In the beginning of May vRealize Network Insight 4.1 [vRNI] was released with a lot of interesting new features and enhancements described in the release notes.
It is getting more and more popular to use the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager appliance to deploy vRealize components like vRNI. In earlier posts I described how to deploy and update this tool to the current version as shown on below screenshot:
In that version however support for vRNI 4.1.0 does not come out of the box. You rather have to install a product support package available in the VMware Marketplace / Solution Exchange first.
After installing the .pak file in the vRSLCM GUI under the “Settings/System Administration” page the new version needs to activated by clicking on the “Apply version” button:
You can check which products are supported by your deployment any time by clicking on the user name in the top right corner and then on “Products”, which opens up a pop up window.
The message “Policy successfully refreshed” confirms the new version is applied correctly:
Of course vRSLCM needs access to the product binaries. If the appliance has internet access and you would provide your my.vmware.com credentials it can download the .ova files directly.
For dark sites you can download both the “proxy” and “platform” .ova files on your workstation and upload them using SCP/SFTP: (screenshot shows WinSCP)
You need to add the product binaries to the product binary repository by entering the base location where you uploaded the .ova files earlier and then click on the “Discover” button. Finally select the added binaries and click “Add”:
It takes a while until the product binaries are mapped and show up in the list:
Now you can deploy vRNI using vRSLCM by adding it to an existing environment or by creating a new environment. You have two deployment options for vRNI: Standard (1 Platform VM and 1 Cluster VM) or Cluster (3 Platform VMs and 1 Cluster VM). If you select “Cluster” only large nodes will be deployed, otherwise you can choose from “Standard” or “Large”.
This blog post shows all the required steps in between (prodiving certificate information, network details like IP addresses, subnet mask, gateway, portgroup and so on). Although the post is based on older versions of both vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager and Network Insight the steps are mostly the same.
After entering all the details for creating a new environment you should run the pre-check validations:
If the validation succeeds you can commence the environment creation:.
During the environment creation you can track the progress under the corresponding “In progress” request:
Once the request completes the deployment is ready to use:
You can access the vRNI GUI via HTTPS on the configured address. Use the default admin user “admin@local” and the password you selected:
After first login the main features are explained in four separate screens:
You can use the self service wizard which helps you configure and learn about your vRNI deployment. Among the first steps it suggests to add data sources like vCenters and NSX managers:
Apart from physical devices like routers and switches a whole variety of transport and infrastructure components can be added as data source:
After some time to record flow information vRealize Network Insight is ready to display the first example path, in this case how a VM, which is attached to a logical switch (NSX-T 2.4 segment), connects to the Internet. The path from the T1 distributed router on the same host as the VM (cyan background) to the service router on the Edge Transport Node (purple background) is visible. As the physical switches and routers behind the NSX-T edges have not been configured as data source (yet) no further topology information is available between the service router and the Internet.
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