vcloud express – Chris Colotti's Blog https://www.chriscolotti.us Thoughts and Theories About... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:06:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/www.chriscolotti.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/cropped-photo.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 vcloud express – Chris Colotti's Blog https://www.chriscolotti.us 32 32 25751794 How To Manage Application DR With vCloud Express https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-manage-application-dr-with-vcloud-express/ https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-manage-application-dr-with-vcloud-express/#respond Thu, 26 Jan 2012 19:01:03 +0000 http://www.chriscolotti.us/?p=1531 Most folks think that because they have access to more than one cloud in vCloud Express, or any other cloud provider for that matter, you automatically get disaster recovery.  In doing past articles on how to transform your blog into a vCloud Express based setup on Bitnami, I discovered a few things that I wanted to share …

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Most folks think that because they have access to more than one cloud in vCloud Express, or any other cloud provider for that matter, you automatically get disaster recovery.  In doing past articles on how to transform your blog into a vCloud Express based setup on Bitnami, I discovered a few things that I wanted to share about application availability.  First and foremost, folks like Virtacore have multiple clouds.  Even though you log in through one portal you have access to both their public vCloud Express in Los Angeles as well as Virginia.  I actually showed this in the articles about using vCloud Connector and you could see their respective url’s in the screen shots.

You can see below from the Virtacore login that although the vApps are rolled together you can see the different cloud’s networks and firewalls.  If you expand a single vApp you will see what cloud it is actually running in.  If you did not pay attention when you deployed it for the first time, it may be in one or the other.  This is easy to move between clouds of course using vCloud Connector, but really what if you wanted to maintain some level of redundancy to your vApp?  That is what I set out to do with my new WordPress installation specifically.

Location, Location, Location

In an ideal world with stateless web applications this is fairly easy to do if you have a load balancer appliance, web servers in each cloud, and a shared database that is replicated between clouds.  The challenge today is that not all vCloud Express providers have exposed the load balancer function of vShield Edge, or have a vApp deployed at the external network level that performs the functions of load balancing.  Even in the case of WordPress that does not help because the local files still need to be replicated for both servers to be in sync with each other.  Since this was needed either way I decided to go the poor man’s route and use DNS to help with failover.  The only downside is not all ISP’s honor the TTL on DNS which means some folks did have trouble getting to my site in the first test.  Below is the Virtacore portal view, but you need to look close to see which Virtual Machines are in what Datacenter.  The locations for these were picked when I created them.

Network DNS Setup

What I decided to do was nest the DNS for the two clouds so that I only needed to make some minimal changes to get things up and running quickly.  Below is examples of the records I created to facilitate the failover.  In my case I also have a WordPress Multi-Site install with Domain Mapping which makes things a lot easier since all my sites are on one server.

@ – A Record to Virtacore LA External Address
iad.PrimaryDomain.com –  A Record to Virtacore LA External Address
lax.PrimaryDomain.com –  A Record to Virtacore LA External Address
www.PrimaryDomain.com – CNAME to iad.PrimaryDomain.com

For each domain mapping to a WordPress site I also did the same thing, but on less records and all the TTL’s are set to thirty minutes for those ISP’s that do honor the time to live.

@ – A Record to Virtacore LA External Address
www.MappedDomain1.com – CNAME to iad.PrimaryDomain.com

This means that in the event I need to switch over for something I only need to update the CNAME record for the primary domain.  This will in turn update the mapped domains down the chain.  I would need to update the various @ records if I want the non “www” to function but that could come later depending on the amount of time I needed to be running on the other site.

Application Setup

My application example here is WordPress which is a bit harder to deal with because the application is not stateless.  Even with a Content Delivery Network, (CDN), your images are still stored locally.  The content is in your database which you could replicate with MySQL, but I chose an even easier route.  For one, I use a plugin called BackupBuddy to mange daily backups of the content and ship them off via FTP to another location.  Secondly, as you can see from above, I have a completely duplicated server in the Virtacore Los Angeles cloud.  Since this was built from a Virtual Machine, copying it with vCloud COnnector was easy.  Once I had the duplicate server, I simply secure copy all the WordPress content folders nightly from VA to LA.  Doug Smart, a buddy of mine has a nice little article on how to do Secure SCP with a CRON job that I used.

