vCloud Director 10.0 is here!!

VMware vCloud Director 10

For those who were following VMware vCloud Director Evolution lately, it has been developing quite fast and new features have been added continuously at a none matched speed. The development vCloud Director had over the past couple of years just amaze me as has surpassed what was delivered in 6 years development cycle previously.

vCloud Director 10 Evolution over time

vCloud Director 10.0 is here! Below is a summary of what it’s bringing to the table. Tons of great features and enhancement and more to come as we progress.

Modernizing Cloud Operations and Improving Core Efficiency

  • VCD as Central Point of Management: added Admin and Tenant UI, listing of vCenter inventory
  • Events API
  • VCD Appliance: Enhancements in migration, HA, certificate mgmt. These are very important for those who are keen to move to the vCD Appliance which is the direction where vCloud Director is going in the future.
  • VRO Plugin: Enable Multi-tenancy in VRO plugin and VRO cluster support. This will take vCD extensibility to the next level.
  • Enhanced support for VM storage placement with SDRS: added support for intra-SPOD placement; improved support for: inter-SPOD placement, datastore + SPOD hybrid placement, named disks and linked clones’ placement
  • Upgrading the appliance using the default VMware repository
  • Template based deployments, New Template Repository.
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‘WIRE’ is a free self-paced learning platform to our Cloud Providers and Aggregation partners

VMware had released VMware WIRE for free to our Cloud Providers and Aggregators. It is a free self-paced learning platform with tons of amazing contents. WIRE offers VMware products and Solutions ennoblement for level (L100) sales level, (L200) Technical, and sometime (L300) Deep Technical. If you have been looking for great VCPP Training materials for your self or your team, here you have it and for free!

VMware Wire VCPP Solution Enablement Learning Path

WIRE is free for everyone to use and doesn’t require a partner central account. You can set up an account in the platform directly – please include all your details so we can put you in the correct team to serve you the correct content.

To use WIRE please login initially via http://bit.ly/SelfPacedWire where you can use a partner central account if you have one, or create one directly in WIRE, (again please remember to fill in all your details!) Once logged in you will be placed into the “VCPP Solution Enablement Learning Path” where you can view all the solution areas and various technologies within.

Watch the orientation course first and change your password so you can log back into WIRE, then save the URL or use http://bit.ly/GetEnabled for future access. If you have any questions on WIRE, you can contact: vcpp_gtm@vmware.com… Read More

VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 released

Creative Cloud Provider Pod

Great news, VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 has been released on January 31, 2019. Now the new release include a more recent versions of VMware Cloud Provider stack as below:

  • vSphere 6.7u1
  • vSAN 6.7u1
  • NSX 6.4.4
  • vCloud Director 9.5.0.1
  • vCloud Director Extender 1.1.0.2
  • vRealize Orchestrator 7.5
  • vRealize Operations 7.0, including Multi-Tenant App 2.0
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager – Cloud Pod Management Pack
  • vRealize Log Insight 4.7
  • vRealize Network Insight 4.0
  • Usage Meter 3.6.1

You can download the VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 at: Download Landing Page

For more information you can check the release notes at: Release Notes,  documentation link at: Documentation and the following blog post: https://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2019/01/cloud-provider-pod-1-1-is-out-now.html… Read More

vCD External Networks Creation fail: Gateway cannot be equal to the network definition

I have a Cloud Provider involving me lately, as they kept getting the error below every time they tried to create an External Network in vCloud Director 9.5.

“Gateway cannot be equal to the network definition”

Gateway cannot be equal to the network definition

It was an interesting error message especially in my customer case, where they were confident of providing the right information.  It was a very small mistake that can be easily missed by others. When the above error happened, they were not using the correct Network CIDR. My customer was using 192.168.1.0/24 where he should have been using 192.168.1.1/24. Changing the CIDR to the correct one as below fixed the issue! As it was one of those simple things that others can miss, I thought I will share!

vCD Network CIDR to fix External Network ErrorRead More

vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR capabilities is here!

Today, VMware has announced the long waited  vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.0. This is a thrilling news to many of our VCPP service providers partners who wanted a VMware native Cloud to Cloud DR/migration solution for vCloud Director based clouds.

vCloud Availability C2C

Below is few highlights of the newly introduced  vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR.

Simple Deployment:  vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR is delivered as a single Photon-based appliance with a full GUI driven installation. During the beta phase, service providers were able to get it operational in less than an hour! This is a game changer if you compare it to the previous more complex stretched cluster solution, that required specialized hardware.

