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

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