VMware vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client Plug-in is here

VMware has just announced vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client Plug-in which will help VMware customers manage their VMs in VMware Hybrid Service the same way they manage their vSphere environment right from inside their vSphere Client (Only Web Client as you would guessed), which should increase administrators efficiency and reduce the time of learning a new interface as they will get to use the vSphere familiar interface to manage their VMs in the Cloud. vSphere Client will be your single pane of glass to VMs running in your datacenter and in VMware Hybrid Service. This is such a great achievement and will complement VMware Hybrid Cloud story.

vCHS vSphere Client Plug-in

vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client plug-in extends the familiar vSphere Web Client UI to vCloud Hybrid Service. With the vCHS plugin, from within the vSphere Client, customers can:

  • View and administer Dedicated Cloud and Virtual Private Cloud instances on vCHS
  • Browse, create and modify each cloud instance and manage its inventory of virtual data centers, gateways, and networks
  • Deploy virtual machines using catalog templates and modify existing VMs
  • Receive automatic updates on any changes made to their account via vCHS web portal

Resources:

Requirements:

  • vSphere Web Client 5.5  (No C+ Client)
  • vCloud Hybrid Service account with VPC or Dedicated cloud
  • Compatible Browsers:
    •   Windows: Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer
    • Mac: Chrome and Safari   (VMs Console Access does not work on Mac)
    • Linux: Firefox and Chrome

Demos:

Enjoy the new enhanced Experience of VMware vCloud Hybrid Service!

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vCloud Director VM Customization joining domain fail

Joining VMs to the domain is a part of vCloud Director VMs customization process. While configuring the guest customization screen for your VMs in vCloud Director to join the domain is a straight forward & easy process, there seems to be many situations where VMs just fail to join the domain as a part of the Windows VM customization process. The below list will help you try to pin point the problem and fix it as quickly as possible.

- First of all make sure to use DHCP for your IP assignment rather than Static IP Pool, as DHCP is a requirement for the vCloud Director Customization to be able to join VMs to the domain. This is pointed out in the following KB: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1026326, while I agree it could have been nice if it was stated a bit more clearly.

This seems to be the most missed issue with getting VMs to join the domain using the vCloud Director Customization, the reason it does not work with Static IP Pool, is that Sysprep reset the IP of the machine before joining the domain which has forced VMware to get the customization script to inject the IP of the Static IP pool after the joining the domain step is being completed by the Sysprep.… Read More

VMware vCloud Director Stuck While Canceling Task

I have a customer who called me yesterday for having a task in vCloud Director that has been stuck in the cancelling stage for over a month. The problem has started after a power outage they had in their datacenter. vCloud Director is operating just fine, just that particular task was doing nothing and in reality it was cancelled but in the vCloud GUI it kept saying “Cancelling Copy” as shown in the below screenshot.

vCloud Director Stuck on Canceling Copy

My customer was bugged by this and wanted to get rid of this message in his vCloud Director GUI, which we were able to do successfully by following the below procedure. Please note the following procedure will take your vCloud Director Portal down for few minutes, so you probably want to schedule it during an outage.  At a high level what is the below procedure will be doing is gracefully shutting down the vCD Cells then bringing them up, which should clean up any stuck cancellation tasks. Below is a step by step of how to do so:

  1. Log in to the target vCloud Director cells using SSH as root.
  2. Navigate to $VCLOUD_HOME/bin/ (typically /opt/vmware/cloud-director /bin/ ).
  3. Retrieve the current job status. This cell-management-tool command line supplies system administrator credentials and returns the count of running jobs (i.e.
  4. Read More

Configuring vCloud Director Provider SSO Federation

If you have already took the effort to build your vCenter Single Sign On server while upgrading to vSphere 5.1, then it might be worth while to benefit of it to unify your login to vCloud Director. Wouldn’t be nice if you don’t have to enter your credential separately for vCloud Director after you have already logged on to your vSphere Web Client or the opposite. Is not this the idea behind including SSO in vSphere 5.1. In this blog post, I will share with you the exact instructions on how to configure your vCloud Director to utilize vCenter SSO to login vCloud Admins to the system.