This means daily I not only have an offsite backup, but a near real time copy in the other datacenter if I needed to flip the DNS and cut over.  You can apply some of the same logic to other applications, the goal is simply to make sure you recognize you need to THINK about the fact one provider with two clouds does not always mean you are by default redundant with your application deployments.

Summary

They key thing here to realize is that just because your provider has more than one datacenter, does not mean you get high availability or Disaster Recovery.  As a consumer of a cloud provider, it is still somewhat on your shoulders to make sure your applications are deployed and managed in such a way that you can recovery them.  One should not assume that the individual datacenters for any provider are automatically moving your applications from one datacenter to another.  Could they be?  Maybe but is that an assumption you want to make?  Virtacore does a nice job of allowing you to see which datacenter your vApps are in and you do actually have access to the vCloud Director out of box portal for some functions their custom portal does not yet have.  Between the two points of entry you have all the access you need to add workloads.  Some might say this is overkill for a blog site…..but hey it needs to be up for people to read it right?  Anyone that was part of the AWS east coast outage now knows this first hand that customer’s need to also make their applications ready.

Sign up here for a Virtacore trial using the code STEKREF get $50 off.

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How To Deploy WordPress to vCloud Express https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-deploy-wordpress-to-vcloud-express/ https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-deploy-wordpress-to-vcloud-express/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 12:30:10 +0000 http://www.chriscolotti.us/?p=1225 It has been far too long since I put together a blog post, however that is because I have been spending my nights testing and perfecting the migration of my own blog, as well as other sites, to a vCloud Express provider.  I have moved three times this year alone from GoDaddy to BlueHost and finally to …

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It has been far too long since I put together a blog post, however that is because I have been spending my nights testing and perfecting the migration of my own blog, as well as other sites, to a vCloud Express provider.  I have moved three times this year alone from GoDaddy to BlueHost and finally to Virtacore.  Basically on any shared hosting I saw performance issues regardless of the caching plugins I tried.  Eventually I decided to go with my own virtual server, after all it makes sense I work for VMware, and put them into a vCloud Express cloud.  This process now seems simple, but it took quite a bit of research and testing to get things where I wanted them to be.  For those that do run blogs either in WordPress or another format I’d suggest you look into the vCloud Express option.  Because I have done so much testing with Virtacore in the past month or so I decided to host with them since I am familiar with their portal and tools.

Deploying The Bitnami WordPress Stack

This is where the bulk of the work needs to get done.  There is a few articles out there on how to set up the LAMP stack including one from Jason Boche that I read through.  Ultimately I did some googling on “WordPress Appliances” and found the solution for me.  It was a company call Bitnami.  What these guys have is pretty cool.  They build the stacks for multiple applications as either virtual machines, or native installers you can use.  Once I found them I was pretty much on my way.  I actually talked to them directly and helped them produce an up to date version of their WordPress Appliance that was suitable to use with vCloud Director or ESX.  The one you will find for download on their site is now in ESX format and trust me you do not want the hassle of converting it to ESX and making all the changes to optimize it.  I did make a few changes to their appliance to update for networking, and the disk size as it was only 5GB.  I also added more RAM and CPU so you should have no issues.  They were also nice enough to install all the needed packages for you to install the VMware tools.

  1. Download the modified OVF version of the Appliance Here which has been updated by Bitnami
  2. Import the Appliance to a local ESX Instance
  3. Boot it up and install the VMware tools
  4. DHCP will be used initially but we will change this later
  5. Change the password for user “bitnami”
  6. All commands will require sudo as well

Additional Configuration

Before you can have a completely working version you need to make a few adjustments so this will all work.  There is a couple of things you need to know about the appliance.  First you will notice when you access the IP address you get a splash page and wordpress is installed in a sub directory as you see below.

 

This is should be changed so you can access the WordPress install directly.  According to the folks at Bitnami this is a common request and may be integrated in the future.

