vCloud Director 8.10.1, best way to learn cloud AND… – Part 2

After installing the vCloud Director 8.10.1, actually the magic and power of the vCD comes not until you have configured the vCD for running your workloads. So in this blog, we will cover how to initialise and configure the vCloud Director for creating a cloud. To recap a bit, we have deployed the vCloud director environment as following diagram already. But we having linked the vCD with the NSX and vSphere yet. And actually the netscaler has not been setup too for load balancing external access. These are what we are going to do in this blog.

Load Balancing the vCloud Director

So, every vCloud Director Node has two service IPs, while one is for http service (Web Portal/API), another is for Console Proxy service (VM Console thru’ VCD UI). Thus, we have to create virtual nodes for these two services correspondingly. Again, I’m using NetScaler not because we need some very complicated load balancing feature from it (actually we just need to load balancing HTTP 80 and TCP 443), but just cause it’s free to download and great for lab as it just need 2 vCPU and 2 GB memory.

So for Load Balancing vCloud Director Cells, we need to setup the followings (for a 2-Cells Config):

  1. 4 “Servers” objects for 2 Service IPs (HTTP, Consoleproxy) Per Cell
  2. 6 “Monitors” objects for 3 Ports (80,443 – HTTP, 443 – Consoleproxy) Per Cell
  3. 3 “Virtual Servers” objects for 3 Ports (80,443 – HTTP, 443 – Consoleproxy)
  4. 1 “Persistent Group” object for All

On completion, you should see similar status as above. And we can access the vCloud Director thru’ the NLB-ed Hostname.

vCloud Director Initial Configuration

To get start, you need to have a flash enabled browser. Perhaps you need to re-enable the flash plugin from later Chrome or Firefox as it would got blocked soon by default. When the browser is in place, you can go to the URL, http://<VCD-VIP-FQDN>. And you will be directed to a initialise wizard.

On pressing Nest to proceed in the previous step you need to accept the UELA

Then you can input the license and press next

You would have to setup the very first super admin here.

Give the vCloud Director Instance a System Name

Confirm the Initialise configuration items and press Finish

On Completion, You can see the vCloud Director Web Portal!

Great You are ready for the detail configuration!

vCloud Director Detail Configuration

After the initial setup, you have to login the vCloud Director with the Super Admin just created in the Initialise Wizard. On login, you can follow the Quick Start steps to perform the Detail Configuration for Integrating your vCenter and NSX with vCloud Director.

Attach a vCenter

Click Step 1 and “Attach a vCenter”, you will be prompted with the UI for adding vCenter and NSX. In the first page, add the vCenter Server Information. You are not necessary to input the “vSphere Web Client URL” actually

In the Second page, you have to input the NSX Manager Information with user credentials.

Confirm the integration on reviewing the input

One Important Step, You need to configure the public address from the administration tab to enable the external access of VCD portal and consoleproxy. Remember the Public URL has to be the VIP if you are using load balancer like me. And the certs, you can just download and input from the browser on opening the VCD portal Directly.

Create a Provider VDC

So you then need to add a Resource Pool from the vCenter as a Provider VDC, actually as a Cluster is a largest Resource Pool thus you can also add a Cluster as a Provider VDC. Yet, different from native vSphere, you would have to create Storage Policies in the vSphere World for vCloud Director base Consumption. You need to do this at your vSphere Web Client ONLY.

If you are not using vSAN or vVOL, you need to create “tag” based Storage Policy as following:

It is actually important as you can govern which storage are consumable from the vCloud Director.

After Creating this, you can add the PVDC as the step 2 in getting start “Add a Provider VDC”. You would have to define the highest supported Hardware Version for your Provider VDC, i’d suggest you using the highest.

Then you would have to select the Resource Pool as the PVDC and the Storage Policy usable in the PVDC. If you have enabled the VXLAN at NSX level, this step will help you creating a new Transport Zone at NSX level. If you would like to use unicast for VXLAN, you need to go to the NSX page to reconfigure the Transport Zone to “unicast”. vCloud Director will by default creating a multicast transport zone.

You can update the Transport Zone at here

Create an External Network

Then we have to select External Networks from the vSphere Environment. These are the networks at the perimeter, DMZ or even public IP for enabling external network access. The NSX transport zone instead provides the IP Pool for provisioning internal networks on demand by vCloud Director Users. Thought an NSX Edge Gateway, we can connect the external and internal networks.

So Creating an External Network is Easy that you just need to select a PortGroup as an external network in vCloud Director

Then you need to define the network information and range you granted to vCloud Director usage. This is important as vCloud Director will grant these IP further to different tenant on demand.

Give the external network a name which your tenant will able to see and use

Press Finish to confirm the setting of the new external network

You should see all the green ticks on the left hand side under the Quick Start. Actually you environment is ready already! You can create your tenant and their Virtual Datacenter for consumption afterwards.

Create a new organization

As the very first tenant to be created, I would recommend to create a “admin” tenant which is used to prepare VM templates for sharing to other tenant for consumption. The nice thing of vCloud Director, for each organization, they got their own URL… and…

Own isolated LDAP configuration. This ensures the multi-tenancy at URL and Login. Of course even you are not using LDAP, you can still use isolated local user service provided by vCloud Director natively.

Allocate resource to an organization

After separating URL and User among different tenants, you definitely have to allocate resources for different tenants and ensure they are not seeing other’s resources. And by vCLoud Director, this is being done using Organisation Virtual Datacenter in vCloud Director which is actually a resource pool in vSphere environment.

So at first, we need to select a Provider Virtual Datacenter to source the resource from

You have to configure an allocation model, which is comparatively trivial. But when you come to the Storage tab, you would have to define how much storage to grant and select a default Storage policy . You would see “Fast Provisioning”, this means linked clone based cloning which let you have super fast speed in VM creation but you would not be able to expand the based disk of this fast clones VM. While thin provisioning is comparatively trivial, right?

Then you can grant the amount of networks you can created in an organization Virtual Datacenter. And you can see I’m using VXLAN as my network pool.

(Optional) You can create network edge (a virtual router) along, this help setting up the basic network for an organization

You need to select which External Network your Edge Gateway is going to connect to, again this is the internet or DMZ facing network

Then you can grant the public/dmz IP for this edge gateway

A few step later, you can create the internal facing network which named organization networks. Definitely, you need to also input the IP information of the internal network

On completing the Wizard, you can have your Organisation Virtual Datacenter configured

Lastly, you can configure the edge service gateway for the NAT, DHCP, firewall functions to enable the network connectivity.

Great! You are all done and you can start provisioning the VM on the Cloud.

Conclusion

After setup and installation of the vCloud Director environment, I wish this blog post gives you a quick start for configuring the VCD to integrate with vCenter and NSX. And more important, this helps you uplifting your vSphere environment to a Public Cloud ready environment already! I think vCloud Director again may not a perfect tool for everyone, say OpenStack could be more modular and highly configurable, but I think from the very basic deployment of vCloud Director, You can learn the basic 101 in setting up a public cloud and this technique is just similar when you are deployment any other cloud tools!

vCloud Director 8.10.1, best way to learn cloud AND… – Part 1
vCloud Director 8.10.1, best way to learn cloud AND… – Part 3

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