Deploying Cloud Foundation 3.9.1 on VxRail; Part 3

The next task on the list is to add a workload domain to the Cloud Foundation deployment.

The checklist of prerequisites includes the following;

  1. Additional VxRail nodes prepared to version 4.7.410
  2. All DNS records for the new cluster created
  3. IP addresses assigned and DNS records created for NSX flavour of choice
  4. User ‘vxadmin’ created in SSO (I’ll cover this on the video below)

Before starting the process shown in the video, I grabbed three additional VxRail E460F nodes and upgraded RASR to 4.7.410. I kicked off a factory reset and allowed that to run while I’m getting on with the initial creation of the workload domain.

Getting to the content of the video, I first created a new workload domain in SDDC Manager. I entered a workload domain name and all the required details for the new vCenter.

While the vCenter was deploying, I finished up the factory reset on my three new VxRail nodes and made VxRail manager reachable. In my environment, this consists of the following;

  1. Log into two of the three nodes DCUI (KVM via the node’s iDRAC) and enable the shell in the troubleshooting menu.
  2. Set the VLAN ID of two port groups to match the management VLAN. This is done on the shell with the command esxcli network vswitch standard portgroup set -p ” [port group name] ” -v [VLAN ID]. I change VLAN IDs for the port groups ‘Private Management Network’ and ‘Private VM Network’.
  3. Restart loudmouth (the discovery service) on both nodes with the command /etc/init.d/loudmouth restart.
  4. Wait for the primary node to win the election and start the instance of the VxRail Manager VM. You can check which node this is by checking if the VxRail Manager VM is booted. Use the command vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms to get the ID of the VxRail Manager VM, then use vim-cmd vmsvc/power.getstate [ID] to check if the VM is powered on.
  5. On the primary node, set the ‘VM Network’ port group to the management VLAN (same command as above). Failing to set this will lead to massive confusion as to why you can’t reach the temporary management IP you’ll assign to the host in the next step. You’ll check VLAN’s, trunks, spanning tree and twenty other things before groaning loudly and going back to the node to set the VLAN. Ask me how I know.
  6. In the DCUI, give the primary node a temporary IP address on the management VLAN.
  7. Log into vSphere client on the node and open the VxRail Manager VM console. Log in as root using the default password.
  8. Set a temporary IP on the VxRail Manager VM with the command /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_set_network eth0 STATICV4 [ip address] [subnet mask] [gateway].
  9. Restart the marvin and loudmouth services on the VxRail manager VM with systemctl restart vmware-marvin and systemctl restart vmware-loudmouth.
  10. Give it a moment for those services to restart, then open the temporary VxRail Manager IP in a browser.
  11. Go back to the third (and any subsequent) node(s) and perform steps 1 to 3 above.

Before kicking off the VxRail build, I go back and remove the temporary management IP address I set on the primary node to prevent any confusion on the built cluster. I’ve found in the past that SDDC sometimes isn’t too happy if there are two management IP addresses on a host. It tends to make the VCF bringup fail at about the NFS datastore mount stage.

Before anyone says anything; Yes, this would be a lot easier if I had DHCP in the environment and just used the VxRail default VLAN for node discovery. But this is a very useful process to know if you find yourself in an environment where there is no DHCP or there are other network complications that require a manual workaround. I may just have to create another short video on this at some stage soon.

With my vCenter ready and my VxRail ready to run, I’ll fire up the wizard and allow the node discovery process to run. After that, I chose to use an existing JSON configuration file I had for another workload domain I created not too long ago. I’ll be changing pretty much everything for this run, it just saves some time to have some of the information prepopulated. I am of course building this VxRail cluster with an external vCenter, the same vCenter that SDDC Manager just created.

The installer kicks off and if I log into the SDDC management vCenter, I can watch the workload domain cluster being built.

A little while later the cluster build is completed, but I’m not done yet. I need to go back into SDDC Manager and complete the workload domain addition. Under my new workload domain, which is currently showing as ‘activating’, I need to add my new VxRail cluster. SDDC Manager discovers the new VxRail Manager instance, I confirm password details for the nodes in the cluster and choose my preferred NSX deployment. In this case, I’m choosing NSX-V. I only have two physical 10Gbit NICs in the nodes, so NSX-T isn’t an option. Roll on Cloud Foundation 4.0 for the fix to that.

I enter all the details required to get NSX-V up and running; NSX manager details, NSX controllers and passwords for everything. I choose licenses to apply for both NSX and vSAN, then let the workload domain addition complete. All done, the configuration state now shows ‘active’ and I’m all done.

Except not quite. In the video I have also enabled vRealize Log Insight on the new workload domain before finishing up.

On the subject of the vRealize Suite, that’s up next.

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