  • You just need to follow the steps located here.  You need to basically edit the http.conf file in apache so it points to the wordpres/htdocs folder as the root.
  • next you need to rename the file /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/updateip to something like updateip.bak. If you do not this will change your URL in wordpress on each reboot.
  • Log into phpmyadmin and update the table for wp_options option_id #3 and #39 to reflect your blog name instead of the DHCP IP address.
  • Create a HOSTS entry for this name and local IP so you can stilla access the blog locally.
  • Change the various passwords.
    • phpMYAdmin – “sudo /opt/bitnami/mysql/bin/mysqladmin -p -u root password” (Default is root/bitnami)
    • Database Password used by WordPress:
      • $ mysql -u root -p -e “grant all privileges on bitnami_wordpress.* to ‘bn_wordpress’@’127.0.0.1’ identified by ‘new_password‘;”
      •  Edit the wordpress/htdocs/wp-config.php file and change the “DB_PASSWORD” option
    • WordPress”User” – do this inside wordpress default password is ‘bitnami’
  • Most likely you will need to make the myphpadmin page accessible from the outside by following these steps
  • Enable APC caching for WP-Total Cache by following these steps.  It is already installed so you just need to remove the comment in the php.ini file and restart the services.  This is MUCH better for caching that disk based which is a HUGE advantage of using your own server.
  • Enable the Bitnami stack to start as a service using this article.

At this point make sure you can access the blog with the HOSTS entry and see the basic blog page with no data.  If you can then move on to moving your data.  You should basically have an empty WordPress site as shown below:

Configuring SMTP (UPDATED 1-3-12)

One thing I did find was that the appliance includes the plugin WP SMTP which allows you to send WordPress mail through SMTP rather than using PHP Mail() function.  There is a few things I noticed with this mainly that not all other plugins or themes are coded wo use “wp_mail()”.  Many of them including one of my themes used the standard PHP “mail()” and based on the nature of the plugin, bypasses the setting modified.  Only code that uses “wp_mail()” properly sends, and in fact some of the notifications in WordPress for updating a user will not work.  So the best solution I found was to install POSTFIX in the appliance and configure the included plugin to use the local SMTP server with postfix.  There are however some things you need to know that took me a good few days to work out.

  • Packages you need to install:
    • postfix
    • cyrus-sasl-plain (Needed for authenticated SMTP Relay if you choose to do so)
  • Some of the Virtacore external IP addresses are listed with certain blacklists like SpamHaus as “Dynamic” IP Addresses.  You will want to check yours or you will not be able to send mail from your appliance directly to email addresses and you will get a 554 error.
  • Virtacore does not yet have a shared/central “trusted” non-authenticated SMTP relay for use.  I am working on that with them as to the valid reasons why it would be useful.
  • If you want to setup smarthost relay it can be tricky.  It is easy to do with non SSL/TLS and I used the instructions here for testing, but once I cleared out the blocked IP’s things sent fine directly 
  • The Bitnami stack comes with the WP-SMTP plugin and you can set this to relay through Postfix instead of an external relay
    • use localhost hostname
    • Use Port 25
    • make sure your external IP is not blacklisted
    • This will mean you are sending mail directly from wordpress to postfix locally and it will relay out
    • No need to change your outbound firewall rules since this is a local to outbound only

Adding this aspect to the appliance means you may not even need the WP SMTP plugin, but it is nice to have just in case.  This essentially sets up outbound mail from your appliance directly.  It would be best to smarthost relay from your appliance just on the off-chance the IP get’s re-listed for some reason, but that can be tricky to set up with SSL/TLS so hopefully Virtacore will add a basic relay host for folks in their cloud to use.  It would make life much easier for sure and prevent any issues with blacklisting.  So far I have had no issues other than a problem with PHP Mail() not sending after a server reboot.  However, if nothing is using php mail() then the above route should work fine.

Import Your WordPress Data

Once you verified that you can get to the blog site under the HOSTS entry and local IP address and the site is responding you can import your data.  This is done in a few steps with the Database and the contents of your blog.

  1. Export your Database from your live site with myPHPadmin
  2. Import that file into the Bitnami database and you should see all your tables and rows appear
    1. See screen show below
  3. Download you’re entire wp-contents directory from your live site and copy it to /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs basically replacing the entire directory on the appliance.  Do this as the “Bitnami” user with FileZilla or other program

Once the files and database ave been moved again using your HOSTS file entry see if you’re blog comes up locally on the appliance.  Ensure that the plugins and other things are working.  You may need to tweak a few things but in most cases since you copied the entire blog content the configuration and everything should remain.  If things look good you are ready to upload your Virtual Machine to vCloud Express with vCloud Connector.  This was covered in previous articles, and is extremely simple to do.  Once the appliance has been uploaded you will need to do one or two last things.

