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Enable VMware automation with these top tools and techniques

Last updated:February 2018

Editor's note

VMware automation tools can help administrators accomplish tasks in a shorter amount of time and can turn routine chores, such as taking a snapshot of a VM, into something that requires less intervention from IT. Reducing the manual fiddling with the infrastructure also reduces the chances of human error.

In general, automation is something that can benefit a business as administrators build their proficiency with the available tools. While virtualization has made certain aspects of the data center easier to handle, rising infrastructure complexity and growing business demands mean IT professionals need to develop more efficient methods to respond to everyday needs.

Orchestration is a complementary process that manages the interactions between automated tasks. It is becoming increasingly necessary as automation grows and workflows become more complex.

This guide covers the software, techniques and best practices VMware professionals are using in their environments to streamline common processes, speed up workflows and manage intricate policies

1Free and flexible

One VMware automation tool that administrators can add to their arsenal is VMware's vSphere PowerCLI, which can automate vSphere and vCloud management. Administrators can tap into PowerShell cmdlets to execute commands across their environment's virtual inventory.

2One way to automate

VRealize Automation (vRA) -- formerly called vCloud Automation Center -- is a part of VMware's vRealize Suite of hybrid cloud management products. VRA enables the rapid deployment of services across a number of hypervisors and public clouds. Its high extensibility, which helps companies create comprehensive workflows, services and reporting, is a prime feature. VRA gives IT admins the ability to define available services and make them available for users, freeing the admin from manual allocation.

3Streamline your workflows

VRealize Orchestrator (vRO) is part of vRealize Automation in VMware's vRealize suite of products. Orchestrator comes packaged with Automation and enables the fine-tuned management of automated tasks and services. Whereas Automation is designed for cloud automation tools based on policies to deliver IT services, Orchestrator is designed as a platform for automated workflows that can handle nearly any IT process.

4Automate security, analysis and networking

VMware automation tools exist in a variety of VMware products beyond the vRealize suite. Admins can take advantage of the automation capabilities in AppDefense to catch problems quickly, Workspace One Intelligence to respond to security and performance data, and NSX to automate networking.

5Key automation terms

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