When you see the error below, you can bet that something is wrong with your Orchestrator’s vCenter Server connection configuration:
Without the Inventory view, you cannot configure several elements of the workflows, execute them, etc. So we need to fix this.
According to the following KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1017516 the rootcause can be the wrong format of the username you set on the Orchestrator’s connection properties tab. Currently it is not supported to use the domain name\username combination, even if the vCenter server is a member of a domain.
But you can also get the error above when the certificate is not properly configured on the Orchestrator Configuration website.
If you have to maintain a large VMware vSphere farm, sooner or later you will realize that the number of the requested Virtual Machines are constantly growing from day to day. And the worst thing is that these requests are usually come via mails or from your supervisor directly (“George from the Developers team needs a new server, could you please support him”). Wouldn’t be nice to automate (and control) these request with pre-defined workflows and a provide a web-based form for the VM ordering?
VMware offers the vCenter Lab Manager (http://bit.ly/f3MLYA) for scenarios like this, but the vCenter Orchestrator 4.1 (http://bit.ly/ge3fo2) provides even more. It gives you total freedom, you can create your own workflows and automate your daily tasks within your Cloud. It comes with the vCenter Server, so when you install vCenter, you install Orchestrator as well in the background.
In the time of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and cloud computing, provisioning of new servers by one click should not be a problem. And when we’re talking about cloning virtual machines (vmdk / vhd) that’s true for sure. But what about the necessary post steps after the VM and Operating System is ready? For example joining the windows server to any domain automatically? Many companies still do these steps by hand. Of course, if we work for a large one, we probably already have tools to save some time on these post-steps (e.g. if you have a vCenter Server, you can use the “deploy virtual machine from this template” function, which has some built-in tricks like domain join). But these tools are usually just trigger some built-in Windows mechanism like sysprep.
What happens if we want our own, customized solution which is probably better than the commercial ones? Then it’s time to write our own post-script tool set, and use these scripts to automate our work.