  1. Edit the IP address from DHCP to Static using the IP assigned from the static IP pool
  2. Edit the resolv.conf file to add the DNS servers of the provider
  3. Restart the networking and add an External IP using the Provider’s portal

Before you slice over your actual DNS I would change your HOSTS entry to point to the new external IP, clear your browser and make sure you can now hit the live site.  If you can you are ready to cut over your real DNS to the new external IP and wait a day or two for DNS to update before you make any changes.  This will ensure everyone is pointing to the new version and seeing your updates.  You can also turn the TTL down to 30 minutes on most DNS servers to allow the updates to propagate faster.

Configuring Your Firewall

You will also notice by default when you spin up a Virtacore vCloud Express Virtual Machine all traffic is allowed.  If you navigate to “My Cloud” and then “My Virtual Networks”, scroll down and you will see that “Public Cloud Firewall – Enabled” is UNCHECKED.  Now once you check this and save you will block all traffic, so either pre-write the rules you want for things like SSH/HTTP/HTTPS before you enable it or write them quickly after.  Just be sure you use the private destination IP address for the rules.

Results And Testing

I have found since moving to this setup my response times are far better than any shared hosting.  I am also now investigating the different backup options.  Virtacore has clouds in both Virginia and California so I am playing with a DR server in LA while the primary runs in VA.  I also bought the plugin called BackupBuddy which is proving to be useful for creating and shipping full backups of your blog.  So far I am happy with it since it provides a way to restore to a new appliance if need be in another datacenter.

I hope you decide to give both Bitnami and Virtacore a try for your WordPress stack.  I for one have been very happy with them both.  I also ended up moving a few other sites I handle and converting them all to a WordPress Multi-Site install, but that is for another day :).  I may post a few screen shots in the next couple days of a few key things so you can see examples of things.  I simply had more of the steps documented than actual screen shots.

Also there is the option of building your own Linux server using the new CentOS 6.2 ‘Minimal’ Installer.  I have been playing with this and it is pretty slim for sure.  It does not even include much int he way of networking tools or even basic packages.  But if you want a really small version of Linux for your own appliances, this is a nice little option.  In fact I will be testing this in a rebuild of my vCloud Director home lab this week.  I did use the native installer of Bitnami on a CentOS minimal install and it also worked well if you want to go that route.

Sign up here for a Virtacore trial using the code STEKREF get $50 off.

 

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How To Get Started with vCloud Connector 1.5 – Part 2 https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-get-started-with-vcloud-connector-1-5-part-2/ https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-get-started-with-vcloud-connector-1-5-part-2/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2011 15:00:24 +0000 http://www.chriscolotti.us/?p=1182 In Part One of this two-part series, we examined the deployment of vCloud Connector 1.5, the architecture, and the options for accessing the user interface through the vCloud Connector Portal or the vSphere Client.  Here is a quick review of some key points to remember if you read part one previously.  Part two will focus on the …

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In Part One of this two-part series, we examined the deployment of vCloud Connector 1.5, the architecture, and the options for accessing the user interface through the vCloud Connector Portal or the vSphere Client.  Here is a quick review of some key points to remember if you read part one previously.  Part two will focus on the actual moving of your workloads so you can see just how easy it is once you have it setup.

  • Deploy the vCloud Connector Server on Premise initially
  • Deploy vCloud Connector Nodes to all connection points you need access to
  • Provider clouds like Virtacore will have a single portal, but multiple actual clouds
  • The vCloud Connector Server today does not work behind NAT, so deploy on a local subnet
  • On Premise components can live outside the cloud, hosted nodes will be inside the provider cloud
  • Configure server and node passwords and create real Certificates for SSL between server and node
  • Using the portal still requires you have local access to the vCloud Connector Server via LAN or VPN if it is hosted on premise

Once you have the components all setup the fun can begin in moving the workloads.  Something to remember and consider is these are full network copies of the Virtual Machines.  They must be shut down in order to migrate them between vSphere, or your various vCloud setups.  Also if you have not read my series on the Clone Wars, it may be useful since some of the data around copying to and from transfer spaces is interesting.  If you have not let’s take a quick look at the process that vCloud Connector does to facilitate the moves.

