With VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), a user can provide even very complex SAP systems with just one request click to be ready for logon in minutes. Enabled with SAP unattended installation mode used side-by-side with VMware vCloud Application Director (vCAD), this is a fully customizable, fully automated installation right from storage provisioning, virtual machine creation, SAP system installation, to a logon-ready SAP system.
In the diagram at the beginning of this post vCAD is basically running the show. vCAD contains all the workflow templates, user scripts and other steps needed to automate the process.
In this workflow, vCAD “talks” to vCAC to clone a VM from a set of templates to be used as baseline. This VM contains a pre-installed OS and other application pre-requisites for SAP.
After the VM is in place, vCAD mounts installers and injects scripts in to the VM that will prepare the OS for SAP installation, such as setting up environment variables and pre-configured installation parameters, creating users, etc.
After the OS has been fully prepped up, the script injected by vCAD invokes the silent installer script of the database, then followed by the SAP silent installation. After the installation is completed, the SAP system is ready for admin logon. The administrator has to install an SAP license and perform some post-installation tasks then the SAP is ready for user consumption.
Since the main script has pre-input most of the parameters, you can actually just input the most basic parameters such as hostname, SID, FQDN and master password, then you just sit back and relax while the rest is automated for you.
The following figure depicts the workflow and its components:
The configuration workflow is encapsulated in a (A) vCAD Application container that can be accessed through a service catalog in vCAC. The Application consists of: (B) A vCAD workflow blueprint that contains all parameters and orchestrates the whole process; and (C) deployment profiles, which serve as the blueprint’s customization. For example, the deployment profile “small” is used to implement a blueprint with minimal resources, while “large” is used to deploy with the same blueprint but with larger allocations.
Each vCAD blueprint has two components: A Logical Template and a Service. The Logical Template contains information on the (D) Cloud Provider and OS version. The vCAD blueprint contains the information needed to provision the virtual machine later.
The Cloud Provider contains information about which cloud the application is working on. vCAD extracts the templates from the Cloud Provider depending on what type it is: (E) a vCAC blueprint, a vCloudDirector catalog, or even another public cloud template. For this solution, we used a vCAC blueprint that clones the virtual machine template.
The Service contains the script that we want to run against the virtual machine, and the OS that the script is compatible with. The script also triggers the database and SAP installation.
If you want to find out more about SAP Self Service Provisioning and other use cases I recommend reading the technical white paper EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP – Foundation Solution. Appendix D of this document furthermore shows how to create vCAC and vCAD blueprints and service catalogs in detail. Also take a look at the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP landing page.