Update A CMDB As Part Of IaaS Machine Life Cycle

A good way of demonstrating VMware vCloud Automation Center 3rd party integrations is around a CMDB use case. The most obvious example will be to write to a DB table once the machine has been provisioned and then once again when it has been disposed of.

I am using vCAC 6.01 with the embedded vCO so I have the vCO SQL plugin already installed but if you are using an external vCO most probably you will need to installed the SQL plugin. It can be downloaded from here: Download

Next steps:

1. Make sure you have a DB to connect to and a DB table to write to. I have create a demo DB called ‘CMDB’ in an instance of SQL Server 2008 Express. Inside that DB I have a table called ‘machines’ with the following fields:

table

2. In vCO run the workflow ‘JDBC Workflow Generator’. This will help you form the JDBC URL you will need for the next step. As I am using SQL Express my URL looks like this:

jdbc:jtds:sqlserver://vcac-w8-01a.corp.local:1433/CMDB;instance=sqlexpress;domain=corp.local

3. In vCO run the workflow ‘Add a Database’. Use the JDBC URL generated in the previous step. If you still encounter difficulties then check that TCP/IP is enable: Launch the SQL Server Configuration Manager Click on the “Protocols for SQLEXPRESS” node, Right click on “TCP/IP” in the list of Protocols and choose, “Enable” Check that Static Port 1433 and NOT the Dynamic port is configured: Click on the “TCP/IP” child node, You will notice an entry on the right panel for “IPAll”, right click on this and select, “Properties” Clear out the value for “TCP Dynamic Ports” and Give a TcpPort number to use when making remote connections, i.e., “1433”.

4. In vCO run the workflow ‘Add a table to a Database’. Point to the table you have created before.

5. In vCO run the workflow ‘Generate CRUD workflows for a table’ and point to the table you have added to the DB in the previous step. You will need to specify in which vCO folder you want this workflow to be created. The workflow name will be something like “Create Active Record for ‘machines’ ” where ‘machines’ is the name of the DB table we have been working with all along.

6. Create a net new vCO workflow called ‘CMDB add machine Record’ for example. In it have a scriptable task to unwrap vCAC object properties and then call the “Create Active Record for ‘machines'” workflow to update the CMDB table:

workflow1

I will add the workflow as an example at the end as a reference. In the workflow ‘General’ tab make sure you set the vCACHost parameter to point to your vCAC server as explained in my previous blog post 

7. Create a net new vCO workflow called ‘CMDB update machine Record’ for example. In it have a scriptable task to unwrap vCAC object properties as previously mentioned and then call the ‘Execute a Custom query’ workflow to update the CMDB table. The scriptable task in this workflow will look like this:

var timestamp = new Date();
System.log(“The timestamp is: ” + timestamp);
time = timestamp;
machine_state = state;
hostname = machine_name;
query = “UPDATE machines SET state= ” + “‘” + machine_state + “‘” + “,” + “timestamp= ” + “‘” + time + “‘” + “WHERE machine_name= ” + “‘” + hostname + “‘” + “;” ;
System.log(“Executing query ” + query + ” on database ” + database.name );
rowsAffected = database.executeCustomQuery(query);
System.log(“Rows affected: “+ rowsAffected);

As you can see all we want to update is the machine state and timestamp columns with the state of the machine (now destroyed) and the time it has been destroyed.

workflow2

In the workflow ‘General’ tab make sure you set the vCACHost parameter to point to your vCAC server as explained in my previous blog post  and also make sure the ‘database’ parameter is pointing to CMDB DB you are working with.

8. Now we need to associate these 2 workflows with a vCAC external Stubs. More information about vCAC external stubs and how they can be associated with vCO workflows and triggered at runtime can be found here in my previous blog post 

Make sure you associate your ‘CMDB add machine Record’ workflow with MachineProvisioned stub and  ‘CMDB update machine Record’ workflow with MachineDisposing stub as described in my previous blog post 

Job Done.

For your convenience the two vCO workflows mentioned above can be downloaded from here:

http://tinyurl.com/q6y3u6k

Thanks!

Yuval T

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  1. #1 by Dean132 on October 20, 2014 - 3:00 pm

    Hey finding your blog really helpful, just running through this article, any chance of some help regarding the script that does the unwrap entity properties please?

    • #2 by cloudonsteroids on October 20, 2014 - 3:07 pm

      Yes sure tell me what’s unclear

      • #3 by Dean132 on October 20, 2014 - 3:17 pm

        Thanks for the reply, where to start really. How should it look? I do have a script that runs on every newly provisioned VM that gathers attributes such as VMName,IPAddress,Owner, and these are the details I want to update into a table.

  2. #4 by cloudonsteroids on October 21, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    Dean the script I have attached to the post has a very good example. Did you look at it?

    • #5 by Dean132 on October 27, 2014 - 12:22 pm

      I didn’t notice your download file sorry, I have managed to do this now. Many many thanks for all your help.

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