Introducing VMware Global Services With Watson

Throughout the past year, VMware has embarked on a mission to reimagine the support experience. As part of that mission, we have built a software engineering organization within Global Services, focused on developing great software to create a proactive, personalized and effortless experience. One of our first steps in that journey was the development of

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VMware Skyline Updates from VMworld Europe

We’re excited to be in Barcelona to share the latest features and capabilities coming to VMware Skyline. During VMworld US, we announced Skyline Advisor, Skyline Log Assist and the global availability of Skyline. Skyline Advisor became available the end of September and customer’s love viewing their proactive findings within an interactive web-browser. Now, at VMworld

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VMware’s New In-Product Support Experience – Help At Your Fingertips

  VMware is committed to re-imagining the support experience for our customers. VMware is trusted to run the digital foundation of over 500,000 customers globally. Technology innovation and cloud computing are reshaping customers’ expectations and transforming almost every sector of every industry. Today’s businesses are dependent on a digital infrastructure and when something goes wrong,

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VMware vCloud Director 9.5 – Cross-VDC Networking Blog Series – Intro and Use Cases

In this blog series, we will be covering several aspects of Cross-VDC Networking inside of VMware vCloud Director 9.5. This was created by Daniel Paluszek, Abhinav Mishra, and Wissam Mahmassani.

With the release of VMware vCloud Director 9.5, which is packed with a lot of great new features, one of the significant additions is the introduction of Cross-VDC networking.

vCloud Director Cross-VDC Networking Network Topology

The intent of this blog series is to review the following:

  1. Introduction and capabilities of Cross-VDC networking
  2. Use cases
  3. Getting started with Cross-VDC networking
  4. Recommended high-level provider design
  5. Failure scenarios and considerations
  6. Demonstration videos

Before we get too far, we are going to apply some definitions for the terms we will utilize throughout this blog series.

Glossary:

  1. Datacenter Group: A Datacenter/VDC Group is a collection of Organization VDCs (up to 4) for Stretched Networking and defined points of Egress. There are two types of VDC Groups.
  2. Common Egress Points: Active/Standby Configuration
    1. There is a single Active Egress point, which all traffic will route to for North-South by default. There is a standby Egress point which kicks in when the Active Egress Point is down.
  3. Egress Points Per Fault Domain: Active/Active Configuration
    1. Multiple Egress points with Local Egress. A Local Egress Point is defined per Fault Domain so traffic will route through the local egress point by default. Each fault domain essentially has its own local egress point.
  4. Egress Point: An Egress Point is an Org vDC Edge Gateway, used for North-South traffic. An Egress Point can either be an Active egress point or a standby egress point (when the Datacenter group is of type Common Egress Points).
  5. Universal Router: A Universal Router is essentially a Universal DLR in NSX. When a VDC Group is created, a Tenant Universal Router is automatically created. There is a 1:1 mapping currently between a Datacenter Group and a Universal Router. The Universal Router allows for simple East-West connectivity for workloads connected to L2 Stretched Networks across sites. In addition, the Universal DLR is peered to the Egress Points, via iBGP during routing configuration (which is automatically created by vCD).
  6. Stretched Network: This is a network that is stretched across the Org VDCs (via NSX Universal Logical Switch). Workloads can be connected to these stretched networks. Only IPv4 is supported on a Stretched Network at this time. When a stretched network is created, a corresponding Org VDC Network that backs the stretched network is created for each Org VDC participating in the Datacenter Group. Only the Static IP Pools can be managed for these backing Org VDC Networks.
  7. Network Provider Scope: Network Provider Scope is equal to the fault domain that is used for routing. It corresponds to a Tenant Facing tag that the user can see when configuring routing at that given scope/fault domain. The Network Provider Scope needs to be unique across each vCenter/NSX instance across vCD Sites.
  8. Universal VXLAN Network Pool: This corresponds to the Universal Transport Zone. A Universal VXLAN Network Pool, where the Universal Transport Zone is essentially imported into vCD, needs to be created only once on each vCD Site.
  9. Control VM Parameters: This corresponds to the vCenter Resource Pool, Datastore, and HA Management Interface that is used for deploying the Control VM for the Universal Router on each fault domain/vCenter NSX Pairing. This needs to be configured on each vCenter/NSX Pairing just like the Network Provider Scope.

Introduction to Cross-VDC Networking

Let’s get started with what Cross-VDC networking inside of vCloud Director 9.5. In essence, we now can utilize the capability of cross-vCenter NSX to stretch Layer 2 networks (Stretched Networks) and have routing and egress across Organization VDCs that are from different sites. This allows us to provide self-service L2 capability for Organization Administrators between (or within) vCloud Director organization Virtual Data Centers (orgVDCs). All universal objects are propagated to the vCD API and can be consumed from the UI or API.

