Automating Tintri with vRO Part 5a: Sync VM

What is Sync VM?

Every now and then a technology on a storage array gets me really excited. When Adam Cavaliere showed me Sync VM last month I was impressed. After talking about it and showing it to customers, they were very interested. More specifically they wanted to see it automated, and in vRealize Automation.

So what is it, and how does it work?

I think it’s best explained by Adam Cavaliere and Emad Younis who have posts and videos on this already.

Video showing Database Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWsVLUb9O_A

Blog post by Emad Younis: https://www.tintri.com/blog/2015/04/tech-tuesday-time-travel-syncvm-snapshots

The vRealize Orchestrator Workflow

In this part (5a), I will explain how to use the vRO workflow I’ve created which is available on FlowGrab along with the others in this series. In part 5b I will be showing how to integrate this vRO workflow with vRA, to offer it as a day 2 operation.

Pre Requisites:

1. Completed Part 3 verifying that you can get a Tintri UUID from a virtual machine.
2. Have a source and target virtual machine in vCenter with the same disk configuration upon which you want to sync.
3. Download the latest Tintri Workflow Package I created and uploaded to FlowGrab.

Important!

Do not execute this vRO workflow without an understanding of SyncVM. The code in this example replaces 3 disks (SCSI 0:1, SCSI 0:2, SCSI 0:3 to be precise). If you need to use alternate disk configurations, then you will need to adjust the parameters and action item to compensate. Please post questions if you are unsure how to do this, but this assumes a good understanding of vRealize Orchestrator.

Step 1: Import the Tintri Workflow Package you downloaded from FlowGrab.

You should now see extra workflows in your vRO Design view as per the screenshot below.

syncvmwflows

Take a look at FG-SyncVMExample you can see this utilizes a number of the other workflows previously created.
Sync VM Example

SyncVMInputs

Running FG-Tintri-SyncVM by itself, you can see this requires the RestHost, SessionID, and a snapshot UUID from the source VM, as well as the Tintri VM UUID from the target VM.

In FG-SyncVMExample I use the modular components built previously to retrieve all the information required to initiate a Sync VM operation.

The process is as follows:

  1. Create Rest Session
  2. Tintri Snapshot the Source VM in order to get the latest data.
    1. Get the Tintri VM UUID
    2. Snapshot the VM
    3. Get the Snapshot UUID for the latest snapshot
  3. Get the Tintri VM UUID for the target VM
  4. Shutdown the Guest OS (This is because if you initiate a sync VM via REST API it will do a hard power off of the virtual machine.)
  5. Initiate SyncVM now that we have the UUIDs we needed.
  6. Power back on the target VM.

Step 2: Run the workflow!

Exampleinputsforsyncvm

Select your REST Host, type in a sample name for the snapshot (this could obviously be set as a general attribute or automatically generated in the future), select your source VM and target VM from vCenter…and off we go!

Step 3: End Result

Login to your Tintri VM Store and you should see a message on the target VM indicating that synchronization is complete.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 3.43.37 PM

vRealize Orchestrator will also show logging to indicate the Sync VM operation was successful.

vrologsyncvm

What’s next?

Hopefully this workflow helps. I would recommend adapting the actions and workflow to your use cases. i.e. which disks to sync? How many VMs do you want to sync to?

In the next post I’ll be demonstrating how you can add this capability to vRealize Automation as a Day 2 Operation you can present to Software Development and QA teams in order to get the latest data.

 

 

 

 

Automating Tintri with vRO Part 4: Create Tintri Snapshot on VMware Virtual Machine

In this section I’m going to walk through utilizing the workflow I created to initiate a Tintri Snapshot on your Virtual Machine.

Pre Requisites:

1. Completed Part 3 verifying that you can get a Tintri UUID from a virtual machine.
2. Have a Virtual Machine in vCenter which is running on the Tintri VM Store.
3. Import the latest Tintri Workflow Package I created and uploaded to FlowGrab.

The Tintri Snapshot

It would take far too long to go into all the details of snapshots and how they work, so instead I’m going to refer you to this PDF from Tintri. This gives a detailed overview.

However, to be a little more clear, the workflow we are executing here is going to complete the equivalent of selecting a VM in the Tintri GUI and selecting “Take snapshot…” as shown in the image below.

snapui1

 

Note, that these snapshots will NOT appear in the vSphere client UI. This is expected.

If we want to view all the Tintri snapshots upon the VM, we can also select “View snapshots”, and the list will be displayed.

snapui2

 

Executing the snapshots with vRO

So we have a great feature within Tintri, but we don’t really want to go to the Tintri UI every time. By having the vRO workflow, we can execute them directly from within vCenter or as a Day 2 action within vRealize Automation.