  1. The Virtual Machine is Exported from the source location and temporarily stored on the vCloud Connector Node’s local space
  2. Once the export has completed from the source an import is initiated to the destination
  3. If the destination is a vCloud infrastructure, the data will be moved through the vCloud Cell’s “Transfer Space” located at /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer
  4. The imported Virtual Machine will then be placed into the vCloud Director instance as a new vApp and the transfer space will be cleaned up.

The reason the Clone Wars series is important is to understand that on a local private cloud the transfer between vCloud, the transfer space and the final storage on ESX is all network copy based.  On a provider cloud like Virtacore or others, you will also have that copy going over the internet.  So basically, these things can take time to move.

Moving Your Workloads

I want to point out a couple of key changes from vCloud Connector 1.0 and 1.5 as it works today.

  • You MUST have Organization Catalogs available in order to copy between clouds.  
  • The underlying vCloud Director import/export functions use the catalog as a transport mechanism.  
  • If you do not have any Organization Catalogs you will not be able to copy.  In the situation with public cloud providers you may need to have one created if there is not one present.  I actually found this with Virtacore, but my account was created a while back.  New accounts should be coming with at least one catalog on your Organization to facilitate this.  If there is not one just contact the support chains for your provider.

The process is multi-step where vCloud Connector 1.0 did some of the steps for you.  What I mean is you have to do the following to get a vApp workload completely moved from one cloud to another.

  • Copy the vApp to the remote vCloud Catalog
  • Deploy the vApp from the Catalog using vCloud Connector or the vCloud Portal
  • Configure and test the vApp now in the new Cloud
  • Remove the Catalog item if you do not need it going forward

This may seem like more steps than with vCloud Connector 1.0, but this actually allows you to re-deploy the vApp should you have to for any reason before you remove it from the Catalog.  Only once you are sure you’re vApp is in the new cloud and functioning will you want to clean up and remove it.  This way you don’t have to do the entire process again.

From vCenter to vCloud

At this point in the game we will assume you are ready to move some workloads around.  For my test purposes I created an empty test VIrtual Machine on vSphere with a VERY small virtual disk, and no operating system installed.  I did this purely to see the movement, and not have to wait for 20 or 30 gigabyte to copy.  Below is the screenshot of all my clouds I setup in Part One, so the first thing to do is move a template from vSphere to my local vCloud Director.

First we expand the vCenter object and locate the test template I created directly in vSphere by selecting the vCenter, then making sure I am on the template tab since this test object is an actual vCenter Template.  It is worth noting as well that this vCenter is actually the vCenter appliance, so that also works with vCloud Connector.

If you want, you can also deploy this from vCloud Connector, but we will copy it to my local on Premise cloud first then move it to the public cloud.  When we select “Copy” We are given the options box.

Now we can also select the VDC import

Now we can also sect the Catalog for the import and select “Copy”

What we see is that the copy exports from vCenter and completes the import to the vCloud Catalog.

With a refresh of the vCloud connector view we can see the template in the catalog of vCloud Connector’s interface and we are ready to deploy it for use by selecting the deploy option.  However, I will jump over to moving a workload from a Private vCloud to a public vCloud as that may be more interesting.

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How To Get Started with vCloud Connector 1.5 – Part 1 https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-get-started-with-vcloud-connector-1-5-part-1/ https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/how-to-get-started-with-vcloud-connector-1-5-part-1/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2011 16:14:06 +0000 http://www.chriscolotti.us/?p=1108 So this weekend I set out to document and understand the new aspects of vCloud Connector 1.5 and how some of the components go together.  It seemed like there might be some interest in a how to article explaining the process not only of putting the pieces together, but also how to actually do some …

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So this weekend I set out to document and understand the new aspects of vCloud Connector 1.5 and how some of the components go together.  It seemed like there might be some interest in a how to article explaining the process not only of putting the pieces together, but also how to actually do some of the moving of workloads.  So I set out on a mission to see if I can explain some of this in detail.  The first thing anyone will need to do in order to truly try out vCloud Connector is to get some public cloud space on a provider that is using vCloud Director.  My choice was Virtacore for a number of reasons, but they were open to letting me try out their beta portal and provide some initial feedback.  If you do happen to sign up with them you can actually get $50 off of your initial public cloud service by using the code STEKREF when you sign up, so not a bad deal if you have not tried out a vCloud Express provider yet.

