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  • Managing NetScaler with VMWare vRealize Automation

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    NetScaler lifecycle from provisioning to configuration can be managed via VMWare vRealize Automation using Terraform plugins. With vRA you can then take the advantage of creating self-service cloud, governance, apply approvals and policies, CI/CD integration etc.

    To automate and manage NetScaler's via VRA, multiple components are involved as mentioned below:

    1. vRA environment – vRA act as automation controller to your NetScaler infrastructure. It can be used to trigger

    2. vSphere VMWare Provider – provisions NetScaler VPX in ESX host.

    3. NetScaler Terraform Provider – provides IaC and declarative way to configure NetScaler.

    4. vRA Terraform Plugin – required to run integrate Terraform with VRA. With the plugin, you will be able to consume Terraform configs as a resource type  in your blueprints.

    5. Kubernetes Cluster – provides the runtime for automation scripts.

    6. GitLab/GitHub – repository for your terraform modules and scripts for NetScaler configuration

    7. Ubuntu Host - To host the ovf and vmdk files to instantiate the NetScaler VPXs

    Below are the 4 high-level steps required to setup NetScaler automation in vRA using Terraform:

    1. Create a project in vRA and enable the the “allow terraform cloud zone mapping” as detailed here .

    2. Create a GitLab integration with the project as detailed here .

    3. Define the Terraform runtime using Kubernetes Cluster. Choose the external kubeconfig integration. For the container image use the following link “docker.io/giorgosnikolopoulos/terraform:latest”. This is a container based on the 0.14.2 terraform official container that has some additional programs setup. Mainly Powershell and VM library needed to create a VPX instance

    4. Create designs based on the terraform configurations in the gitlab repository and actually deploy them to apply changes. There is an one to one correspondence between the vRA Designs and the terraformbp repository directories. Consequently, for each design we will just define which directory it is based on. 

    5. Deploy the design that you created based on the terraform repository.

    Once NetScaler's VPX are deployed, you can access it them via the Topology and perform operations on it.

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