Earlier last week I had deployed the latest version of vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) 3.2 in my home lab to learn more about the product and its capabilities. The vRNI setup involves involves deploying two Virtual Machines, the first being the main vRNI Platform OVA. Once the vRNI Platform VM has been deployed, you will need to activate it with a license key and then generate a shared secret which is then used to deploy the vRNI Proxy OVA. Using the share secret, the vRNI Platform VM will be able to automatically detect when the vRNI Proxy VM is on the network and associate it with the deployment.

The workflow is pretty straight forward but as many of you know me, if I need to manually do something once, it means I should probably automate it for the future 🙂 I had looked around the documentation and did not see any published APIs for the initial setup and configuration. Although a CLI exists, it was only available post-deployment and it required SSH which I did not want to have to rely upon. I ended up reverse engineering the UI to replicate the workflow from an automation standpoint. I created a small PowerCLI script called vRNI-Deploy.ps1 and below are the instructions on using the script.

Step 0 - Obtain a vRNI License Key, which is required to setup vRNI. You may need to work with your VMware Account team or contact VMware Sales to get an evaluation license key.

Step 1 - Download both the vRNI 3.2 Platform and Proxy OVA from here.

Step 2 - Download the vRNI-Deploy.ps1 script to a system that has the latest release of PowerCLI 6.5 R1 installed.

Step 3 - Edit the following sections of the script which you can find more details below:

The full path to both the vRNI Platform and Proxy OVAs:

$vRNIPlatformOVA
$vRNIProxyOVA

The vRNI License Key:

$vRNILicenseKey

The configuration of the vRNI Platform VM:

$vRNIPlatformVMName
$vRNIPlatformIPAddress
$vRNIPlatformNetmask
$vRNIPlatformGateway

The configuration of the vRNI Proxy VM:

$vRNIProxyVMName
$vRNIProxyIPAddress
$vRNIProxyNetmask
$vRNIProxyGateway

General deployment configuration for both VMs:

$DeploymentSize
$DNS
$DNSDomain
$NTPServer
$VMCluster
$VMDatastore
$VMNetwork

Note: The medium (smallest) deployment requires at least 42GB of memory (32GB reserved for Platform VM and 10GB reserved for the Proxy VM). Please ensure you have sufficient resources before deploying into your environment.

Once you have saved all your changes, you just need to connect to your vCenter Server environment by using the Connect-VIServer cmdlet before running the script. Below is a screenshot of what you should see.


In my lab environment, it took about 15 minutes for the entire deployment. Once completed, you can now login to your vRNI instance by opening a browser to the Hostname/IP Address of your vRNI Platform VM as directed in the script output. You will login using the default credentials of [email protected]/admin.


Once logged in, you can start adding in data sources like a vCenter Server or NSX Manager for vRNI to start processing. Please refer to the official vRNI documentation for more details. Happy vRNI'ing, as you can see my environment, it is already churning away 🙂

7 thoughts on “Automated deployment and setup of vRealize Network Insight (vRNI)

  1. Thanks for the script. I am using linux powercli core on ubuntu. While importing the vRNI platform ova am getting the below error. Can you please help me this?

    PS /home/admin> $vRNIPlatformVM = Import-VApp -OvfConfiguration $vRNIPlatformOVFConfig -Source $vRNIPlatformOVA -Name $vRNIPlatformVMName -VMHost $vmhost[0] -Datastore $datastore -DiskStorageFormat thin -Location $location -Force
    Import-VApp : 1/8/17 11:12:01 PM Import-VApp Cannot write more bytes to the buffer than the configured
    maximum buffer size: 2147483647.
    At line:1 char:19
    + … latformVM = Import-VApp -OvfConfiguration $vRNIPlatformOVFConfig -Sou …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Import-VApp], ViError
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Client20_NfcLease_RunNfcTask_Error,VMware.VimAutomation.ViCore.Cmdlets.Command
    s.ImportVApp

  2. This was a great work around for the fact my vCenter 6.5 won’t deploy OVAs, and yes I know it’s not officialy supported on vCenter 6.5 That said I found some problems having to do with Distributed Port groups and multi cluster DCs. Here’s the changes I did in case you want to update this.

    This got me around multiple clusters in a DC
    $vmhost = Get-VMHost -Location $VMCluster

    This is how you properly look up a DV port group. I just commented out the other line for this, but you could make it smarter with some work.
    $network = Get-VDPortGroup -Name $VMNetwork

    Also had issues with the Import-VApp command but adding [0] to $vmhost seemed to resolve this for both the Platform and Proxy.

    Thanks!

  3. For vRealize Network Insight 3.3.0 we need to change the script

    $vRNIPlatformOVFConfig.NetworkMapping.Vlan256_corp_2.Value = $VMNetwork
    becomes
    $vRNIPlatformOVFConfig.NetworkMapping.vlan_1014.Value = $VMNetwork

    $vRNIProxyOVFConfig.NetworkMapping.Vlan256_corp_2.Value = $VMNetwork
    becomes
    $vRNIProxyOVFConfig.NetworkMapping.vlan_1014.Value = $VMNetwork

Thanks for the comment!