How to Get Started with vRealize Automation and vRealize Orchestrator

by bluemedora_editor on March 6, 2017

By: Scott Walsh

Last week, I published the first post in my series uncovering how you can maximize your investment in vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). In this blog post, I’ll share more insight into why you should use both in your environment and how to get started.


How can I use vRA/vRO?

Nearly every company has repeatable requests that come through IT that could be automated to free up resources for more strategic work. Companies will continue to debate whether the value of automation is worth the effort, and it certainly should be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, there are several ways that automation can be of great benefit to an organization.



The EngOps movement has done a lot to bring together traditional infrastructure and development teams, but there is still a level of contention between the two teams. The vRA self-service portal offers an environment where application teams can deploy and manage resources without introducing risk into the environment.

For instance, if the AppDev lead has a new project and needs a dev environment? Choose the appropriate request in vRA, and within minutes, your server(s) will be deployed with little to no intervention by the IT team.  And because the environment is based on blueprints that have already been agreed upon by the two teams, the risk and costs are controlled.



With automated workflows and processes, you can enable your AppDev teams to have control over their infrastructure resources. Giving them ownership accelerates the level of respect for their resources and as a result, improves decision making and develops a better understanding of each other’s challenges.



Lastly, vRA and vRO can enable collaboration across teams. With more control, there’s often a different tone between teams. As a result, you can make the rules together, set the limits and build the blueprints. It transforms how you work together and meet key business challenges that are presented jointly to your teams.


What do I do now?

As you get started with vRA and vRO, there are a few things to consider:


Have a plan.

Prior to starting with vRA and vRO, the first step is to take step back and look at the different teams you are supporting.  Ask yourself some questions. What would the perfect scenario look like? What are our risks? Where does our value reside? This will get you thinking about how you are going to execute. The best case would be to work with your teams to build a roadmap that everyone agrees upon, and then start your execution.


Create an approval committee.

Once you have an idea of the teams involved, develop an approval committee to ensure that you have representation across teams. Your needs will change due to change in your business, technology and associated priorities. With a cohesive approval committee that represent all teams, it’ll be easier to make changes to respond to the environment.


Get an outside perspective.

Reaching outside of your approval committee, perhaps to an analyst on another team or even, if you have the resources, an external consultant can give you perspective on what workflows within vRA and vRO make the most sense for your roadmap. Because they may have more experience in building out the roadmap, it can often bring solutions that you otherwise may not have considered. 


Test before it’s final.

Once you build out your blueprints and workflows, enable the teams that will use the workflows to test it out. If the team has a say in how the services will be delivered, they will more likely be on board with the changes — as well as give you feedback on how to improve so that they are truly able to streamline processes and optimize their workflows.


In future blogs, we’ll provide more insight into how you can leverage vRA and vRO to solve business challenges.



Who is Blue Medora Labs?

Blue Medora Labs is the professional services arm of Blue Medora.  We provide custom integration with various components of the vRealize Operations Suite, as well as professional services utilizing more out of the box functionality.  We help our customers and partners provide a user experience which is more customized to their unique business challenges.

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