Five Quick Tips on VMware vCloud Availability 3.0

I wanted to summarize a few things I’ve found when working with VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 (vCAv) over the past few months that will be helpful to providers and tenants. I’m sure there’s others, but these are the ones that come to mind.

Tunnel (Public API) Endpoint

This is a very important step for production deployments – setting the URL endpoint to ensure proper cloud access from tenants and other vCD instances.

The public API endpoint can be configured from the Cloud Replication Management (CRM) under Configuration:

Or can be configured directly on the tunnel:

When one configures it from the CRM, it does push this change to the tunnel appliance over port 8047 (internal communication port between CRM and the tunnel appliance).

Note that you will need a proper DNS or public IP address along with the DNAT port utilized (such as 443). Any configuration or reconfiguration requires a service restart on the CRM and Tunnel appliance –

Port Requirements

The above table summarizes all necessary ports for proper vCAv management. While this is ingress communication to the vCAv appliances, utilizing the combined appliance does present a different path for configuration. Below are the explicit ports for configuration of each role inside of a single appliance:

  • vApp Replication Manager + Portal – https://appliance-ip:8046/ui/admin
    • Provides the main interface for the cloud-to-cloud replication operations. It understands the vCloud Director level concepts and works with vApps and virtual machines.
  • Replication Manager – https://appliance-ip:8044/ui/admin
    • A management service operating on the vCenter Server level. It understands the vCenter Server level concepts for starting the replication workflow for the virtual machines.
  • Replicatorhttps://appliance-ip:8043/ui/admin
    • Exposes the low-level HBR primitives as REST APIs.
  • Tunnelhttps://appliance-ip:8047/ui/admin
    • Simplifies provider networking setup by channeling all incoming and outgoing traffic for a site through a single point

HBR Management

In my lab, I’ve rebuilt vCAv many times and in some scenarios, I’ve forgot that I had an active replication/protection on a VM. When re-enabling protection, one would receive an error stating “This VM or vApp is already replicated” and fails to protect.

This is due to the host-based replication process still enabled on this VM. To disable it, the provider will need to locate the VM and SSH to the ESXi host. From there, we can utilize the “vim-cmd” process and utilize the hbrsvc scope.

There’s two command you’ll need to know:

  • vim-cmd hbrsvc/getallvms
    • This will get the world ID of the VM’s so you can utilize this on the next command.
  • vim-cmd hbrsvc/vmreplica disable <VM_ID>
    • disables HBR on said VM

From there, one can successfully re-enable protection for this VM.

Plugin Management

There are two things I want to discuss:

  1. Plugin Visibility
  2. Changes to the vCAv Configuration and how it relates to the Availability Plugin

Plugin Visibility

When the provider configures vCAv for the first time and connects the vCD instance, it immediately makes an API call to push the Availability plugin. This is available to all by default –

You have two options on configuring visibility to the Availability plugin: 1) in vCD 9.7, utilize the Customize Portal plugin or 2) utilize the API calls to restrict access.

For 9.7 installs, it’s fairly easy -go to Customize Portal -> select vCloud Availability -> Publish and remove the selected tenants:

Pre 9.7, we will need to utilize the API to manage accessibility. My esteemed peer Chris Johnson did a writeup on managing access to vCAv 3.0 recently, but my older vCAv C2C 1.5 article also applies.

vCloud Availability tenants list

Changes to the vCAv Configuration

When the provider changes a vCAv service/system configuration, the plugin must also be updated with this new information. This is important as the change could have a new tunnel address.

This is very easy – all we need to do is re-register the vCD instance from vCAv. When we re-authenticate, vCAv will push the updated plugin to vCD.

Provider and Tenant Diagrams

The below are two diagrams that depict port communication for a provider and tenant environment. This is very helpful to understand what is required from an ingress and egress perspective –

Provider

Tenant – as discussed before, there is no need for a DNAT rule as all traffic originates from the on-premises tunnel to communicate to the provider vCAv environment.

That’s all for now.

-Daniel

One thought on “Five Quick Tips on VMware vCloud Availability 3.0”

  1. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for the tips!
    I’m running a POC with 2 vCD instances / vCenters and vCAC 3.0.1 is installed on both sites (CRM, replicator and tunnel appliance). Note that there is no NAT is place for the tunnel appliances.
    I’m facing issues with the vCD vCAV pluggin and/or the site pairing :

    – On both sites, if I set the Public API URL to https://tunnel-appliance-IP:8048 pairing works fine but the vCD plugin don’t work, see vCD pluggin error message below :
    The service at https://tunnel-appliance-IP:8048 is currently not accessible.
    Please follow the link above and make sure that you accept any certificate warnings and confirm certificate exception.
    The original error message is:
    Authentication required.

    – On both sites if I set the Public API URL to https://crm-appliance-IP:443 pairing fails but the vCD plugin works fine.

    An idea ?

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