How about we peek under the covers of the vRA 8 Event Broker for a bit.

Those of you familiar with vRealize Automation (vRA) 7.x may have had the pleasure (or head ache) of working with the Event Broker Subscriptions (EBS). The good news is the EBS in vRA 8 is much simpler to add individual events, can run good old vRO workflows or new ABX actions, and has added a recovery runnable item.  It has lost the publish/draft capability allowing you to disable an event without deleting and the ability to subscribe to all events in a category with one configuration.  At this time the EBS is not available as a public API, but possible by reverse engineering the UI with your browser. Hopefully the API will be made officially public soon. I’m really tired of having to recreate all of these subscriptions every time I deploy a new vRA appliance.


What is really important to know is what events are available, when do they fire, and what property payloads are available to the workflows. To accomplish this I have subscribed all the events that run during provisioning to a single workflow – EBS Events.

Event Subscriptions

I setup a basic blueprint to deploy into a vCenter to trigger the events.  The blueprint is nothing fancy.  It contains 4 photon VMs, attached to a pre-existing network, and one disk attached.


Here is the EBS Event workflow.  As you can see from the view of the workflow runs, all we know is a lot of event have fired. Not very useful until you drill into each of the execution logs to see what is really going on. 

EBS Events

This is where things start to get exciting if you are into this kind of thing like I am. The EBS Events workflow pulls information from the system context metadata, sets the __tokenName, and passes it to a nested workflow, __token EBS Events. This makes it much easier to see what order the EBS subscriptions fire and how many times for various different resources. 

__Token EBS Events

Now this view actually gives you some very useful information just from looking at the the workflow runs. You can see all the events that fired, the order, per deployment or resource, and who requested the blueprint deployment. The user bit of who is very handy for a production system with many requests to weed through for trouble shooting.  Just watching the vRO runs during the deployment gives you a good idea on the progression of a deployment as well. Similarly the events for the destroy of the deployment. 

Destroy Events

Now let’s dive into some individual event logs to see what vRA passes to the workflows. The Disk Allocation Pre event runs early in the provisioning and you can start get the feel for the data that is available to vRO either as the inputProperties or in the _metadata context. The disk allocation only runs once corresponding to the single disk added in the blueprint, but 4 disks are allocated in vSphere cooresponding to the 4 VMs deployed.


The Network Configure runs once for the to the single network on the blueprint — I see a pattern forming. The properties during networking get a bit more interesting. The event contains all the information for the network configuration of the 4 VMs from the deployment such as custom properties, network profiles ids, and network subnet selection ids. I’ve been playing in this event quite a bit to understand this schema of multi-level arrays for selection and to see what can be modified, but that is for a future post. Hopefully the anticipation and sneak peak of whats to come that will keep you coming back for more.


One of the more straightforward payloads is for the Deployment Resource Request Pre. There is a bundle of information available to drive customized workflows and this event fires for every resource on the deployment.


Hopefully this gives a little bit of understanding to what  events are available and what data can be used for customization workflows during vRA deployment.  I will be doing future deep dives into many of these events topics to see just what can be modified.

Here is a vRO package with the EBS Events workflows so you can start to explore EBS events and payload properties in your environment.

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