vCloud Connector 1.5 Architecture

First I think it is important to understand the new architecture of vCloud Connector 1.5 as it differs greatly from 1.0.  Many who have played with both will see the differences out of the gate, but I wanted to also tie this to how I deployed the various components for testing.  Refer to the figure below which was taken from the vCloud Connector user guide.

vCloud Connector Server – The server component is the control and management point for vCloud Connector.  You really only need one server as long as it can connect to the various nodes.  In my case the server was hosted in my lab, on the management cluster for vCloud Director.  I did not host it inside my vCloud as a vapp simply because I did not see the need to.  I decided to treat it like any other management server workload supporting the vCloud Eco-System

vCloud Connector Node – The “nodes” are the 1:1 connection points managed by the server.  The 1:1 aspect is that you actually need a node per cloud, Organization, or vSphere instance you want to move workloads between.  So in my case I needed two nodes on premise and two nodes hosted at Virtacore.  These remote nodes were of course hosted in the cloud.  I needed two of them because their public cloud is made up of two datacenters, each with their own vCloud installation and thus two different API’s.  The nodes are also where the various exports happen during the process of the move and where you may need to increase the disk sizes, or mount them to NFS if you can.  In my case I connected all the nodes to either the SYSTEM level or the top-level of vSphere for testing.  In a hosted public cloud, you could need more nodes depending on the number or organizations you have as well as the number of datacenters.

vCloud.VMware.com – This is the remote web portal you can use to manage your various vCloud Connector servers in a single pane of glass.  There is some requirements to get connected to this which we will talk about in a little bit.  UPDATED 12/7/11:  I wanted to point out a couple things about the portal.  Although the portal is internet based, it will direct your browser to the local address of the vCloud Connecter Server.  This means you are not able to manage the vCloud Connector server unless you also have VPN or on premise access to it.  The component could be hosted externally with an external IP, but as of today it also will not work behind NAT.  Some folks have discovered this and there is a KB article about it.  Just take note that even though you are accessing a public portal it will be sending your browser to the local IP addresses.  This also means that a firewall rule for for “External” access is not needed until the NAT issue is worked out.  Because of this reason you will not be able to make console connections to some Virtual Machines if the vCloud Director Console IP is not exposed and properly directed or load balanced.

Security – It is important to understand the security of these components.  The Server and Nodes communicate over SSL using port 8443 regardless of where the nodes are located.  So it stands to reason you will want to generate some real certificates at least for your vCloud Connector server since that will be connected to be the remote nodes as well as the portal.  The local nodes may not be as big a concern since they are on the same network.  However you can see below, that if you are transferring a workload from a private cloud to the public the two nodes will interface and then you have an argument for some real certificates on all nodes as well.  Generally in a production deployment I would get all real certificates, but in my lab I decided not to just for the sake of testing.

What I ended up with was the following servers on my network once I decided on the deployment scenarios

  • vCloud Connector Server – on the same local subnet as the other management virtual machines
  • vCloud Connector Node – on the same subnet as other management components for vCloud Director Connection
  • vCloud Connector Node – on the same subnet as other management components for vSphere Connection
  • vCloud Connector Node – Remote on Virtacore in the Virginia Datacenter
  • vCloud Connector Node – Remote on Virtacore in the Los Angeles Datacenter

Installing the Various Components

The first step you want to do is visit vcloud.vmware.com and register a username on the portal.  Bear in mind that this is the first and primary username that will be used to connect the server to the portal.  You can invite others to use the portal, but I would not suggest making the initial login your personal email.  You may want to make it something more generic to the company like you may currently do for the support or licensing portal.  In fact, if you already have a login that is a single company login you may be able to already use that since it is a valid vmware.com account.

Next you want to set up a public cloud testing account at Virtacore or other provider.  Virtacore has already put the server and node components in their catalog for users to deploy into their host public cloud saving you the setup time on that side.

Once you are logged in the first thing you can do is download the appliances from the portal since that is the only option available.

Once you have the OVF files you can import as many of them as you need.  As mentioned above one server should suffice but if you have multiple organizations in your cloud, depending on the URL you will use to configure them, the node will be “Pinned” to that organization.  For my tests, again I simply used a system level admin as we will see in the configuration section.

On the Virtacore side simply deploy a new node from the catalog using the portal as shown below.  You will need to deploy one in LA and one in VA if you want to have access to each datacenter.  Having these utility machines on the service provider side does save a lot of time and effort from having to upload them to my own catalog for sure.