To configure vCloud Director 5.1.x provider SSO follow the below instructions:

  1. Log in to the vCloud Director as a system administrator.
  1. Navigate to Administration tab and select Federation under System Settings in the left pane.
  2. Under vSphere Services, click Register.
  1. Enter the following information, and click OK when done.
  1. Select Use vSphere Single Sign-On, and click Apply.
  2. Read More

How to get Redhat 6.2 Linux Second NIC to Ping

While trying to setup the Redhat Linux machine with two interfaces to install vCloud Director into it, I had some funny problem with my network cards configuration. I have not installed vCloud Director yet at that time, so I was sure it is some Redhat Linux or networking problem rather than vCloud Director in specific. The problem I had, that I was able to ping one of the two NICs IPs from a different subnet, where I could not get the second NIC which I was planning to use for vCloud Director Remote Console to ping. Other machines within the same subnet were able to ping both NICs IPs, while machines from other subnets can only ping the IP of the first NIC.

I checked my network cards configurations and confirmed it had a gateway configured into them, as that seemed to me to be nothing but a routing/default gateway configuration problem. After fuzzing for few hours with this problem and trying every trick that is known to mankind with routing on Linux, I landed on the following post How To Install vCloud Director on RHEL 6.2 – No GUI by Kenny Coleman which explain the solution to the same problem.

Seems after Kenny had spent a good time trying to fix the problem assuming it was a routing or default gateway problem like I did, he found out that RHEL6 by default has reverse path filtering.… Read More

The Order of vCloud Director 5.1 Upgrade Process

It seems there has been quite few articles that try to explain the vCloud Director 5.1 Upgrade Process out there in the blog sphere, but most of them focus on the steps on how to upgrade vCloud Director Cells and the Database. As many of them do quite good job at that, I am not going to re-invent the wheel and will just list few of them through this blog post. Though what seems to me missing of most of these articles is the order to carry out the vCloud Director environment components upgrade process in.

vCloud Director includes quite few moving parts and integrations, so you will need to ensure you upgrade all of these pieces in the correct order to avoid mixing incompatible products versions and wreck your vCloud environment. In such a situation, VMware interoperability matrix is your big friend and can be accessed at: http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide2/sim/interop_matrix.php?

Alright, Alright, you already know where to find the interoperability matrix, but still scratching your head which product to upgrade first & which one second. Do you upgrade vCenter Chargeback, vCloud Director, vCenter, or vShield first & in what order should you upgrade all of these components involved in your vCloud Solution.… Read More

Free VMware vCloud Director Video Training

Cloud Computing has been picking up for the past few year, and it seems to catch up with the way virtualization has been spreading up. VMware has been one of the leading companies enabling both public and private clouds. One of the main products helping our customers build their own Infrastructure As A Service Cloud or as many call it IAAS is vCloud Director. vCloud Director has added an extra abstract layer over virtualization & quite few terminologies that many customers are still not aware of and can get initially confused by it. For that VMware has released a series of videos that will help you pickup on vCloud Director quickly. Don’t miss them out they are really worth watching out & over all its free! These videos can be found at the following link: http://vmwarelearning.com/vcloud/ or for your convenience I have included them in this blog post below:
 
1- Learn vCloud Director Concepts and Architecture in the below video:
 

 
2- Installing vCloud Director 1.5 Video

 

 

3- Creating Provider Resources in vCloud Director
 

 

4- Creating Organizations in vCloud Director
 

 
5- Creating Organization Resources Part 1 in vCloud Director
 

 
6- Creating Organization Resources Part 2 in vCloud Director
 

 
7- Creating and Populating Catalogs in vCD
 

 
8- Building a vApp in vCloud Director
 

 
9-Creating vShield Edge Firewall Rules
 

 
10- Creating Site-to-Site VPNs
 

 
11- Creating Static Routes.… Read More

vCloud Director joining VMs to specific Active Directory Domain OU

While VMware vCloud Director 1.5.1 has a lot of flexibility, one thing it seems missing is getting VMs to join a specific OU in Active Directory Domain. Making your vApps VMs join a particular domain is quite easy using the vCloud Director web interface. All you have to do is to configure your domain information in your vCD, then configure the join domain parameters as showing in the below screenshot.

vCloud Director Guest customization joining AD
While configuring vCD to a level where it get vAPP VMs to join a specific Active Directory Domain is a straight forward task, getting those vAPP VMs to join in a specific OU require a bit more work and can be challenging for a first time vCD user. Actually vCD 1.5.1 does not have that capability out of the box by just using the web interface, but you will have to integrate it with vCO or create your own domain joining script.