Hardware Independant:  As the replication is completed in software, there is no hardware dependancy and the service provider can utilize the storage of their choice.

Self-Service: Self-service protection, failover, and failback workflows per virtual machine (VM)/vAPP is provided out of the box.

Modern Interface:  Simplified and easy to use modern HTML-5 interface. Further, it offers a Single, unified portal for both tenant and service provider users.

Multi-Tenant Support: vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR 1.0 is fully multi-tenant aware which integrate very well with the strong multi-tenanacy of vCloud Director

Symmetrical replication flow that can be started from either the source or the recovery vCloud Director site.The… Read More

vCD 9.1 Just Went GA with Great New Features

Although vCloud Director 9.1 is released less than 6 months after vCloud Director 9.0, it is packed with tons of enhancements and new features. It is hard to believe it is just a minor release. Below is a recap of the top feature of the vCD 9.0 release:

HTML 5 Tenant Portal Enhancement.

While in vCD 9.0 the well received HTML 5 Tenant Portal was introduced, in vCloud Director 9.1 it got enhanced to include enchanced monitoring dashboard, vAPP, and Catalog deployment and management. These enhancemed to the HTML 5 interface has gotten it much closer to parity with the Flex interface and will make it ready for prime time.

vcd 9.1 new html 5 dashboard

HTML5 Administration Portal

VMware vCloud Director 9.1 includes a dedicated HTML 5 provider portal where administrators of the IaaS environment can manage all the system resources and configurations of vCloud Director from an easy to access web portal. The Flex portal will still be available for more advance and indepth configuration while the HTML5 interface get in parity with the Flex interface.

Standalone VMRC & OVF/OVA Upload

Previous verions of vCloud Director has required a web browser plugin called vCloud Director Client Integration Plugin to be installed to Upload OFV/OVA as well to access VMRC.… Read More

vCloud Director Client Integration Plugin is not working

I have been asked repeatedly lately on how to get the vCloud Director Client Integration Plugin (CIP) working. I wanted to put this post out there to help you getting it working in no time. It is important to note that, the Client Integration Plugin (CIP) is only needed in vCD to carry out import and export of templates and media images.

To improve system security in vCD 8.20 and higher, the vCloud Director Client Integration Plug-In (CIP) is no longer bundled with the vCloud Director server installation. It must be downloaded from vmware.com. When you initiate any operation that requires this plug-in, the vCloud Director Web Console verifies that an appropriate version of the plug-in is installed in your browser, and prompts you to download and install a newer version if necessary.

vCD Download the Client Integration Plug-in

Ok, first step first, before panicing and starting with the troubleshooting steps below, please start by ensuring you are using a supported browser. If you are using a browser that is not on the supported browsers list,  then you need to shift to a supported one before trying anything else. Remember we have these support matrix for a reason.  Below is a list of vCD 9.0 supported browsers:

The vCloud Director Client Integration Plug-in is compatible with recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer.… Read More

VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0 what’s new

vCloud Availability 2.0 is available for download today here. vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0 delivers the following key enhancements:

    • vSphere 6.5 Support: Added support for vSphere 6.5 on the service provider side. This was missing in the previous release and many service providers were looking for it. The supported vSphere versions on the tenant side remain unchanged. For more interoperability and compatibility information about vCloud Availability for vCloud Director, see the Interoperability Pages for vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0. Here is a screenshot of what the interoperability matrix look like.

vCloud Availability for vCloud Director Interop Matrix

    • 5-minutes Recovery Point Objective (RPO): vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0 delivers an enhanced RPO support of 5-minutes compared to the previously supported RPO of 15 minutes.
    • Enhancements to vCloud Availability for vCloud Director Service Manager Portal: The Service Manager Portal, introduced in the vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 1.0.1.2 release, allows service providers to monitor and manage their DR environments. The current release includes usability and performance enhancements to improve the response time on the Inventory page and a new Tenant Impersonation feature. The new feature allows service providers to act as tenant users. Using the Tenant Impersonation feature, service providers can filter tenant organizations and perform DR operations using a tenant role, the same way a tenant user would.
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vCloud Director 9.0 is Ready for Download

vCloud Director 9.0 has been announced at VMworld with some exciting enhancements. I am positive most of our VCPP (VMware Cloud Partner Program) partners will be looking forward to many of these features. Just in case you have missed it, VCPP (VMware Cloud Partner Program) is the new name for the VCAN(vCloud Air Network) Program. In this post, I will be covering few of the spotlight features of vCD 9.0.

