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Get Started with Bitnami Blueprints on VMware vRealize Automation

Introduction

VMware vRealize Automation is an automation platform that helps IT companies to accelerate the complete and effective delivery of IT services. This platform manages, in a single place, IT requests for infrastructure, applications, containers, etc., and processes them in a common catalog. This way, IT companies can deliver a consistent user experience for on-demand services they provide.

The latest version of this platform has adopted the converged blueprint model so developers can request the incorporation of custom blueprints to the service catalog or create new ones by simply cloning the existing templates. Administrators can enable and import as many blueprints as they like to the catalog. This helps companies simplify their release processes and automate their software deployments. Bitnami offers VMware users a set of blueprints ready to be deployed in any datacenter using VMware vRealize Automation.

In this tutorial you will learn how to configure a Bitnami Blueprint for publishing in the catalog and how to create a single virtual machine running Bitnami Drupal on the VMware vRealize Automation platform using its blueprint template.

Overview

If you’re interested in creating a personal or a business website, you can use Drupal. Drupal is an open-source Content Management framework used by thousand of enterprises, governments, higher-education institutions and NGOs for creating their websites with reliably and flexibly. According to Wikipedia more than 39.000 free modules are available to extend and customize Drupal’s capabilities making it one of the most powerful and flexible open content management systems (CMS) in the world.

In this tutorial, you will learn, step by step, the process for editing a Bitnami Blueprint template to add it to your catalog (in this tutorial we will use the Bitnami Drupal blueprint template as an example), and show you how to create a single virtual machine (VM) running the recently added blueprint.

Here are the steps you will follow in this tutorial:

  • Configure the Bitnami Blueprint template
  • Deploy Bitnami Drupal using VMware vRealize Automation
  • Access the application
  • Log in and start using Drupal

Now, let’s walk you through these steps in detail.

Step 1: Configure the Bitnami Blueprint template

At the end of this step, you will have edited and prepared a blueprint template for publishing in the catalog.

NOTE: This step assumes that the administrators have already uploaded the Bitnami Blueprint template to the VMware vRealize Automation platform.

Administrators are able to create and manage blueprints directly from the VMware vRealize Automation platform. When the admin user publishes a blueprint, it becomes available on the catalog so it can be reused easily. Administrators can create templates and upload them as blueprints, create new ones directly from the design canvas or clone an existing one.

Once the Bitnami Blueprint has been uploaded, the administrator needs to make some changes to configure it for publishing to the catalog. To make this happen, follow these instructions:

  • Navigate to the “Design -> Blueprints” section and select the recently uploaded blueprint (in this example we will use the Bitnami Drupal for vRealize Automation template):

    Select the Bitnami Drupal for vRealize Automation template

The next screen is the “Design Canvas” view. There you will find the blueprint, which comprises the application server and the software, as you can see below:

Design Canvas view

To configure the blueprint for publishing in the catalog, you need to edit some values in both in the “Application_Server” and in the software (in this case, “Drupal”).

Edit the “Application_Server” values

To edit the “Application_Server” values, click on the “Application_Server” tag in the blueprint. This, will open the “Application_Server” section.

Select the Application_Server section

Then, edit the following information:

  • In the “Build Information” tab, edit the “Clone from” and the “Customization spec” fields:

    • Clone from: Click the “[…]” button to see the list of available templates, and select one that corresponds to a CentOS 7.x template.
    • Customization spec: Specify the environment you want to set. In this example we have set it as “Linux-ENV6”.

      Edit Built information values

  • In the “Machine Resources” tab, check whether the values shown in the “Minimum” column match with the minimum requirements detailed in the “General -> Description” section. If everything is correct, click “Save” to apply the changes.

    Check machine resources

By default, Bitnami set the minimum requirements for the application software in its templates. To check these requirements navigate to the “General -> Description” section as shown below:

Check the application software minimum requirements

Edit the application software values

NOTE: The configuration of the following parameters is optional. It is only required in case that the datacenter is not connected to internet or can’t access the VMware marketplace server. Refer to the Known issues section for more information on this.

To configure the application software parameters, navigate to the “Design -> Blueprints” section and select the blueprint. You will see the “Design Canvas” view. Follow these instructions to set the application software parameters:

  • On the upper-left side of the screen you will see a configuration icon. Click on it to see the Blueprint Properties.

    Set the blueprint template parameters

  • Navigate to the “Properties -> Custom Properties” tab. You will find the following values:

    • BITNAMI_BUNDLE_URL: Indicates from where the Bitnami bundle should be downloaded from. The bundle contains scripts for the installation of essential services.
    • BITNAMI_INSTALLER_URL: Indicates where the application installer will be downloaded from.