You will also want to add some users to your hosted Virtacore cloud.  The initial login they provide you cannot be used to connect using the nodes, and you will need to add other Organization Administrators to perform most of these functions.

You will use these credentials later, but I found out this weekend you cannot use the original login since that is tied to their billing system as well.  Simply go to administration and add a new user to assign them as an Organization Administrator

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My VMworld 2011 Monday Recap https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/my-vmworld-2011-monday-recap/ https://www.chriscolotti.us/vmware/my-vmworld-2011-monday-recap/#respond Tue, 30 Aug 2011 05:05:26 +0000 http://www.chriscolotti.us/?p=524 WOW! I think that about sums up my day today here in Las Vegas.  I would hesitate to say it could not get any busier…..but that may just jinx myself.  I really only got a few hours sleep, not due to nerves about the presentations today, but more about logistics and still thinking of my …

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WOW!

I think that about sums up my day today here in Las Vegas.  I would hesitate to say it could not get any busier…..but that may just jinx myself.  I really only got a few hours sleep, not due to nerves about the presentations today, but more about logistics and still thinking of my wife and home that was still without power.  Luckily we got no real damage and the power came back late tonight.  So now that I don’t have to worry about that we can look forward to the rest of the week.

For those that were not here in the morning I had the pleasure of moderating VSP1682 for Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman as one of the very first sessions of the day.  It is always hard to start a session at 08:00, but even harder on the very first day of the conference.  To our surprise…..everyone was awake and ready to roll!  The Q&A went smoothly and the feedback was great.  Duncan, Frank and I really enjoy presenting together so we hoped everyone else noticed that.  We are already discussing a session next year where I even answer some questions.  Personally I liked moderating and keeping them in line.  I forgot to mention that we all had breakfast with Massimo Re Ferre, and MAN can he put away the breakfast food!  I counted two full plates from the buffet!  That is just a story for another day though.

Then it was off to deal with presentation changes for CIM1264 with David Hill at the speaker center.  We had a few minor tweaks, but the deck looks good and ready to go for all three sessions we are delivering.  After the session changes, had a quick 11:00 meeting with Greg Herzog, Mike Dipetrillo, and the vCloud Connector team in the hang space.  Great ideas flowing at that meeting with a lot of great minds.  Nothing like getting smart people together for a design session, I loved it.

Lunch….yes I actually did eat so not to worry, and then off to the ESXi Quiz show.  I could not stay for the whole thing as I had to do one of the coolest thing all day.  I met up in the blogger’s lounge with Mike FoleyBrian Gracely and Aaron Delp, who poorly called me out in v0dgeball I might add.  I have to say that was a total blast!!  I would love to do more of those.  The video is below, and if I do say so myself, I thought I did pretty good for my first time on live TV.  I think we did a great job and now I know why people say I look like someone else, I’m not saying who though.  Thanks to the guys at CloudCast.net for the opportunity to get out there in front of some people.

 

After that I needed some downtime before the solution exchange opened and then had to head to the East Coast party where I caught up with some customers both past and present.  I got to meet the folks from Virtacore who were awesome enough to be one of my first blog sponsors. You have to check out there vCloud Express offering it is pretty cool  Now here I sit on the couch in my hotel room at 9:45 pretty much ready for bed so I can do this all over again.  I did want to point out a few takeaways from today.

  • VMworld is the only place you will ever see a line at a Men’s room….seriously not right
  • I met more people for the first time today in person having just known their names only than I thought I would.
  • Twitter is the nuggets for finding your peeps in a sea of 20,000 people.
  • I may not have a voice in another two days.
  • The people and company I work for really are/is the best!
  • Steve Herrod finally started following the VCDX’s on Twitter…..Long story but was a twitter petition started by me late last night.  WINNING!
  • People please log in and fill out your surveys!!  I know the system was down early today but we need your feedback and it is all online this year from a mobile device right in the session rooms.

All kidding aside…..today was awesome.  I did not make it to the conference last year so having this much to do this year really is a blessing and a curse.  Tomorrow I have more sessions including group discussions and expert 1:1’s that are all filled.  This is awesome….no check that…..this is “Wicked Pissa” as we say back in New England.  Now peace out, I need some sleep.

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