This post is mostly just going to be a short shoutout to a blog that has helped me a few times now. Eric Shanks at The IT Hollow has a great series on vRealize Automation 7. He covers topics from installation and configuration, through administration, integration, and upgrades. I haven’t been through all of it yet, but I’m betting I’ll be referencing most of it over the next few months.

Probably obviously, the first section I utilized was his minimal deployment guide. I’ve followed it twice now, and its got nearly everything you need to know to get the minimal deployment of vRA up and running.

Like Eric calls out, the wizard not only has a really good prerequisite checker, but also has a prerequisite fixer built in. I’m always dismissive of a ‘fix it for me’ button actually working, but this one does. In my case, I took care of installing the IIS role on my IaaS server on build, but I let the wizard do the rest of the installation and configuration.

Now for the only shortcoming. Later in the wizard, just before the installation actually runs, is a validation step. In both of my runs of this playbook, I’ve found that the prereq checker neither looks for nor fixes the MSDTC configuration of the SQL Server host. I assume this is because there is no vRA Agent running on the DB host, so it has no method to make the change. Whatever the reason, the validation step certainly does check for proper MSDTC configuration and will light up red on this step if it hasn’t been configured. I imagine this isn’t a surprise to you, since you definitely read the install guide from VMware to find all of the configuration requirements like I did(n’t). :-)

Luckily we’re working with a product from a company that does put out good documentation. The top result from Google when you search for “msdtc for vra” is exactly what you need: Configure Network Access for Distributed Transaction Coordinator. Follow that short, seven step doc and get back to your install wizard. Rerunning the validation should return all green this time and you’ll be ready for the actual installation.

That’s all there is to it, Eric’s awesome step by step guide augmented with one piece from VMware and boom: a running vRA instance in probably less than an hour.

-Willie