Configuring Automated Deployment for Approved Service Requests

Commander can automatically deploy new service requests once they are approved. When automated deployment is configured, new service requests can move from approval to completion with no intervention. Automated deployment means that administrators are freed from decisions related to capacity, storage and networking. Commander emails you when automated deployment failures occur and when changes in your infrastructure cause deployment destinations that you have configured to become invalid.

To automatically deploy approved new service requests, you must:

  • create one or more deployment destinations
  • set up an approval workflow with the Automatically deploy approved requests setting enabled

In this topic:

See also:

Once you've configured a deployment destination or approval workflow for one of your customers or departments, select it in the list and click Copy as a shortcut for setting up additional customers or departments. Note that you can't change the target managed system in a copied deployment destination.

vCenter: Configuring destinations for automated deployment

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Provisioning tab > Automatic Deployment Placement pane

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser or Enterprise Admin

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

  1. On the Automated Deployment Placement pane, right-click a vCenter managed system in the tree and select Add.
  2. On the Name page, enter a name that identifies the destination.
  3. On the Assignment page, specify who has access to this destination.
    • To create a destination that any user without a specific assignment can use, choose Default Destination.
    • To create a destination for specific users, choose Assign this destination to these specific users/groups.
    • To assign this destination to an organization, on the Organizations tab, select an organization from the drop-down list and click Add. Repeat for additional organizations.

      To assign this destination to a user or group, on the Users/Groups tab, enter a user name or email address and click Add. Repeat for additional users and groups.

      Notes:

      • You can assign a single destination to multiple organizations, users and groups.
      • Once you assign a destination to organizations, users or groups, this assignment overrides less specific assignments. For example, if a destination is assigned to a user, the user won't have access to a destination assigned to their group or their organization, or to the default destination. To learn more, see Deployment destination visibility.

    If multiple destinations are available to a user, the destination with the most capacity is chosen.

  4. On the Folder page, select the appropriate folder in the tree.
  5. On the Target page:
    • Choose a target host or cluster. If you have chosen a cluster that has its automation level for VMware DRS (load balancing) set to Manual, you can choose a host within that cluster. Otherwise, this selection is unavailable.
    • Choose to deploy based on Peak Capacity or Average Capacity from the drop-down menu. For more information, see Managing Host and Cluster Capacity.
  6. On the Networks page, define the networks to which VMs will attach once deployed.
    • To match the source template's settings, enable Connect to the same network as the source service.

      Clicking vars-20x20 in any text field that supports variables opens the Variable Assistant, which allows you to select variables for the current context and provides help for each variable.

    • To connect to a different network than the source service, from Available Networks, select one or more networks from the list of available networks and move them to the Configured Networks list.

      Notes:

      • If no suitable configured network is available for the requested network zone, VM deployment will fail. See Configuring Networks to learn how to assign networks to zones.
      • The $NETWORK deployment parameter specified by a request approver or in a script overrides the network zone specified on the request form.
  7. On the IP Pools page, if an IP pool is linked to a target network:
    • Assign each NIC a static IP address from pool: Have Commander automatically assign a static IP address to each NIC. For this option, a customization specification must have been configured for the source service. For more information, see Adding vCenter Services to the Catalog.
    • Do not assign any IP addresses: Allow IP addresses to be assigned manually during deployment.
  8. On the Isolated (Fenced) Networks page, to allow fenced deployments to be placed on this destination, check Enable fenced networks.

    See Creating a Deployment Destination for Fenced Networks for details on these settings.

  9. On the Storage page, assign storage resources to this destination.
    • Choose a datastore or datastore cluster from the Available Storage list and move it to the Configured Storage list.

      Adding a datastore cluster means that all datastores in that cluster at deployment time are automatically available for deployment. There's no need to update the deployment destination when datastores are added to or removed from a datastore cluster. If you add a clustered datastore as well as the datastore cluster itself, the clustered datastore is removed from the Configured Storage list; a dialog pops up to inform you when this happens.

      Enable Show clustered datastores to show datastores that are part of a datastore cluster.

      As required, add other datastores or datastore clusters.

      Making multiple datastores available:

      • ensures that VMs are automatically deployed to datastores with available free space
      • allows datastores with different storage tiers to be selected for automated deployment
      • ensures that VMs with disks on different storage tiers are deployed to meet service level agreements

    Notes:

  10. On the Disk Format page, specify the format in which to store the VM's virtual disks.
    • Same format as source: Use the disk format of the source template or VM.
    • Thin: Allocate disk space on demand. Supports over-allocation of storage resources.
    • SEsparse: Allocate disk space as it's used by the guest OS. Supports over-allocation of storage resources. Block size is configurable and space may be reclaimed.

