Updated Cloud Provider Program Hands On Lab

One of my esteemed peers, Eric Stine, has updated our Cloud Provider Program Hands On Lab (HOL).

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/3869

For those of you that do not know what the VMware HOL is, it’s our free solution that allows you to try out VMware solutions.

Eric and Dan go over NSX, vSAN, vROps, Log Insight, vCD, vCAv, AND Usage Meter! What’s important is Usage Meter is updated to version 3.6 for those of you that wanted to test out the new functionality before upgrading.

Definitely check it out and give it a whirl!

vCloud Architecture Toolkit – Released!

If you are looking for some extremely valuable reference architecture AT NO COST – check out what we published today on VMware’s site –

https://www.vmware.com/solutions/cloud-computing/vcat-sp.html

So why is this so special? The vCAT page is a single entity for all of our vCloud designs posted by our Global Cloud Practice. We break this out by the following categories:

  1. Cloud Automation and Orchestration
  2. Cloud Operations and Management
  3. Hybridity
  4. Network and Security
  5. Storage and Availability
  6. Digital Workspace

As you can see in the chart below, we have multiple architecture papers in each of these domains.

Some of my favorites:

  1. Architecting a vCD Solution by Tomas Fojta – LINK
  2. Architecting a NSX Solution by Michael Haines and Jeffrey Moore – LINK
  3. VMware vCenter Use Cases and Architectures by Martin Hoskin – LINK

Honestly, all of them are amazing. Moreover, these are publicly available. If you aren’t reading up on them, you are missing out on some valuable information.

A little about the Global Cloud Practice – they are my peer team here in the Cloud Provider Program and we are working together to support our strategic SP’s. I truly enjoy working with them and quite frankly, learning from them.

Definitely review and engage us to discuss your objectives further!

-Daniel

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.