Read this before migrating from vRealize Automation 7.x to vRA 8.x

VMware is one of the most widely adopted technologies in use – from its core vSphere hypervisor to NSX as a software-defined network, all the way up to the vRealize Suite for management. However, when it comes to orchestration and automation, savvy IT shops are no longer willing to be locked into a single tech stack. Many are pausing as they now consider whether it’s worth the effort to migrate from VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) 7 to vRealize Automation (vRA) 8 for automating self-service provisioning across clouds and data centers.

The challenge of migrating to vRealize Automation 8.x

The reality is the migration from VMware vRealize Automation 7 to vRA 8 requires substantial effort in terms of planning out the migration as well as being able to technically execute on the integration from one environment to the next.

This is no easy upgrade. You can’t just directly upgrade from vRA 7 to vRA 8 by downloading new software to install over what’s existing. Rather than a true migration, this is more of a rip-and-replace where you have to move or rework existing collateral and content. Take a look at the migration guide published by VMware. It’s 100 pages long with a lot of content focused on just walking you through the migration planning.

Also consider the technical nuances of migrating to vRealize Automation 8.0. For example, various plug-ins that are an essential part of the vRealize platform need to continue to integrate with external components like IP address management and DNS, along with various other capabilities that are desired from an automated provisioning standpoint. Many of these integrations will need some kind of reworking.

In some cases, existing content or collateral that your organization has relied upon to facilitate automated end-to-end provisioning is not currently available with vRealize 8. For many, this is a real sticking point that could leave you deciding to forgo the migration all together and just stay on vRealize 7.

Is your organization committed to a VMware-centric future?

While VMware has certainly dominated the hypervisor market for decades, we’re now in the midst of a generational shift in application platforms. Traditional VM-based applications are being replatformed or refactored using a mix of containerized, platform as a service (PaaS), and even serverless functions.

This means the relevancy of VMware tooling for provisioning workloads is on the decline and is making many enterprises question their loyalty. It doesn’t mean that the world is walking away from vSphere or NSX anytime soon but does signal a need for a more agnostic control plane to provide abstraction where VMware leaves off.

For example, if your enterprise is using a mix of VMware vSphere, Red Hat OpenShift, and PaaS services from AWS or Azure, then you have a wide range of cloud management tooling choices. Do you stick with VMware vRA and hope that VMware integration into Red Hat meets your needs? Do you stand up a new Kubernetes silo and use Red Hat Cluster Management for your container workloads separate from your VMs? Do you go “all-in” on public cloud and use something like AWS Outposts or Microsoft Azure Stack and Arc for on-prem?

Let’s face it, things are going to be even more heterogeneous in the future, not less. This means your automation and orchestration control plane should give you as many degrees of freedom as possible. Vendors that have a “dog in the fight” for underpinning the private or public cloud stack will have a hard time convincing enterprises that they are agnostic when it comes to automation.

Is it time to consider Morpheus as an alternative path?

I get the initial reaction to switching platforms. Many enterprises spend months, if not years, working with professional services teams and writing hundreds of scripts which exist in a delicate balance to enable vRA functionality. You feel you already climbed Mt. Everest just to get where you are with vRealize Automation 7, so why go through that again with another platform?

Here are some compelling reasons to consider the Morpheus hybrid cloud application orchestration platform vs vRA.

Time to value
You can install and configure a standard Morpheus deployment in an hour or two with the use of our codeless integrations that are native to the platform. This means having self-service provisioning enabled for a VMware-based private cloud in less time than it takes to read the vRealize Automation migration guide. Read this case study to find out how AstraZeneca switched from vRA in record time plus saved over $6M.

Built-in integrations
As part of your Morpheus deployment, you can quickly and easily integrate with your Identity Provider, IP address management system, DNS, ITSM, Load Balancers, and other third-party technologies. Simply go into the Morpheus UI, provide credentials and connection information, and get going. Morpheus doesn’t require custom coding. If there is something we don’t already integrate with, you can use a flexible choice of task types or our plug-in architecture to integrate virtually anything.

100% agnostic
As a loosely coupled abstraction framework, Morpheus can let your organization mix and match cloud endpoints including VMware, Nutanix, OpenStack, AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle, and more. The platform also gives you freedom of choice when it comes to other automation tools. For example, you can integrate workflows made up of Ansible, Chef, SaltStack, Puppet, vRO, Bash, PowerShell, etc.

Ready for the future

If yours is like many organizations, you might be looking to move toward adapting infrastructure as code (IaC) using an open-source tool like Terraform for the creation and management of cloud resources. Morpheus can enable GitOps deployment and turn IaC (Terraform, CloudFormation, ARM, or HELM) into a well governed catalog experience.

You’re also probably knee deep in Kubernetes and may have multiple container technologies deployed by various teams. The good news is you can readily leverage the Morpheus platform to build, manage, and consume Kubernetes. We have our own K8s distribution but can also integrate with third-party stacks like OpenShift, Tanzu, Rancher, EKS, AKS, and GKE.

Keep moving toward your goals – with no speed bumps

Is your ultimate goal to be able to enable consumption of IT resources in a self-service fashion?

You thought vRealize Automation 7 was the path toward that goal. But now you are facing a giant speed bump in the form of a complex migration to vRA 8. Standing at a crossroads, you have an opportunity to go a different route, knowing that Morpheus can take you to your desired business outcomes in a simpler, easier, and more robust way.

Morpheus has helped hundreds of customers simplify VMware private clouds and govern public cloud access to reduce shadow IT without the cost and complexity of legacy VMware automation. And we’re doing the same when it comes to migrating from vRealize 7 to vRealize 8.

Read what Gartner thinks about Cloud Management Tooling in its Market Guide. Or just grab some time with one of our automation experts and get a demo of Morpheus vs vRealize to see just how fast and easy self-service provisioning can be.