VMware vCloud Director 9.5 – Quick Tech Lightboards on What’s New

I was recently in the lightboard studio for VMware vCloud Usage Insight with Luis Ayuso and decided to throw a quick tech talk on vCloud Director 9.5. Below are three quick lightboards on reviewing what’s new within this new release.

I’m very excited to talk about more of the functionality in greater detail. My vCD 9.5 Cross-VDC lab environment is almost completed and will reviewing that in more detail soon. The possibilities with cross-NSX are great, so all providers should be looking at this in greater detail.

Enjoy!

-Daniel

My five favorite things about VMware vCloud Director 9.5!

The VMware Cloud Provider Software Business Unit has released the next iteration of vCloud Director – version 9.5. We’ve been holding to a six month cadence on major releases and this vCD version does not disappoint.

As expected, Tom Fojta did a great job of summarizing many of the new features of 9.5, but I am going to focus on a few of the top of mind things that are pertinent to many Cloud Service Providers.

Advanced HTML5 UI

UI continues to get better and better for Tenants and Providers. With 9.5, I would say the UI is about 98% completed – most of the tenant functions should able to be accomplished through the H5 UI. In this release, RBAC capabilities are also introduced (more on that shortly).

As we can see here, we now have a ribbon at the top along with recent tasks.

RBAC Roles

This is a nice function that’s native to the H5 UI – we now have the concept of roles within the roles based access control. A Provider Admin can now “templatize” roles based off of specific functions and make it easier to manage specific tenant rights.

Cross-VDC Networking / Cross vCenter NSX Support

With vCD 9.5, we now have the ability to support xVC NSX objects inclusive of setting this up the vCD UI. Moreover, vCloud Director will instantiate the stretched network functionality to up to four orgVDCs.

This is done from the Provider set up by establishing a network provider scope –

And as expected, requires a single SSO domain between linked vCenters to support cross vCenter NSX. I am underway in my lab to test this out and will have a post soon on demonstrating this functionality and what’s possible.

vCloud Director Cell Appliance!

Yes, you heard that right – with this release we’ve introduced the vCloud Director cell appliance. This is pre-built PhotonOS appliance with the vCD code but still requires your backend vCD database (please use Postgres!), Cassandra, RMQ, and NFS share.

Please also deploy this with the Flex client as I have not seen success with the vSphere H5 client. This is the first iteration and I’m hoping the next version we will see a “database” appliance for the backend functions.

Plugins

I love this, especially when I’m using vCloud Availability for Cloud to Cloud. With 9.5, the UI extensibility continues to grow. There are some amazing plans as it relates to plugin support for our ecosystem partners and I’m seeing MANY of our partners create plugins for vCD. The possibilities are great here to showcase value added services for your tenants.

As we can see below, this is one of my deployments with C2C and showcasing the C2C plugin for 9.5 –

Again, an exciting release for vCloud Director – and more on the way.

-Daniel

vCloud Director – Unable to Remove vCenter Endpoint

This is a quickie, but I’m hoping this will help others if they run into this. I received some odd behavior when attempting to remove a vCenter endpoint. Basically, vCloud Director was stating to unprepare the hosts, but vCD is not utilizing host agents anymore nor does the hosts page show the hosts. I found a workaround for this.

I’ve been testing the vCD 9.5 release and was cleaning up a previous vCD install to migrate to a net new environment. Therefore, I was removing a vCenter endpoint and received some strange behavior.

Once I cleaned up all ancillary objects (oVDC, pVDC, etc), I attempted to detach the vCenter –

Well, it errors out. Says I need to unprepare the hosts…

But I do not have any hosts available –

Odd! So, it turns out this process is attempting to delete the automatically created VXLAN network pool and fails (as intended). Here’s the workaround – the managed_server table is really not utilized since we’ve been moving away from host agents.

To resolve this issue, I had to truncate the managed_server table.

Here’s what I did in my lab to fix this:

**BACKUP YOUR DATABASE BEFORE DOING THIS – I did this in a lab and have not seen if this impacts multiple endpoints**

  1. Backup your database.
  2. Log into your DB using your favorite client – I have a Oracle DB so using sqlplus –
  3. We are going to truncate the managed_server table. For me, I had to type “TRUNCATE TABLE managed_server;”
  4. Alright, ready to test removing the vCenter endpoint – 
  5. Working….
  6. Voila! 

I did bring this up to our Engineering team and hoping this will be rectified in future versions. Cheers!

-Daniel

Recap from VMworld 2018 and VMware Cloud Provider Sessions

VMware VMworld is always an amazing experience, but taxing for VMware personnel – from meetings, sessions, and nightly events, it can wear one down. However, I truly enjoy seeing everyone and this was my first time speaking at a VMworld, which I’m very grateful for.

I wanted to provide a recap of my two sessions along with sessions all VMware Cloud Providers should watch.

Why vSAN is the Best Solution for Cloud Provider Environments

This was done with my colleague, Greg Kaffenberger, who is part of our Cloud Strategy team. Our intent was to provide a high-level summary of items we’ve learned when collaborating with Providers on vSAN designs and implementations.

One thing I learned from this process of creating a session is it’s VERY difficult to cover everything you want. Moreover, you want to hit the high-level points. Some of the initial feedback we received was our material was too complex. Greg and I did quite a bit of summarization or sticking the detailed points in the speaker notes section.

Anyway, I thought this session went pretty well. Here’s the YouTube video along with the link to the slides for anyone to utilize –

 

Slide Deck on Google Drive

Case Study: Hybrid Cloud with vCloud Extender from Customer to Provider

This was a very exciting session with Raff Poltronieri at CloudItalia on a solution I’ve spent a lot of time with, vCloud Director Extender. We partnered together to review vCD Extender in technical detail along with the architecture. Raff covered CloudItalia’s experience along with a demonstration of one of their customers migrating from their on-prem environment to CloudItalia’s vCD instance. Furthermore, CloudItalia’s business is now growing because of their utilization of vCloud Director Extender.

vCD Extender, vCloud Availability, our new Data Protection solution for vCD, is just the start of these value-added products for vCloud Director. I am very excited to see what comes in the next 9 to 12 months for vCloud Director, especially around our availability, migration, and data protection products for Cloud Providers.

Video and Google drive to the slide deck below –

Slide Deck on Google Drive

Other Sessions to Review

William Lam did a great job of summarizing and providing the ability to download all recorded sessions here.

These are the other ones I suggest reviewing if you did not catch them live:

  1. Introducing VMware Cloud Provider Pod 
    1. VCPP’s new solution on instantiating a vCD environment, inclusive of all Cloud Provider components. Presented by Yves Sandfort and Wade Holmes.
  2. Delivering Custom Services Through vCloud Director
    1. There are endless possibilities on providing custom services and integration through vCD. This session reviews some of the use cases we worked on so far.
  3. VMware Data Protection Simplicity Meets Power: Converged, Cloud and Beyond
    1. This is covering our new partnership with Dell/EMC on Data Protection capabilities built into vCD.
  4. Cloud Provider Transformation with vCloud Director, NSX, and vRealize Suite
    1. John White at Expedient does a great job going through their environment and how they’ve utilized the VMware Cloud Provider architecture to provide services to their tenants.
  5. Multitenant Managed Service Provider Platform for VMware Cloud Services
    1. This is reviewing our new MSP solution / Cloud Provider Hub and what’s possible with VMC in regards to Cloud Providers.

There’s many more here – this link should be filtered to sessions that have been marked for Cloud Provider Program. 

I truly look forward to the next opportunity to speak and share what I’ve learned on this incredible journey at VMware.

-Daniel