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.

Preparing for my VCAP-NV…

So I’ve been in the process of preparing for my VCAP-NV (3V0-643) to earn my VCIX-NV.

There’s been a lot of great material that’s been posted online, but I’m going to share my study plan so it’s documented for others. My goal is to take this by calendar year end if possible.

  1. Clinton Prentice did an amazing job with his study guide – I’ve been working on his guide posted here – https://vzealand.com/category/vcap6-nv-study-guide/
  2. There was a beta Blueprint that’s still really valuable – I could never find the live version of the blueprint, so using this as part of my plan. It’s attached to this post but also link here – https://blogs.vmware.com/education/files/2015/12/Exam_Prep_Guide_3V0-643_v1.2.pdf
  3. vCloud Director nested environment
    1. You won’t be able to prepare sufficiently for this test without hands-on experience.
    2. Currently, I have a 3 node nested ESXi environment with 6.5 ESXi and 6.3.3 NSX running on a vCD environment. I will be expanding this further and probably may follow Clinton’s lab design too – but trying out different things.
  4. Got a new addition – Ryan Johnson shared Iwan’s study guide that will be part of my regiment – http://www.vcix-nv.com/vcix-nv-study-guide/

More to come – but this is definitely exciting (and scary)!

-Daniel

Exam_Prep_Guide_3V0-643_v1.2

We are now desensitized by technology.

This is a little bit of a rant, but it’s very evident as of late and wanted to share my opinion regarding this matter.

I have fully realized we are now desensitized by technology.

This became very evident at the Apple Event on September 12th. While yes, I am an Apple fan, but I’ve heard quite a bit of criticism on Apple’s launch event.

One thing amazed me was the release of the Series 3 watch – Apple has introduced LTE inside of the new Apple Watch. This is definitely a natural evolution of a product, but amazing that this fits now in a computing device that’s about 28.7 grams and has the height of 38.6mm.

What grabbed me was the live demo of Jeff Williams calling one of his associates (Deidre) while she was paddle boarding in the middle of some body of water.

Now this was without any phone attached and it sounded crystal clear.

Let’s think about this for a moment. We now have the capability of calling someone from a device that’s as small as a car fob and people were expecting more from this event.

Jeff even went “rogue” for a minute and spoke about how some people take technology for granted.

At VMworld this year, Pat Gelsinger spoke about our “frame of reference” continues to change based on technology. Is this a nice way of saying we are taking this type of technology for granted? That we expect dramatic change at every product release? Do we have overstated expectations?

Cloud Computing and this field has changed how we think of Data Centers today and will continue to dramatically change the landscape we know over the next several years – I can’t imagine what it’ll look like in 10 years.

However, I think sometimes we need to take a step back, sit down, and appreciate how far we’ve come in the past several years. There are some incredible companies that have changed our “frame of reference” and how we engage with others on a daily basis.

But where’s those dang flying cars?? 😉

-Daniel