VMware vCloud Director 9.1 is out!

So the VMware Cloud Provider BU has dropped the next release of VMware vCloud Director – version 9.1.

Release notes are posted here, but I’d like to summarize some of the great additions to vCD. I’ll probably miss a few things, but the below is what’s very interesting and shows the power of vCloud Director as we expand the platform.

vCloud Director 9.1 Release Notes

vCloud Director 9.1 Download

New Features

  1. Continued HTML5 transition – while this is a multi-phased approach, the following have been accomplished in this release. Quite a bit has been accomplished on the tenant side. Next release will focus on finishing the Provider side of the vCD management.
    1. Client Integration Plugin (CIP) for upload management – yay!!! Ability to upload OVF/OVA. 
    2. Multi-Site Navigation Portal – check it out. Very clean looking. I can also provide the organization association through the portal. 
    3. Create VM or vApp – nice simple workflows 
  2. Standalone VMRC Availability – great addition rather than the previous console access, which was always a pain. 9.0 released the HTML5 VM Console and now we have the standalone VM Remote Console support in 9.1. Again, no need for the vSphere CIP anymore with the HTML5 portal. 
  3. vRealize Orchestrator Integration – in my opinion, great addition to the vCD platform. Now we can provide direct vRO integration to vCD to kick off workflows. This is all done through the Content/Service Library.
  4. Python SDK and vCD-CLI – embracing the automation community. The SDK supports automation with Python, and the CLI enables Providers and tenant operations to integrate services within vCD. All open-sourced. Check it out here: http://vmware.github.io/pyvcloud/
  5. Container Service Extension – vCD will now support lifecycle management of K8s clusters through the Container Service Extension (CSE). K8s cluster nodes will be treated the same way as VM’s. One platform for both VMs and containers. Will be documented on the GitHub page also: https://vmware.github.io/container-service-extension/ 
  6. Support for SR-IOV / NFV Requests – this is a big item for our NFV friends, especially to guarantee network resources for low-latency demanding workloads. To add to this, we also added support for Large Page VM’s, guaranteed VM latency sensitivity for specific VMs.
  7. FIPS Mode for NSX – FIPS was introduced in NSX 6.3.0, but now we have the ability to toggle this within the vCD UI on per edge gateway. Obviously, you must be running NSX 6.3x or later for this to work.

Topics of Interest

  1. Moving to Cassandra 3.x for metric data – any legacy upgrade using KairosDB has Cassandra 2.2.6 support. Be aware of this for new installations.
  2. End of Support for Oracle Database – 9.1 will be the last release to support Oracle databases. I don’t see Oracle that often, but be aware of this for future releases!
    1. I would also advise all of my providers to get used to Postgres as the database option. We are trying to simplify vCD further….hint here.
  3. End of Support for vCloud API 1.5 and 5.1 – if you are using the 1.5 or 5.1 API for any API calls, it will not work in 9.1. Ensure you are changing any code before upgrading to vCD 9.1. Moreover, any API versions earlier than 20.0 will be not supported in future releases, so plan accordingly.
  4. Note that the SP Admin HTML5 UI is still underway. You will still continue to use the Flex UI for everything except the vRO registration and content library creation.
  5. There will be a patch release for Usage Meter and vCloud Director Extender shortly to support this release. Please be aware of this before any upgrades.

Another solid release from our team. I look forward to seeing this in production at our Cloud Providers!


vCloud Availability for vCloud Director – Tenant Walkthrough Video

I recently created a vCloud Availability demonstration video and wanted to share this out with others.

vCloud Availability (vCAv) for vCloud Director is a very powerful solution that provides Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) that’s built on top of vCloud Director. What’s great about vCAv is the ability to protect, migrate, and failover workloads from a tenant environment just from vCenter.

vCAv utilizes vSphere Replication as its replication engine while our Cloud Provider Business Unit built the architecture around vCD to provide scalable multi-tenancy. Granular selection of VM’s is possible that correlate to a DR-enabled VDC.

For VMware Cloud Providers that are interested in further details, here are some good links to start on vCAv:

Well, here’s the video. Enjoy!