In the below example, we can see the tenant that has access to two distinct sites by using vCloud Director Multi-Site management. From there, this tenant is able to create stretched L2 networks while setting up an Active/Standby or Active/Active egress points for these specific networks. These stretched networks connect to traditional vCD managed Edge services and route traffic respectively to the provider network (or Internet).

Cross-VDC Networking multi-site vCD pairing

What’s unique in this approach is the abstraction of the underlying vCenter/NSX instance as we are providing stretched networking between Org VDC Constructs using Cross-VC NSX Concepts such as Universal Transport Zone, Universal Distributed Logical Router, and Universal Logical Switches. The end benefit is the continued flexibility of stretched networking between one or more vCloud Director instances. Moreover, when creating Egress Points, BGP Routes are automatically plumbed to the Universal DLR and Egress Points allowing for easy setup and management of routes across sites.

The same considerations are still in play as cross-vCenter NSX: storage and compute are independent between orgVDCs and there is a requirement for less than 150ms response time between the two sites. Last of all, the interconnect between the two sites must support a minimum MTU of 1600 to run the VXLAN overlay protocol.

Capabilities of Cross-VDC Networking

  1. Managed and created by the provider administrator tenant administrator. Provider has the ability to define a fault domain for each NSX/VC Pairing.
  2. Ability to stretch L2 Networks across Org VDCs in a VDC Group (up to 4).
  3. vCloud Director takes care of the “heavy-lifting” of creating the Universal DLR when creating a VDC Group, which is comprised of two or more Org VDCs.
  4. The user also has the ability to configure the VDC Group to be Active-Active (Local Egress/Egress Points per fault domain), or Active-Standby (Common Egress across fault domains).
  5. vCloud Director automatically takes care of the BGP Routing between the Universal DLR and Edge Gateways when creating/managing Egress Points.
  6. When creating a stretched network, the L2 Stretched Network is created in all the VDCs that span the VDC Group. Expanding/Shrinking a VDC Group automatically expands or shrinks the Stretched Networks appropriately.
  7. Ability to utilize IP pools on a per site basis for IP address management inside of vCD.

Use Cases

The most important discussion is the use of Cross-VDC networking and how it pertains to customer requirements. In essence, we have seen Cross-vCenter NSX utilized for a multi-tiered application architecture that is typically based on traditional software development methods. For example, there may be a requirement for the same Layer 2 domain for the application or database layer. Therefore, the ability to provide that same Layer 2 domain between multiple sites can increase the overall availability of the solution.

The use cases for Cross-VDC networking revolve around the following –

  1. Consistent Logical Networking and Spanned Resource Pooling
  2. Application Availability, Mobility, and Migration
  3. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Consistent Logical Networking and Spanned Resource Pooling

There is a significant advantage of simplifying networking between virtual data center constructs for tenants. The ease of establishing a set “floor plan” wherever your workloads reside can reduce the operational complexity of planning for future growth and scalability requirements.

From a resource pooling perspective, this allows for the ability to have consistent networking between multiple vCloud Director instances. A workload does not need to be isolated to a single oVDC, we can now span the network traffic between multiple vCD orgVDC’s to achieve balancing and utilization.

Application Availability, Mobility, Migration

When utilizing an Active/Active crossVDC configuration, one could provide redundant services between multiple sites via site load balancer solutions. This can lead to a higher application availability for mission-critical solutions while not being constrained to a specific site. Moreover, the ease of migration is greatly simplified since the L2 network resides already on the destination site. vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud can complement Cross-VDC on providing migration between orgVDC’s.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

With the ability of stretching a L2 network between two orgVDC constructs, tenants and providers can provide recovery functionality that is demanded in disaster recovery solutions. Since the logical networking spans multiple oVDCs, one can fail over workloads without any IP address changes.

Using the local egress functionality provides advanced control on how the egress (exiting) traffic routes within the VDC group. This allows a specific Org VDC Edge Gateway to be used for a set of Stretched Networks that are part of a VDC Group. In the event of a failed egress point, BGP weights will kick in and start routing traffic to the standby egress point.

On the next blog post, we will review how to get started with Cross-VDC configuration inside of vCloud Director 9.5. Thanks!

