27 February, 2024
November 29, 2022
Developers and software engineers need a sandbox environment where they can develop, test, and check code for failures before moving it to a clean production environment. The faster and smoother it is to sync code to production, the less friction and frustration there is for DevOps teams. For TeraSky, one of the best new solutions is the Content Management feature within VMware’s vRealize Lifecycle Manager.
As experienced vRA users, we’re strong proponents of managing SDDC content in a vRA environment. For example, one of our customers wanted to be able to develop code and automations in a sandbox environment and sync it to production after testing. This was possible in vRA7 (although very limited), but vRA8 makes it more seamless, more flexible, and more automated while enabling its users to sync content between several VMware products. The new approach uses the Content Management feature in the vRA Lifecycle Manager dashboard, which allows users to configure endpoints to any vRealize or VMware product. For this customer, we configured one Orchestrator for a sandbox environment and another for production, so they can enter the Content Management dashboard, select the endpoint, and then capture any workflow or item to sync between the two environments.
This is just one of the big improvements in vRA8 over vRA7. In the previous version, you could only sync code residing in the vRO. Now, almost anything vRA that the user consumes, such as ABX sections, vCenter templates, content libraries, workflows and actions, vRA blueprints, catalog items, custom forms, and more, can be synced between two endpoints with practically zero manual action after initializing the sync.
Another advantage to the vRealize Lifecycle Content Management is that you can capture, test, and release content into a source control management tool such as GitHub or GitLab. If you prefer, you can run tests on items as you sync them or add a source component management as an endpoint, where you can carry out code reviews before deploying to a third endpoint. The Lifecycle Manager also offers versioning, so you can manage versions, store and see version histories, and roll back and redeploy a past version if necessary.
On top of that, our TeraSky experts appreciate the new Pipeline feature. It allows you to set pre-deploy and post-deploy pipelines for every action, providing more control over the content and user actions being executed from Content Management. Once you’ve written the pipeline, you can go to your Orchestrator and select the workflow to be executed once you deploy, capture, or test content.
Effectively, vRA8’s Lifecycle Manager makes it possible to write almost any workflow for any action you do within Content Management, including sandbox syncing. vRA might not be your first thought when looking for friction-free ways to manage DevOps pipelines, but at TeraSky, we recommend Lifecycle Manager as an ideal way for developers to manage SDDC content, including capturing, testing, and releasing code to various environments and integrating source control.
Written by: Zach Benassayag, Cloud Automation Engineer