A Deeper Look into NSX L2VPN with vCD Extender Orchestration

I’ve been rebuilding my vCloud Director (vCD) lab and running through a few connectivity scenarios. Moreover, I wanted to write and share my findings on orchestrating an on-prem NSX environment connecting to a vCD/Provider environment using vCloud Director Extender (VXLAN to VXLAN). In vCD Extender, this is also known as a DC Extension.

To back up, let’s talk about how NSX provides flexible architecture as it relates to Provider scalability and connectivity. My esteemed colleagues did some great papers from our vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT):

Before I get started, I also think this is a good guide for planning out VXLAN <–> VXLAN VPN connectivity.

Let’s look at my lab design from a network / logical perspective –

As you can see above, I have my Acme-Cloud organization available on the left with a single VM in the 172.16.20.x/24 network that’s running on NSX/VXLAN.

On the right, we have “Acme DC” that’s also using NSX and has a logical switch named “Acme-Tier” with the same network subnet.

The orange Extender Deployed L2VPN Client is what’s deployed by vCD Extender on tunnel creation. We’re going to walk through how Extender creates this L2VPN tunnel within an on-prem NSX environment.


  1. This is very similar to my warm migration setup, so I’m going to try not to duplicate material.
  2. I have my Acme-Cloud-Tier Org VDC Network that was converted to a Subinterface inside of vCD: 
  3. We can see in the Edge Services, my L2VPN Server has been set up with a default site configuration. However, vCD Extender creates its own site configuration – 
  4. Extender generates a unique ID for the username and password. This is done when the DC Extension is executed by the tenant. I also established the egress optimization gateway address for local traffic. 

Tenant – vCD Extender Setup

  1. Before we can create a Data Center Extension, we need two required fields for NSX deployments.
  2. First, we need to give the required information to successfully deploy a standalone Edge that will be running our L2VPN client service. This would include the uplink network along with an IP address, gateway, and VMware-specific host/storage information.
  3. Second, we need to provide the required NSX Manager information. I’m sure this is to make the API calls required to deploy the Edge device(s) to the specified vCenter. 
  4. Once the DC Extension has been created, we would see a new Edge device under Networking & Security 

Tenant – DC Extension (L2VPN) Execution

  1. So what happens when we attempt to create a new DC Extension (or L2VPN Connection)? A few things:
    1. Creation of our trunk port for our specified subinterface
    2. Deployment of the new Edge device that will act as the L2VPN Client
    3. Reconfiguration of the trunk port (uses mcxt-tpg-l2vpn-vxlan-** prefix)
    4. Allowing NSX to do its magic along with L2VPN
  2. We can see within my task console what happened – 
  3. Voila, we have a connected L2VPN tunnel. As you can see, the blue “E” stipulates that we have a local egress IP set. I did this since I wanted to route traffic to its local interface for traffic optimization.
  4. So, what happens in the background? Well, let’s take a look at the Edge device. We can see the trunk interface was created while the subinterface is configured to point to my logical switch “Acme-Tier.” 
  5. Last of all, the L2VPN configuration was completed and established as the Client. We can now see the tunnel is alive too. 
  6. From the main vCD Extender page, we can also see traffic utilization over the tunnel. Pretty nice graph! 

Just a quick ping test, yep! WebVM can access WebVM2.

In summary, NSX to NSX DC Extensions within vCD Extender works pretty similar to Provider/VXLAN to On-Prem/VLAN. The key difference is the on-prem vCD Extender has the embedded Standalone Edge to deploy to vCenter.

Enjoy those cloud migrations!


Configure vCloud Director 9.x Org Rights needed for L2 VPN Stretching – vCloud Extender

I am currently working on a new lab environment that consists of vCloud Director (vCD) Extender and vCloud Availability.

Our documentation provides a method for writing out the permissions needed via curl/API commands. I decided to take a shortcut and just use a PowerShell script.

Configuring vCloud Director Organization Rights for L2 VPN Stretching – VMware Documentation

If you don’t know what the heck, I’m talking about, vCloud Director Extender is our plugin product to migrate workloads from an on-prem environment to a vCD environment. Check out my installation guides here:

vCloud Director Extender – Installation Review

vCD Extender – Warm Migration Setup

I *thought* that vCloud Director 9.x would have all of the advanced organization permissions required for L2 stretching. I was incorrect, it’s missing a few things (really actually two, but following our exact documentation).

