vCloud Director 1.5 step by step (Part1: Pre-requisite)

I have finally come back to this, as I have been planning to do this for a while. I have for a while wanted to document how to create your own small vCloud environment maybe for a lab, demo, or just testing the product and learning how its setup. I have lately put different scattered vCloud Director 1.5 articles, but they were in no sequence. I thought maybe I should create a vCloud Director 1.5 environment creation tutorial then build and add links to my other vCloud Director articles to it. OK, lets start.

Before you even start by thinking about creating a vCloud environment, there is pre-requisite that you need to meet. I am pretty sure you were expecting this is coming. Below is what you should have before hand to be able to continue with the below tutorial.

VMware vCloud Director 1.5 setup pre-requisite:

- vSphere Infrastructure: to setup vCloud Director, you will need to have a vSphere Infrastructure in place. You can achieve this with one vCenter and one ESXi host(5.0 recommended, 4.0 U2 or greater required), but I would recommend you at lease use two ESXi host to avoid the fuzz of having to install the vCloud Director agent manually, if you have to stick with a single host then you might want to check the following post during the vCloud Director agent installation stage: Installing vCloud Director Agent Manually. You will require vSphere Enterprise License, but I would recommend to get vSphere Enterprise Plus as its required to utilize Distributed Switches which play big role in most vCloud Director environments. Below are just my lab setup that I will use during creating this tutorial:


- Database Server: Several components in vCloud Director environment require a database server including vCenter, vCloud Director, & vCenter Charge Back. MS SQL Server & Oracle Database Server are supported by these different components and would be a good choice. For this tutorial I will be using MS SQL 2008 R2 running on Windows 2008 R2. I will be using the same database server to setup my vCenter, vCloud Director & vCenter chargeback databases.

- DNS Server: Make sure you have a DNS Server and that you setup a forward as well reverse look up for each component involved in your vCloud Director setup. For my setup I am using my Active Directory server to provide my DNS Service.

- NTP Server: Make sure you have a functional NTP server in your environment, as time synchronization is quite critical for a VMware vCloud Director environment.  Further, make sure each server you use in building your vCloud Director environment is setup to sync with your NTP Server including your vCenter and ESXi servers.

- Shared Storage: You will require a shared storage for your VMs to live in specially if you are using more than 1 ESXi host to run your VMs. For my lab I am using a StarWind iscsi software storage which you can easily get a free trail of it and use it for the purpose of creating a shared storage. Though any shared storage will work including NFS.

- Network: Make sure you have a set of IPs available to you to use, as well you reserve few VLANs (at least one if you are using VCDNI where more is needed if you will be using VLAN-Backed or PortGroup-Backed Network pool).

- Software CDs & Keys: Make sure you download vCloud Director components (vCloud Director Server, vShield Edge Manager) as well vCenter Charge back before you start.

- RedHat VMs: Prepare one/two Redhat 5.4-5.7 VMs depend on if you want to create a single or multi Cell vCloud Director setup. For this tutorial I will be using Redhat 5.6. Use the default setup while installing RedHat beside disabling Redhat Firewall as well SELinux to easy your setup.

Installing vShield Manager

Before you install vCloud Director, you will need to prepare your vShield Manager. Below are the steps you will need to import and carry out the initial configuration of vShield Manager to prepare it for vCloud Director installation.

  1. From vCenter file menu choose Deploy OVF Template
  2. Follow the wizard to import the downloaded vShield Manager Appliance
  3. Power on the vShield Manager appliance after deployment has been completed.
  4. Access the vShield Manager Console to perform initial configuration of the vShield Manager Appliance (Default credentials: User: admin password: default)
  5. Enter Privileged mode by typing ‘enable’ password is ‘default’
  6. Type ‘setup’ <– to start the setup of the newly deployed vShield Manager. Enter the vShield Manager IP Configuration information as per the example below:
      • IP Address:
      • Netmask:
      • default gateway:
      • Primary DNS:
      • DNS Domain search list:
  7. When satisfied with the configuration, save it and once returned to the prompt – logout by typing ‘exit’
  8. Wait for at least 5 minutes before proceeding to allow sufficient time for the vShield Manager Services to start
  9. Although not required, its recommended to change the username & password for the vShield Manager web interface as well the enable password. The below steps show just how to do that, though for a lab purpose you can skip this if you like and stick to the defaults. (Default user name and passwords for the vShield are u:admin p:default)

      1.  Changing the vShield Manager Console enable Password
        1. Login to the vShield Manager Console using the default username and password (admin/default)
        2. Elevate to privilege mode by typing ‘enable’
        3. Use ‘default’ for the password when prompted for it
        4. Type  ‘configure terminal’
        5. Type ‘enable password VMware1!’   <== Note VMware1! is the password I have chosen in here and you can change that to a password of your liking
        6. Type ‘end’ to end the configuration session
        7. Type ‘write’ to save the configuration
        8. Type exit to logout of the vShield Manager Console
        9. wait a minute or two and try to login to the console again and then try to elevate your privileges using the enable command and test your new password.

    Note: The above procedure will only change the vShield Manager enable password, but not the initial login password. Therefore when you login to the vShield Manager console and asked for the login credentials you will still use the defaults, but when you try to get to the privileged mode using the enable command that when you use your new password that you have just setup. There is no easy way to change the vShield Manager default username/password at the moment.

          1. Changing the vShield Manager Web Interface password
            1. Open your browser to assuming you named your vShield Manager vshieldmgr01
            2. Use the default username and password to login (admin/default)
            3. Click on the top ‘Users’ Tab
            4. Click on the admin user, then click edit
            5. Enter the desire password for the admin user
            6. After changing the password of the admin user log out of the web interface wait for a minute then login again with the new password to test.


OK, this is it for part one of this tutorial. Other parts will follow shortly, so keep tuned.

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