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VMware vCloud Director 9.5 – Cross-VDC Networking Blog Series – Intro and Use Cases

In this blog series, we will be covering several aspects of Cross-VDC Networking inside of VMware vCloud Director 9.5. This was created by Daniel Paluszek, Abhinav Mishra, and Wissam Mahmassani.

With the release of VMware vCloud Director 9.5, which is packed with a lot of great new features, one of the significant additions is the introduction of Cross-VDC networking.

vCloud Director Cross-VDC Networking Network Topology

The intent of this blog series is to review the following:

  1. Introduction and capabilities of Cross-VDC networking
  2. Use cases
  3. Getting started with Cross-VDC networking
  4. Recommended high-level provider design
  5. Failure scenarios and considerations
  6. Demonstration videos

Before we get too far, we are going to apply some definitions for the terms we will utilize throughout this blog series.

Glossary:

  1. Datacenter Group: A Datacenter/VDC Group is a collection of Organization VDCs (up to 4) for Stretched Networking and defined points of Egress. There are two types of VDC Groups.
  2. Common Egress Points: Active/Standby Configuration
    1. There is a single Active Egress point, which all traffic will route to for North-South by default. There is a standby Egress point which kicks in when the Active Egress Point is down.
  3. Egress Points Per Fault Domain: Active/Active Configuration
    1. Multiple Egress points with Local Egress. A Local Egress Point is defined per Fault Domain so traffic will route through the local egress point by default. Each fault domain essentially has its own local egress point.
  4. Egress Point: An Egress Point is an Org vDC Edge Gateway, used for North-South traffic. An Egress Point can either be an Active egress point or a standby egress point (when the Datacenter group is of type Common Egress Points).
  5. Universal Router: A Universal Router is essentially a Universal DLR in NSX. When a VDC Group is created, a Tenant Universal Router is automatically created. There is a 1:1 mapping currently between a Datacenter Group and a Universal Router. The Universal Router allows for simple East-West connectivity for workloads connected to L2 Stretched Networks across sites. In addition, the Universal DLR is peered to the Egress Points, via iBGP during routing configuration (which is automatically created by vCD).
  6. Stretched Network: This is a network that is stretched across the Org VDCs (via NSX Universal Logical Switch). Workloads can be connected to these stretched networks. Only IPv4 is supported on a Stretched Network at this time. When a stretched network is created, a corresponding Org VDC Network that backs the stretched network is created for each Org VDC participating in the Datacenter Group. Only the Static IP Pools can be managed for these backing Org VDC Networks.
  7. Network Provider Scope: Network Provider Scope is equal to the fault domain that is used for routing. It corresponds to a Tenant Facing tag that the user can see when configuring routing at that given scope/fault domain. The Network Provider Scope needs to be unique across each vCenter/NSX instance across vCD Sites.
  8. Universal VXLAN Network Pool: This corresponds to the Universal Transport Zone. A Universal VXLAN Network Pool, where the Universal Transport Zone is essentially imported into vCD, needs to be created only once on each vCD Site.
  9. Control VM Parameters: This corresponds to the vCenter Resource Pool, Datastore, and HA Management Interface that is used for deploying the Control VM for the Universal Router on each fault domain/vCenter NSX Pairing. This needs to be configured on each vCenter/NSX Pairing just like the Network Provider Scope.

Introduction to Cross-VDC Networking

Let’s get started with what Cross-VDC networking inside of vCloud Director 9.5. In essence, we now can utilize the capability of cross-vCenter NSX to stretch Layer 2 networks (Stretched Networks) and have routing and egress across Organization VDCs that are from different sites. This allows us to provide self-service L2 capability for Organization Administrators between (or within) vCloud Director organization Virtual Data Centers (orgVDCs). All universal objects are propagated to the vCD API and can be consumed from the UI or API.

In the below example, we can see the tenant that has access to two distinct sites by using vCloud Director Multi-Site management. From there, this tenant is able to create stretched L2 networks while setting up an Active/Standby or Active/Active egress points for these specific networks. These stretched networks connect to traditional vCD managed Edge services and route traffic respectively to the provider network (or Internet).

Cross-VDC Networking multi-site vCD pairing

What’s unique in this approach is the abstraction of the underlying vCenter/NSX instance as we are providing stretched networking between Org VDC Constructs using Cross-VC NSX Concepts such as Universal Transport Zone, Universal Distributed Logical Router, and Universal Logical Switches. The end benefit is the continued flexibility of stretched networking between one or more vCloud Director instances. Moreover, when creating Egress Points, BGP Routes are automatically plumbed to the Universal DLR and Egress Points allowing for easy setup and management of routes across sites.

