Home > Store

Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $34.39
  • List Price: $42.99
  • About Watermarked eBooks
  • This PDF will be accessible from your Account page after purchase and requires PDF reading software, such as Acrobat® Reader®.

    The eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.

    Watermarked eBook FAQ


  • Copyright 2012
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 304
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-284230-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-284230-3

Unleash the Power of vCenter Orchestrator to Automate Tasks and Improve Efficiency

Today, VMware administrators are responsible for far more infrastructure, servers, and services than ever before. To succeed, they must take full advantage of opportunities to automate and orchestrate their vSphere environments. In Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator, three-time vExpert Cody Bunch shows how to utilize VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) 4.2 to achieve far higher levels of operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Bunch reveals what vCO can do, walks through each step of installation and configuration, explains how its “moving parts” work together, and thoroughly introduces both plug-ins and workflows. Building on this core knowledge, he presents several start-to-finish case studies showing how to use vCO to address real-world challenges ranging from provisioning to snapshots, cluster management to decommissioning.

Whatever your VMware virtualization environment, this book will help you do more with less, save time, eliminate errors, and improve both performance and reliability.

Coverage includes

  • Understanding how vCO fits into your environment and identifying your best opportunities to use it
  • Choosing the right installation scenario and efficiently managing the vCO installation process
  • Configuring vCO: services, passwords, networking, LDAP, databases, SSL, licensing, plug-ins, backup, and more
  • Interacting with vCO through actions, packages, plug-ins, web views, resources, and workflows
  • Automating manual tasks with vCO’s extensive workflow library
  • Creating sophisticated workflows with drag-and-drop components and JavaScript
  • Using plug-ins to control infrastructure within and around your vSphere environment
  • Bringing consistency to VM provisioning, overcoming “VM sprawl” and resource contention, and simplifying support
  • Optimizing VM lifecycle management, all the way through decommissioning
  • Automating all snapshot monitoring processes and components
  • Exporting logs, finding/deleting orphaned files, and performing other day-to-day tasks
  • Efficiently conducting mass VM migrations
  • Quickly adding vCenter hosts and clusters, configuring shared storage, and adding hosts to new clusters
  • Using vCO and third-party plug-ins to gain “private cloud” benefits and flexibility



Sample Content

Table of Contents

Preface xv

Part I Introduction, Installation, and Configuration

Chapter 1 Introducing VMware vCenter Orchestrator 3

What Is VMware vCenter Orchestrator? 4

What Can vCenter Orchestrator Do? 5

Why Should You Use vCenter Orchestrator? 6

    Do More with Less 6

    Reduce the Risk of Human Error 7

    Save Time 7

Who Should Use vCenter Orchestrator? 9

    Snapshot Maintenance 9

    Virtual Machine Lifecycle 10

When Should You Use vCenter Orchestrator? 11

Where Does vCenter Orchestrator Fit? 11

How to Get Started 13

Summary 13

Chapter 2 Installing vCenter Orchestrator 15

vCenter Orchestrator Installation Types 16

    Installing vCO Alongside vCenter Server 16

    Installing vCenter Orchestrator as a Standalone Server 19

    Separating the vCO from the vCO Database 22

    Installation Type Comparison 24

vCenter Orchestrator Installation 24

    Obtain the Installation Files 26

    Extract the Install Files and Open .\vCenter-Server\vCO\ 26

    Run vCenterOrchestrator.exe 27

    Agree to the License 27

    Choose the Install Directory 28

    Select the Install Type 28

    Select the Location for Shortcuts 28

    Install 30

The vCO Client 30

Summary 32

Chapter 3 Configuring vCenter Orchestrator 33

Starting the vCO Web Configuration Service 34

Changing the Default vCO Configuration Service Password 34

Configuring Networking 36

Configuring LDAP 37

    Find Your LDAP Path 38

    Fill In the Form 40

Database Configuration 41

Configuring SSL 43

    Secure vCenter Communications 43

    Configure the vCO Host Certificate 44

Licensing the vCO Server 45

Plug-In Configuration 46

    Provide Plug-In Credentials 46

    Enable Plug-Ins for vCO Startup 46

    Install Additional Plug-Ins 47

Installing vCO as a Service 48

Backing Up the vCO Configuration 49

Summary 50

Part II Working with vCenter Orchestrator

Chapter 4 Identifying the Moving Parts 53

Actions 53

    Create an Action 55

    Duplicate an Action 55

    Import/Export Actions 56

Packages 57

    Create a Package 59

    Import/Export a Package 60

    Set Permissions on Packages 61

    Remove Packages 63

Plug-Ins 63

Web Views 65

Resources 65

    View a Resource 66

    Import an External Resource 66

Workflows 67

Summary 68

Chapter 5 vCenter Orchestrator Plug-Ins 69

The vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In Architecture 69

vCenter Orchestrator Default Plug-Ins 70

    vCenter Server 71

    vCO Library 74

    Database 75

    SSH 75

    XML 76

    Mail 76

    Net 79

    Enumeration 79

    vCO Web Operator 79

Using the vCenter Orchestrator API Explorer 81

Summary 82

Chapter 6 Introduction to Workflow-Fu 83

Workflow Organization 83

Workflow Concepts 85

    User Permissions 85

    Credentials 86

    Attributes 87

    Parameters 87

    Schema 87

    Tokens 87

    Locking 88

    Presentation 88

Modifying the Built-In Workflows 88

    Duplicate the Workflow 89

    Edit the Workflow 90

    Edit Schema 91

    Edit the User Interaction 93

    Edit the Scriptable Task 95

Creating New Workflows 98

Workflow Scheduling 98

Summary 100

Part III Amazing Smoothies, Inc. (a.k.a. Real-World Use Case)

