vRO – start a workflow with AQMP message

System to system interaction can be hard. API integrations are a way of doing it, but we can also use a message bus. Actually I think that using a message bus is a very awesome way of doing it, it’s a very loose couple between systems and we can queue multiple things and have the task or messages in RabbitMQ until system is ready to consume the messages.

This is a guide of using vRO to pick up the RabbitMQ message and start a workflow with the payload of the message.

Adding RabbitMQ to vRO:

  • Open vRO legacy client, login
  • Expand Library > AMQP > Configuration
  • Start the workflow Add a broker. This will pair vRO and RabbitMQ.
  • Follow the wizard. I’m using a virtual host, but input all depends on your RabbitMQ config.
Running the workflow “Add a broker” to pair vRO and RabbitMQ.

Subscribe vRO to a RabbitMQ queue:

From the same position in vRO, now run the workflow “Subscribe to queues“. This will make vRO aware of the queue and be able to use it as a trigger.

Subscribing to a RabbitMQ queue.
Give the queue subscription a name.
Choose the broker we added in the section before.
Add the name of the queue from RabbitMQ, must be identical from what the queue name is in RabbitMQ.

Now vRO is monitoring the queue, we are ready to proceed.

Creating a policy:

Now we need to create a policy that can tie the event of a message from RabbitMQ into a starting a workflow.

Navigate to the policy fane in vRO and create a new policy.
Inside the new policy, add a new policy element.
Choose the AMQP:Subscription.
From the popup you can now filter for the queue that you earlier made a subscription on.
Right-click the queue name and chose Add trigger event
Choose onMessage
Holding focus at the “onMessage” event we can choose a workflow that the policy will start on message.
You will need to search, this time its for the workflow that you want to start when there is a message in the queue.
Now we will need to map a variable to the payload of the message that we have received. You need to have an in variable declared as a string in the workflow that you have mapped to.
The in variable from your workflow will show and by double-clicking on the name of the variable you are able to choose the “event.key.body” to it. This will make the payload of the message become a variable for your workflow.

Wrap-up:

That was a lot of screen dumps, I hope it still makes sense.

Now you should make the policy start when vRO starts and for now also start the policy so that you can see it works. The case that is shown in the screen dumps will have a JSON as the message payload, it then sends it to the messageBody variable and then inside the script it will extract the values that it needs in for the workflow to run.

Example of how to parse the JSON to a JavaScript object and afterwards parse the needed parameters over to a new variable. In this case its parameters for a PowerShell script.

ESXCLI host upgrade procedure

Most of the time you would want to use VMware Update Manager when doing upgrade. Its part of vCenter and is necessary tool when having to maintain your environment. But for smaller deployments, with standalone hosts and no vCenter the following upgrade methods are desired and can help the upgrade time. Instead of having to upgrade with IPMI and an ISO.

Online mode:

This method is for getting the update online, no need to download ISO/offline bundles, etc. This will work for most of the upgrade use cases.

1: Connect to your ESXi host via the host client and enable SSH. Afterward ssh to the ESXi host and enable ESXi firewall rule to allow the host to access the internet.

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient

2: With the beneath command you will get a list of available ESXi packaged that are on the VMware repos. Enter this command to list all available profiles. We filter only those which are relevant to our case – upgrade to ESXi 6.7

esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml | grep -i ESXi-6.7

3. Chose the desired profile and use the following command for choosing and upgrading the ESXi version. Before upgrade its a good idea to enter maintenance mode.

esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable true
esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20190402001-standard -d https://hostupdate.vm
ware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

4. After it’s done, you will need to restart the host, after its rebooted you will run on the new ESXi version.

Custom, with Offline bundle:

This method is for when you desire to install a custom update, or that your hosts down have access to the internet.

1: Download the offline bundle from the VMware webpage, in this upgrade I will use an HPE custom version. But if you run a generic version, that will also work.

2: After downloading the “VMware-ESXi-6.7.0-8169922-depot.zip” file, place it (upload it) to a datastore which is visible by your ESXi host. Best would be a local datastore if this host has some. If not, it can also be a shared datastore too.

3: Find the profile name from the depot offline bundle

 esxcli software sources profile list -d /vmfs/volumes/prd.r60lun01/ISO/VMware-ESXi-6.7.0-Up
019-depot.zip

Put your host into maintenance mode, enable SSH if you haven’t done yet.

3: Execute this command to upgrade your ESXi 6.x to 6.7

esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-13006603-standard -d /vmfs/volumes/your_datastore/VMware-ESXi-6.7.0-13006603-depot.zip

esxcli software profile update -p HPE-ESXi-6.7.0-Update2-Gen9plus-670.U2.10.4.1.8 -d /vmfs/volumes/prd.r60lun01/ISO/VMware-ESXi-6.7.0-Update2-13006603-HPE-Gen9plus-670.U2.10.4.1.8-Apr2019-depot.zip

After checking that your upgrade was successful, reboot your host. You should see a message saying that the upgrade completed successfully.

Troubleshooting

I have tried to get an error with:

Failed updating the bootloader: Execution of command /usr/lib/vmware/bootloader-installer/install-bootloader failed: non-zero code returned…. return code: 1”

Error when upgrading, due to “insufficient space”.

This problem is due to the SWAP is but on the installation of the ESXi, not a good thing. So let’s change it.

Go to the UI of the ESXi Hosts https://IP/ui, login and proceed to the following:

Manage > System > Swap > Edit Settings

Chose the dropdown and select a datastore. Apply and the swap space is not freed from the ESXi install device so that you can try to upgrade again.

Conclusion:

After the upgrade, it’s a good idea to disable the ESXi firewall rule for “HTTP outside access”. Stop and disable SSH again, but it’s optional 🙂

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient

Now you should have an upgraded host.