Note: This has changed in vCD 5.1 & now you can do it directly from the GUI though if you still using vCD 1.5.x then please utilize the instruction below.

While many admins will panic when they hear that they have to create their script, in this scenario its easy enough that every one should be able to complete the task in less than 10 minutes.… Read More

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.… Read More

vCloud Director 1.5.1 not showing Blocking Tasks

I have been doing some testing lately with vCloud Director 1.5.1 & working with blocking tasks was one of them. I have configured blocking tasks for “Instantiate vApp from Template”, so the task of deploying a vApp will be blocked and I get to approve it before continuing as shown in the below screen shot.

VMware vCloud Director blocking tasks

Although when ever I tested to deploy a vAPP the vAPP deployment was blocked and give a “pending processing” status as expected and showing in the screen shot below, I could not see the task anywhere under my blocking tasks.

VMware vCD Blocking vApp pending processing

Below is a screen shot of my blocking tasks which is oddly did not show up any pending tasks, although I am sure I had one in there as you can see from the above screenshot.

vCloud Director blocking taks no pending processing

This is was kinda shocking to me at first, as I knew this was showing earlier in vCloud Director 1.5 at my home lab. After communicating to few colleagues in VMware, I have discovered that vCloud Director 1.5.1 is having this kinda of behavior when initiating the task as a system admin user. Its important to note though that it work just fine if you initiate your actions as an Org admin or user.… Read More

How to move vCloud Director Database to a different SQL Sever?

Ofter after you complete the implementation of your vCD you discover that your company need to decommission the MS Sql server you installed the database of you VMware vCloud Director Database on. This is only one reason why you would have to move a vCloud Director SQL Database to a new Database server, but everyday I learn a new reason from a different customer. What ever your reason to move your vCD DB to a new server, the below procedure is how you do it.

Note: This example assume your DB name is vCloud, make sure you use the database name instead. I have marked it in read when ever it used so you can modify the code with ease.

1- Shutdown your vCD Service using the following command: Service VMware-VCD Stop

2- Move your vCD SQL Database to your new SQL Server using the below steps:

a- Detach your vCD database from your old SQL Server using the

  USE master
GO
ALTER DATABASE vcloud SET SINGLE_USER WITH ROLLBACK IMMEDIATE
GO
exec sp_detach_db ‘vcloud
GO

b- Copy your vCD Database files to your new SQL Server

copy E:\SQLData\vcloud.mdf \\VTvCDDB\E$\SQLData\vcloud.mdf
copy E:\SQLLogs\vcloud.ldf \\VTvCDDB\E$\SQLLogs\vcloud.ldf

c- Attach your vCD Database to your new SQL Server

USE master;
GO
EXEC sp_attach_db @dbname = N’vcloud‘,
@filename1 = NE:\SQLData\vcloud.mdf’,
@filename2 = N’E:\SQLLogs\vcloud.ldf’ ;
GO

d- Create a new login user on your destination SQL Server

USE master
GO
exec sp_addlogin ‘vcloud‘, ‘******’, ‘vcloud

e- Assign user required access to the DB

USE [vcloud]
GO
– exec sp_change_users_login ‘Report’
EXEC sp_change_users_login ‘Update_One’, ‘vcloud‘, ‘vcloud
GO

3- Configure your VMware vCloud Director to use the new SQL Server.Read More

Make sure to include the port number after SQL host name when setting up VMware vCD 1.5.1 using SQL

While setting up VMware vCloud Director  1.5 using MS SQL Server, you will need to enter the SQL Server & database information during the configuration phase of the setup. Although during the configuration wizard you are asked which port SQL Use and the answer to that is given to be “default” which you will assume it will revert to the correct MS SQL Server port 1433, it does not to work out that way in vCloud Director 1.5.1 for some reason. To avoid having a problem with the setup, I would recommend you do the following when answering the database info in the vCloud Director wizard.

vCloud Director 1.5.1 setup tip when using MS SQL Server

- Add the port 1433 after the MS SQL server host name when asked for the SQL Server Hostname so your answer for that field will look something like this:   MSSQLSVR001.VT.com:1433

