Terraform vCloud Director Provider v2.2.0 Released

Two months haven’t passed and we have a new version of HashiCorp Terraform vCloud Director Provider v2.2.0! You can now automatically download it via the terraform init command and find the corresponding documentation on the HashiCorp Terraform website:

https://www.terraform.io/docs/providers/vcd/index.html

In this particular release we had a primary goal of merging all of the open community contributions (a friendly reminder that Terraform vCD Provider is open-source). As such, this release packs the following main features.

Note that if you’d like to read about Terraform vCloud Director Provider in general, please see the previous article as well:

vCloud Director Embraces Terraform

v2.2.0 Features

First of all, there are two completely new resources for the provider level operations (i.e. system administrator):

  • New resource vcd_external_network – for automating creation of External Networks
  • New resource vcd_org_vdc – for automating creation of Organization VDCs

Then, the existing vcd_vapp_vm resource received a major improvement in the way it handles networks. As an outcome of that, it’s now possible to add multiple NICs to Virtual Machines. Also, you have access to the MAC addresses:

  • New argumentvcd_vapp_vm.network for multiple NIC support and more flexible configuration
  • New argumentvcd_vapp_vm.network.X.mac for storing the MAC address in Terraform state file

Another feature in vcd_vapp_vm and the related vcd_vapp resource is the ability to set metadata for vApp and its Virtual Machines separately:

  • New argumentvcd_vapp_vm.metadata for ability to add metadata to a VM
  • Improvedvcd_vapp.metadata argument to add metadata to the vApp directly

Moreover, a small topping to the cake of the same vcd_vapp_vm resource is a new flag for running hypervisors in a VM (hypervisor nesting):

  • New argument vcd_vapp_vm.expose_hardware_virtualizationfor ability to enable hardware assisted CPU virtualization

Last but not least, there’s also a handful of additions to the test suite to help avoid unwanted bugs. Of course, it’s committers who will feel this first. For instance, we’ve added test grouping by tags to support selective and parallel runs for the growing suite. In this context, if you like Go programming language and developing cloud automation tools, please consider joining our open-source community with a code contribution!

Please also see our changelog for details with links to related GitHub pull requests.

Now let’s look at examples on how you can use some of these new features.

Example of configuring an Org VDC

To begin with, let’s say we’re a provider and want to automate creation of Organization VDCs. It’s fairly easy to define an Organization VDC, but there are three points to be aware of.

  • First, use system administrator (as opposed to org administrator) credentials in the provider section of the Terraform template
  • Then, there are three allocation models supported in the allocation_model field, but one of their names differ from the one in the vCD GUI
    • AllocationPool – “Allocation pool”
    • ReservationPool – “Reservation pool”
    • AllocationVApp – “Pay as you go” (!) This name comes from vCD API and reflects that “AllocationVApp” model resources are committed to a vDC only when vApps are created
  • Last, there are two choices which argument to use in compute_capacityblock
    • limitis used with AllocationVAppmodel
    • allocatedis used with AllocationPool and ReservationPoolmodels

So, let’s take a look at an example for the VDC with the AllocationVApp (“Pay as you go”) model. Please note the in-line comments which reflect the above notes.

provider "vcd" {
  url      = "https://${var.vcd_host}/api"
  user     = "administrator" # Need system administrator privileges
  org      = "System" # Connecting to System because we're administrator
  password = "${var.admin_pass}"

  allow_unverified_ssl = "true"
}

# v2.2.0+
resource "vcd_org_vdc" "vdc-pay" {
  org = "myorg" # Tell in which Org to create the VDC

  name        = "TfPayVDC"
  description = "Terraform created VDC"

  allocation_model  = "AllocationVApp" # The "Pay as you go" in vCD GUI
  network_pool_name = "vc1-TestbedCluster-VXLAN-NP"
  provider_vdc_name = "vc1-TestbedCluster"

  network_quota = 10

  memory_guaranteed = 0.55 # Translates to percentage 55%
  cpu_guaranteed    = 0.50 # Translates to percentage 50% 

  compute_capacity {
    cpu {
      limit     = 3123 # For "ReservationPool" and "AllocationPool" models, use "allocated" instead of "limit"
    }

    memory {
      limit     = 4123 # For "ReservationPool" and "AllocationPool" models, use "allocated" instead of "limit"
    }
  }