The same considerations are still in play as cross-vCenter NSX: storage and compute are independent between orgVDCs and there is a requirement for less than 150ms response time between the two sites. Last of all, the interconnect between the two sites must support a minimum MTU of 1600 to run the VXLAN overlay protocol.

Capabilities of Cross-VDC Networking

  1. Managed and created by the provider administrator tenant administrator. Provider has the ability to define a fault domain for each NSX/VC Pairing.
  2. Ability to stretch L2 Networks across Org VDCs in a VDC Group (up to 4).
  3. vCloud Director takes care of the “heavy-lifting” of creating the Universal DLR when creating a VDC Group, which is comprised of two or more Org VDCs.
  4. The user also has the ability to configure the VDC Group to be Active-Active (Local Egress/Egress Points per fault domain), or Active-Standby (Common Egress across fault domains).
  5. vCloud Director automatically takes care of the BGP Routing between the Universal DLR and Edge Gateways when creating/managing Egress Points.
  6. When creating a stretched network, the L2 Stretched Network is created in all the VDCs that span the VDC Group. Expanding/Shrinking a VDC Group automatically expands or shrinks the Stretched Networks appropriately.
  7. Ability to utilize IP pools on a per site basis for IP address management inside of vCD.

Use Cases

The most important discussion is the use of Cross-VDC networking and how it pertains to customer requirements. In essence, we have seen Cross-vCenter NSX utilized for a multi-tiered application architecture that is typically based on traditional software development methods. For example, there may be a requirement for the same Layer 2 domain for the application or database layer. Therefore, the ability to provide that same Layer 2 domain between multiple sites can increase the overall availability of the solution.

The use cases for Cross-VDC networking revolve around the following –

  1. Consistent Logical Networking and Spanned Resource Pooling
  2. Application Availability, Mobility, and Migration
  3. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Consistent Logical Networking and Spanned Resource Pooling

There is a significant advantage of simplifying networking between virtual data center constructs for tenants. The ease of establishing a set “floor plan” wherever your workloads reside can reduce the operational complexity of planning for future growth and scalability requirements.

From a resource pooling perspective, this allows for the ability to have consistent networking between multiple vCloud Director instances. A workload does not need to be isolated to a single oVDC, we can now span the network traffic between multiple vCD orgVDC’s to achieve balancing and utilization.

Application Availability, Mobility, Migration

When utilizing an Active/Active crossVDC configuration, one could provide redundant services between multiple sites via site load balancer solutions. This can lead to a higher application availability for mission-critical solutions while not being constrained to a specific site. Moreover, the ease of migration is greatly simplified since the L2 network resides already on the destination site. vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud can complement Cross-VDC on providing migration between orgVDC’s.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

With the ability of stretching a L2 network between two orgVDC constructs, tenants and providers can provide recovery functionality that is demanded in disaster recovery solutions. Since the logical networking spans multiple oVDCs, one can fail over workloads without any IP address changes.

Using the local egress functionality provides advanced control on how the egress (exiting) traffic routes within the VDC group. This allows a specific Org VDC Edge Gateway to be used for a set of Stretched Networks that are part of a VDC Group. In the event of a failed egress point, BGP weights will kick in and start routing traffic to the standby egress point.

On the next blog post, we will review how to get started with Cross-VDC configuration inside of vCloud Director 9.5. Thanks!

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VMware vCloud Director 9.5 – The New Features in Detail

vCloud DirectorVMware vCloud Director allows seamless provisioning and consumption of VMware vSphere resources in a cloud model. With the recently released version, vCloud Director 9.5 provides a lot of enhancements and new features in networking, user experience, operations and automation areas.

In this article, we will have a closer look at these improvements.

 

HTML5 Tenant Portal Enhancements

Version 9 of vCloud Director introduced a new tenant-facing web portal based on HTML5 technology, so tenant users do not need a Flash browser plugin anymore. In vCloud Director 9.5, the HTML5 Tenant Portal now has feature parity with the legacy flash-based Flex client.HTML5 Tenant UIWhile the HTML5 provider UI is also growing in functionality, some provider administrative tasks are still only available through the flash-based client.

Cross-OrgVDC and Multi-Site Cross-VDC Networking

vCloud Director 9.5 supports stretched L2 networks across OrgVDCs, backed by a NSX Universal Transport Zone. This allows Cloud Providers to offer better support for:

  • Distributed applications and resource pooling across data centers
  • Application-level redundancy or clustering across different data centers (OrgVDCs)
  • Disaster Recovery scenarios

Cross-VDC Networking       

The OrgVDCs connected to the stretched L2 network can even be managed by different vCloud Director installations, if they are associated using the existing multi-site capabilities.