      The SEsparse format is supported only for hardware version 9 or higher. The source VM must have one and only one snapshot.

    • Thick — Lazy Zeroed: Allocate disk space now. Disk blocks are zeroed out on first write.
    • Thick — Eager Zeroed: Allocate disk space now. All disk blocks are zeroed out during disk creation. This is required to support clustering features such as Fault Tolerance.
  11. On the Placement page, you can assign placement attributes to this destination. Placement attributes are used to identify the capabilities of a deployment destination.
    1. Click Edit Placement Attributes.
    2. In the Edit Placement Attributes dialog, in the Not Provided pane, select a placement capability that's provided by this destination and click Add to move it to the Provided pane.
    3. Click OK to close the Edit Placement Attributes dialog.

      See Configuring Attributes for Intelligent Placement for more information.

  12. On the Summary page, review your settings and click Finish.

    For standalone hosts only, the Host property appears as "Not set" on the Summary page. Any standalone host will also appear as "Not set" on the Details pane for the deployment destination you created.

Now you need to set up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment.

AWS: Configuring destinations for automated deployment

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Provisioning tab > Automatic Deployment Placement pane

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser or Enterprise Admin

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

You must configure distinct deployment destinations for each AWS region. EC2 VMs (instances) must be deployed in the same AWS region as their source template (AMI). In addition, all resources in a CloudFormation template must be deployed to the same region.

  1. On the Automated Deployment Placement pane, right-click an AWS managed system and select Add.
  2. On the Name page, enter a name that identifies the destination (maximum 100 characters).
  3. On the Assignment page, specify who has access to this destination.

    • To create a destination that any user without a specific assignment can use, choose Default Destination.
    • To create a destination for specific users, choose Assign this destination to these specific users/groups.
    • To assign this destination to an organization, on the Organizations tab, select an organization from the drop-down list and click Add. Repeat for additional organizations.

      To assign this destination to a user or group, on the Users/Groups tab, enter a user name or email address and click Add. Repeat for additional users and groups.

      Notes:

      • You can assign a single destination to multiple organizations, users and groups.
      • Once you assign a destination to organizations, users or groups, this assignment overrides less specific assignments. For example, if a destination is assigned to a user, the user won't have access to a destination assigned to their group or their organization, or to the default destination. To learn more, see Deployment destination visibility.

    If multiple destinations are available to a user, the first destination alphabetically is chosen.

  4. On the Target page, select a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) or EC2-Classic (if you're not using VPCs).

    In the Destination tree, "EC2-Classic" is a container to represent the parent of instances running in EC2-Classic (as opposed to in a VPC).

    Although CloudFormation templates require only a region as target, the Add Automated Deployment Placement wizard requires that you specify a VPC or EC2-Classic, as well as additional information in subsequent wizard pages. Only the target region is used when deploying CloudFormation templates, unless you're using any of the #{destination.*} variables to populate parameter values.

  5. On the Resources and Security page:
    • If you chose EC2-Classic on the Target page, choose an Availability Zone from the drop-down menu, or keep the default setting, Let the system decide, to let AWS choose the availability zone.
    • Optionally, select a Key Pair Name from the target region to assign to a deployed Linux VM. Key pairs can be assigned to new VMs in several ways; see Enabling Key Pair SSH Connections to Amazon EC2 VMs to learn more.
    • Optionally, specify one or more Security Group Names. Only security groups assigned to the target VPC are shown (or, if your target is EC2-Classic, those not assigned to a VPC).
    • Optionally, enter the name of an IAM Role to assign to the deployed VM. The maximum number of characters is 255. Configuring the IAM role in the deployment destination rather than in the catalog blueprint makes sense if you deploy the same template (AMI) to multiple deployment destinations, or if you have a large number of catalog entries. If an IAM role is also configured in the catalog blueprint, the blueprint takes precedence. Administrators can override the IAM role during manual deployment. To learn more, see Managing Amazon Web Services with Commander. Important: Commander doesn't validate IAM role names, so ensure that role names entered in Commander match those in AWS. IAM role names are not case-sensitive.
  6. If you chose a VPC on the Target page, the Subnets page appears, enabling you to configure networking information.

    Select one or more subnets from the Available Subnets list, and move them to the Configured Subnets list. See Configuring Networks to learn how to assign subnets to zones.

