vCloud Director 9 Released! My 3 Favorite Things.

So I’m sure many of you saw the release of vCD9 – in my opinion, one of the largest releases in some time now. Many exciting features to talk about, but I’m going to highlight a few very valuable things that will change how providers utilize vCD9 in the future.

Oh, before I forget – release notes: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vCloud-Director/9.0/rn/rel_notes_vcloud_director_90.html

Multi-Site Federation Capability

This is a phased approach, but the first phase of this providing the ability to view two distinct vCD sites from a single console and provide a trust relationship between them.

More info here – Configuring and Managing Multisite Deployment – vCD9 Documentation

Tenant Metrics built into vCD + vROps Tenant App

Big addition here. Natively, some level of performance data has been in the Cassandra DB for some time – it was up to the SP’s to utilize the data if they choose.

Part of vCD9 is the ability to see basic monitoring data of their vApps/VM’s from the tenant UI.

There is no additional charge for this capability inside of vCD9 – which is fantastic: new capabilities for your end-users.

Now if you want advanced monitoring and analytical capabilities, we have the vRealize Operations tenant plugin for vCD. This complements the built-in tenant metrics and one could run this side by side based on the tenant use case.

So how does the vROps integration work – it collects data from vCenter backing vCD and there’s a management pack for vCD that filters data into vCD constructs like org vDCs and so on.

For multi-tenancy, one can provide two distinct views: Provider and Tenant. A user configured as Service Provider admin can see both views while a Tenant can only see the Org views. User and Role creation is a manual process at this time.

Please note that for vCD9 integration, you must run vROps 6.6 with the 4.5 Management Pack. Get the management pack here:

https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/management-pack-for-vcloud-director

As expected, for the vROps integration, you will need to be licensed for Advanced or Enterprise for the vCD9 integration.

NSX Networking Additions

Always love this. Some awesome additions:

  1. Ability to spin up DLR’s between org networks and edge gateway from the UI
    1. Notes:
      1. Existing org network can be converted to use a DLR
      2. Org network can either be connected to an Edge or DLR
      3. Only DNS and DHCP from the edge can be relayed to org networks
    2. Read more here in the What’s New Whitepaper – Link to vCD9 What’s New Whitepaper
  2. Trunking Support for VLANs and External Networks
    1. Notes:
      1. Support only for router and external networks
  3. Security Groups for Distributed Firewalls
    1. Documentation for Managing Security Groups

Gosh, there’s so much more to cover. But these are my three top things I wanted to cover this morning.

Last of all, I want to thank our Product Management, Marketing, and Engineering teams at VMware – without them, this could not of happened. I’m just highlighting THEIR efforts while I provided feedback.

Enjoy and I look forward to seeing vCD9 in action with many of our providers.

-Daniel

 

vCD 9 – Metadata to control Edge Placement

With vCD9 now GA, I can post this!

One of the things our team has been diligently working on is the ability to specify a host cluster to be an edge cluster for edge deployments. This is a recommended design methodology in NSX, especially for providers to control scalability and allow for proper North/South traffic. I had a conversation with one of our SP’s who was beta testing vCD9 and this came up in discussion.

In vCD9, we will have the ability to utilize metadata to force edge placement in a pvDC. Associated KB will be posted shortly.

Summary steps:

  1. In vCenter, create the cluster that will be holding said Edges.
  2. We need to get the resource pool MoRef now. Use the Managed Object Browser or query by running the ‘{url}/api/admin/extension/providervdc/{pvdcId}/resourcePools’ query). You need to discover the name and Managed Object ID of the resource pool. The name will be used to attach the resource pool to the pVDC and the Managed Object ID for the metadata you create.
  3. In vCD, create the provider vDC, then attach another resource pool to it, specifying the name of the resource pool backed by the Edge Cluster you set up in Step 1. New org vDC’s will have access to this RP by default.
  4. Click on the Metadata tab of the Provider vDC to create the following metadata for the resource pool object.
    1. placement.resourcepool.edge = resource-pool-Managed-Object-ID
    2. For example,  placement.resourcepool.edge = respool-12

Done. With this tag in place, new Edges will be automatically created in this resource pool while no other vApps will be placed there. Previous Edges can be redeployed into this RP now also.

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:

Tenant:

  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.

-Daniel

vCloud Director 9 has been announced!

First off, I should have had this drafted before I hit VMworld – big mistake! Cannot underestimate the amount of time that is spent here.

I’m very excited to discuss the announcement of vCD 9 – we’ve been beta testing this with a select group of providers and have been getting some great feedback.

Formal announcement here: https://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2017/08/vmware-announces-new-vcloud-director-9-0.html

Key areas I’d like to highlight:

  1. Tenant UI is now all HTML5. This is great as if it follows our new approach to H5 and provides the ability for providers to customize. We will continue to release new skins as time progresses.
    1. NOTE: part of the engine overhaul also separates the UI from the vCD process. Therefore, we will be able to make UI changes without disrupting the vCD backend daemon.
  2. Extender – I’ll have more on this soon, but we have a new plugin to move workloads from the tenant on-prem infrastructure to vCD cloud environment: cold or warm. This plugin will be at no additional cost to our Cloud Provider Partners.
  3. Validated Stack – our BU will now publish a certification matrix on what versions of code have been validated for vCD. This will take the guesswork out of upgrades and deployments – saving you time!

Again, more to come but very excited about vCD 9. #longlivevCD