vCloud Director Extender – What is it?

Part of our upcoming release of vCloud Director 9 is vCloud Extender. I’d like to do an intro to this new solution since we’ve been getting a lot of questions in the Solutions Exchange.

Extender is VMware’s replacement for vCloud Connector – in essence, the ability to migrate workloads to a VMware vCloud Director environment. Our goal is to make this extremely easy and allow tenants (end-users) the ability to migrate their own workloads. Self-sufficiency is the name of the game here.

Moreover, we want the ability to provide Data Center L2 extension – ability to migrate workloads using the same IP space. Does not require NSX in the tenant environment.

Last of all, cost. If you are a current VMware Cloud Provider using vCloud Director, there will be no additional cost for Extender.

Migrations are cold or warm. Well, what does this mean? Cold – ability to take a powered off VM and replicate over. Warm – synchronize based on assigned RPO. Once cutover is ready, Extender will power off the VM in tenant environment and power on in the cloud environment.

Let’s do a high-level overview of what Extender consists of. Please note that more details will be provided on release but wanted to give some insight on what to expect.

Provider (presuming current vCD architecture):

  1. Extender Manager appliance
    1. Deployed to a provider management vCenter instance – typically resides by other provider management functions (vCD Cells, management tools, etc.)
    2. Credentials are provided to existing vCD instance(s)
  2. Replication Manager appliance
    1. Provides management of replication activities between tenants and provider
  3. Replicator appliance
    1. Provides replication state for selected VM’s

The provider deployment will be done through a very simple UI as seen below:


  1. Extender Connector appliance
    1. Connects to Extender Manager running in Provider environment
    2. Also provides direct registration of the Extender plugin into vCenter
  2. Replicator
    1. Provides replication state for selected VM’s to vCD
  3. NSX Edge Appliance (optional, but required for L2 / Data Center Extension capability)
    1. The installation will take care of deploying a Standalone Edge in the on-prem environment to provide L2 VPN connectivity.

Below is a port diagram between Tenant and Provider.

Again, a very simple UI interface for deployment:

Once deployed on the tenant side, the end user gets a clean (HTML5!) interface from vCenter:

From here, there are three key sections:

  1. Establishing a connection to your respective organization virtual Data Center (vDC) instance. Note this will require org administrator credentials.
  2. Creating the DC Layer 2 Extension connections. This is back-ended by the standalone edge deployed that will connect to provider edges established by vCD.
  3. Migrate workloads – cold or warm as described above.

Below is a quick intro video to demonstrate functionality (note – no sound but provides a look and feel on what to expect).

More to come as we GA Extender with vCD9 – but I have to say I’m very excited about this release and providing a easy way to migrate workloads to a VMware Cloud Provider.


14 thoughts on “vCloud Director Extender – What is it?”

  1. Hi Daniel,
    Nice post, thanks for the share.

    We are a provider with an existing VMware backed IaaS platform with a Citrix front-end CMP.

    Currently building a new platform with vCD 8.2 etc.

    1. Can I use Extender to migrate client VMs from the old platform to the new vCD platform? I assume I can point Extender at the internal FQDN of the vCD organisation?

    2. Any idea when vCD will become available?


    1. Hi Clinton – thanks for reaching out!
      1. Currently, Extender is intended for on-prem vCenter connection to vCD (8.20 or 9) – no vCD to vCD connectivity today (this is something on the roadmap). Yes, you can point it to the internal FDQN.
      2. vCD 9.0 will be released in the next couple days – I had a call today and it’s almost there. Super excited about this release. I hope to write more about some NSX additions.

      Take care,


  2. Hi Daniel!
    Thanks for your blog, I’ve gathered a lot from here!
    I want to ask you a question about vCD Extender configuration.
    I tried to deploy it in my lab environment before implementing in prod, but i’ve gathered some bugs. Unfortunately i didn’t find any guides for troubleshooting and error messages in UI are not enough informational.
    May be you can help me to find any troubleshooting guide, or blog with troubleshooting discussions?
    Thanks a lot!

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Andrey – I’d check out my step by step guide to verify you are meeting the pre-requisites. What is the exact issue/behavior you’re getting? Let me see if I can help.


