skip to Main Content

VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail TM Blog Series – Part 2: Setup

VMware Cloud Foundation On Dell EMC VxRail TM Blog Series – Part 2: Setup

Authors: 

  • Amitrajit Chatterjee, Staff Engineer
  • Peter Brown, Director R&D 
  • Tony Huynh, Director Product Management 

In part 1 of this blog series, we provided you with an overview of Cloud Foundation on VxRail. In part 2 of the blog series, we will discuss how to bring up a Dell EMC VxRail cluster, deploy the various VMware Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) components on top of it and manage the environment. 

A Cloud Foundation system is made up of two parts – the Management Domain (made up of 4 VxRail nodes) which contains all the infrastructure workloads and a Workload Domain (with minimum 4 VxRail nodes) hosting all the tenant workloads. Customers have the option of deploying either multiple Workload Domains, or multiple clusters within a single Workload Domain, or a mixture of both depending upon the needs. The environment can grow with your needs; additional hosts, or entire Workload Domains and/or clusters can be added at a later date when needed.   

To provide for the best levels of availability, all servers in a given cluster must be of the same model and type. A cluster does not need to have servers of the same model and type as other clusters. A list of available VxRail nodes can be found here. 

Management Domain Deployment  

The following steps will walk through the Management Domain deployment: 

  1. The starting point is the deployment of a standard 4 node VxRail cluster by Dell EMC personnel.  This creates a VSAN cluster with a vCenter server, Platform Services Controller (PSC) and VxRail Manager to manage the cluster.  
  2. After the cluster is created the vCenter server is externalized following a standard process so that VxRail Manager does not manage it anymore. Along with this the management network binding is changed to ephemeral from static.  
  3. In order to deploy Cloud Foundation, next the VMware Cloud Builder Virtual Machine (VM) is deployed by the Dell EMC personnel on top of the cluster. The Cloud Builder VM takes the customer configuration inputs and provides the automated workflows that instantiate the management domain. The customer is required to fill out an excel sheet containing information related to the VxRail cluster, networking, licenses and other Cloud Foundation components. Once the excel sheet is uploaded, the Cloud Builder VM converts it into a JSON file, validates all the inputs, throws a warning if something needs to be fixed and once everything is validated starts the Cloud Foundation deployment. 
  4. This process automatically deploys a second PSC, NSX-V Manager and Controllers, VRLI components and a SDDC Manager. Once the management domain is ready, an administrator can use the SDDC Manager to perform tasks such as:  
    • Add or remove Workload Domains and clusters 
    • Add or remove hosts to/from individual clusters 
    • Deploy vRealize Operations and Automation 
    • Manage certificates across the system 
    • Change passwords 
    • Perform life cycle management of the Cloud Foundation on VxRail hardware and software components.  
    • Monitor alerts and health of the system 
    • Deploy VMware Horizon Domains 

For more detailed steps for the Management Domain deployment follow the VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail Administration Guide.

Workload Domain Deployment  

 

Before the customer is ready to use the system, a Workload Domain should be deployed to host all the customer application VMs. The following steps will walk through the process. 

  1. The starting point is the SDDC Manager through which the user deploys a vCenter server onto the management domain, which will be used to manage the workload domain.  An additional local user is created on this vCenter to enable the VxRail cluster to join the vCenter. 
  2. A new 4 node VxRail cluster is deployed by Dell EMC personnel, but it is joined to the existing vCenter and PSC already available in the management domain. This creates a VSAN cluster with just a VxRail Manager running on top of it.   
  3. Next the Dell EMC personnel uses the SDDC Manager to complete addition of this cluster to the Workload Domain. Additional information related to NSX-V Manager/Controller/License needs to be provided in order to complete deployment of the Workload Domain primary cluster.   
  4. After the primary cluster is up and running the SDDC Manager can be used to add new hosts to this cluster for capacity expansion or create a new cluster.  
  5. During life cycle management operations, the management domain needs to be upgraded first, followed by the workload domain. Multiple workload domains can be upgraded in parallel but within a domain the clusters are upgraded serially. This upgrade process is fully automated. 

For more detailed steps for the Workload Domain deployment follow the VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail Administration Guide. 

Cluster Expansion 

The process of expanding a cluster by adding host(s) is also easy and is a two-step process. The host(s) need to be imaged first by the standard VxRail procedure and added onto the required cluster from the VxRail Manager plugin on the vCenter. 

 

Then from the SDDC manager it needs to be added onto the proper Workload Domain cluster 

 

For more detailed steps for the Cluster Expansion workflow follow the VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail Administration Guide. 

Cluster Contraction 

 

The process of removing host(s) from the cluster is again a two-step process. First from the SDDC manager the correct host(s) needs to be removed from the Workload Domain cluster. Then the host(s) are removed from the vCenter following standard VxRail procedure using the VxRail Manager plugin. 

If the host(s) need to be re-purposed for addition to a different cluster or creation of a new cluster then they will need to be re-imaged first and then appropriate steps documented above will need to be followed. 

For more detailed steps for the Cluster Contraction workflow follow the VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail Administration Guide. 

Domain or Cluster Deletion 

 

If there are multiple clusters in a domain, they can be deleted one at a time. If there is only one cluster then the corresponding domain will need to be deleted. 

To delete a cluster the user should login to the SDDC Manager, find the workload domain that contains the cluster, select the appropriate cluster and then delete it. The details page for the workload domain will appear with a confirmation message indicating that the cluster is being deleted. When the removal process is complete, the cluster is removed from the clusters table. 

If the cluster hosts need to be re-purposed for addition to a different cluster or creation of a new cluster then they will need to be re-imaged first and then appropriate steps documented above will need to be followed. 

For more detailed steps for the Cluster Contraction workflow follow the VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail Administration Guide. 



** This post was originally published on https://blogs.vmware.com/cloud-foundation/2019/06/14/vmware-cloud-foundation-on-dell-emc-vxrail-tm-blog-series-part-2-setup/ **

 

×Close search
Search