- Change the SQL port from default to 1433

OK, wondering what error you will get if you don’t do that. Actually the installation will complete successfully, though the vCloud Director web page will not load. Further in the vcloud-container-debug.log log file under /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs you will see errors like showing below:

VMware vCloud Director 1.5.1.622844, Eastern Standard Time, vcloud.VT.com (192.168.2.15)
2012-06-12 18:01:36,017 | INFO | Start Level Event Dispatcher | ServiceInitializationTracker | Application startup begins: 6/12/12 6:01 PM |
2012-06-12 18:01:36,261 | DEBUG | Start Level Event Dispatcher | EncryptionManager | EncryptionManager configured with system key.
Read More

How to Add a Second vCloud Director Cell

I have been lately seeing the question of how to add a Second vCloud Director Cell to an existing single Cell VMware vCloud Director Setup to build a multi-cell vCloud Director raising often. Actually the question seems to get to phrased differently by different people. The most heard question, is how to increase the availability of my vCloud Director server or how to cluster my VMware vCloud Director server. Well, vCloud Director it self does not really support or use clustering for high availability. On the other hand, you can create a multi-cell vCloud Director setup and load balance between your vCloud Director Cells which will help you achieve both a higher availability  & better scalability of your vCloud Director environment. In this article I will cover in step by step how to add a second vCloud Director Cell to your vCloud Director environment, though I will not cover up configuring the load balancer part as that can be widely different for each load balancer vendor.

The steps below assume that you have already mounted an NFS share on your first vCloud Director Cell while creating it per best practice even if you were not planning for a second vCloud Director Cell at that time.… Read More

Manually installing the vCloud Director Agent on ESXi 5 / vSphere 5

Playing with my vCloud Director lab lately, I have end up with a trouble adding one of my ESXi 5 hosts to my vCloud Director 1.5 due to an error installing the vCloud Director agent. I knew I have used the same host with beta install of vCloud Director before, & that could be the reason why the agent is missing up. Of course, I could have re-installed the ESXi host in 15 minutes and be back on track, but I decided to burn sometime trying to figure out how to fix it without re-installing it. I was able to achieve that by uninstalling the earlier installed vCloud Agent then Install the new vCloud Agent. Doing it in vSphere 4 & vSphere 4.1 was well document in KB2003486, but not how to manually install and uninstall the vCloud agent on vSphere 5. After digging it for a bit, below is how I have done it in case you need it.

1- Enter my ESXi 5 host into maintenance mode

2- SSH login to my ESXi host

3- Uninstall the older vCloud Agent from the host using the following command: esxcli software vib remove -n vcloud-agent

4- Copy the vCloud Agent for vSphere 5 from the vCloud Director servers found at: /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/agent/    using the following command:

scp vcloudagent-1.5.0-453916.zip root@192.168.2.254:/tmp

5- Manually install the new vCloud Director Agent on your ESXi 5  host using the below command:


esxcli software vib install – -depot /tmp/vcloudagent-1.5.0-453916.zip

Note: the above command assume the you have the vCloud Agent in /tmp

The above should do the trick if you are using ESXi 5, if you are using ESXi 4/4.1 then you can follow KB2003486 though for the completion of this article I will highlight the commands of doing it on vSphere 4/4.1 as well.… Read More

Enabling Long Distance Live Migration with F5 and VMware vMotion

As more and more companies offer different way of doing cloud computing, the concept it self is getting fuzzier to the consumer. Further, after VMware has prompted the idea of Hybrid Cloud Computing, many other companies have copied the road map as usual and started to talk about it as being the first to promote it. The funny part is when you look about how to move workload between the Private & Public cloud which was one of the matters discussed in VMware original Hyprid Cloud plan, you will find not much of an answer or plan at most vendors. VMware VCloud Connector was the first part of the answer to this strategy, but not yet the full solution. Things that are coming in the future should enable the workload to move across the Private and Public Cloud with zero downtime to enable a real Hybrid Cloud. This will require a long distance vmotion to work across datacenters. Today many solutions are out there to enable VMware Long Distance VMotion between datacenters, & it get me wondering how thing will look like when these are fully integrated with vCloud Director/vCloud Connector out of the box in the future. That seems to give us a real Hybrid Cloud Computing that we were talking about.… Read More

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