Tag Archives: Vcloud

DR in vCloud Director

On Jan 26, VMware silently announced the release of vCloud Availability 1.0.1 which allows you to build disaster recovery solutions in vCloud Director. The idea here is replication of VMs to a multi-tenant cloud. The best thing about this replication technology is that you don’t need a special replication network and replication traffic can safely travel over the internet. Another thing to note is that replication in either way is always initiated from the on-prem site only.

After VMware cloud showed up, there was a dire need for having cloud as replication traffic target and VMware is aiming to solve it by vCloud Availability 1.0.1. The service is said to scale to hundreds of customers which means any hosting provider can now be a DR target to a plethora of customers.

You can read more details on how it works – here

The official VMware blog about it is – here.

 

 

 

A Quick Intro to vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager

I wanted to give you a quick-read introduction of vCloud Hybrid cloud manager.

vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager enables bidirectional VM mobility and migration to the cloud and back, and hybrid networking to extend on-premises vSphere vCenter networks into vCloud Air. Data transport features include network extension, WAN optimization, Multi-tenant WAN with Intelligent Routing, and path fail-over.

Security features include Suite B-compliant AES-GCM with IKEv2, data de-duplication and compression, AES-NI Offload, Flowbased Admission Control. It gets interesting because Hybrid Cloud Manager owns the source and destination encryption and decryption, ensuring a consistent security policy and providing admission for hybrid workflows like virtual machine migration and network extension.

These features can be deployed in several ways. Hybrid Networking (Layer 2 Extension) can securely extend your vSphere vCenter to integrate with a vCloud Air Virtual Data Center (vDC). We can also stretch multiple L2 segments  and can route stretched networks via Cloud Gateway for encryption and through the WAN optimization appliance to provide a secure and optimized path through the Internet to vCloud Air.

Read more at the official doc here.

Nested ESXi Lab in VMware vCloud Air

The vCloud Air 200$ signup credits was nice because it helped me play with the On-demand virtual private cloud subscription. vCloud air is quite powerful and the UI is quite responsive. The waiting times increase when you use the vCloud Director UI because of the automation hooks in the back that need to get updated.

One thing I tried to do is deploy an ESXi ISO in my catalog and tried to deploy a nested hypervisor. This however failed because VT was not enabled in the virtual machine BIOS.

I tried my best to access the BIOS but I just couldn’t. So how do we get vCloud air to deploy a nested hypervisor and build a lab? Simple deploy a prebuilt appliance 🙂

I used my VMware Fusion and built a virtual machine (no OS) with VT enabled in the BIOS. I exported it as a OVA and imported that to my vCloud Air catalog. I then attached the ESXi ISO from my ISO catalog and viola! – nested ESXi hypervisor in vCloud Air.

For your convenience I have the OVA attached here. Just download and upload it to your vCloud Air catalog –> attach the ESXi OVA –> Power on and install and deploy nested VMs!

vCloud Air vApp Networking “Pending” Status – Bug!

Been busy but I tried to squeeze out sometime to play with VMware’s vCloud Air On-Demand. If you been to the VMUG UserCon’s then you would know that VMware was giving away 200$ worth of free vCloud Air usage to test out the product.

I deployed a virtual machine – well actually I uploaded it to my Catalog and deployed it from there. I made sure i added it to the default routed network – which you get assigned by default. It is a /24 subnet that you get for your account.

Although my VM was on it – in the “networking” tab you see a “Pending” Status as shown in the below pic. This tab is part of the vCloud Director console so you will only see it when you manage your environment using vCloud Director.

vcloud-air-pending

VMware vCloud Air support today confirmed that this was a bug with vCloud Director and that it has no affect on network connectivity.

I wanted to make sure you were aware of this so you don’t freak out like I did 🙂

OUCH – DISABLING DRS IN VCENTER DESTROYS ALL RESOURCE POOLS LEAVING VCLOUD DIRECTOR INOPERABLE!

I haven’t tried this yet but turns out disabling DRS literally destroys all resource pools and leaves vCloud Director inoperable. Sounds nasty but thats what VMware is telling us.

Well so is there a fix? Well seems like there isn’t! You have to recreate the entire environment in vCloud Director which, can be, a lot of work. Not just you have to clone the vm’s in vCloud director as existing vms will all be deleted with the work around suggested by VMware.

Disabling DRS in vCenter Server destroys all resource pools and renders vCloud Director inoperable. It is recommended that you contact VMware technical support for assistance with recovering from this issue.

Here is the full KB article that also has the work around to the issue.

Bottom lab, do not disable DRS in vCenter. You will need it to allow vms to move around to satisfy their resource requirement. If you do not want a vm to move around, I recommend using the DRS rules to pin a virtual machine to a specific hypervisor.

You can alternatively deploy that virtual machine on a local disk for a hypervisor that will prevent it from moving around.

vCLOUD DIRECTOR 5.5 CATALOG STATUS UNKNOWN

Ran into this KB article that speaks of the catalog status in vcloud to be shown as “Unknown”.

In vCloud Director 5.5.0, the status of a catalog is based on a task stored in the database.
This issue occurs when the catalog has existed for longer than the Activity Log of vCloud Director, the task may have been deleted from the database resulting in a catalog status of UNKNOWN.
I haven’t run into this issue personally but you may have and VMware article states that this does not affect the catalog itself.
Apparently there is no fix for this and the only resolution is to extend the activity log to 365 days. Don’t forget the space that is needed when you increase the number of days to keep for the log.
1. Log in as a System Administrator.
2. Go to the Administration section.
3. Navigate to General > Activity Log.
4. Update the number of days to keep to 365.
Here is the KB article.

vCLOUD AUTOMATION CENTER – VCAC 5.2 INSTALLATION DUMP

I have had quite a ride trying to install VMware’s vCloud Automation center – although it wasn’t super easy – it wasn’t super hard either. Just imagine it to be a complex maze that you have to figure out one step at a time.

In my googling and searching – I realized how little resources were available. Although resources were little, they were quite good.

So here is a dump of the same in case you need it!

Pretty good – http://vmwaredirectory.com/component/mtree/vCloud/vcac-vcloud-automation-center

Two part series – http://vmwaremine.com/2013/08/07/vcac-5-2-series-installation-part-1/

Helpful video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq4dk9wu4Zg

Automatic the install – http://dailyhypervisor.com/vcloud-automation-center-vcac-5-1-automating-the-vcac-installation/

Another good post – http://virtumaster.com/?p=370

This is super awesome however it is not set to VCAC 5.2 but still good enough – http://www.vcacteam.info/

The annoying installation guide will only confuse you – Installation Guide

Another good one that helped – http://www.virtualjad.com/2013/07/vmware-vcloud-automation-center-52.html

Hope this will help you get off to the right start.

Post more links or comment as needed 🙂