Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Configuring RabbitMQ’s queues for VMware vCloud Director

 If you are not following my vCloud adventure, I suggest you go back and read the first post about it ; )

In this post I will cover how to create and configure a RabbitMQ’s queue to receive the messages generated by VMware vCloud Director.

 Since vCloud Director does not communicate, natively, with vCenter Orchestrator, we need some component exchanging information between them, this component, RabbitMQ, will act between VMware vCloud Director and vCenter Orchestrator, exchanging messages about the VMs, so whenever some VM is created on vCloud, it’s information is published on RabbitMQ, so Orchestrator can consume this message and act based on your needs.

 For this integration to work you have to create, within RabbitMQ, an Exchange, a kind of post office that will receive all the messages, and a Queue, a kind of a mailbox, it’s where the messages will be standing up until it’s has been gathered by it’s owner, or should I say it’s application ?!?!?
Let’s go through it

I won’t cover RabbitMQ installation here because it’s very well documented on it’s website: here’s the link for the installation details

Once installed, open RabbitMQ main page and click on “Exchanges”
Then click on “Add a new Exchange”

 Give it a name and select the Exchange Type as “Topic”, leave the other fields as it is and click “Add Exchange”

If you want to learn more about Exchange’s Types, check it in here.  

Click on “Queues”
Then click on “Add a new Queue”

Give it a name, leave the other fields as it is and click “Add Queue”

 Click on the recently created Queue

 Click on “Bindings”

 Fill the bindings details as bellow and click “Bind”

 As a Routing Key use true.#.com.vmware.vcloud.event.vm.create

The Routing Key will tell what messages will be sent from the Exchange to the Queue.
In this case this queue will receive only messages about VMs successfully created.
if you need to act based on other events, confirm the notification message format.

That’s it, RabbitMQ is ready to start receiving message notification from vCloud Director about the successfully creation of VMs.

In the next post I will show you how to configure VMware vCloud to send messages to RabbitMQ.

See you next week.

Monday, October 21, 2013

VMware vCloud Director and vSphere Metrocluster

vSphere Metrocluster or as sometimes knows as Stretched Cluster is a vSphere architecture design that decreases recovery time when disaster/downtime avoidance is a key requirement.
It’s based on the concept that you have your computer resources split between sites and some storage replication between them (to keep the data up-to-date).
To avoid some extra network and storage traffic over the link between the sites, VMware recommends the creation of some site affinity rules, defining a preferably site for each VM, that way the VM will be running just within the hosts of it’s preferable site, exception are made during disasters, on these cases the VMs will be restarted on any available host, no matter what site it’s in.

When you have VM’s creation control, you create the VM you choose what’s preferable site and assign it to the affinity group, so far so good.

Now with the dissemination of cloud environments, automation and self service, the virtualization team does not have the VM’s creation control anymore, they are being created anytime by several people/departments or even other organizations .

Let’s through vCloud Director into the Mix, DRS affinity groups is something vCenter related, your clients are creating VM’s through vCloud Portal, which abstracts vCenter concepts and details, they don’t even have access to vCenter, so vCloud is not aware of vCenter DRS affinity groups !!!!

How do you keep your Metrocluster environment running as it was designed to be ?

VMware’s answer for integrations between applications that do not, natively, communicate with each other is vCenter Orchestrator.
If you don’t know about it yet, VMware has a good Orchestrator’s blog, check it out!!

The idea behind this solution is that VM’s creation from vCloud can be intercepted analyzed and assigned to DRS affinity groups automatically,

Might a diagram helps to understand better how it works

1.     Through vCloud Portal, the client provisions a new vApp/VM;
2.     vCloud Director requests the VM’s provisioning to VMware vCenter;
3.     vCloud Director publishes the new VM information to the messaging queue;
4.     vCenter Orchestrator consumes the message;
5.     vCenter Orchestrator identify the VM and choose which group it should belongs to;
6.     vCenter Orchestrator sends a requisition to vCenter to change the DRS affinity group membership;
7.     vCenter add the new VM to the defined affinity group.

WOW how cool is that ?!?

On the next posts I will show you the details about how to implement a solution like that:

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 11, 2013

vCNS Manager Step by Step

VMwarevCloud Network and Security (vCNS), also used to be called vShield, provides network and network services for virtual environments like VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Director.
vCNS leverages routing services through  vCNS Edge, which also provides firewalling, NAT, VPN, DHCP, VXLAN, You can also implement an agentless antivirus solution with vCNS Endpoint, all of that in a matter of minutes.
But the management of all these services are handle by a single component, vCNS Manager.
I know there is a lot of information about how to implement it out there, but for my own records and why not help others, I’d like to create my own step by step procedure on how to install vCNS Manager.

First download the appliance from VMware Web site
Yes you heard it right!! It’s a virtual appliance, easy to implement, I bet you are already enjoying it ; )

From vSphere Client start the process of deploying the appliance
- Select the OVF file you just downloaded and click Next

- Review the details and click Next

- Accept the EULA and click Next
- Give it a name and select the Datacenter where to deploy it. Click Next

- Select the Cluster where to deploy it and click Next
- Select the Resource Pool where to deploy it and click Next
- Select the Datastore where to store the vCNS Manager disks and click Next
- Select the Disk Format and click Next
Thin disk is perfectly OK for vCNS Manager.

- Select the correct Port Group for the appliance and click Next

- Review the Information and click Finish

The deploy will just starts up and a progress bar will be shown

Once deployed we need to configure it.

Throug vSphere Client open vCNS Manager console.
Login in with User: Admin and password: default
Run enable command to enter into a privileged session
Run setup to start the configuration script
- fill with your network information
allow at least few minutes before attempting to configure it. So the appliance can starts all it’s services .

Once Configure you can access it through your WebBrowser. ( https://”vCNS-Manager" )
- Login again with the above credentials to finish the configuration

Let’s starting changing this default password
- Click on the Change Password link

Type a new password and click OK.

At the main page, you have the option to configure several parameters, while some of them are not required, I strongly advise to configure them all.
- Click on the Edit button to starting configuring each one of them

Obviously vCenter Server is the critical one.
- Click on Edit and then fill the information about your vCenter server and a credential with Administrator privileges on it. Click OK.

- Just click Yes on the certificate warning

Now we just need to license the product.
- On the Licenses page select vCloud Network and Security, right click on it and select change license key.

- Just pick up the right license and click OK

That’s all folks !!!  
Easy, right ?!?!  You are now ready to start creating your own virtual network services.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Send VMware's support logs functionality restored

A few days ago vCenter Support Assistance has faced an issue that broke it’s ability to send logs to VMware, remember here…

VMware was quick to provide a fix for that, they also released some news capabilities and a bunch of other minor fixes.
For all the details take a look at the Release Notes

 - Attach ANY file type to your support case.
- No more size limitation of your logs.
- Automatically failback to HTTPs when FTP is not available to transmit data. (Despite de fact FTP is the recommended protocol to send logs, in some companies,  it might not be allowed and the only option would be to use HTTPs instead).

If you still have no idea what vCenter Support Assistance is about, take a look at the video bellow:

Who am I

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I’m an IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infrastructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Consulting Architect, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them successfully on their journey. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opinion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinions. Reach me at @dumeirell

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