Per my findings, my vCD environment was missing the following from an Org Admin:

  • Organization vDC Gateway: View L2 VPN
  • Organization vDC Gateway: Configure L2 VPN

So I modified my previous script (see here) to write the required org permissions to establish and set up the L2 VPN / Data Center Connection for vCloud Director Extender.

Before I ran the script, I saw this:

Running the script….

After running the script, I now see the two new L2 VPN options available to my org admin.

Done! Now I can continue on with my L2 setup.

More to come and script is below, thanks!


# vCD Extender Permissions Setup - initially created by KiwiCloud.Ninja - modified by Daniel Paluszek - paluszek.com
# January 17th, 2018 - Modified for a vCloud Director 9.x Instance
# Script to add new OrgRights options for administering advanced Edge Gateway to a vCloud Director organisation.
# Note that Organisation roles (e.g. Organizational Administrator) still need to be edited to add these rights once
# this script has been run against their org.
# NOTE: You must be connected to the vCloud API (Connect-CIServer) with a System administrative user prior to running the script for this to work.
# Add your Org name in line 7 while the vCD instance name is added in line 8
$OrgToUpdate = 'T1'
$APIendpoint = 'vcd-01a.corp.local'

Function vCloud-REST(
[string]$Method = 'Get',
[string]$ApiVersion = '27.0',
[int]$Timeout = 40
$mysessionid = ($global:DefaultCIServers | Where { $_.Name -eq $APIendpoint }).SessionId
$Headers = @{"x-vcloud-authorization" = $mysessionid; "Accept" = 'application/*+xml;version=' + $ApiVersion}
if (!$ContentType) { Remove-Variable ContentType }
if (!$Body) { Remove-Variable Body }
[xml]$response = Invoke-RestMethod -Method $Method -Uri $URI -Headers $headers -Body $Body -ContentType $ContentType -TimeoutSec $Timeout
Write-Host "Exception: " $_.Exception.Message
if ( $_.Exception.ItemName ) { Write-Host "Failed Item: " $_.Exception.ItemName }
Write-Host "Exiting."
return $response
} # Function vCloud-REST End

# The new vCloud Director API v27.0 OrgRights for vCD Extender Preparation and Advanced Networking:
$newrights = @{}
$newrights.Add("Organization vDC Gateway: Convert to Advanced Networking", "9dc33fcb-346d-30e1-8ffa-cf25e05ba801")
$newrights.Add("Organization vDC Gateway: View L2 VPN", "105191de-9e29-3495-a917-05fcb5ec1ad0")
$newrights.Add("Organization vDC Gateway: Configure L2 VPN", "eeb2b2a0-33a1-36d4-a121-6547ad992d59")
$newrights.Add("Organization vDC Gateway: Configure Firewall", "b755b050-772e-3c9c-9197-111c286f563d")
$newrights.Add("Organization vDC Network: Edit Properties", "b0cfe989-521b-3d7f-9bc2-f23c74a99633")
$newrights.Add("Organization vDC Network: View Properties", "2c8d98ef-4acc-3be4-9214-fcb9682b7a19")

$myendpoint = $global:DefaultCIServers | Where { $_.Name -eq $APIendpoint }

if (!$myendpoint.IsConnected) {
Write-Host "Not connected to this vCloud endpoint, use 'Connect-CIServer' before running this script."

$org = Get-Org -Name $OrgToUpdate -Server $APIendpoint

if (!$org) {
Write-Host "Couldn't match organization with name $OrgToUpdate, exiting."

$rightsuri = 'https://' + $APIendpoint + "/api/admin/org/" + $org.Id.Substring($org.Id.LastIndexOf(':')+1) + "/rights"

[xml]$rights = vCloud-REST -URI $rightsuri -ContentType 'application/vnd.vmware.admin.org.rights+xml' -Method 'Get' -ApiVersion '27.0'

# Add the new API v27 'RightsReference' elements to the XML returned:
foreach($newrule in $newrights.Keys) {
$newright = $rights.CreateElement("RightReference", "http://www.vmware.com/vcloud/v1.5")

# Update the Organization with the ammended rights:
vCloud-REST -URI $rightsuri -ContentType 'application/vnd.vmware.admin.org.rights+xml' -Body $rights.InnerXml -Method 'Put' -ApiVersion '27.0'