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

vROps Management Pack for vCD – NOW Tenant App!

I recently did a blog on the Management Pack for vCD on vROps – great way of a vCD admin to manage their vCD solution.

VMware just released the vRealize Operation Tenant App for vCloud Director 1.0 – this now allows you to provide tenant access to their org/VDC and provide tenant-level metrics! Very excited about this.

What’s New?

  1. Tenant Admin specific views to enable Operations Management solving monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning use cases
  2. Provider Admin can pick and choose the tenants to whom access it to be provided
  3. Photon OS based Virtual appliance (OVA) for easier installation
  4. HTML5 Client based on VMWare Clarity

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

vCloud Usage Meter 3.6 Tips

I’ll be updating this post with things I learn about 3.6 as time progresses.

Change IP / Gateway / Hostname / DNS / Proxy Server

  1. This *could* be done within your standard Linux commands, however, Tomcat is running in the background and does require manipulations also.
  2. The recommended process is using a bash shell script named “vami_config_net” – this is under /opt/vmware/share/vami/
  3. Run the script from your console to get the menu:
  4. Pretty self-explanatory on what it requires after you select a sub-menu.

SSH and Root Logins

  1. SSHD is not started by default nor can you log in with the root credentials. IF it is required (by VMware Support), this is the process on enabling access.
  2. To enable root, edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and look for line “PermitRootLogin” – change this from no to yes
  3. Then start (or restart) the sshd service – “service sshd restart/start”
  4. NOTE – This should be a TEMPORARY solution if you need to access the shell via root. Follow all security practices when possible!

Root account locked

  1. Yeah, don’t ask how I did this – but had to figure out the procedure on unlocking the root account.
  2. Simple instructions here on getting into the bash shell from GRUB – https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2147190
  3. From there, you’ll need to use the “pam_tally2” command to reset the lock on the root account.
  4. So… “pam_tally2 –user=root –reset”
  5. Ensure your path is set if it errors out: “export PATH=”/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin”