vRealize Operations, vROps

vRealize Operations AMQP Integration using Webhooks

With the version 8.4 vRealize Operations introduced the Webhook Outbound Plugin feature. This new Webhook outbound plugin works without any additional software, the Webhook Shim server becomes obsolet.

In this post, I will explain how to integrate vRealize Operations with an AMQP system. For this exercise, I have deployed a RabbitMQ server but the concept should be the same for any AMQP implementation.

AMQP Basic Concept

Without going into details of AMQP the very basic concept is to provide a queue for producers and consumers. The producers can put items into the queue and consumers can pick up these items and do whatever they are supposed to do with those items.

Items may be e.g. messages, therefore Advanced Message Queuing Protocol or AMQP. One of the most known implementations of AMQP is RabbitMQ.

Figure 1: Basic AMQP concept

In the context of vRealize Operations, we could consider vROps the producer and triggered alerts the items we could put into a queue to let consumers retrieve the items and do some work.

RabbitMQ Exchange and Queue

As first step I have configured my RabbitMQ instance with three queues:

  • vrli.alert.open – for vRealize Log Insight alerts
  • vrops.alert.open – for new vROps alerts
  • vrops.alert.close -for canceled vROps alerts

As shown in the next picture all three queues are using the amq.direct exchange.

Figure 2: RabbitMQ queue and exchange concept

The actual binding between exchange and queue is based on a routing key, as shown in the next picture for the vrops.alert.open queue.

Figure 3: Exchange-queue binding example

This routing key will be used later on in the payload to route the message to the right queue.

Webhook Outbound Plugin

The new Webhook Outbound Plugin provides a generic way to integrate (almost) any REST API endpoint without the need for a webhook shim server.

The configuration, as with any outbound plugin, requires the creation of an instance. The config of the instance for RaabbitMQ integration is displayed in the following picture. If you are using other exchanges, hosts, etc. in your RAbbitMQ instance you will need to adjust the URL accordingly.

Figure 4: Webhook Outbound Plugin instance configuration for RabbitMQ

NOTE: The test will fail as the test routine does not provide the payload as expected by the publish REST API method. You still need to provide working credentials, ignore the test error message and save the instance.

Payload Template

Payload Templates are the next building block in the concept. Using the new Payload Templates, you can configure the desired outbound payload granularly down to a single metric level. The following picture shows an example of the payload configuration used for the message reflecting a new open alert in vRealize Operations.

Figure 5: Payload template for vROps open alert

Important are especially the “routing key” and the “payload” parts. The first one ensures that the message will be published to the right queue and the payload is what the consumer is expecting. In my use case, it is just an example containing only a portion of available data.

Both payload template examples, one for new (open) alerts and one for canceled (close) alerts are available on the VMware Code page:

VMware Code – Sample Exchange

Notification

The last step is to create appropriate vRealize Operations Alert Notifications which will be triggered as soon as specified criteria are met and configure the outbound instance and the payload for RabbitMQ as shown in the next picture.

Figure 6: Notification settings

And this is the result, messages published to all three queues.

Figure 7: Queues with messages

An example message looks like this one.

Figure 8: vROps open alert message

The missing part now is the consumers. It could be a vRealize Orchestrator workflow subscribed to a queue or any other consumer processing AMQP messages. Maybe something for a next blog post?

Stay safe.

Thomas – https://twitter.com/ThomasKopton

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