As a decision-maker for several large projects, I constantly need to make difficult decisions regarding the purchase of software licensing. One of the things I look for is ‘what are those software vendors doing to reduce my operating costs’? Do they include tools to manage their products? Are they looking to their users to define their roadmap? VMware consistently delivers features and capabilities that make my life easier, Period.
Let me set the stage. For one of my primary projects, I support 60+ vCenter servers across multiple sites. To date, I have not found a single tool that can provide configuration and lifecycle management for our vCenter servers. To be perfectly honest the idea of backups and disaster recovery was really just an afterthought. In our shop, we found it just as easy to deploy a new vCenter than it was to fix an old or broken one.
I assume that while my environment might be on the extreme side of the envelope when it comes to the number of vCenters, the VMware community has desired a vCenter configuration management tool for some time.
Enter vSphere 7 and vCenter Server Profiles. Words cannot express my level of excitement for a vendor-supported solution! This new feature promises to deliver an interface that will allow vSphere administrators to easily and uniformly manage multiple vCenter servers.
NOTE: THIS IS NOT HOST PROFILES!
Keep in mind that for the initial release there is no User Interface. All interaction is through REST APIs. Get out your console’s folks!
The API currently has four actions:
- List – Provide a list of configurable items (by section)
- Export – Exports the configuration profile via a JSON file.
- Validate – Validates the configuration against a supplied JSON file.
- Import – Imports a profile to vCenter Server via a JSON file.
The APIs will also be available in the API Explorer that is located in the Developer Center.
The process seems pretty simple.
- Configure the ‘Gold’ or template vCenter
- Export the configuration
- Then Import the configuration to any vCenter that you want to be configured the same way!
Configuration validation is one of the new features I look to take advantage of. I plan on writing a simple PowerShell process to run on a schedule that simply takes the exported ‘Gold’ copy of the configuration and validates it against all of my vCenters.
I love this new addition to vSphere 7 and cannot wait to get my hands on it. Kudos to the VMware team for listening to its customers and community of users!