DevOps for IT Entities

I am proud to announce that my team has taken an idea from inception and today it became a generally available product at VMware!

Officially called:

“vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps” 


The Software Defined Datacenter by definition means there are an increased number of Software Defined Models or Entities, these span a variety of products/components vSphere, vRealize Automation/Orchestration etc.

These entities can be complex and require precise configuration in order to work, for example IaaS blueprints and build profiles need to match exactly to achieve a desired outcome.

All of them need to accurately run and be configured precisely so that a virtual machine (for example) can be deployed in an environment as described.

Typically today it is a manual set of repetitive tasks where of course the opportunity for things to go wrong – scrub that…they WILL go wrong.

Continuous  Integration/Delivery of Infrastructure as Code ?

So why not treat our platform as a Continuous Integration Pipeline ? A very basic and crude development process looks like something like the below and has its own set of challenges to deploy artifacts through the various environments.

Enter Project Houdini – or the vRealize Code Stream Management Pack – DevOps for IT.

This management pack allows customers to automate the lifecycle of vRealize Automation content (blueprints, forms, workflows, etc.) and move them across various vRA instances or tenants as part of their development, test and production stages.

The primary reason is that blueprints, workflows and other types of vRA “content” is essentially code and, like any other code, should follow development best practices to ensure that it does not “break” anything in production.  These best practices include developing and testing that code in a segregated environment before deploying them to production.  One challenge today is that moving vRA content from one environment to another is often a manual, complicated, time-consuming and error-prone process.  Houdini includes pre-built pipeline templates that automate and thus simplify that process.

Houdini allows vRA administrators to:
  1. Select the appropriate content (e.g. blueprint, workflow, etc.) from an environment (e.g. a “Development” tenant) and publish it to a destination environment (e.g. a “Production” tenant on the same or a different vRA instance).
  2. Houdini will automatically identify all related dependencies (e.g. build profiles, custom icons, forms, etc.) for that content and package and version it.
  3. Houdini will export that package to the destination environment, testing it along the way if requested by the administrator.
  4. Houdini will then import, unpack and deploy that content in the destination environment, including all dependencies.
  5. The operation will be logged with all relevant details.

Currently, Houdini supports the following vRA constructs:
  • vSphere machine blueprints (other types such multi-machine and application blueprints are not yet supported).
  • ASD blueprints and actions
  • vRealize Orchestrator workflows and packages
  • Linux Files


The vRA Catalog Portal

Capture a new vRA Advanced Blueprint

Test it!

Release it !

A vRealize Code Stream Pipeline organises the flow of content

Manage all your Infrastructure as Code packages that have been captured 

Built, Tested and Deployed on VMware GA technology
Installable in minutes, Houdini runs on top of a single vRA 6.2.3/Code Stream 1.2/vRealize Orchestrator 6.0 appliance.  In true dogfooding spirit, these platforms were also used in the continuous integration and testing process of the management pack itself.  And if internal proof is not enough, check out the beta customer feedback: 
  • “I love Houdini!”
  • “Installation is super easy”
  • “[VMware] has built a masterful product to overcome our challenges (…).  It isn’t only for developers: good Release Management is also a key factor in Engineering Operational Stability!”
  • “This is what I’ve been waiting for from VMware. This is exactly what we’re looking for!”

The management pack is available for free to customers of vRealize Code Stream and vRealize Automation Advanced/Enterprise customers.  

How can i get it :