The Cloud Provider sets up the cross-vCenter networking in NSX, creates the Universal Transport Zone(s), and (to span multiple vCD installations) associates the vCD sites.

The tenant administrator then can create a stretched network and select active and stand-by egress points through the Tenant UI, and see the created cross-VDC network architecture in a diagram in the UI.

As usual in vCloud Director, the Cross-VDC networking functionality is, of course, also available through API.

Initial Support for NSX-T

vCloud Director 9.5 is the first version to support NSX-T, which can be combined with the existing support for NSX-V in the same vCloud Director installation. You can add a NSX-T Manager and the corresponding vCenter(s) as a resource in vCD (via API) and create a Provider VDC (PVDC) that is backed by NSX-T.

All the hosts in these vCenters then have to be manually prepared with the DPDK switch, and a network pool for each OrgVDC has to be created manually.
From this the network configuration on tenant side is the same as with NSX-V, vCloud Director is just consuming the pre-created objects from NSX-T.

Enhanced Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

vCloud Director 9.5 contains a redesigned (but backwards compatible) multi-tenant Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) system. It is possible for the Cloud Provider to create Global Tenant Roles and Rights Bundles.

Global Roles in vCDGlobal Tenant Roles:

System administrators can create and edit global tenant roles and publish them to one or more organizations. Global tenant roles can be assigned to tenant users in the organizations to which they are published. Organization administrators cannot edit global tenant roles.

Rights Bundles:

System administrators can use rights bundles to manage the rights that are available to each organization. A rights bundle is a set of rights that the system administrator can publish to one or more organizations. The system administrator can create and publish rights bundles that correspond to tiers of service, separately monetizable functionality, or any other arbitrary rights grouping. Only system administrators can view and manage the rights bundles. You can publish multiple bundles to the same organization.

Tenant Self-Service RBAC

For the tenant administrator, it is possible to define their own tenant specific roles in the Tenant UI. This allows self-service management of permissions for tenant users by their own administrators, without the need of Cloud Provider involvement.

Tenant RBAC

 

vCloud Director Appliance

vCloud Director is being installed as a binary .bin file, that must be installed on a supported Linux operating system. To simplify the installation and maintenance of a vCloud Director cell, as of vCloud Director 9.5 there is an OVA based appliance available, based on the Photon 2.0 operating system. The appliance contains the vCloud Director cell and can be directly deployed to an ESXi host using the vSphere Client.

Prerequisites for using the vCloud Director 9.5 .ova Appliance:

  • An external DB exists and is ready for vCD to use it.
  • An NFS server exists with an export setup to be used as the server group’s transfer space.
  • A load balancer that will stand in front of the cells.
  • The appliance does not contain an AMQP server or a Cassandra database.

IPv6 Support

vCloud Director 9.5 introduces support for IPv6 for:

  • Guest Virtual Machines
  • External networks
  • Org VDC networks
  • vApp networks
  • VMs can connect to physical IPv6 networks.
  • Static IPv6 routing, NAT 64 and firewall

New Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator

With vCloud Director 9.5, there is a new plugin for vRealize Orchestrator available. This new plugin allows workflows to interact with the latest version of the vCD API (version 31.0). This enables the workflow developer to automate all the new functionality in vCD 9.5.

The new plugin version supports multi-site vCD environments, so workflows can be executed on connections to normal as well as on multi-site enabled vCD connections.

Due to the changes in the API, some Actions have been modified, so existing custom workflows have to be reviewed and the current version of the Action re-added if needed (for details see the Release Notes of the vRO Plugin for vCloud Director).

The list of changed Actions can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Orchestrator/9.5/com.vwmare.using.vcd.plugin.doc-95/GUID-FDCB8232-5ECC-4A7D-958D-4A6B1955D5B1.html

API and SDK Enhancements

vCloud Director 9.5 introduces a new version 31.0 of the vCloud API, adding new functionality like oAuth 2.0 SSO support and an API to change of ownership of catalog items.

Support for vCloud API versions less or equal than version 19.0 has been removed, API versions 20.0 to 26.0 are deprecated in vCloud Director 9.5.

Additionally, some APIs are marked for “Advanced Depreciation” (these will be removed in next version, as they are note needed anymore):

POST /admin/org/{orgId}/role/{id}/action/relinkToTemplate Relink a role to the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/org/{orgId}/role/{id}/action/unlinkFromTemplate Unlink a role from the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/role/{id}/action/relinkToTemplate Relink a role to the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/role/{id}/action/unlinkFromTemplate Unlink a role from the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/disable Disable a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/enable Enable a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/prepare Prepare a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/repair Repair a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/unprepare Unprepare a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/upgrade Upgrade the vCloud Director host agent on a host after you have upgraded vCloud Director software.

