Network Profiles in vRealize Automation 8

We have given a short introduction into vRealize Automation 8 networks in the last two blog posts.

In short, the Network show the following information:

  • The networks and networking objects that can be used for provisioning. Those networks are discovered from the underlying Cloud Accounts and can encompass vSphere network, NSX-T/NSX-V networks or those from Cloud Providers. In order to work with them and allow DHCP from blueprint deployments, we showed how to add additional information like CIDR range, DNS or domain settings.
  • IP ranges could be used to define the set of IP addresses that can be reserved during provisioning.
  • Once those IP ranges have been setup and you configured your blueprint correctly, the IP ranges showed all the IP addresses in use.
  • Load balancers showed all the discovered load balancer
  • Network containers lists containers or groupings of related networks.

Network Profiles

The next thing we want to discuss are Network Profiles.

Basically, Network Profiles are used at runtime to determine which network constructs will be used or created at runtime. Those network constructs encompass existing network constructs (from vSphere, NSX-T, NSX-V, or any VPC, VNET stuff from cloud providers): Those network constructs can be something like networks, load balancers or security groups.

In addition Network Profiles can help to create on-demand network resources. That includes:

  • Public networks
  • Private networks
  • Outbound networks
  • Routed networks

Technically, Network Profiles provide some orchestration stuff, so that we do not need the configure the underlying network management system (for example NSX). For example, when setting up a routed network, vRealize Automation will create a logical switch, a DHCP server and will advertise the NSX routes.

However, configuration is not done with solely in the Network Profile. Some tasks has to be done on the blueprint as well. 

Compared to vRealize Automation 7, the configuration has been simplified, To achieve similar goals, the configuration of network profiles and blueprints was not sufficient in the old version. There was also work to be done on reservations. However, as there are no reservations in vRA 8 anymore, things have become easier.

Besides setting up networks, vRealize Automation can also help you with microsegmentations and firewall rules.  We will discuss everything in detail within the next blog posts.

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