VMware vRealize Orchestrator is an automation tool that utilizes workflows to simplify complex IT tasks. vRealize Orchestrator is natively integrated into vRealize Automation or it can be deployed stand-alone as a Linux appliance. At first glance, the lines between vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) and vRealize Automation (vRA) may seem blurred. To clear up any confusion, vRO is a general-purpose run book tool to automate IT tasks. vRA, on the other hand, is cloud management tool that relies on policy based governance to deliver IT service. As its central automation tool, Automation leverages Orchestrator workflows.

NOTE  – Version releases prior to 7.0.1 also allowed for a Windows-based installer. If you are still using a Windows version, you can migrate from Windows to the appliance.

For the purpose of this post, we will be deploying the Linux-based appliance and configuring vRealize Orchestrator 7.3 as a Standalone Server using vSphere Authentication.

A few prep items before we start.

  • Download the vRealize Orchestrator appliance (OVA) from VMware.com.
    • If you have valid vCenter or vRealize Automation licensing, Orchestrator needs no additional licensing.
  • Create DNS entries for the Orchestrator appliance before the installation (forward and reverse).

Deploy vRealize Orchestrator Template

From the vSphere Web Client, right-click your cluster and select Deploy OVF Template.

Deploy Orchestrator OVF

Under Local File, click Browse and select the OVA.

Browse Orchestrator OVA

Enter the Name for the vRO appliance and select the deployment location.

Orchestrator OVA Location

Next, select the Host or Cluster where the OVA will be deployed.

Orchestrator Cluster Resources

Review the template details.

Orchestrator Details

Read and Accept the EULA.

Orchestrator EULA

Select the Location and Virtual Disk Format.

Orchestrator Storage

Select the Network and Protocol.

Orchestrator Network

Customize the deployment properties of the vRO appliance. If you would like to statically IP the appliance, enter the pertinent information under Networking Properties. If DHCP is preferred, simply leave blank and select Next.

Orchestrator Customize

Review the configuration data and click Finish to start the deployment.

Orchestrator Finish

Monitor deployment status under Recent Tasks.

Orchestrator Recent Tasks

After the deployment, Power On the machine.

Power On Orchestrator

The bootstrap configuration will initiate. Open a remote console session to monitor the process. Once it has successfully booted, you will see this screen.

Orchestrator Bootstrap

Access the Orchestrator Appliance Home Page

In a Web browser, navigate to the IP address of the Orchestrator virtual appliance.

Orchestrator Homepage

Configure Standalone Orchestrator Server

To prepare the Orchestrator appliance for use, we will register it with vCenter SSO authentication.

From the Orchestrator Homepage, select Orchestrator Control Center or navigate to https:// orchestrator_server_IP_or_FQDN:8283/vco-controlcenter. Log in as the root account with the password you specified during OVA Deployment.

Orchestrator Control Center

Under Deployment Type select Standalone. Ensure the Host Name is correct and click Next.

Orchestrator Standalone

Choose vSphere for the Authentication mode. Enter the Address of the Platform Services Controller and click Connect.

Orchestrator Authentication

Orchestrator will presesnt a certificate. Click Accept Certificate to continue.

Orchestrator Certificate

Enter the User Name and Password of the vCenter SSO Account. Click Register.

Orchestrator Identity

After registration, Orchestrator will prompt you to enter an Administrators group. Enter the name of your admin group and select Search. Since our testing is in Dev, we will add the local Administrators group.

Orchestrator Administrator

Finally, you will land on the Orchestrator Control Center Homepage. From this page, you can perform additional configuration or administrative tasks on your Orchestrator appliance.

Orchestrator Control Center

Access vRealize Orchestrator Client

Once the configuration is complete, you can access the Orchestrator client to start deploying workflows. From the Orchestrator Homepage (https://your_orchestrator_server_IP), select Start Orchestrator Client.

Start Orchestrator Client

Log into the Orchestrator client with the SSO credentials.

Orchestrator Client

You can now begin creating and editing workflows.

Official documentation on installing and configuring vRealize Orchestrator 7.3 can be found here.

Additionally, if you are new to Orchestrator, I found this VMware vRealize Orchestrator Cookbook extremely helpful.