emcclure
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VM Archiving questions

Hello,

I use vRA 7.3.1 to create a machine that allows users to access vCenter and network shares in a remote location much quicker than using it from a local office.  Currently the machine blueprint I created does not have an archive and the lease is indefinite.  However we also monitor the users using the machines, checking whether they RDP or not (they're blocked from using the console).  It's been passed down that they'd like to archive these machines if they're not in use after a certain amount of time and then potentially delete them.  I realize the blueprint doesn't have an archive setup, so I'm wondering the following:

Can I add an archive time to this?

Can I manually (or automate) archive the machines if the users haven't used the machines in a specified period?

Can I manually (or automate) the restoral of the machines?

I did find something else online where I can block the deletion of the machines after a specific archive period.

Am I totally screwed?  Do I need to create a new blueprint with a lease time for the machines and an archive period as well or is there a way around that?  I've been googling around but haven't had much luck so far.

Thanks in advance.

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4 Replies
daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

Can I add an archive time to this?

Not retroactively, no.

Can I manually (or automate) archive the machines if the users haven't used the machines in a specified period?

Probably. You could use whatever tool (vROps, something) to "expire" the VM using the vRA API, but this would be all manual automation and orchestration using vRO. There's nothing OOTB for this.

Can I manually (or automate) the restoral of the machines?

Again, using API probably.

In general, though, you're trying to turn vRA into something it's really not meant to be as far as it was designed. Lease expiration and archival are meant for fairly simple uses based on a timer expiration and not workload pattern so then...

It's been passed down that they'd like to archive these machines if they're not in use after a certain amount of time and then potentially delete them.

Why, exactly? What benefit would this have? It might be better to come at this from another angle: Build a blueprint with an expiration and archival. If the machine isn't used, archive and/or destroy it. Users can go back to the catalog and request another machine if/when they desire so you side-step a lot of automation hassle.

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emcclure
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

So the idea is that some people could wind up using these machines as their dev boxes and just deleting the machines wouldn't be a good thing, especially if they had stuff on there that needed be saved.  I could create a new blueprint and just have a lease time and archive time, but that doesn't seem to be what the people above me want.  I'm just trying to figure out all options and if that's the best way to go then so be it, but if there was a way to automatically send out a renewal notice to users as well then I could probably live with that, but again it's what the people above me want.

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daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

So the idea is that some people could wind up using these machines as their dev boxes and just deleting the machines wouldn't be a good thing, especially if they had stuff on there that needed be saved.

Understand, and this is a common theme which comes up with many customers. The solution to this is often a difficult to swallow. It's a problem of people and process. People shouldn't be doing things on machines for which the catalog wasn't designed. This is a personnel and managerial problem which requires some training and education. The process problem comes in when allowing devs to save code locally, which isn't good dev practices anyhow. This is precisely why version control and source repos exist. Again, it's a combination of both. vRA and what it enables (private/hybrid cloud) means a different operational model, and that means it can't be contorted into a pretty web front end for vCenter. Trying to make it so without modifying any of your processes and tooling inevitably doesn't go well.

but if there was a way to automatically send out a renewal notice to users as well then I could probably live with that

Well, this happens automatically today. 7 days prior to lease expiration, the owner gets an email saying their machine is about to expire. The email will have a subject called The lease of Deployment "<Deployment_Name_Here" will expire soon.

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emcclure
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I understand.  So I've created a new blueprint and am going to mess around with the archive and policy settings (really? if a machine is going to be archived/expired a user can just make it an indefinite lease by default?).

One thing I noticed was when I created a machine from a blueprint and then 'destroyed' it.  I have it set so the destroy really isn't a destroy, but it moves it into another folder called VRMDeleted and adds an _date to the VM.  I notice if I move it back into the VRM folder, rename it and power it on and even do an inventory it doesn't show back up in the inventory list in vRA.  I'm going to assume this is by design as I 'destroyed' it.  But if a machine is archived is it the same thing or should it show back up in the inventory list so the user can access it, reboot it, etc.  Is there a VRMArchive folder created as well in vCenter?  Is the moving of it back from an archive to an active machine rather automatic with any email that a user receives or is there more to it than that?  Sorry for all the questions, I'm still rather new to this and trying to really understand it so I know exactly how to explain it to everyone who uses it.

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