VMware vCloud Director FAQ • Chris Colotti's Blog

VMware vCloud Director FAQ

I decided to start an ongoing list of the most common, yet in some cases basic vCloud Director FAQ.  I would love to get more questions as comments so I can keep this updated on a regular basis.  Please feel free to ask me anything and I will try to add them in here as they come.  Some of these are taken from community posts, emails, and some of my own general testing.  If this is not helpful please tell me how to make it more useful or what other questions there are out there.

The Burning Questions

Question: Are taking vSphere Snapshots of the VM’s in a vApp supported?  ***NEW***
Answer: No, this is not a supported function as vCloud Director has no knowledge of the snapshot.  Does it work?  Yes, but if something goes wrong it will not be supported at this time until vCloud Director understands the Virtual Machines are in Snapshot mode.

Question: Can I convert linked cloned vApps to full disks in 1.5?  ***UPDATED***
Answer: Yes, but only as a vCloud admin, right-click on the powered off vApp and select Consolidate.  There is a slight workaround I discovered but only if Fast Provisioning is disabled on your Organization vDC.

Question: Is upgrading from vCloud Director BETA to the GA code supported?
Answer: No, VMware as do most  software companies does not support BETA upgrades to GA.

Question: Is migrating from Oracle to Microsoft SQL supported with 1.5?
Answer: This is not as easy as yes or no.  What I can say is there is NO support for migrating the database as it stands today.  Therefore by default there is no support for a database that has been migrated using some custom or 3rd party tool.  This may change but right now the whole idea is unsupported.

Question: How do I configure a Load Balancer for use with multiple cells?
Answer: There is information in vCAT 2.0 as well as This Article I wrote up to simplify it.

Question: Is Storage DRS supported with vCloud Director 1.5.1?
Answer: No, currently it is not and per the vCAT 2.x documentation it should be completely DISABLED.

Question: What is the upgrade process for the entire vCloud stack?
Answer: This is fairly complex, but see This Article I wrote up a few weeks ago.

Question: How do I protect vShield Manger that is used by vCloud Director?
Answer: VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) is supported on the vShield Manager and is a great use case for it

Question: How do I protect the vCenter Server that is used by vCloud Director?
Answer: One option is to use VMware vCenter Heartbeat.  We have done this at customers and it works well.

Question: How do remove the new vCloud Director 1.5 VIB based agent?
Answer: This is pretty simple and I documented this in This Article.

Question: Where can I find a list of VMware vCloud Service Providers?
Answer: You can visit vcloud.vmware.com to see a list.

Question: Can I have some vApps Fast Provisioned and others using full disks?
Answer: Not by default within the same Organization vDC.  The Fast Provisioning option is per Org vDC on a global level and all vApps deployed will be thin, However….

Question: Can I change allocation models of an Org vDC once it is created?
Answer: No, you will need to create a new Org vDC, shutdown vApps and migrate them to the new vDC.

Question: Can I use the new vCenter Server Appliance to manage my compute clusters and is it supported with vCloud Director?
Answer: Yes, you can use it and it is supported.

Question: Are Database Clusters like Oracle RAC and MS SQL supported with the vCloud Director Database?
Answer: Sort of, Active/Active RAC with ONS is NOT supported but Active/Passive single instance RAC is supported.  However, Microsoft SQL Clusters with 1.5 are not yet supported.

Question: What features of vCloud Director 1.5 require vSphere 5.0?
Answer: Fast Provisioning, hardware version 8 both require ESXi 5.0, and VPN support requires vShield 5.0 specifically.

Question: How big should the NFS share be for a multi-cell deployment?
Answer: This can be as big as you like but needs to be large enough to support the largest Virtual Machine to be imported or the aggregate space of multiple Virtual machines to be imported.  300GB seems to be a good start but being NFS you can increase or decrease it.

Question: Should I always do 2 Cells even on a small deployment?
Answer: IMHO, yes as the multi-cell setup is not always for capacity….yet.  It is more about redundancy and the ability to do cell maintenance.

Other Resources

I wanted to also point out that David Hill, my vCloud Partner in Crime, as we have become known to most also has an FAQ available.  We will try to coordinate updates but I recommend checking both of these on a regular basis for update.  David went into more detail in many areas, I try to keep things short and sweet :)

About Chris Colotti

Chris is currently a Principal Technical Marketing Architect with the vCloud Air business unit at VMware. Chris is amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. He spends much of his time working on customer facing collateral to help drive adoption and usage of VMware vCloud Air. Most recently Chris has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years. Now he spreads both the word of technology and fitness along with the Team Beachbody Business through both his blogs.

  • onroot

    Does VMs created by vCloud Director support vCenter Site Recovery Manager protection?

    • http://www.chriscolotti.us Chris Colotti

      Good question and fairly common. The answer is not today there is no SRM integration with vCD. If you check the online support matrix you will see this. However you can protect the Management stack with SRM as that is outside of vCloud Director.

  • http://twitter.com/geekandi Mike Horwath

    Q) Does vCloud Director support the load-balancer feature of vShield Edge 5.0?
    A) No, this feature is not exposed through the vCloud Director interface or API

    • http://www.chriscolotti.us/ Chris Colotti

      Good one.  Thanks Mike!

  • Robert W Quinn

    Currently VSC (Virtual Storage Console) provides backups of our VMs. Understand that VSC will not work for workloads in the vCloud Director reource pool because it will lose vCD attributes (organization etc…). Is there a process/method to restore via VSC and manually add the required attributes? What is being used as tool of choice for backups and restores of single VMs in the cloud?

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