Installing Minimal vRA 7: Part 2 Deploying The vRA Appliance

Now that we know what we’re aiming for we can get the really easy bit out of the way right now.  Deploying the  vRA 7 Virtual Appliance.  Throughout this example I’m using the svc-vra-admin account created in step 1 as it has rights for pretty much everything.

NOTE: My lab was running vSphere 5.5 when I did this blog post so screenshots below are from the c# client and NOT the Web client (yes, yes I know….).  Any additional posts after install will probably be from the Web Client and vSphere 6.0

Deployment Steps

I’m going to assume here that you have already downloaded the vRA 7 appliance OVA from VMware website.  If not, go do it now.

Step 1: Create a DNS entry for your appliance

vRA and, indeed, most other VMware products really like DNS to be set up correctly or they will behave most oddly.  Therefore, before deploying the vRA appliance you should.

  1. Log on to your server hosting DNS (in my case my labs AD).
  2. Create a new A record and associated PTR for the vRA appliance.
    1. e.g vra7.lab.local, 192.168.1.xxx
    2. Ensure the Create Associated Pointer (PTR) record option is ticked (if using Windows DNS).
  3. Check the new name is ping-able from within your environment.

Step 2: Deploy the OVF

With that step out of the way we can now deploy and configure the appliance.

  • Open Virtual Center and select File > Deploy OVF TemplateSnapCrab_LABVC01lablocal - vSphere Client_2016-1-5_12-5-39_No-00.png
  • The  deployment wizard will start.  Select your downloaded OVA file and continue through the steps (Shown Below).  These initial steps allow you to pick a name and location for the appliance.  My values are shown for example.  Continue until you get to the Disk Format stage of the wizard.
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-5-55_No-00.png
Select the source of your OVA file and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-6-22_No-00.png
Ignore the details and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-6-44_No-00.png
Press Accept without reading just like everyone else and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-7-32_No-00.png
Give you VM a sensible name (e.g. use your DNS name) and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-7-42_No-00.png
Select Your host / cluster and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-8-30_No-00.png
Select a resource pool if you want to and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-8-43_No-00.png
Select the datastore you want to deploy to…
  •  This next window is probably where you want to start paying actual attention to the  wizard.  The default option here is Thick Provisioned, Lazy Zeroed.  For a quick deployment and a lab setup this is silly and wasteful so ensure you select Thin Provisioned and continue…
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_12-8-55_No-00.png
Select Thin Provisioning and continue…
  • The next screen is the most important to get exactly right now or else there will be issues later down the line.  You’ll need to fill out:
  • Initial Root Password: Something memorable for logging in as root (Don’t Forget This!)
  • Enable SSH service in the appliance: Checked. As this is a lab we want to turn this on as we’re going to play.  If you were installing that as a production system you should leave this off for security reasons and only enable it when required.
  • Hostname: The FQDN of your appliance as its been set up in DNS. <server>.<domain>.<whatever> or, in my case: vra7.lab.local
  • Default gateway:  Your route to the internet or network for this appliance
  • Domain Name: The domain suffix of the VM <domain>.<whatever> or, in my case. lab.local
  • Domain Search Path: the NETBIOS style name of the domain all user / security accounts are contained in e.g. <Domain>.  In my case it’s just called “lab”
  • Domain Name Servers:  The IP Addresses  (IPV4) of the DNS server to use for the appliance.  In this example DNS is installed on my AD server so I use this IP.
  • Network 1 IP Address: the IP V4 network address you want to assign to the appliance.
  • Network 1 Netmask: The subnet mask for the appliance.

Once you’re sure all of the entries are correct for your environment continue…

SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_14-10-1_No-00.png
Make sure all these entries are accurate!
  • Check the details are correct, click next and get the appliance provisioning into your lab.  Make sure you check the Power on after deployment option.  Saves waiting around!
SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_14-11-6_No-00.png
Ready to deploy!  Go Make A Cuppa.
  • Wait for the VM to deploy and turn on  Once it’s up and running open up a CMD / PowerShell window and ping the appliance via it’s DNS name.  This ensures that DNS is working correctly and the appliance has successfully applied it’s network settings. If it fails here fix DNS resolution before going any further.

SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-5_14-18-26_No-00.png

That’s it.  The appliance is now up and running  and it should even look like this if you go to the console and take a look.

SnapCrab_NoName_2016-1-22_22-53-10_No-00.png

Now you are  ready to move on to the next stage of preparing the Windows server for the IaaS install.  You can do this the easy way or the hard (but interesting way).  I learnt on vCAC 6.0.x so have a healthy distrust for the automatic pre req install. So, I did it manually first.  Only LATER did I try the automatic method and find out that it actually works…. So I present both ways.

Hard Way: Installing Minimal vRA 7: Part 3a – Manually Installing Pre-Requisites
Easy Way: Installing Minimal vRA 7: Part 3b – Automatically Installing Pre-Requisits

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