      1. Hi Daniel!

        Thanks for your reply!
        I’m using VCSA v6.5.0.1, vCD v9.0.0.2 and vCDExtender
        After deployed all components wizard setup was sucecsfully finished.
        Then I’ve gathered a few errors in three days of using vCD extender.
        The first was a simple error in the onprem side: “Replicator “VM name” cannot register with replication manager. VM cold migration didn’t work.
        I checked network connectivity, ntp settings and name resolving. Everething was ok.
        Then I desided to redeploy replicator and replication manager in sp-side, but whe I tried to remove replicator I got the next error: “Error during Replicator deletion Error in creating VC connection with login scheme: SAML and for user: administrator@vsphere.local“. I have rebooted vCD Extender components one by one, and unexpectedly I found that Cloud resource vcenter was unregistered, I tried to register it, and foun one new error: “Error Code 304 Unknown error”. So I desided to redeploy all sp-side components, and setup wizard was finished succesfully again. But it still was impossible to delete replicator from UI.
        After that, at the onprem side, I removed replicator and deployed new one, but when I tried to activate it I’ve got error: “Error Code 500 Failed to configure H4 Replicator, Cause [Unexpected response status: 500]”.
        The next day I have redeployed vCD Extender at the onprem side. I have registered vCD Extender UI with new version (1.0.1), but It didn’t changed in VCSA web-client. Then I unregistered plugin and registered with version 1.0.2. In vcenter/mob (Extention Manager) the version was correct. I unregistered plugin again, rebooted VCSA, plugin icon had gone from web client. I tried to register it again, but icon didn’t returned, and reboot didn’t help.
        So, as result, I’m sitting upset and don’t know what to do next.


        1. Fixed the last error with no vCD Extender icon – it was routing trouble in LAN and after registering new version my VCSA was unable to download plugin *.zip file from vCD Extender appliance. (Error message found in /storage/log/vmware/vsphere-client/logs/vsphere_client_virgo.log)
          But get another new – when switching to vCD Extender icon it shows message: “500: Unexpected Error”

          1. Hi Andrey – definitely log a VMware SR, but here’s my thoughts based on your commentary.

            1. As for the plugin unregistration/re-registration – ensure when you register through the wizard you increment up the version number. For example, start out with 1.0.0, then go to 2.0.0, and so on. As you stated, remove it from the MOB beforehand.
            2. I know you stated you checked DNS, but double check this and ensure forward and reverse entries are propogating from the tenant environment to the provider.
            3. Number 1 thing I see with vCD Extender challenges is firewall ports. Below is a sample NAT design we did for another customer.

            *** Provider Side ***
            Will need two public IPs, one for Extender Manager and another for Replication Manager
            Extender Manager – will create a NAT from PublicIP-01:443 to Extender Manager IP port 443
            Replication Manager – will create a NAT from PublicIP-02:443 to Replication Manager IP port 443 (configure Public Endpoint URL to: PublicIP-02:443)
            Replicator – will create a NAT from PublicIP-02:44045 to Replicator IP port 44045 (configure Public Endpoint URL to: PublicIP-02:4045)
            *** Tenant Side ***
            Will need one public IP Extender Manager – it requires only outbound access; no NAT will be configured for incoming
            Replicator – will create a NAT from PublicTenantIP:443 to Replicator IP port 8043 (configure Public Endpoint URL to: PublicTenantIP:443)

            I will also update the blog post with the ports diagram too.

  3. Hi there.
    We are a service provider, trying to make a hybrid cloud service on vCloud Director Extender and vCloud Director 9.5, but some strange bugs come out. Extender Manager falls off, Replication Manager and Replicator are not activating …
    Now when we finally managed to deploy Extneder on both sides and trying to add Cloud Provider from Tenant’s vCenter, it just stuck. “Test” button also does nothing. No error messages, etc.

    What are the other solutions for building a Hybrid Cloud (on-premise – to – vCloud Director)?
    Is vCloud Availability 3.0 is an option?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Aidos, vCloud Availability 3.0 provides for migrations between vCenters and a vCD instances. So yes, this replaces Extender. I highly suggest moving to vCAv as Extender will be end of support soon.

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