  # Note how "storage_profile" can be defined multiple times
  storage_profile {
    name    = "*"
    limit   = 0
    enabled = true
    default = true
  }

  storage_profile {
    name    = "Development"
    limit   = 0
    enabled = true
    default = false
  }

  enable_thin_provisioning = true
  enable_fast_provisioning = true

  delete_force     = true
  delete_recursive = true
}

Please see Org VDC documentation page for more details:

https://www.terraform.io/docs/providers/vcd/r/org_vdc.html

Example of a VM with multiple networks

To continue, let’s take a look at an example snippet which defines a VM with three NICs and some advanced parameters.

  • Three NICs
    1. Connected to vApp network
    2. Connected to Org VDC network
    3. Not connected at all
  • Hardware assisted CPU virtualization enabled
  • Custom metadata set

It’s important to note that:

  • You define more than one NIC by creating more than one network block
  • Order of the network blocks gets reflected in the operating system

As in the previous example, please see the in-line comments for explanations as well.

provider "vcd" {
  url      = "https://${var.vcd_host}/api"
  org      = "myorg"
  vdc      = "myorgvdc"
  user     = "orgadmin" # In this case we *don't* need system administrator privileges
  password = "${var.org_pass}"
 
  allow_unverified_ssl = "true"
}

resource "vcd_vapp_vm" "vm11" {
  vapp_name     = "TfVApp"
  name          = "TerraformVM11"
  catalog_name  = "OperatingSystems"
  template_name = "Linux"
  memory        = 384
  cpus          = 1

  # v2.2.0+
  network { # We can define as many "network" blocks as needed
    type               = "vapp"
    name               = "TfVAppNet"
    ip_allocation_mode = "POOL"
    is_primary         = false
  }

  # v2.2.0+
  network {
    type               = "org"
    name               = "TfNet"
    ip                 = "192.168.0.11"
    ip_allocation_mode = "MANUAL"
    is_primary         = true
  }

  # v2.2.0+
  network {
    type               = "none" # This NIC won't be connected to a network
    ip_allocation_mode = "NONE"
  }

  # v2.2.0+
  expose_hardware_virtualization = true

  # v2.2.0+
  metadata {
    # The attribute names below are user-defined (they land to vCD together with values)
    role    = "test"
    env     = "staging"
    version = "v2.2.0"
  }

  accept_all_eulas = "true"
}

Please see VM resource documentation page for more details:

https://www.terraform.io/docs/providers/vcd/r/vapp_vm.html

Next Steps

Most importantly, please give it a try! And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You can do it by joining our Slack channel #vcd-terraform-dev through VMware {code} or filing an issue in the Terraform vCloud Director Provider repository.

Hope to hear from you!

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Top 20 Articles for vSphere, April 2019

Restarting the Management agents in ESXi L1TF related “esx.problem.hyperthreading.unmitigated” vCenter Server Updates: CVE-2018-3646 “503 service unavailable” error when connecting to the vCenter Server using the vSphere Web Client How to reset the lost or forgotten root password in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Troubleshooting an ESXi/ESX host in non responding state Unable to log in to

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Top 20 Articles for NSX, April 2019

Status of TLSv1.1/1.2 Enablement and TLSv1.0 Disablement across VMware products Guest Introspection status reports “Warning: Guest Introspection service not ready” “No NSX Managers available” error in the vSphere Web Client “Not Ready” Installation Status in NSX After upgrading to NSX-v 6.4.0, you see the error: “Possible DHCP DOS attack seen on the host. Please refer

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Impact of adding Persistent Memory / Optane Memory devices to your VM

Advertise here with BSA


I had some questions around this in the past month, so I figured I would share some details around this. As persistent memory (Intel Optane Memory devices for instance) is getting more affordable and readily available more and more customers are looking to use it. Some are already using it for very specific use cases, usually in situations where the OS and the App actually understand the type of device being presented. What does that mean? At VMworld 2018 there was a great session on this topic and I captured the session in a post. Let me copy/paste the important bit for you, which discusses the different modes in which a Persistent Memory device can be presented to a VM.