With the new API version, the Python SDK (Latest Version 20.0.0) https://pypi.org/project/pyvcloud and the VCD-CLI (Latest Version 21.0.0) https://pypi.org/project/pyvcloud have also been released.

Container Service Extension (CSE) 1.2

Along with the new vCloud Director release, a new version of the Container Service Extension (CSE) has been published on GitHub: https://github.com/vmware/container-service-extension

This new version of CSE includes:

  • Support for Kubernetes Version 1.10
  • Implementation of Static Persistent Volumes via NFS
  • Documentation improvements
  • Security and Bug Fixes

References

Find the Release Notes of vCloud Director 9.5 here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vCloud-Director-for-Service-Providers/9.5/rn/vmware-vcloud-director-for-service-providers-95-release-notes.html

For more information about VMware vCloud Director visit the product pages at
https://www.vmware.com/products/vcloud-director.html

For vCloud Director case studies, whitepapers, customer testimonials, and more visit https://www.cloudsolutions.vmware.com/

Access the documentation for vCloud Director software at https://docs.vmware.com/en/vCloud-Director/index.html

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VMware vCloud Director 9.5 – The New Features in Detail

vCloud DirectorVMware vCloud Director allows seamless provisioning and consumption of VMware vSphere resources in a cloud model. With the recently released version, vCloud Director 9.5 provides a lot of enhancements and new features in networking, user experience, operations and automation areas.

In this article, we will have a closer look at these improvements.

 

HTML5 Tenant Portal Enhancements

Version 9 of vCloud Director introduced a new tenant-facing web portal based on HTML5 technology, so tenant users do not need a Flash browser plugin anymore. In vCloud Director 9.5, the HTML5 Tenant Portal now has feature parity with the legacy flash-based Flex client.HTML5 Tenant UIWhile the HTML5 provider UI is also growing in functionality, some provider administrative tasks are still only available through the flash-based client.

Cross-OrgVDC and Multi-Site Cross-VDC Networking

vCloud Director 9.5 supports stretched L2 networks across OrgVDCs, backed by a NSX Universal Transport Zone. This allows Cloud Providers to offer better support for:

  • Distributed applications and resource pooling across data centers
  • Application-level redundancy or clustering across different data centers (OrgVDCs)
  • Disaster Recovery scenarios

Cross-VDC Networking       

The OrgVDCs connected to the stretched L2 network can even be managed by different vCloud Director installations, if they are associated using the existing multi-site capabilities.

The Cloud Provider sets up the cross-vCenter networking in NSX, creates the Universal Transport Zone(s), and (to span multiple vCD installations) associates the vCD sites.

The tenant administrator then can create a stretched network and select active and stand-by egress points through the Tenant UI, and see the created cross-VDC network architecture in a diagram in the UI.

As usual in vCloud Director, the Cross-VDC networking functionality is, of course, also available through API.

Initial Support for NSX-T

vCloud Director 9.5 is the first version to support NSX-T, which can be combined with the existing support for NSX-V in the same vCloud Director installation. You can add a NSX-T Manager and the corresponding vCenter(s) as a resource in vCD (via API) and create a Provider VDC (PVDC) that is backed by NSX-T.

All the hosts in these vCenters then have to be manually prepared with the DPDK switch, and a network pool for each OrgVDC has to be created manually.
From this the network configuration on tenant side is the same as with NSX-V, vCloud Director is just consuming the pre-created objects from NSX-T.

Enhanced Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

vCloud Director 9.5 contains a redesigned (but backwards compatible) multi-tenant Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) system. It is possible for the Cloud Provider to create Global Tenant Roles and Rights Bundles.

Global Roles in vCDGlobal Tenant Roles:

System administrators can create and edit global tenant roles and publish them to one or more organizations. Global tenant roles can be assigned to tenant users in the organizations to which they are published. Organization administrators cannot edit global tenant roles.

Rights Bundles:

System administrators can use rights bundles to manage the rights that are available to each organization. A rights bundle is a set of rights that the system administrator can publish to one or more organizations. The system administrator can create and publish rights bundles that correspond to tiers of service, separately monetizable functionality, or any other arbitrary rights grouping. Only system administrators can view and manage the rights bundles. You can publish multiple bundles to the same organization.