Before I start, I want to highlight that’s while many vCD releases in the past few years were more progressive, this one is more on revolutionary side. I would highly recommend service providers to start evaluating vCD 9.0, as soon it released out not to be left being none competitive with those who upgrade. The difference this time is not hidden in the API, but include major changes in the UI interface as well. Read below for more details, and download the bits at vCloud Director 9.0 Download Link to start testing it out in your labs.

  • Modernized HTML5 interface. vCloud Director 9.0 comes with a new much slicker and smoother graphical interface for the tenant portal based on HTML5 which is an evolution from the previous Flex graphical interface. While this one might not be in parity with the Flex version in version 9.0,
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VMware Cloud Availability 1.0.1.2 Compatibility Matrix

VMware Cloud Availability (vCAv) is a solution provided by VMware to Service Providers to offer DRaaS with VMware Cloud Director(vCD) as a target.

VMware Cloud Availability vCAv

Two features that makes VMware vCloud Availability valuable to service providers are:

  • It support multi-tenancy out of the box: This means the Service Provider will not have to acquire a separate hardware and setup an isolated vSphere environment per client, which end up improving the TCO and ROI for both the Service Provider and their customers.
  • The vCenter/vSphere versions do not have to match between the service Provider and the Tenant. This is big as the service provider will have the liberty to board customers running a different version of vSphere and vCenter without having to impact the version they run on premise.

A question I am often asked lately when talking about VMware Cloud Availability is: Does the on premise environment of vSphere/vCenter have to match the versions used by the service provider and if not what versions are compatible? The short answer is no, for more info on the supported versions, look below.

Provider Versions

While vCD 8.20 and vSphere/vCenter 6.5 is recommended below is the different versions supported for the Service provider.

  • vCD 8.10, 8.10.1
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vROPS Tenant App for VCD 1.0 is GA

The announcement of vROPS Tenant App for vCloud Director  1.0 is a great news to our vCloud Air Network Partners. vRealize Operations Tenant App for vCloud Director 1.0 is GA as of August 23, 2017! Now you can provide your customers with a better self-service monitoring solution that they were asking you for. This will provide a new monetizing opportunity for our vCAN Partners as well enhance their customers experience.

vRealize Operations Manager Tenant App for vCloud Director
It is a tenant facing application which provides a tenant administrator visibility to their vCloud Director environment. Service provider admin can enable access to the application to any tenant. It solves monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning use cases for a tenant. This is available only to service providers.

vRealize Operations management pack for vCloud Director

Highlights of what vROPS Tenant App for VCD 1.0 offers:

  • Extends vRealize Operations Manager to include vCloud Director constructs
  • Leverages vRealize Operations advanced analytics
  • Tenant specific monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning
  • Tenant Admin specific views to enable Operations Management solving monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning use cases
  • Provider Admin can pick and choose the tenants to whom access it to be provided. It can be provided as an extra addon.
  • Photon OS based Virtual appliance (OVA) for easier installation
  • H5 Client based on VMWare Clarity

 

Please note vROPS Tenant App for vCloud Director  1.0… Read More

VMware Hybrid Cloud Manager vs vCloud Connector

While some readers might be surprised of me comparing Hybrid Cloud Manager and vCloud Connector as many might assume that Hybrid Cloud Manager is replacing vCloud Connector, so why compare them. While this might be true in the long term, its still not the case today. While Hybrid Cloud Manager Excel at some of the features vCloud Connector used to deliver and add few that vCloud connector did not have, it still lack some of the features vCloud Connector had that you might still need. I have put this post to help you decided which one fit your need better or do you need both. Yes, there will be cases where you will need both products to co-exist.

Let’s compare Hybrid Cloud Manager and vCloud Connector on their merits in the different use cases:

Hybrid Cloud Manager vs vCloud Connector

Target Cloud it support:

  • Hybrid Cloud Manager is only meant to support VMware vCloud Air (Previously known by VMware Hybrid Cloud Service) Dedicated Cloud at the momement, where it will expand to the other vCloud Air offering in the near future. This might even expand to VMware vCloud Air Network providers in the future, but its not there yet.
  • vCloud Connector is currently supported with VMware vCloud Air, vCloud Director, and most VMware vCloud Air Network providers.
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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  
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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.
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