  • vPMEMDisk = exposed to guest as a regular SCSI/NVMe device, VMDKs are stored on PMEM Datastore
  • vPMEM = Exposes the NVDIMM device in a “passthrough manner, guest can use it as block device or byte addressable direct access device (DAX), this is the fastest mode and most modern OS’s support this
  • vPMEM-aware = This is similar to the mode above, but the difference is that the application understands how to take advantage of vPMEM

But what is the problem with this? What is the impact? Well when you expose a Persistent Memory device to the VM, it is not currently protected by vSphere HA, even though HA may be enabled on your cluster. Say what? Yes indeed, the VM which has the PMEM device presented to it will be disabled for vSphere HA! I had to dig deep to find this documented anywhere, and it is documented in this paper. (Page 47, at the bottom.) So what works and what not? Well if I understand it correctly:

  • vSphere HA >> Not supported on vPMEM enabled VMs, regardless of the mode
  • vSphere DRS >> Does not consider vPMEM enabled VMs, regardless of the mode
  • Migration of VM with vPMEM / vPMEM-aware >> Only possible when migrating to host which has PMEM
  • Migration of VM with vPMEMDISK >> Possible to a host without PMEM

Also note, as a result (data is not replicated/mirrored) a failure could potentially lead to loss of data. Although Persistent Memory is a great mechanism to increase performance, it is something that should be taken into consideration when you are thinking about introducing it into your environment.

Oh, if you are wondering why people are taking these risks in terms of availability, Niels Hagoort just posted a blog with a pointer to a new PMEM Perf paper which is worth reading.

 

 

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Cloudspot podcast focus on vCloud Availability for Disaster Recovery

Cloud Spot Podcast :2nd episode

vCloud Availability Disaster Recovery

 

Please welcome Daniel Paluszek a Staff Solutions Engineer to talk about our newest release of vCloud Availability. Why is this release so special? Well, this is the converged solution architecture for our disaster recovery solution – exceeding all past architectures and capabilities into a very simple to deploy, simple to configure and use, disaster recovery (DR) solution for your vCloud Director tenants!

Daniel is a vCloud Availability expert who has done a lot of enablement for partners in vCloud Availability and he has a lot of exposure in provider DR solutions. You can view the playlist of Daniel’s vCloud Availability light boards on the YouTube channel http://bit.ly/vCAvPlaylist.

We discuss DR in the marketplace today, the fit for vCloud Availability in the market and how the customer is presented the DR offering. vCloud Availability provides cloud to cloud DR (vCloud Director virtual data center to virtual data center) and from a customer vCenter to a vCloud Director virtual data center, all in self service! Do you know the differences between cold and warm migration? Did you know vCloud Availability can be used or migration as well as protection? Learn about this use case and others on the podcast.

As usual, if you would like to provide feedback or suggestions for the podcast please email [email protected]

Resources mentioned:

How do I get access to Cloudspot?

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, ZenCast & Spotify – search for “Cloudspot” or click over to our website: http://www.cloudspotpodcast.com.

 

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New KB articles published for the week ending 18th May,2019

VMware Cloud Provider Pod “ReferenceError: vcsaSize is not defined.” error when deploying the resource infrastructure with Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 Date Published:5/17/2019 VMware vSphere ESXi An ESXi host experiences a Purple Diagnostic Screen during certain storage vMotion operations Date Published:5/14/2019 Virtual machine disk provisioning type changes from thin to thick without warning Date Published:5/14/2019 PSOD

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How to Report Monthly Usage with the Flex Pricing Model

In a previous blog post, we walked through How to Signup for the Flex Pricing Model. Now let’s walk through how to submit monthly reports. The Flex Pricing Model is a new consumption model that replaces the old bundles that have been around for years. They give partners much more flexibility in how they consume VMware technology and help them create the services for their customers.

Let’s go over a couple tidbits before first:

vCloud Usage Meter Support – In the past, the Usage Meter appliance needed to be updated to report new bundle changes. This time around, that is not the case. Partner still need to run Usage Meter 3.6 and up, but do not need to update the appliance for Flex Model reporting.