  7. On the Placement page, you can assign placement attributes to this destination. Placement attributes are used to identify the capabilities of a deployment destination.
    1. Click Edit Placement Attributes.
    2. In the Edit Placement Attributes dialog, in the Not Provided pane, select a placement capability that's provided by this destination and click Add to move it to the Provided pane.
    3. Click OK to close the Edit Placement Attributes dialog.
    4. See Configuring Attributes for Intelligent Placement for more information.

  8. On the Summary page, review your settings and click Finish.

Now you need to set up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment.

Azure: Configuring destinations for automated deployment

Each Azure deployment destination must target an existing resource group, because all Azure resources must be deployed into a resource group. However, when Commander deploys an ARM template into a new resource group, Commander chooses the best deployment destination for the service, and then creates the new resource group in the primary region of the resource group targeted by that destination. Subnet and storage options set in the deployment destination are ignored for ARM template deployments.

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Provisioning tab > Automatic Deployment Placement pane

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser or Enterprise Admin

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

  1. On the Automated Deployment Placement pane, right-click an Azure managed system and select Add.
  2. On the Name page, enter a name that identifies the destination (maximum 100 characters).
  3. On the Assignment page, specify who has access to this destination.

    • To create a destination that any user without a specific assignment can use, choose Default Destination.
    • To create a destination for specific users, choose Assign this destination to these specific users/groups.
    • To assign this destination to an organization, on the Organizations tab, select an organization from the drop-down list and click Add. Repeat for additional organizations.

      To assign this destination to a user or group, on the Users/Groups tab, enter a user name or email address and click Add. Repeat for additional users and groups.

      Notes:

      • You can assign a single destination to multiple organizations, users and groups.
      • Once you assign a destination to organizations, users or groups, this assignment overrides less specific assignments. For example, if a destination is assigned to a user, the user won't have access to a destination assigned to their group or their organization, or to the default destination. To learn more, see Deployment destination visibility.

    If multiple destinations are valid for a user, the first destination alphabetically is chosen.

  4. On the Target page, select a resource group.

    When an ARM template is configured to be deployed into a new resource group, Commander creates the new resource group in the primary region of the resource group you select as the target on this page.

  5. On the Resources & Security page:
    • Select a network security group. All network security groups in the target region are available for selection.
    • Select a diagnostics storage account. To enable memory usage monitoring, a storage account needs to be selected either by automated deployment destination or manually.
  6. On the Subnets page:
    • Select a network from the Network list.
    • Select one or more subnets from the Available Subnets list, and click the down arrow to move them to the Configured Subnets list.

    See Configuring Networks to learn how to assign networks to zones.

  7. On the Storage page, to make unmanaged storage available for this destination, select one or more unmanaged storage accounts from the Available Storage list, and click the down arrow to move them to the Configured Storage list.

    Managed storage is not shown in the list, because it's always available for every destination.

  8. On the Placement page, you can assign placement attributes to this destination. Placement attributes are used to identify the capabilities of a deployment destination.
    1. Click Edit Placement Attributes.
    2. In the Edit Placement Attributes dialog, in the Not Provided pane, select a placement capability that's provided by this destination and click Add to move it to the Provided pane.
    3. Click OK to close the Edit Placement Attributes dialog.
    4. See Configuring Attributes for Intelligent Placement for more information.

  9. On the Summary page, review your settings and click Finish.

Now you need to set up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment.

GCP: Configuring destinations for automated deployment

You must configure a deployment destination for each GCP project. All resources in a GCP deployment must reside in the same project.

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Provisioning tab > Automatic Deployment Placement pane

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser or Enterprise Admin

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

  1. On the Automated Deployment Placement pane, right-click a GCP managed system and select Add.
  2. On the Name page, enter a name that identifies the destination (maximum 100 characters).
  3. On the Assignment page, specify who has access to this destination.
    • To create a destination that any user without a specific assignment can use, choose Default Destination.
    • To create a destination for specific users, choose Assign this destination to these specific users/groups.
    • To assign this destination to an organization, on the Organizations tab, select an organization from the drop-down list and click Add. Repeat for additional organizations.

      To assign this destination to a user or group, on the Users/Groups tab, enter a user name or email address and click Add. Repeat for additional users and groups.

      Notes:

      • You can assign a single destination to multiple organizations, users and groups.
      • Once you assign a destination to organizations, users or groups, this assignment overrides less specific assignments. For example, if a destination is assigned to a user, the user won't have access to a destination assigned to their group or their organization, or to the default destination. To learn more, see Deployment destination visibility.

    If multiple destinations are available to a user, the first destination alphabetically is chosen.

