Virtualization and Cloud

Jonathan Gershater

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Blog Post

Simplified Install of VMware vCloud Director 5.1

How to install vCloud Director 5.1 in a lab or home setup

VMware vCloud Director is used by organizations wishing to build a private cloud (Infrastructure as a Service - IaaS). The purpose of this guide is to help you set up vCloud. Thus, the guide configures vCloud for local storage and direct-connect networking. Storage and network provisioning is not configured because these are complex configurations requiring a SAN/NAS, vShield Edge Gateway, VXLAN etc most of which are not available in a simple home lab.

To understand what IaaS cloud computing is, I offer some blogs I have written and a short video at these links:

The complete vCloud documentation is here

This blog post extracts critical information from the vCloud Director Evaluation Guide and it is critical that you have this document (preferably) printed while reading this guide.

Lab setup


Assume a lab setup as per above configured as follows:

Setup vCloud 5.1
Proceed to setup vCloud 5.1 by following these steps. The page numbers below refer to the VMware vCloud Evaluation Guide.

  1. Install ESXi 5.1 and vCenter 5.1
  2. Setup a cluster across the two hosts and a distributed vSwitch.
  3. Put ESXi-2 host in maintenance mode
  4. Get vCloud license or use 60 day evaluation.
  5. Download vCloud 5.1 appliance.
  6. Setup vCloud appliance on ESXi-1

a. Follow pages 15-24 from attached eval guide to deploy the OVF.

b. Important: When you provide an IP address to the vCloud Director appliance it creates SSL certs based on the IP. If you change the IP address later, the certs have to be re-created (“pain” I have been through!) Decide now what IP address you will use (static/dynamic).

c. Use or whatever your home gateway address is for the default gateway of the vCloud appliance

d. Follow pages 31-34 from attached to power-on the appliance.

e. Use the embedded/internal database and SSO.

f. Follow pages 42-47 to attach vCenter to vCloud

7. Create the provider VDC

a. Continue with pages 46-49

b. The provider is the “service provider”.

c. Select to prepare ESXi-2 ( vCloud Director installs an agent on ESXi-2,  thus maintenance mode is required step 3 above).

8. Create an external network

a. Continue with pages 50-52

b. Don’t worry about network pools.

c. Select a list of static IPs from your home router, example Ensure no conflicts with other laptops, desktops, VMs, ESXi hosts on your home network….

d. On page 51 use your home gateway, netmask and DNS as per illustration above in blue font.

9. Create an organization

a. Continue with pages 53-56

b. An organization is the “tenant” the consumer of the resources that the provider is providing. enant”, we get VMs, CPU, RAM etc resources from the provider Skytap.

c. Page 55 – decide about publishing catalogs. Catalogs are a list of services, eg. Windows or Linux servers, that the organization publishes.

d. Page 55 select ‘do not use ldap’ unless you have an LDAP server.

e. Create one or two local users with different roles.

10. Allocate resources

a. Continue with pages 57-63

b. I recommend you select “pay as you go” for a simple setup, as you are not really restricting how much disk, cpu, RAM, network etc your tenants/organizations consume.

c. Check the box “enable thin provisioning” as you probably want to allocate disk storage as needed.

d. Don’t create an EdgeGateway, rather use a “direct connect” network, connected to your distributed vSwitch. This will connect the cloud VMs directly to your home router for IP addressing, DNS etc.

e. You can also create an isolated network if you like, this means VMs in this organization will only have connectivity to each other, not to VMs in other organizations. (This is an example of isolation with multi-tenancy.)

11. Repeat steps 8 and 9 for an additional organization. Two organizations should suffice.

12. Put ESX-1 in maintenance mode and “prepare” by repeating step 7c only

13. Create catalogs

a. For each organization follow pages 67-76

b. One vApp containing one VM should suffice for each org.

c. Note: if you already have vApps, media and templates in your vSphere environment, these need to be imported into vCloud. (Yes, you cannot simply “move them” into vCloud.)

14. Omit VXLAN – your cloud VMs can just use your physical network

15. Omit storage tiers – unless you have NAS and use storage profiles.

16. Now you can use your own vCloud!

More Stories By Jonathan Gershater

Jonathan Gershater has lived and worked in Silicon Valley since 1996, primarily doing system and sales engineering specializing in: Web Applications, Identity and Security. At Red Hat, he provides Technical Marketing for Virtualization and Cloud. Prior to joining Red Hat, Jonathan worked at 3Com, Entrust (by acquisition) two startups, Sun Microsystems and Trend Micro.

(The views expressed in this blog are entirely mine and do not represent my employer - Jonathan).