July 2, 2023

Deploying Multiple VMs in vRA: Simplify the Process with CSV Files

Deploying multiple virtual machines (VMs) in vRealize Automation (vRA) can be a tedious and time-consuming process. The standard method for deploying VMs with properties is via Custom Forms, but this approach has limitations, especially when deploying large numbers of VMs at once. One of the limitations is that the customer is limited to 10 VMs per request. Additionally, filling out the form can be time-consuming, especially when deploying VMs with different configurations. Deploying multiple VMs with unique configurations requires significant input, and filling in each form can take several minutes.


To overcome these challenges and simplify this process, customers can create an Orchestrator workflow that receives a CSV file with all required inputs and runs different cloud templates within this request using vRA REST API. All input data is stored in a CSV file, and the customer can use copy-paste to input data quickly and easily. Deployments can be requested with these files for different users with one block, which saves time for the customer.


Further, the CSV file can be uploaded through the UI and parsed by Orchestrator into required workflow inputs. The file should have a pre-defined format, and it is strongly recommended to prepare the CSV file template with all required columns, save it in the company file server, and publish it in the Custom Form so others can request and download it:




Using a CSV file to deploy multiple VMs has several advantages. Firstly, it allows customers to deploy a large number of VMs with unique configurations quickly and easily. The customer can input all the required data in the CSV file, and vRA can deploy the VMs based on that data. Secondly, using a CSV file reduces the likelihood of errors during the deployment process. All the data required for deployment is in the file, and the automation tool can use that data to deploy the VMs. Finally, using a CSV file saves time and effort for the customer. Instead of filling out a custom form for each VM, the customer can input all the data in the CSV file and deploy all the VMs in one go.


There are a few things to remember while building out the CSV file. Significant thought must be put into the planning stages to decide on the structure and content of the CSV file. Because the automation is taking all of the data provided by the customer based on the CSV file column names, for example, those names are “set in stone” – any changes made to them will cause the deployment to fail. Additionally, the customer must decide how to handle each kind of data in advance. If, for example, some fields are required for certain VMs, but not for others, the client must decide in advance how to handle those fields – whether to leave them blank, include a 0 value, etc. Whatever the approach, it must remain consistent in order to avoid failures.





Deploying multiple VMs in vRA using a CSV file saves time and effort, reduces the likelihood of errors, and allows customers to deploy large numbers of VMs with unique configurations quickly and easily. While using a CSV file requires some planning and preparation, the benefits make it an excellent option for customers looking to deploy multiple VMs in vRA.


Written by: Olga Balter, Cloud Automation Senior Engineer


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