Deploying vCD 9.7 Appliance

A-40000-foot-view-of-VMware-vCloud-Director.jpgVMware released vCloud Director 6.7 several weeks ago; it included many new features and enhancements. To get started with the new enhancements and features, let’s see what it takes to deploy the vCD appliance and to successfully deploy the virtual appliance.

Last week I decided to upgrade my vCD infrastructure with the new 9.7 release. After I acquired the new version and started the deployment, I found that this deployment is a little different from that experience  I had with the old version. I wrote a blog about it some time ago, and to read more about the old deployment, you can use this link.

The reason the new deployment is different is that this time I chose to deploy the vCD appliance configured to reduce the number of VMs running in my lab; specifically, the SQL server. I am going to use a built-in Postgres DB on this SQL appliance.

To successfully deploy the vCD appliance, I will show you the steps you must complete before you start:

  • Create DNS records 
  • Configure an NFS share
  • Deploy the virtual appliance

DNS Records

The vCD appliance requires 2 IP addresses. The first is for internal access, including the database service. The second is for UI and API access. Both these IP addresses require a DNS A-record and reverse lookup record. Before you begin the deployment, create two DNS A-record entries like these in the illustration below.

After you complete this step, you can start the next step. Read on.

Configure an NFS Share

The vCD appliance version 9.7 requires access to an NFS share. You will notice that during the deployment of the vCD you must provide an NFS URL. Without it, you will be unable to proceed with the next step. In my lab I don’t have an NFS server; therefore, I used an MS Windows server to provide this service. To deploy an NFS server on MS Windows, run the Add Roles and Features wizard and add Server for NFS Share. Check the illustration below.

After the deployment is complete, create a folder on your hard drive and share that folder as an NFS share, as shown in the illustration below.

Now we are ready to start the OVF deployment of the vCD appliance.

Deploying the OVF

This time, I chose to deploy the vCD from the OVF.  To do this, I acquired the vCD 9.7 OVF file and started my deployment as shown in the illustration below.

From vCentre, select Deploy OVF Template.  Click the radio button for Local file, then click on Browse to select the file:

After several basic steps, click on the Accept button at the lower left of the window to Accept the License Agreements and to start the vCD deployment.

At line 6 Select configuration, as I will be using this vCD build as a demonstration, testing and Proof of Concept (POC), I chose Primary – small.

Next, I selected the datastore where I will save the deployed files. See the illustration below.

I selected the destination of each source network. As you can see, there are two network adapters required for the vCD:

  • The first network adapter is for accessing internal services, including the embedded PostgreSQL DB service. See the last line in the illustration below.


  • The second network adapter for Network for vCloud Director UI and API access. See the last line in the illustration below.


The last step is to configure the vCD appliance. The illustration below is a screenshot showing a summary of the configuration I have just set up.

After the deployment is completed and has begun its first run, you must wait several minutes to allow the vCD to apply the configurations you supplied. Upon completion, you will be presented with the following screenshot where you can see the URLs necessary to access the vCD appliance services.

Troubleshooting

Go back and review the screenshot above. You will note that I did not enable the SSH root logging. From my experience, I highly recommend enabling this SSH service during the deployment to follow some, or all, of the following steps, if required.

To Check the vCD service status: Enter the following to check the vCloud Director Services – service vmware-vcd status

To check the Postgres DB Status: Enter the following command to check the PostgreSQL Services – service vpostgres status

For deep troubleshooting, you can review the below log files:

/opt/vmware/var/log/firsboot

/opt/vmware/var/log/vcd/setupvcd.log

/opt/vmware/var/log/vami/vami-ovf.log

To Review the entries used when you configured the appliance run the command ovfenv

Summary

After running through the steps I have described above, I was able to deploy my new vCD appliance version 9.7 successfully. It was also a quicker deployment than the second option of deploying the vCD on Linux, where I wrote about the steps on this link.

During the deployment I described here on this blog today, I encountered several issues. All were related to the database not starting. After some troubleshooting, I found that the issues were related to the NFS share access hosted on QNAP. After I switched to MS Windows NFS, shown on this blog post, the vCD began working just fine.

 

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