Chapter 7 Your First Day at Amazing Smoothies, Inc.: Network Orientation 103

A Brief History and Tour of Amazing Smoothies 104

The Network Layout 104

Amazing Applications 107

Systems Integration 108

Growing Pains 109

Summary 109

Chapter 8 Amazing Smoothies Day 2: Dealing with Snapshots 111

The Current Processes 112

    Creating Snapshots 112

    Committing Snapshots 113

    Problems with the Process 114

Improving the Process 114

    Size 115

    Age 115

    Decision 115

    Process 115

Turning the Process into a Workflow 116

    Net New Workflow 116

    Modify the Existing Workflows 116

    Use the Existing Workflow 116

Creating Snapshots 117

    Schema 117

    Scripting 118

    Scheduling 121

Committing the Snapshots 122

    Schema 122

    Scripting 123

    Scheduling 125

Real-World Application: Patch Cycles 126

    Taking the Snapshots 126

    Deleting the Snapshots 127

Summary 128

Chapter 9 Amazing Smoothies Day 3: VM Provisioning 129

The Current VM Provisioning Process 129

    Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen 130

    Too Many Templates 130

The vCO Way 131

    Consistent VM Specifications 131

    Golden Images 137

    Customization with VMware VIX 140

    Approval Process 146

    All Together Now 148

Summary 153

Chapter 10 Amazing Smoothies Day 4: VM Decommissioning 155

Amazing Smoothies VM Decommissioning Process 155

    Inconsistency 156

    VM Sprawl 156

    Management 156

    Security 157

Optimizing the Decommissioning Process 157

vCenter Orchestrator Workflows 159

    Power Management 159

    Snapshot Management 160

    Clone/Copy VM 161

    Move VM 163

    Delete VM 164

    Notification and Approval (via Email) 165

    Third-Party Cleanup 165

Tying It All Together 167

    Power Off Virtual Machine/Remove All Snapshots and Others 168

    Decommission VM — Clone and Decommission VM — Move 169

    Is the VM Secret? How About Sensitive? 170

Summary 173

Chapter 11 Amazing Smoothies Day 5: Other VM Management 175

Exporting vCO Logs 176

Checking for Orphaned VM Files 178

Maintaining VMware Tools 181

    Mount Tools Installer 182

    Unmount Tools Installer 182

    Upgrade Tools 183

    Upgrade Tools at Next Reboot 184

Delete Unused Files 185

Mass VM Migration 188

Summary 188

Chapter 12 Amazing Smoothies Day 6: New Hardware 189

Add a New Host to vCenter Server 190

Add a Cluster to vCenter 192

Configure Shared Storage on Hosts 194

    Add Inputs 194

    Create the Schema 195

    Link Inputs 196

    Add the Scripting 196

Add the Hosts to the New Cluster 197

Tying It All Together 198

    The Workflow 198

    Add Standalone Host 201

    Is Host Clustered? 202

    Does the Cluster Exist? 203

    Create Cluster 204

    Add NFS Datastore 204

    What Is My Cluster? 205

    Move Host into Cluster 205

    Running the Workflow 206

Summary 207

Part IV Appendices

Appendix A Working with VMware Onyx 211

What Is Onyx? 211

Installing Onyx 212

Configuring Onyx Output for vCO 214

Using Onyx with the VI Client 214

    Connecting 214

    Example 216

Using Onyx with VMware PowerCLI 217

    Connecting 218

    Example 218

Summary 219

Appendix B Troubleshooting vCO Workflows 221

Basic Troubleshooting 222

    Basic Troubleshooting 222

    Knowing Where vCO Fits 223

Finding Information 224

    Where vCO Hides Log Files 225

    Configuring Logging Levels 227

    Finding the Last Time a Workflow Ran 228

Debugging Workflows 229

    Workflow Validation 229

    System.Log(), Server.Log() 231

    Locking 231

    Other Resources and Techniques 232

Troubleshooting Examples 234

    Unable to Add vCenter to vCO 235

    Scheduled Workflow Failed to Run 237

Summary 238

Appendix C The vCenter Orchestrator vApp 239

Downloading 239

Deploying 240

Configuring the vApp 242

    Change the Default Passwords 242

    Enabling the vCenter Server 5 Plug-In 245

Summary 246

Appendix D VMware VIX Plug-In 247

What Is VMware VIX? 248

Preparing the VIX Installation 248

Installing the VIX Plug-In 251

Summary 252

9780321799913   TOC   2/9/2012


Submit Errata

More Information

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020