 1.5 hrs

After the install is complete we are presented to links for the different services

Next i would recommend LCM certificate management found here

Change or update vRealize Automation 8 License key

After a recent deployment of VRA 8 with a trial key in my lab i realized that my key was about to expire. It was time to get it changed with my production key. The key can be changed via Lifecycle Manager or via CLI.

Changing the vRealize Automation 8 License key via Lifecycle Manager

To change the license via lifecycle manager we need to go to Lifeycle Manager -> Locker -> License

In my case i already deleted the vra key. Next step is to click Add, give it a name and enter the new license key, click Validate and click Add

Alternatively Lifecycle Manager can download it from the my vmware account. Next we can go to Lifecycle Operations

We can find our Product under Environments -> View Details under the environment where the product is -> Select the product in this case VRA -> select options -> Add license

At the Select License windows select the new license we added and click finish. We are taken to the Request Details window and we can follow the progress

With that the license change is complete. We can follow the same process to change the license key for any of the other products that are managed by Lifecycle Manager

Changing the vRealize Automation 8 License key via CLI

The first step is to log in to the VRA appliance via ssh and run the “vracli license current” command. This will display the current installed license and its expiration date .

In order to replace the license we need to add the new license using “vracli license add new-license-key” then in order to remove it we need to run “vracli license remove old-license-key” . If we are unsure which license is active running the command “vracli license” will display all license keys installed.