Translation of Old Bundle data to Flex Model – Each month when you report your monthly usage, you will still input data using the old bundle names into your monthly report in the Business Portal.The Business Portal will then translate the bundle data to Flex Pricing Model for you. For partners in the VCPP before Flex was GA, they will be provided Price Protection for bundles with a price difference.

vCloud Usage Insight + Flex – Although Usage Insight is not necessary for Flex reporting, it does fill in the report for you so that you do not have to. This is still a huge advantage, especially for partners with more than one Usage Meter appliance in their environments.

End-User Reporting – Not available in Flex Pricing Model at this time.

 

With that out of the way, let’s walk through submitting a report in the business portal on the Flex Pricing Model. We will be inputing the data into the monthly report as if we are a partner that is not currently using vCloud Usage Insight. For partners that have adopted automatic reporting, go ahead and skip to step 2!

 

 

Step 1: Open and Fill out your Report

It’s the beginning of the month and it’s time to submit your monthly licensing consumption usage. You open up your monthly report as you always do. Let’s enter the bundle based data into the report like you have done every month. The old bundle names are still there, no worries.

 

Take note the total points in the top right of the screenshot, this report shows a total of 20,500 points before translation. I reported a little bit of every single bundle to help show how Core Bundle an Add-On usage is aggregated regardless the combination of old bundles used.

 

Step 2: Review the Translated Usage

Once you click next, you will be taken to the Rental Flex Usage page (Flex Translation). On this page, the business portal shows the usage based on how it would appear if you aggregated the Core bundle and Add-On products separately. On this page you can see that the total usage from the previous page matches the translation page. These fields will be greyed out as you cannot edit a calculated number.

 

 

Take note of how there are duplicates of the usage from the same products. There is a second SKU for the same add-on but with a lower Points Per Unit. This is the 3 Year Price Protection for partners that were already in VCPP. If you click on the information icon for the Flex Core Bundle, you can see how much vSphere usage came from each of the bundles that were reported. This shows the total aggregate of Core Bundle.

 

 

To see an add-on product’s aggregate usage after translation, like vRealize Operations Manager,  you can also click on the information icon and see which bundles contributed to that add-on’s usage.

 

Step 3: Submit the Report

Go ahead and click next on the translation page and you will be taken to the summary page. Here you will see information about total cost based on your contract. You are now ready to close out the report and submit the usage on to your aggregator. Congrats, you’ve completed your Flex Pricing Model report. That wasn’t too bad, was it?

 

If you have any feedback or additional questions, feel free to reach out to your Aggregator, VMware Representative or VCPP Operations. We will be presenting more vmLive webinars throughout 2019 to provide partners with enablement.

 

 

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Choose Your Own Cloud Adventure with VCPP Flex Pricing

We are thrilled to announce a major update to the VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) that deliver partners the flexibility and control to granularly consume VMware solutions and easily build and offer new services.

The VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) has grown over the years to help partners build cloud environments for their customers. Throughout this time, the program focused on giving partners a licensing model that provide different bundles of solutions that matched the needs of many partners. These bundles helped them grow their business based on what they needed when they needed it.

However, we recognize that not all partners have the same needs and what works for one may not work for another.

New Flexible Licensing

That brings us to now! VCPP Partners can now sign up to move to the next pricing model called Flex! Delivering the biggest change in years, we are adapting to our partner’s feedback and helping them consume the products they specifically need, when and where they need it. Want to know how? Check out this other blog article HERE.

The Flex Pricing Model brings a sense of “Choose your own adventure” to running a cloud business. Now partners can utilize one standard core set of products that all partners get access to, then build on top of that foundation. They can select any add-ons, in any order, for the products they want to deliver services to meet their customers needs.

Differentiate Yourself with Custom Services

This helps partners who run businesses in specific markets like DR-as-a-Service, Monitoring-as-a-Service or new platforms like PKS, build for their exact needs.  Now more than ever, partners can say yes to more deals as they use VMware products for their cloud enterprise. The point of the Flex Pricing Model is to take VMware’s consumption pricing, and add that same flexibility to creating your own bundles.

The future for VCPP Partners is bright, with options to expand into markets like:

  • DRaaS
  • Monitoring-aaS
  • K8S-aaS
  • and more!

 

Learn More and Make the Switch Today!

We are excited to bring this flexible model to our partners and hope to see more success as they meet their customers’ demands in the ever-growing cloud provider business. If you want to know more, head over to Partner Central and check out pricing in the new Product Usage Guide and Flex Pricing Model FAQ.

