Automate Velostrata operations directly from your Azure OMS dashboard

March 23, 2017

Tom Nikl

Microsoft’s Operations Management Suite (OMS), the dashboard that allows IT professionals to manage their on-premises and Azure servers in one place, is a great way for enterprises to manage their hybrid cloud. One popular component of OMS is runbooks, where IT can schedule specific operations to take place on the servers they’re managing. Though Velostrata avoids introducing yet another dashboard into the IT mix by relying instead on a plug-in within VMware vCenter, we thought it would still be beneficial if IT professionals could automate Velostrata operations using runbooks in OMS, too.

So, that’s exactly what we did, and thought it would be helpful to provide a quick walkthrough of how you can use this new functionality.

To get started, you will need to create your PowerShell environment which will be used for the “Azure hybrid automation worker” that is installed on-premises, as well as your VMware and Velostrata PowerShell environments. You’ll also need to setup the appropriate environmental configurations such as IPs, Cloud Extensions, logins etc.

After that, you can head to our Velostrata GitHub community and download our scripts (which currently support operations for run in cloud, migrate to cloud, test clone in cloud, remove test clone, and return on-premises) or you can write your own PowerShell scripts to perform whatever automation you need.

Once you’ve imported these runbooks into Azure or written your own PowerShell scripts, you’ll see the following options in your Azure dashboard’s runbook tab. This is what our runbook tab looks like:

pic1Figure 1: List of PowerShell scripts available for automation (click to enlarge)

Let’s walk through how to perform the “Velos-Migrate-to-Cloud” operation, which will take a VM that is running in your on-premises VMware and get it running in the Azure cloud within just a few minutes. We’re able to do this by decoupling compute from storage, booting the VM in the cloud but leaving the storage on-premises, and then transferring the remaining data in background while the VM continues to run. It’s how our customers are shaving weeks and months off their migrations. So, without further ado, here’s how to perform a VMW-to-Azure migration using Azure runbooks.

  1. While at your Azure dashboard’s runbook tab, right click the ‘Velos-Migrate-to-Cloud’ runbook and click ‘Run’. You’ll get the window you see below where you’ll populate the requisite fields: Machine Name (as it appears in vCenter), Azure Instance Type, and the appropriate EdgeNode. You’ll also select the ‘Hybrid Worker’ option and Worker group. Then click OK. We’ve chosen to migrate a Linux machine, to show that Velostrata can migrate both Linux and (obviously) Windows VMs.
pic2Figure 2: Select your options and click OK to begin
  1. Once you do that, you can monitor the task from within the Azure automation portal, which will appear automatically once you begin a runbook.
pic3Figure 3: Automation task manager in Azure
  1. In addition to viewing the progress via Azure, the Velostrata portlet for the VM you’ve chosen will also provide status updates via vCenter (though you aren’t required to view them in vCenter if you don’t want to). In the three screen shots below, you can see the operation progress through the data migration phase, the data migration completing, and the workload detaching entirely from on-premises. At that point, your workload is running completely in the cloud, without a tether to the on-premises data center.
pic4Figure 4: Data is migrating to the cloud
pic5Figure 5: Data migration is complete
pic6Figure 6: VM is now detached from on-prem (running entirely in Azure, no link to data center)
  1. You can also monitor the VM via the Azure dashboard.
pic7Figure 7: Details on the VM now running in Azure (click to enlarge)
  1. You can monitor the disks attached to that VM via the Azure dashboard as well.
pic8Figure 8: Details on disks for VM running in Azure (click to enlarge)

There you have it- using the OMS runbook automation functionality with Velostrata is as easy as 1-2-3-4-5. For any IT professionals who are looking to minimize the number of dashboards they need to manage their hybrid cloud, or schedule automated operations using OMS, these new integrations should prove to be very beneficial.

For anyone not centralizing on OMS, you can still always use Velostrata’s vCenter plug-in and simple wizards to interact with your Azure cloud. We’ve got some great videos that showcase that functionality, too, one on performing a full migration and another doing pre-migration testing. No matter what dashboard you’re most comfortable with, Velostrata provides the capabilities you need to get to and from the Azure cloud.