vCloud Hybrid Service walkthrough demo vCHS

So if you are reading this you are probably interested in learning more about VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Server or vCHS. By the time you finish this I hope that you will be familiar with the basic operation of vCHS and what the user interface experience is like.

Enough with the small talk and promises lets get down to business and see what this vCHS offering looks like.  To access the vCHS portal to manage your environment you simple head over to https://vchs.vmware.com and enter in the credentials that were sent to you when you purchased your capacity.

vchs-login-screen

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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How to create a VM in VMware vCHS – vCloud Hybrid Service

I will now take you through the process of deploying a new VM from the global catalog in vCHS. This process is very much like it was in vCloud Director if you have done that before. But the new portal in vCHS makes the process a bit easier to understand for a common user.

The first step in the process is we must choose which Virtual Datacenter we want to deploy the VM into. The image below shows the options available, giving me the four available Datacenters that my account has access to.

new-vm1

Step 1

 

Next up is to select which selection we want to deploy from the VMware Catalog. This is the global catalog that VMware publishes for vCHS users. This catalog will have a small number of operating system images that will be kept up to date with patches. To keep things simple lets choose a 32 Bit CentOS 6.4 VM to deploy.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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External IP list not showing in vCloud VM list view

I spent a few days with a customer this week and we noticed the following strange behavior. I built a multi-VM vApp to be able to deploy their application which consisted of 6 VMs. This vApp will allow them to deploy multiple copies of the app for testing and training. To make sure the application performs properly we needed to use consistent IPs on the VMs within the vApp. So I set static IPs and I configured the vApp to be fenced. This way when people deploy the vApp it will be protected by a vShield Edge device using NAT to hide the static IPs within the vApp.

Now onto what we noticed. Once the vApp deploys the IP addresses of the VM should show up as the static ones defined. Then each VM should also be assigned a NAT address which shows up in the External IP column in vCloud. You can see from the screen shot below. The view shown below is when I clicked on the vApp and then clicked onto he Virtual Machine tab to list all the VMs contained in the vApp. This view shows all of the IP address properly.

vApp-list

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Chargeback reporting in VMware vCac

A reader asked a great question in a comment about what was the ability to look at charges for running VMs in vCac. So I thought that would make a great blog post, after some lab time this is what I was able to put together.

The Chargeback reporting that is built into vCac is very easy to use but somewhat limited. There are just 3 reports available for Chargeback reporting. These can give you a good idea of what is going on in your VMware cloud but as you grow and mature your cloud you might require more detailed reporting. This is where I hope VMware merges the vCac reporting with the Chargeback abilities that are now included in the vC Ops Suite. With the combined power you would have a powerful tool.

The first report shown below in Image 1 is a Chargeback report grouped by reservations. This is grouped up and sorted by provisioning groups (PG). In vCac a PG is probably closest to what an Organization is in vCloud Director. The numbers in these are just something we tossed in for examples so that we can get some data back. There was not much thought placed on figuring out any real costs.

Image 1

Image 1

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware Orchestrator ideas for workflow automation samples

I’ve been talking to a lot of customers lately on the  possibilities of VMware Orchestrator. Things like do they use it now, what they might be able to use if for in their current environment. But most of the discussions are in tandem with a vCloud design. Orchestrator has been a mystery for the last few years but VMware has been working on changing that since vSphere 5 was released. It is now being talked about more and 3rd parties are actively developing plug-ins to expand its abilities to automate other infrastructure.

I don’t plan on teaching you how to use Orchestrator, there is a good book by written by Cody Bunch on Orchestrator. What I do want to talk about is some ideas of what you might be able to use Orchestrator for and get your creativity flowing.

Orchestrator ideas:

Idea 1:

A workflow that clones a VM from a template , nothing exciting right. Well what if you could have the workflow do the customization part for you? So what does this mean, well the workflow could look at the template you are deploying from and then select a License Key for the proper OS that is being used. Then it could place the VM in the Active Directory OU of your choosing. Try doing this type stuff with standard vCenter customization templates, the licensing would take multiple customization files and the OU part would require the template to already belong to the OU you want it to end up in. This would add a lot of layers of complexity to your environment doing it the old way. But with a Orchestrator workflow you can accomplish this and make your admins lifes easier.

Idea 2:

The idea here is not that much different from Idea 1, but it involves VCD. So the idea would be that we have several Organizations setup inside of VCD and the VMs from each Org need to belong to a different OU in Active Directory. Well you probably say there is no easy way to do that. You are right but with Orchestrator we can create a blocking task and a workflow with logic in it that will listen to the request coming from VCD and do a look up for which Org is requesting the VM and match that to logic provided in the workflow that will let it know with OU to use.

Idea 3:

This idea came from one of the local VMware reps that I work with. The idea is to use Infoblox for IP and DNS management for vCloud. To make this work a blocking task would be created that would step in when a new vApp was created and use the Infoblox plug-in for Orchestrator. To give you an idea of how this would work in simple terms. You would deploy vApp and select that it grab an IP from a static pool in VCD. This allows the VM to be created but the IP is only temp and is taken from a small pool that is used just for this purpose. Then the blocking task will step in and request a permanent IP from Infoblox and register it with DNS. The workflow will then go back into VCD and change the IP address selection method to static-manual because it was now being provided from Infoblox.

These are some basic ideas but ones that I know people might be able to use. The whole idea is to get you thinking about what types of automation you might be able to accomplish with Orchestrator by providing some examples.

 

Update 10/29/2012

I thought it would be good to get others to submit their VCO automation ideas. I would like to find out what others are doing already with VCO or list ideas that you would like to try and automate with VCO. These should be tasks or things that are required in your environment on a regular basis that automation could be used to save time. You may already do these today with Powershell or something else. Lets share and help the community benefit.

As incentive I have a code for access to the online content from VMworld 2012. This will allow you to download the PDF versions of the slide decks and listen to the recorded sessions, there is also probably some other benefits that I have missed. I will award this to the best idea that seems both possible with VMware tools and would be beneficial to VMware shops.

 

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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