Step 1: Import the latest package from FlowGrab

After importing the package you should see some additional vRO workflows and actions.

vROflowgrab

vROflowgrabActions

As you can see there are 2 SnapVM workflows. The “FG-Tintri-SnapVM” workflow just encapsulates the action “tintriSnapVMfromUUID”. The 2nd workflow “FG-Tintri-GetUUIDandSnapVM” combines all the workflows from Parts 2 and 3 to create the REST session and get the Tintri UUID. As a general rule I try always create the “lego brick” workflow, and then create a larger workflow to wrap all the pieces I need. I include them both, as there may be creative workflows you want to create and need to do multiple snaps etc.

vROflowgrabSchema

Step 2: Run the workflow

Run the vRO workflow and put in your REST Host, VM, and Snapshot name.

snapVMinputs

Check the logs to verify you received a successful snapshot creation.

snaplogs

The number that is returned at the end is actually the Snapshot UUID from Tintri. If you login to Tintri you should see your snapshot listed in the GUI.

snapVMvROUIresultIn addition if you browse to “https://YourTintriIP/api/v310/vm” you will see this listed as the current latest snapshot for your virtual machine.

snapshotID-JSONThat’s it. You can now successfully Tintri snapshot your VMware Virtual Machines using vRO! At the end of the series I’ll be showing how to add these to vRealize Automation as Day 2 Actions.

What’s next…

Part 5: Automating Tintri Sync VM with vRO – Expected June 2nd

 

 

 

 

Automating Tintri with vRO Part 3: Get UUID from VMware Virtual Machine

In this section I’m going to walk through utilizing the workflow I created to get the Tintri UUID from a VMware Virtual Machine.

Why do I need this workflow?

In order for us to be able to perform any actions against VMs from the Tintri perspective, we need to know the UUID of the VM. This workflow allows us to get it.

Pre Requisites:

1. Completed Part 2 verifying that you can create a session to your Tintri VM Store and are able to return a JSESSION ID.
2. Have a Virtual Machine in vCenter which is running on the Tintri VM Store you tested in Part 2.
3. Import the latest Tintri Workflow Package I created and uploaded to FlowGrab.

What is the Tintri UUID?

The Tintri UUID is the unique object identifier for which we need to reference when performing any Tintri operations against the Virtual Machine. This is how Tintri sees the virtual machine as opposed to VMware which uses the Managed Object Reference for the vCenter object.

For example, in VMware we have this VM:

demovm

If we look in vRealize Orchestrator, you can see that the Managed object reference for this VM is:

demovmvRO

In Tintri we have the same VM

demovmTintri

If we take it a step further and look at the Tintri API in your browser, you will see that Tintri has both values for the VM. The VM MOR, and the Tintri UUID. Our goal here is to get the Tintri UUID, so we can perform REST operations against it, like Snapshot, Replication, and Sync VM which are in the next set of posts.

tintriuuid

Step 1: Import the package you downloaded from FlowGrab

Once imported you should see some additional vRO workflows, and Actions.

newworkflows

Step 2: Take a peak inside the workflows

If you look in the workflow for Tintri-Session and Get UUID you will notice that this workflow includes the workflow from Part 2a for Creating the session as well as the other workflow we just imported.

sessionuuidworkflow

We first run the Create Session workflow, store the JSESSIONID as a general attribute, and then run the GetUUID fromVM workflow using the JSESSIONID we stored from the previous workflow.

visualbinding1

 

visualbinding2

Step 3: Run the workflow

Run the workflow and select a Virtual Machine.

runworkflow1

Check the logs and make a note of the MOR and UUID.

workflowrunlogs

Take a look in vRO at the VM from the inventory view and should see the Managed object reference matches the VM you selected.

Take a look in the Tintri API from your browser, and do a search for the MOR. You should see the matching Tintri UUID there as well.

What now…

Now we are able to successfully get the UUID, we can start to perform Tintri actions upon the VM using vRO. In the next part of the series we will be going through executing a Tintri Snapshot on the VM.

Part 4: vRO workflow: Tintri Snapshot a Virtual Machine – coming Tuesday May 26.

 

Automating Tintri with vRO Part 2: Create REST Session

In this post I’m going to walk you through utilizing the vRO workflow I’ve developed for creating a Tintri session over REST. This is the first workflow in the series, and without it, none of the subsequent workflows can be utilized.

Why do I need this workflow?

