If you have not yet read my recent series Harness the Power of vRealize Automation (vRA) with the SovLabs Property Toolkit and Template Engine, I would encourage you to do so. This 3-part series will provide you with some interesting ways to get more out of vRealize Automation using the software solutions provided by SovLabs. In this article I will be coveringa topic closely related to my previous articles and showcasing even more value when you use the SovLabs Property Toolkit.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “Is there a place to define global properties in vRA?” throughout my career, I probably could have retired by now. The unfortunate answer to this question has always been “it does not”, but there is a way to apply properties to every request. Keep reading.
The Old Way
The old way to define global properties in vRA was to add the properties you wanted applied globally to each and every endpoint you had configured in vRA. So, if you had 25 endpoints and 20 properties you ended up have to enter 500 properties and 500 values. This method leads to inevitable typos, finger fatigue, and management overhead every time you need to update a value for any one of those properties or add a new property.
The SovLabs Property Toolkit Way
If you read the previously mentioned 3-part blog series, you would have learned that you can translate a request input within vRA into a property group, thereby turning a single input into many inputs. What I’m going to explain here isn’t much different.
The SovLabs Property Toolkit allows you to utilize vRA property groups essentially anywhere you can define a custom property within vRA - not just on a blueprint. The image below shows a vRA property group named SVL_GlobalProperties. This property group is a SovLabs Dynamic Property Group that can be applied anywhere you want.
If you look at some of the properties I have included here you will see the typical nuisance properties that have to be defined for the lifecycle extensibility.
Having defined these properties more times than I care to remember, I know how painful it is to define the same properties over and over again. This solution makes that pain a thing of the past. Simply define the lifecycle properties and any other property you want applied to any request in this SVL_GlobalProperties property group, and you instantly make managing vRA significantly easier.
Once you have created your property group, you then to go to each endpoint and create one property on each. Use the ID of the property group (which in most cases is the same as the name of the property group) and define it as the property name and value on the endpoint like below.
*Note: It’s important to note that the property group must start with SVL_
If you have more than a few endpoints and want to make the task of adding your property and value to them even easier, you are in luck! The SovLabs Property Toolkit can help with that as well. The toolkit comes with tools to help make managing properties super simple.
Entity Property Assignment and Reporting
The Entity Property Assignment and Reporting component allows you to bulk add, update, or remove properties and their values on vRA entities. This component also allows you to report on properties.
To add your new global property group to your endpoints simply request the module, define your property and select your endpoints as shown below:
*Note - Under operation I chose update in place of add as I already had the property defined on my endpoints.
That’s it! Property management in VMware vRealize Automation is now a piece of cake and you get the added benefit of using the SovLabs Template Engine within the value of the properties defined within these property groups.