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How to Sign Up for the new VCPP Flex Pricing Model

Since mid-2018, the VCPP Team at VMware have been talking about the new Flex Pricing Model that is coming. This is the new consumption model that allows partners to build their bundles and create the services that they want or their customers need. At the beginning of May 2019, VMware released the pricing information to partners through an updated Product Usage Guide and a Flex FAQ. Starting today though, partners are able to sign up and transition!

So let’s dive in on how to do just that.

Step 1: Login to the Business Portal

Before we begin, it should be noted that you need to be a user with Service Provider Administrator role to complete the signup. This is to make sure that not just anyone can convert your contract.

Click on this link to go to the Business Portal and login: https://vmware.iasset.com

Once you login, you will see the banner text on your dashboard guiding you to signing up. If you don’t have permissions to perform the signup or complete the follow steps, ask your Contract Owner to add the role to your user under System Admin > Users > Edit User or have the Contract Owner complete the signup.

Step 2: Edit your Service Provider entity

Service Provider Administrator role users will have menu items available that other roles do not. Go ahead and click on System Admin in the menu bar like shown in the thumbnail below.

 

Once on the Service Provider page, click on the Edit button to the left of your Service Provider name. That should look like a paper and pencil icon. This will open a pop up with details about your organization.

 

Towards the bottom of that pop up window, you will see a check box to “Opt-in to Flex Pricing”. Let’s click on that.

 

Step 3: Complete the Signup

You should now see some terms & conditions. These are important and we want to make sure you read through all of it. I promise, it’s not that long, but it is important. One interesting option you will see is the ability to choose the month when you will first report Flex model. So if you agree to the terms and conditions now, choose your first month and click accept!

You will see one last confirmation. This is just because the signup is a one way process and cannot be reversed. If you are ready, click OK and now you are all set!

 

Thats all there is to it! In the next blog post we will walk you through what a monthly reporting process will look like.

 

Please Note: If you do customer monthly reporting, have custom bundles / pricing, or actively report the 5 Point Standard bundle, please reach out to your Aggregator or VMware representative before signing up.

 

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Introducing CloudSpot: Our New Podcast to Keep you Cloud Ready!

CloudSpot Podcast

Introducing CloudSpot:

Our New Podcast to Keep you Cloud Ready!

 

 

What is CloudSpot?

CloudSpot is a new podcast that discusses the latest cloud technologies from the Cloud Providers’ perspective and covers new products and updates from the VMware Cloud Provider team. The podcast series is not a detailed technical product pitch (although we will cover products!), rather it addresses real service provider challenges and customer use cases.

New Content for Different Cloud Personas

We will discuss Cloud as a Persona – looking at cloud from the differing persona viewpoints from partners, customers and VMware staff. Viewpoints and topics covered will include:

  • Operations management; challenges and solutions for cloud automation, Configuration & Service Management
  • Financial management; challenges and solutions for cloud metering, balancing, billing, violations & credit management
  • Security management; challenges and solutions for cloud policies, rules, reporting and compliance
  • Capacity management; challenges and solutions for cloud usage vs demand and quality
  • Product management: challenges and solutions for cloud services; architecture, pricing, functions and capabilities
  • …and many more!

Why: Simple, Portable Communications

We all lead busy lives, and we’re thrilled you’re making time to read our blogs! We know that’s not always possible and that we have had varying success in communicating to and helping enable all of our cloud providers.

Especially for those on the run or in the car, the new podcast provides an easier way to consume the latest information on cloud technologies and VMware solutions for our cloud providers.

Episode 1: Inside Look into VMware’s Cloud Practice

Today we are launching our first podcast, featuring myself @Guy Bartram as your host and @Dan Gallivan– Sr. Director of the Global Cloud Practice within the VMware Cloud Provider Program. We will be talking about the Cloud Practice and Dan’s experience with Cloud Providers as well as covering some of the recent major program and product announcements.

You can expect between 1 – 2 podcasts per month, perhaps more if time permits!

How do I get access to Cloudspot?

 

Search iTunes or your favourite Podcast application for “Cloudspot” or click over to our website: http://www.cloudspotpodcast.com.

If you have feedback regarding the podcast or any ideas, please email [email protected].

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