About the Free Custom Hostname Extension for vRealize Automation

Here at SovLabs we are always helping our audience make the decision to either “build” or “buy”, when it comes to VMware automation solutions. Recently, we have been involved in some discussions about the free Infoblox plugin for vRealize Automation. Specifically,these discussions are around how the free Infoblox plugin for vRealize Automation handles custom host naming. That discussion prompted us to consider all such customizations and the support required when when they are integrated with vRealize Automation.


Integrate with vRA


Custom Automation Considerations

There are a few issues at play here, including:

  • How do the different components of your solution work together?
  • Was it designed wholistically or were pieces added on as you needed them?
  • Did one source develop all of the components, or are they pulled piecemeal from multiple places?
  • If one source did all of the development – are they still available?
  • Who is supporting the development work going forward?


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The Infoblox plugin for vRealize Automation

The Infoblox plugin for vRealize Automation includes optional support for custom hostnames. This functionality enables more than just the default prefix + decimal sequence when naming new virtual machines, requesting IP addresses, and creating DNS records.

The Infoblox install documentation includes a section on setting up the plugin to work with the freely available “Custom Hostname Extension for vRA” published by dailyhypervisor.com. Using this extension will allow you to create more elaborate naming standards and use them with Infoblox. The documentation lays out the creation of custom properties and property groups that the custom naming extension and Infoblox plugin will use to exchange values.

The problem here is that free naming extension is no longer maintained or supported.  Even when the extension was being maintained, support mostly consisted of whatever spare time the creators had to respond to comments on the blog post.

This issue isn’t just a problem for Infoblox or the infoblox plugin.  If you are running code you copied from GitHub or found using your Googlefu, who is supporting it? Who is maintaining it?  Who checked it for security concerns? Who documented where you found it? Production deployments require production-level support.


What should you do now?

Anyone using the Infoblox plugin along with the free extension from dailyhypervisor.com should be looking into a new custom naming method that will work with Infoblox. Specifically, a naming extension that has dedicated and ongoing support.

This late in the vRealize Automation v7.x lifecycle, you might also consider how your custom code and other customizations will translate to the next generation, either of the .Next of vRealize Automation or VMware Cloud Assembly Service.

SovLabs is committed to delivering a migration strategy in which customizations and processes created with the SovLabs Modules for vRealize 7.x can be brought forward as the VMware automation platforms evolve.  All the work put into automating your infrastructure today will not need to be recreated when you decide to move to either the new vRealize Automation or CAS.


vRA 7 to Next


Contact us today at info@sovlabs.com to find out about our world-class support team and how you can easily migrate to our Infoblox plugin and our custom naming module.  Or visit us at SovLabs.com to find out about all the other enhancements we offer for VMware’s vRealize Automation and Cloud Assembly Service.

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