VCP-CMA 2021 - Section 1

Disclaimer: These are my notes from taking the 2V0-31.20 exam. If something doesn’t make sense, please feel free to reach out.

Having seen the lay of the land at work, it seems I’ll be doing a fair bit of vRA this year, so it’s time to wrap up an old goal and get the VCAP-CMA Deploy (freshly updated for vRA 8.x). Unfortunately I need to update my VCP-CMA to fulfill the pre-requisites for that exam. The VCP-CMA is based on vRA 8.1 so that’s the version we’ll be working with.

With that in mind, back to what I would usually do and post my study notes for this exam publicly. There’s not a huge amount to the first section so we’re putting it all in one post.

Section 1 - Architectures and Technologies


Objective 1.1 - Describe the Architecture of vRealize Automation

Gone are the multitudes of Windows servers that used to make up a vRA 7.x environment. They’ve been replaced by a pre-packaged appliance. Now this isn’t necessarily going to save you much resources as it’s a fairly hefty appliance, and once you’ve deployed 3 of them it takes up some space. What it is going to save you is administration time. There’s no external database server to look after, there’s no Windows servers to patch etc.

All the vRA services now run as containers hosted on each vRA appliance. While Kubernetes takes care of the scheduling of these containers, they all run on all the appliances.

The database is a PostgreSQL instance (running as a pod, on the vRA appliances)

vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) also runs a pod, two in fact. The control center & vco-server now run in standalone pods on each vRA appliance.

vRA also needs a couple of other supplimentary appliances, all built on Photon OS which is VMware’s stripped down Linux distribution.

Objective 1.2 - Differentiate between vRealize Automation and vRealize Automation Cloud

The difference between these is reasonably simple:

These have similar features, but vRA Cloud is where the new features go first. Both versions can manage multiple clouds.

There are often customers who don’t, or can’t, use SaaS due to security or compliance. There are as many customers who will always choose SaaS if it is available. This really is a personal preference choice between the two platforms.

Objective 1.3 - Describe the Services Offered by vRealize Automation

vRA consists of four main services:

Cloud Assembly

Cloud Assembly is used to create blueprints and deploy those blueprints to vSphere or other public clouds. Blueprints are now written in YAML, enabling the blueprints to be stored within a code repository with all the goodness that brings. In 8.1 the clouds supported are:

Service Broker

Service Broker is used to present a self-service catalogue which enables consumption of the Cloud Assembly created blueprints. Service Broker is also responsible for managing policies which control:

Code Stream

Code is a CICD product. For more information on CICD, please check out this article from Red Hat - What is CI/CD?