In order to complete REST requests against the Tintri API, an authenticated session is required. This workflow authenticates with the Tintri REST API, and returns the JSESSION ID. This JSESSIONID variable is then utilized for each of the REST requests in the next set of operations.

Pre Requisites:

1. Tintri VM Store Configured and accessible via REST
2. vRealize Orchestrator installed and configured
3. Download the vRO workflow package from Flowgrab

Step 1: Add your Tintri REST Host

First of all make sure you have the vRealize Orchestrator REST plugin installed. The REST plugin should have been configured automatically when you installed vRealize Orchestrator.

Run the “Add a REST host” workflow to add your Tintri VMstore. If like most users, you have more than one Tintri appliance, go ahead and repeat this process to add all of them.

addresthost

addresthost2

Choose “No” for Use Proxy

addresthost3

Choose “None” for Host’s authentication type

addresthost4

 

If everything is successful, you should see your Tintri Host listed in your inventory list.

addresthost5

Step 2: Import the Tintri vRO workflow package

Import the workflow package you from Flowgrab.

You will find the following objects now available to you in vRO:

Workflow:

The FG-Tintri-CreateSession workflow uses the action and configuration elements discussed below.

import1

Action:

Right now, you will only see the tintriGetSession action item highlighted below. This is the action item which returns the JSESSIONID.

import2

Configuration Element:

import3

The configuration element was created to store the Tintri UserName as opposed to storing it directly in the vRO workflow as a general attribute.

Edit the Tintri-ConfigurationElement

import4

Select the attributes tab, and input your password for the admin account.

Step 3: Run the workflow and verify we can create a session!

Now for the fun part! Run the FG-Tintri-CreateSession workflow.

workflowrun1

Select your REST Host and click submit.

Check the logs and verify you got a status code of 200 which verifies the session was successfully created, along with the JSESSIONID.

Congratulations, you were able to successfully authenticate with your Tintri VM Store using the REST API.

What next…

Part 3: vRO Workflow: Get a Tintri UUID from vCenter VM Object – scheduled for 05/20 – stay with me!

This next workflow allows us to select a Virtual Machine from vRealize Orchestrator, and returns the UUID from Tintri.

Part 2b: Tintri-CreateSession vRO Workflow Code – Go here if you want to see the code and how this was all created – scheduled for 05/21 – stay with me!

Automating Tintri with vRealize Orchestrator Part 1: Let’s begin!

Welcome to part 1 of my series on Automating Tintri with vRealize Orchestrator.

I’m sure almost everyone visiting my blog knows how awesome Tintri is so I’m not going to go into details of the product. In short, I love it because it’s simple and clones VMs incredibly fast.

The other hidden gem about Tintri is that there very well documented REST API allowing us to do all sorts of nice automation without having to click through the GUI. Recently Tintri announced Sync VM which got me really excited. I love all things DevOps, and when I was talking with Adam Cavaliere and other SQL server Engineers, they immediately saw amazing potential for this. After speaking with a few of my customers who had vRealize Automation, they really loved the idea of being able to have Day 2 Operations for tasks like Snapshotting their VM, and were even more excited about Sync VM and how that could be used.

So after further discussion, we decided to build a vRealize Orchestrator Package including actions, workflows, and all awesome stuff for using Tintri. In this series I’m going to walk you through how I built the package, and how you can use it.

The following workflows are included:

Tintri-CreateSession – Creates a REST Session with your Tintri VMstore. This is needed for all subsequent workflows.

Tintri-GetUUIDfromVM – Allows you to select a Virtual Machine from vRO, and will return the corresponding Tintri UUID. This is needed to perform any actions against Tintri objects.

Tintri-SnapshotVM – Utilizes the 2 workflows above, and then creates a Tintri Snapshot of your VM.

Tintri-SyncVM – Magical! Takes a Source VM and TargetVM, then syncs the VMDKs underneath. Tintri does all the heavy lifting. Check out a great video on this technology at https://www.tintri.com/blog/2015/05/tech-tuesday-manage-data-syncvm-video.

Tintri-ReplicateVM – Also magical! Enable Tintri replication on a VM for DR purposes.

As I release the workflows throughout the series, you will be able to find them on Flowgrab via the SystemsGame Page. If you aren’t already familiar with FlowGrab, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s a great place for sharing workflows with the vRealize Orchestrator community.

Finally, a big thank you to Adam Cavaliere for coming up with these cool ideas and working out all the kinks for the REST API calls in Python first. If you want an expert on Tintri, definitely contact him!

Next: Part 2 – Create REST Session