Tenant Self-Service RBAC

For the tenant administrator, it is possible to define their own tenant specific roles in the Tenant UI. This allows self-service management of permissions for tenant users by their own administrators, without the need of Cloud Provider involvement.

Tenant RBAC

 

vCloud Director Appliance

vCloud Director is being installed as a binary .bin file, that must be installed on a supported Linux operating system. To simplify the installation and maintenance of a vCloud Director cell, as of vCloud Director 9.5 there is an OVA based appliance available, based on the Photon 2.0 operating system. The appliance contains the vCloud Director cell and can be directly deployed to an ESXi host using the vSphere Client.

Prerequisites for using the vCloud Director 9.5 .ova Appliance:

  • An external DB exists and is ready for vCD to use it.
  • An NFS server exists with an export setup to be used as the server group’s transfer space.
  • A load balancer that will stand in front of the cells.
  • The appliance does not contain an AMQP server or a Cassandra database.

IPv6 Support

vCloud Director 9.5 introduces support for IPv6 for:

  • Guest Virtual Machines
  • External networks
  • Org VDC networks
  • vApp networks
  • VMs can connect to physical IPv6 networks.
  • Static IPv6 routing, NAT 64 and firewall

New Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator

With vCloud Director 9.5, there is a new plugin for vRealize Orchestrator available. This new plugin allows workflows to interact with the latest version of the vCD API (version 31.0). This enables the workflow developer to automate all the new functionality in vCD 9.5.

The new plugin version supports multi-site vCD environments, so workflows can be executed on connections to normal as well as on multi-site enabled vCD connections.

Due to the changes in the API, some Actions have been modified, so existing custom workflows have to be reviewed and the current version of the Action re-added if needed (for details see the Release Notes of the vRO Plugin for vCloud Director).

The list of changed Actions can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Orchestrator/9.5/com.vwmare.using.vcd.plugin.doc-95/GUID-FDCB8232-5ECC-4A7D-958D-4A6B1955D5B1.html

API and SDK Enhancements

vCloud Director 9.5 introduces a new version 31.0 of the vCloud API, adding new functionality like oAuth 2.0 SSO support and an API to change of ownership of catalog items.

Support for vCloud API versions less or equal than version 19.0 has been removed, API versions 20.0 to 26.0 are deprecated in vCloud Director 9.5.

Additionally, some APIs are marked for “Advanced Depreciation” (these will be removed in next version, as they are note needed anymore):

POST /admin/org/{orgId}/role/{id}/action/relinkToTemplate Relink a role to the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/org/{orgId}/role/{id}/action/unlinkFromTemplate Unlink a role from the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/role/{id}/action/relinkToTemplate Relink a role to the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/role/{id}/action/unlinkFromTemplate Unlink a role from the template specified by its defaultRoleId.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/disable Disable a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/enable Enable a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/prepare Prepare a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/repair Repair a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/unprepare Unprepare a host.
POST /admin/extension/host/{id}/action/upgrade Upgrade the vCloud Director host agent on a host after you have upgraded vCloud Director software.

With the new API version, the Python SDK (Latest Version 20.0.0) https://pypi.org/project/pyvcloud and the VCD-CLI (Latest Version 21.0.0) https://pypi.org/project/pyvcloud have also been released.

Container Service Extension (CSE) 1.2

Along with the new vCloud Director release, a new version of the Container Service Extension (CSE) has been published on GitHub: https://github.com/vmware/container-service-extension

This new version of CSE includes:

  • Support for Kubernetes Version 1.10
  • Implementation of Static Persistent Volumes via NFS
  • Documentation improvements
  • Security and Bug Fixes

References

Find the Release Notes of vCloud Director 9.5 here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vCloud-Director-for-Service-Providers/9.5/rn/vmware-vcloud-director-for-service-providers-95-release-notes.html

For more information about VMware vCloud Director visit the product pages at
https://www.vmware.com/products/vcloud-director.html

For vCloud Director case studies, whitepapers, customer testimonials, and more visit https://www.cloudsolutions.vmware.com/

Access the documentation for vCloud Director software at https://docs.vmware.com/en/vCloud-Director/index.html

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HA Futures: Per VM Admission Control – Part 4 of 4 – (Please comment!)

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As admission control hasn’t evolved in the past years, we figured we would include another potential Admission Control change. Right now when you define admission control you do this cluster-wide. You can define you want to tolerate 1 failure for instance, but some VMs simply may be more important than other VMs. What do you do in that case?