  4. On the Target page, select a project.
  5. On the Placement page, you can assign placement attributes to identify the capabilities of this deployment destination.
    1. Click Edit Placement Attributes.
    2. In the Edit Placement Attributes dialog, in the Not Provided pane, select a placement capability that's provided by this destination and click Add to move it to the Provided pane.
    3. Click OK to close the Edit Placement Attributes dialog.
    4. See Configuring Attributes for Intelligent Placement for more information.

  6. On the Summary page, review your settings and click Finish.

Now you need to set up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment.

SCVMM: Configuring destinations for automated deployment

We recommend creating two deployment destinations for each user, group or organization: one pointing to a highly available target (that is, targeting an HA cluster with only HA disks) and one pointing to a non-highly available target. This allows Commander to choose the correct destination, depending on whether the requested service is configured to be highly available or not.

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Provisioning tab > Automatic Deployment Placement pane

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser or Enterprise Admin

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

  1. On the Automated Deployment Placement pane, right-click an SCVMM managed system and select Add.
  2. On the Name page, enter a name that identifies the destination (maximum 100 characters).
  3. On the Assignment page, specify who has access to this destination.
    • To create a destination that any user without a specific assignment can use, choose Default Destination.
    • To create a destination for specific users, choose Assign this destination to these specific users/groups.
    • To assign this destination to an organization, on the Organizations tab, select an organization from the drop-down list and click Add. Repeat for additional organizations.

      To assign this destination to a user or group, on the Users/Groups tab, enter a user name or email address and click Add. Repeat for additional users and groups.

      Notes:

      • You can assign a single destination to multiple organizations, users and groups.
      • Once you assign a destination to organizations, users or groups, this assignment overrides less specific assignments. For example, if a destination is assigned to a user, the user won't have access to a destination assigned to their group or their organization, or to the default destination. To learn more, see Deployment destination visibility.

    If multiple destinations are available to a user, the destination with the most capacity is chosen.

  4. On the Target page:
    • Choose a target destination. A target can be a host group folder, cluster, or a specific host. Commander uses capacity information (from nightly performance updates) to choose a host on that cluster as the target.
    • From When multiple destinations are configured, choose to deploy based on Peak Capacity or Average Capacity. For more information, see Managing Host and Cluster Capacity.
  5. On the Networks page, define the network to which VMs will attach once deployed.
  6. On the Storage page, select a datastore from the list of available datastores and click the down arrow (or double-click) to move it to the Configured Datastores list.

    If required, select other datastores to add to the list of configured datastores. Making multiple datastores available:

    • ensures that VMs can be automatically deployed to datastores that have free space available
    • allows datastores with different storage tiers to be selected for automated deployment
    • ensures that VMs with disks on different storage tiers can be deployed to meet service level agreements
  7. On the Disk Format page, select the format in which to store the VM's virtual disks.
  8. On the Placement page, you can assign placement attributes to this destination. Placement attributes are used to identify the capabilities of a deployment destination.
    1. Click Edit Placement Attributes.
    2. In the Edit Placement Attributes dialog, in the Not Provided pane, select a placement capability that's provided by this destination and click Add to move it to the Provided pane.
    3. Click OK to close the Edit Placement Attributes dialog.
    4. See Configuring Attributes for Intelligent Placement for more information.

  9. On the Summary page, review your settings and click Finish.

    For standalone hosts only, the host property appears as "Not set" on the Summary page. Any standalone host will also appear as "Not set" on the Details pane for the deployment destination you created.

Now you need to set up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment.

Setting up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Approval tab

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser and Enterprise Admin

If you have already set up an approval workflow for new service requests, simply enable Automatically deploy approved requests on the Automation Options page.

Otherwise, create an approval workflow, configuring the following options:

  • On the Name & Type page, choose When a new request is created from the Apply this workflow menu.
  • On the Automation Options page, enable Automatically deploy approved requests.

    If you're using this approval workflow only for automated deployment, you don't need to configure any other options (such as workflow steps). For complete information, see Creating an Approval and Pre-Provisioning Workflow.

Deleting destinations for automated deployment

Access through:

Configuration menu > Self-Service > Provisioning tab > Automatic Deployment Placement pane

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser or Enterprise Admin

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

You can delete a deployment destination by managed system (in which case the destination is completely deleted), or by organizations and users (in which case you have a choice whether to delete the destination for the selected user, or all users).

If you're viewing destinations by Organizations and Users, right-click a destination and choose Delete. In the Delete Destination dialog, decide whether to delete the destination for this user, or for all users.

Caution: If you delete the destination for all users, the destination is completely deleted.

If you're viewing destinations by Managed Systems, right-click a destination, select Delete, then click Yes to confirm. The destination is completely deleted.