Matthias' Blog

First steps vRealize Orchestrator 8.0

deploy

I decided to write an article, because we were discussing a bit on Twitter, about my first steps with vRO 8.0. To get everyone on the same page, I did a lot with vRO in the past years and I haven’t read the release notes or the manual. I hope, it will be pretty easy to setup and use it. We will see. Furthermore, this time, I explicitly outline, that this article represents only my personal opinion, and is not related to opinions from comdivision, VMware, or anybody, person or company, else.

I will neither describe the OVA deployment in vSphere nor adding DNS entries.

After the initial boot, there are only a few options and, as the release notes already said, the legacy client is gone, only the HTML5 is available.


I would say, we start checking the control center. With a freshly deployed vRO, this is always my starting point.

A starting point is comparing screenshots from 7.6 and 8.0. Differences are obvious.

Screenshot of vRealize Orchestrator 7.6 control center

Screenshot of vRealize Orchestrator 8.0 control center

 

Major difference, obviously, are the logging options. 8.0 doesn’t provide an option to view the live logs anymore, export log files into a ZIP, and configure a remote logging server. 7.6 shows an option to integrate vRO into vRealize Log Insight, but that is only a link to the VMware homepage containing product information about vRLI. The question if 8.0 can be integrated with vRealize Log Insight, will not be answered today. Even with 7.6 you had to install an agent, I guess, will be the same with 8.0.

Let’s start with the HTML5 client

The H5 client was introduced with version 7.4. I never used it, because it had many issues and was only partially working. As already mentioned, with vRO8 the old Java based client is gone, so I have to get familiar with the new one.

The first very obvious change is, that the tree view is gone. vRO8 uses globally a tagging mechanism, allowing us to sort or categorize our workflows. My honest opinion, I love tagging and it’s a powerful mechanism, but not having a tree view anymore is irritating. Due to more than 20 years in IT, I am so used to tree views to organize my stuff, that it seems to be impossible, using vRO8 with a large inventory. Don’t get it wrong, I still think that tagging is great, but I suggest that a tree view, based on the used tags, should be made available in the HTML5 UI. Otherwise it will be very difficult to find something in the future, if it hasn’t been touched for a while.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the workflow creation section. I have to admit, that the UI behaves a bit different, but that’s ok. I mean, you need to look for “Save” buttons and stuff, how to edit an existing workflow, and so on, but being honest, after an UI change, we’re always looking for some stuff.

The design page in the UI looks great, in first place. Sections which are not working from my perspective:

  • Resizing of panes
  • API explorer

Within the workflow creation section, the API explorer and Scripting panes can’t be resized. That’s very weird. OK, I am lucky because I am using two very large 4k screens, but that can’t be the solution. The single panes should be resizable. Even with those large screens, the API explorer is too small. See the next picture. The red arrow marks the border between the two panes.

The API explorer is not sorted and looks like an unbelievable huge mess. As I’ve already mentioned, also the API explorer pane, can’t be resized, which makes it even worse. Furthermore, if you select a property or a method, there is no description about data types, the pane just stays empty and I didn’t select a very strange object, just VC:VirtualMachine. That’s a nightmare.

What is great, is the new line by line JavaScript code debugging mechanism. I think, many of us waited for this feature which introduces a bit more IDE feeling to the vRO client. This allows us to debug each single line of code inside a scriptable task, including to change the value of variables to continue. Sadly this is only one of a few improvements compared to the legacy client.