Well if that is the case then with today’s implementation you are stuck. This became very clear when customers started using the vSAN policies and defined different “failures to tolerate” for different workloads, it just makes sense. But as mentioned, HA does not allow you to do this. So our proposal is the following: Per VM FTT Admission Control.

In this case you would be able to define Host Failures To Tolerate on a per VM basis. This would provide a couple of benefits in my opinion:

  • You can set a higher Host Failures To Tolerate for critical workloads, increasing the chances of being to restart them when a failure has occurred
  • Aligning the HA Host Failures To Tolerate with the vSAN Host Failures To Tolerate, resulting in similar availability from a compute and storage point of view
  • Lower resource fragmentation by providing on a per VM basis Admission Control, even when using “slot based algorithm”
  • Of course you can use the new admission control types as mentioned in my earlier post.

Hopefully that is clear, and hopefully, it is a proposal you appreciate. Please leave a comment if you find this useful, or if you don’t find this useful. Please help shape the future of HA!

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VMware vCloud Usage Insight is now Available!

VMware vCloud Usage Insight, a SaaS tool that works with the latest version of vCloud Usage Meter, is now available!

 

Announced at VMworld in August 2018, vCloud Usage Insight provides automated usage reporting, simple onboarding, secure data transfer and aggregation of usage across all contracts and sites. vCloud Usage Insight is available free of charge.

 

vCloud Usage Meter helps Cloud Providers access VMware resources on a consumption-based monthly subscription. With the latest version of vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.1, Cloud Providers are entitled to vCloud Usage Insight.

 

As a reminder, the key benefits of vCloud Usage Insight are:

⇒ Saves Time: With automatic upload to Business Portal and eliminate manual tasks

⇒ Provide Aggregation: Automatically aggregates usage across all sites

⇒ Increases Accuracy: With automatic aggregation & upload, take advantage of increased accuracy, eliminating human errors

⇒ Retain Full control: All usage information can be reviewed, edited and updated in Business Portal before hitting submit

 

Here are quick videos and links to get started with vCloud Usage Insight:

1. Introduction to vCloud Usage Insight:

2. Getting Started with vCloud Usage Insight:

3. Add and manage registrations for vCloud Usage Insight:

4. Sign up for vCloud Usage Insight from the microsite today!

Sign up for Usage Insight

 

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VMware Cloud Provider Hub is ready for VMworld Barcelona 2018! Are you?

Cloud Provider Hub

Announced at VMworld US in August 2018, the new VMware Cloud Provider Hub, is a central portal built to dramatically help providers onboard and manage the delivery and management of both VMware and third-party cloud services.

Building on this momentum, we are excited for VMworld Europe as we unveil more opportunities to learn about the Cloud Provider Hub!

 

We have a lot coming up for you to stay plugged in on Cloud Provider Hub including its upcoming General Availability in November 2018! Stay tuned!

 

Watch out for the following ways to stay informed about the Hub at VMworld Europe!

  1. Partner Advisory Council for VMware XaaS where the VMware Product teams would be interacting with 50+ partners discussing the challenges faced by partners in offering managed services across multiple clouds and help shape the future of Cloud Provider Hub as a single central console for consuming VMware XaaS services and offering managed services across clouds.

 

  1. Session Topic: New VMware Cloud Provider Hub – Centralized Provider Portal for VMware Cloud Services
    Session Start Date/Time:
    Nov-06-2018 03:30 PM
    Session End Date/Time: Nov-06-2018 04:30 PM
    Abstract:
    With multi-cloud strategy becoming mainstream, enterprises are leveraging the services of cloud service providers to provision, operate, and support multi-cloud solutions.This session highlights the importance of the fast-growing managed services market in the multi-cloud world, and how cloud service providers can leverage VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Services to offer managed services for enterprises. Find out how the new VMware Cloud Provider Hub enables cloud service providers to operate and manage services across multiple tenants, manage their usage and billing, and offer support. Using this platform, providers can offer value-added managed services leveraging VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Services, third-party services, and custom services in a multitenant model.

 

  1. Session Topic: Multi Cloud Services with VCPP MSP – with Shanky Chandra Gowri
    Session Start Date/Time: Nov-06-2018 11:15 AM
    Session End Date/Time: Nov-06-2018 12:00 PM
    Abstract: Discussion on multi-cloud services with VMware Cloud Provider Hub, VMware Cloud on AWS, and VMware Log Intelligence

 

If you are at VMworld Europe 2018, stop by at one of these sessions to learn more from our experts and stay informed about the Cloud Provider Hub! See you there!

Learn more about VCPP program events for VMworld Europe 2018 here:  https://cloudsolutions.vmware.com/vmworld

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