      Set the blueprint template parameters

  • Select the value you want to edit. Click the “Edit” icon to change the URL shown in the “Values” column. This URL must point to the repository in which the downloaded software has been stored. Click “OK” to save the changes.

    Edit the URL link to obtain the application software

  • Publish the blueprint in the catalog, after this you should see your blueprint published in the “Catalog” tab.

    Blueprints catalog

Step 2: Deploy Bitnami Drupal using VMware vRealize Automation

At the end of this step, you will have created a single VM running Bitnami Drupal on the VMware vRealize Automation platform using a blueprint template.

Once you have logged in to the VMware vRealize Automation platform, follow these steps to deploy the Bitnami Drupal blueprint template on a single virtual machine:

  • Navigate to the “Catalog” tab to select the Bitnami Drupal template for vRealize. Click “Request” to continue the process.

    Select the Bitnami Drupal template for vRealize from the catalog

  • Check the template details and click “Request” to proceed.

    Check the template details

  • In the “General” tab of the next screen, enter a description for the deployment, a reason for the request and the number of the deployments you want to request.

  • Click “Submit” to send your request to the system administrator.

    Enter deployment information

    In the same tab, you can find the application’s default username by navigating to the “Application_Server -> application_user” section as shown below:

    Application username

    Find information about the server in the “Application_Server -> General” tab. Check the “Drupal” section to learn more about the software.

The system will confirm you that your request has been sent successfully:

[![Your request has been submitted](/images/img/platforms/vmware/bp-tutorial-4.png)](/images/img/platforms/vmware/bp-tutorial-4.png)

To check the status of your request, navigate to the “Requests” tab and check the status of your last request:

Check request status

Once the deployment has finished, you will see the following status:

Request status: Successful

Step 3: Access the application

At the end of this step you will have obtained the IP address of the recently created virtual machine to access the application via web browser.

Once the deployment has been completed successfully, the IP address you need to access the application should be available. To access the application:

  • Select the “Requests” tab.
  • Select your virtual machine from the resulting list and click on it.

    Server information

  • In the “Deployment -> General” screen, click the “Execution Information” link:

    Server information

  • In the resulting screen, click the “[…]” button beside the application details:

    Server information

This will open the deployment logs.

  • Scroll down until you find the information associated with the server. Note the IP address associated with the recently created virtual machine:

    Server IP address

  • Enter the IP address in a browser. You will see the following “welcome” screen:

    Access the application

  • Click the “Access Drupal” link to access your site.

    Access the application

Now, you are able to log in to the Drupal admin panel.

Step 4: Log in and start using Drupal

At the end of this step, you will have logged in to Drupal and created a new blog post.

To log in to the Drupal dashboard, follow these steps:

  • Click the “Log in” link in the upper-right corner of the Drupal Home screen or browse to the Drupal dashboard, usually at the URL http://SERVER-IP/drupal/user/login (SERVER-IP is a placeholder, remember to replace it with the server IP address you have obtained in step3.

    Log in to Drupal

  • Log in with the administrator credentials. You can find them in the deployment logs as shown in step3. Check the FAQ for more information on this.

    Log in to Drupal

You should now arrive at the Drupal dashboard, which allows you to manage posts, pages and comments; customize your site with modules; import and export content; manage navigation menus; add or delete new user accounts; and much more.

You can now add a new post using the following steps:

  • In the left-hand “Tools” menu, click the “Add content” link.

    Add content

  • In the “Add content” page, select the type of content you want to add. (In this case, select “Article” to add a new post to your site).

    Select add an article in Drupal

  • Enter a title and content for the post. You can use the formatting tools at the top of the content area to format your post and add hyperlinks or images. Optionally, you can also choose the format and menu settings for your post.

    Create a new article in Drupal

  • Publish it immediately using the “Save” button. Before publishing the post, you can see a Preview of your post by clicking “Preview”.

    Publish an article in Drupal

And now, when you visit your blog’s home page, you should see your new post.

New article created in Drupal

You can keep the Drupal core up-to-date with a minor version change using drush (a command-line shell and scripting interface for Drupal that is already included in Bitnami Drupal Stack). Check the Drupal upgrade page to find out more.

Congratulations! You now have a working, fully functional Drupal site running in your VMware environment.

To learn more about the topics discussed in this tutorial, use the links below:

Last modification September 11, 2018