Initial setup for VMware vCloud Director and setting up provider vDC

Let me start off by saying this is a very long blog post, probably the longest I will ever create. I wanted to showcase the initial setup wizard for those of you new to setting of VMware vCloud Director. Once you have created and installed all of the Hosts, vCenter server, Database, vShield and the vCD cell you then need to setup vCD. There are several very good blog posts by other community members out there that step you through the process of setting up the base infrastructure. I will include some of the links at the end in case you need them.

I will be showing you step by step that the vCD setup wizard takes you through. This will show you how to created Virtual Datacenters, Organizations, Networks and Pools, Catalogs and Media. You will begin to get a good base understanding of how vCloud Director works. I will also point out some similarities with Lab Manger 4.0 for those of you that have used LM in the past.

Logging into vCloud Director

Before getting to this initial login screen you will need to supply a password for the admin account and enter the vCloud Serial number. You will not be able to test out vCloud Director in your lab unless you get a trial code or have an NFR license, unless you are lucky enough to have a valid license code to use.

vCloud Director first time setup Wizard

Now that you have logged in you can see below you are presented with the first screen of the vCD setup wizard. This process is broken up into 8 main parts that will step you through setting the bones of the configuration.

Read my full blog post after the jump for complete details.

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 vCloud Director install errors and setup problems

I’ve been getting my feet wet with VMware vCloud Director over the last week testing the different install methods. There are several good tutorials that other bloggers have created already. I will put up some links at the end of this article. What I will cover in this post is the issues that I came across while installing vCD.I will continue to add issue that I come across in my own Lab work and what I hear from others. So far I would say that this process has a long way to go before it can be considered a smooth process. The install with the current requirements is very unforgiving and if one small piece is not right you must do clean up and start all over.

I had issue with using the ID that you create manually to allow vCD to connect to your Oracle DB. It seemed to work better using the system ID. Now I did not waste time looking into the issue but it did happen multiple times. I did follow the instructions that others had described as working.

Another issue that I had was once the Database connection issues were worked out and the vCloud Director configuration script was running it complained about the DB having an error and stopped the install. Now you are suppose to be able to restart the config script for vCD from the following directory (/opt/vmware/cloud-director/config). But since the install stopped mid stream it did not create that file. So my only option was to look up the vCloud Director RPM file and uninstall it. (vmware-cloud-director-1.0.0-285979)  Then I was able to re-attempt the install.

You can see my new post on vCloud Director install wizard

Some great vCloud Director install guides

Hypervizor by Hany Michael (Great post with videos)

Yellow Bricks by Dunncan Eping (Great post on a single laptop setup)

Virtually Ghetto by William Lam (Nice automated script install)

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 vCloud Director upgrade or exchange program for Lab Manager customers

Yesterday while talking about the future of Lab Manager with our VMware rep I found out about a current VMware exchange program that is being offered. If you are a current customer of Lab Manager 4 I would assume you may qualify for vCloud Director licenses in this exchange program. The one gotcha that was explained is that you needed to purchase your Lab Manager before 9/1/2010 but that should not be an issue for most folks. Guessing that most groups would be taking a hard look at vCD before buying Lab Manager these days.

So how does this work out since Lab Manager was sold as normal per socket licenses and vCloud Director is now sold on the new VMware per VM licenses. It breaks down like this for each Lab Manager license you will get 20 per VM licenses of vCloud Director. So if you purchased 6 sockets of Lab Manager that would equal 120 Per VM licenses for vCD.

I personally could not find this promotion on the Partner portal so you should inquire with your VMware rep for details.

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 vCloud Director rises from the shadows of project Redwood

You can now hear the sigh of relief as many bound by NDA to keep silent about Project Redwood. This morning brings the news of the official announcement from VMware about vCloud Director or vCD. This is the new VMware Cloud Infrastructure solution that will allow Corporations and Service Providers to build clouds and ITaaS ( IT as a Service ) consumption models. Below is a quote from the VMware press release about vCloud Director.

VMware vCloud(TM) Director: A new model for delivering and consuming
    infrastructure services
     VMware vCloud Director changes the way IT
    delivers infrastructure services and the way users access and consume
    them. By extending the resource pooling capabilities of VMware
    vSphere, VMware vCloud Director enables IT to create "virtual data
    centers" (VDCs) -- logical pools of compute, network and storage
    resources with defined management policies, SLAs and pricing. IT
    organizations can offer these VDCs -- along with catalogs of other
    infrastructure and application services such as virtual appliances,
    VMs, and OS images -- to users through fully automated self-service
    access.

So what is vCloud Director

To put it in the simplest terms it’s a layer that sits on top of vCenter server and abstracts all the resources that vCenter has under it’s control. You then combine all of these resources into large pools for your Customers or Tenants to consume.  Also vCloud Director provides the Customer a Self Service portal to use.

So what exactly are the resources that vCloud Director abstracts from vCenter server? Below is a list of the resources and the vSphere term to bring it all together.

  • Compute resources = vSphere Clusters and Resource Pools
  • Network resources = dvSwitches and portgroups
  • Storage = Datastores ( VMFS and NFS )

These resources are then presented to you via the Self Service Portal of vCD. As an administrator you can use the vCloud Director Portal to split up and assign resources to Customers, Department or some other business division. These call also be referred to as an Organization, this sounds a lot like Lab Manager. The vCloud Director product was designed to work with both Enterprise and Service Provider clouds. The resources are divided up and assigned to a Virtual Datacenter or vDC. There are two types of vDC’s available withing vCloud Director.

  • Provider Virtual Datacenter ( Provider vDC )
  • Organization Virtual Datacenter ( org vDC )

The Provider Virtual Datacenter is the base for compute resources. When creating a Provider Virtual Datacenter you will need to select a resource pool. Nex you will need to associate at least one datastore with the Provider vDC, this might be all LUNs masked to your cluster. Duncan from Yellow Bricks layed out the following theory

Some of my colleagues described the Provider vDC as the object where you specify the SLA and I guess that explains the concept a bit more. So for instance you could have a Gold Provider vDC with 15K FC disks and N+2 redundancy for HA while your Silver Provider vDC just offers N+1 redundancy and runs on SATA disk… everything is possible.

Now that a Provider vDC was created you can create an Org vDC and associate the Org vDC to a vCD Organization. Its possible that an Organization can have multiple Org vDCs associated to it. For example it’s possible to have 3 Org vDCs owned by a single Organization across two Provider vDCs. Those provider vDCs could each have a different SLA.

So in my thought vCloud Director does seem be Lab Manager on steroids which is a phrase that I’ve heard before. Many of these ideas do seem to be based off of the Organizations, configurations and networking that Lab Manager was using.

Pricing and Availability
VMware vCloud Director is currently available and is licensed per VM starting at $150 per VM.

Build Secure, Multi-Tenant Clouds – VMware vCloud Director lets administrators group users by policy, such as a business unit, division or subsidiary. Each group has isolated virtual resources, independent LDAP-authentication, specific policy controls and unique catalogs. To ensure security and compliance in a cloud environment where multiple organizations share infrastructure resources, VMware vCloud Director includes VMware vShield perimeter protection, port-level firewall, and NAT and DHCP services.

vCloud Director Links

Download link for vCloud Director

vCloud Director Install and Configuration guide

vCloud Director User Guide

vCloud Director Administrators guide

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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