I first came across Mike Brown a couple of weeks ago when I was searching for some kind of skinny-linux distro to use both with Nested ESX (ESX running ESX) and for vCloud Connector – on his site I found a copy of Linux DSL which is only 32MB in memory and disk for that purpose. As someone who’d help me, I thought it was only right and proper for me to help him, and shining a light on his blog and is work with VMware technologies. Turns out we had plenty in common as he’s been working on VMware Site Recovery Manager/DR project for a while…
I’d like to acknowledge Ricky El-Qasem’s blogpost on the Veeam Blog. This was written in Sept, 2011 ago as Ricky has moved on to work for canopy-cloud.com
Of course all this is just for lab testing purposes, remember vINCEPTION or Nesting as it is more commonly known – is unsupported…
One of the thing I want to do is running Windows 2012 HyperV inside a VMware vSphere 5.1 environment. There’s couple of reasons why:
Firstly, my big project at the moment is learning vCloud Automation Center or vCAC. There’s a couple of ways round pronouncing the acronym. Some people call it VC-AC (think of how you would say AC-DC) and others I’ve heard it pronounce CAC as “cake”. So take your pick. As you might know vCAC is to some degree hypervisor and cloud agnostic – although personally I think your better of using vSphere (but hell, I would say that wouldn’t I?). So I want to learn how to setup ALL the provisioning resource types – as you can’t really go about deploying VMs/vApps without any resources to point to (although apparently with vCAC there is a way of spoofing it to think it is… which I think might be rather interesting to investigate at a later date)
Secondly, we recently released “Multi-Hypervisor Management” (MHM for short, shouldn’t that be vMHM?) so I wanted to setup a temporary nested Windows 2012 HyperV environment to test that as well.
Thirdly, it’s occurred to me that as VMware’s Senior Cloud Infrastructure Evangelist (you gotta love these US job titles!) I can’t really do that in a VMware Bubble. So its time to start looking over the fence at what others are doing – because only by seeing what these systems are like for real, and can a truly see what differentiates VMware racehorse from the also-rans. It makes sense to start with Microsoft’s offering because lets face it there are biggest Elephant in the room. But once I’m done with them, I do want to look at other vendors too such as OpenStack(s).
Of course my focus has to be VMware for reasons which I think are patently obvious – and so for that matter I didn’t want to dedicate hardware in my lab to running them. Nested seems to be there way to go, and that’s what I’m doing for internal builds of vSphere whereas in the physical world – I’m running the latest and greatest GA code. I won’t be able to draw any conclusions from a performance perspective because it will be nested, not native. My interest is really in product functionality and integration.
Now down to business. If you try to install Windows 2012 Server OS and then enable the HyperV role the GUI or via PowerCLI with the proper settings you likely to get this error message. One of the complexities around Window 2012 HyperV is how even get this far. Do you install Windows with or without a GUI front-end (or Server Core as Microsoft calls it). Plus when you look at TechNet there’s even .ISO of things called “HyperV”. Is it me or is that just unnecessarily confusing – compared to dedicated hypervisor with no graphic front-end?
To do this with PowerCLI on Server Core you would use:
Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V –Restart
That cmdlet would result in similiar response:
So to get this nesting to work we need to make some changes on the ESX hosts, and also the VM’s VMX file. Before you go any further you do realise this sort thang isn’t remotely supported. Thought so. But I thought I better say that to CYA…
STEP1: Enable VHV Allow on the ESX Host:
First you need open a console on the ESX host, and modify a text file. These way to do this is temporarily open SSH on the host, and PuTTY in. Once there’s run this command:
echo ‘vhv.allow = “TRUE” ‘ >> /etc/vmware/config
repeat and rinse for the all the remaining hosts in your cluster.
STEP2: Enable VMX Settings
Next we need to add two entries to the .VMX file called monitor.virtual_exec=hardware and hypervisor.cpuid.v0=FALSE parameters to the Nested Windows 2012 HyperV system
STEP3: Ensure CPU/MMU Virtualization is engaged
STEP4: Add a CPU Mask:
Finally, add a CPU mask to the Level1 register on ecx
—- —- —- —- —- —- –H- —-
From this point if you pCPU is of the right type be able to power on and enable the HyperV role – sadly for me my CPU still didn’t support this nested approach (although VMware ESX 5.x works perfectly fine).
So for me its back to the drawing board. I guess what I could do is – take 4 of my 9 servers and install Windows HyperV to two of them, and Xen to the others. It’s not ideal. My Lenovo’s at the colo don’t have the blue widget that enabled remote console access. That means scheduling a visit to the colocation facility to install to physical. Plus I didn’t really want to dedicate physical hardware to this sort of thing – just spin it on demand, and power off when I’m done…
I’ve been doing some recent experimentation with nesting Microsoft Windows 2012 HyperV under vSphere5.1 – and that lead me to looking at the UDA as way of pushing out a scripted installation of Windows 2012. I had a quick word with Carl Thijssen and he very kindly put together a patch bundle to add support for Windows 2008, Windows 7/8 and Windows 2012.
If you run the UDA or intend to I’d highly recommend this patch. Although you might want to backup or snapshot your UDA first, just in case something goes astray during the upgrade itself. Pop along to the download page here or on ultimatedeployment.org/download.html to grab the new patch.
Acknowledgement: I should thank Adam Bohle and Kim Ranyard who have been unofficially supporting me, and helping me. Without Adam and Kim’s assistance over the last couple of days this blog post wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks guys!
Previously, I spent an entire post just talking about meeting the pre-requisites for an installation of vCAC. By the end of the process I now have two setups – one that’s fully-distributed and product like with multiple Windows instances for the different vCAC roles – and another I’m calling “Uber-vCAC” which is one big Windows instance that will do the whole shooting match. I wanted to try both types of install – because I know the 1st one would be done in production and the second one would be done in a homelab. I must admit creating the Uber-vCAC was very easy. I guess it just shows that in IT once you have done a task more than two or three times it becomes second nature to you, and feels qualitative easier.
Now that I happy that all those pre-requisities have been met I think I’m ready to proceed to the installation part. As ever you need permissions and rights in order to install anything into Windows. That means what ever account you use it must have “Local Administrator” rights. I guess this is why so much software gettings installed using the credentials of the Domain Admin in our world. To be bit more specific the user rights that stuck out for me in reading the install guide were:
- Manager Service Install – needs at least DBO privileges to the vCAC Database.
- Manager Service Install – if you need to authorise users to Active Directory, the Manager Service user must have rights to the “Windows Authorisation Access” group on the Domain
For this reason I created an “vCAC-Admin” account with the appropriate rights including membership of the groups. It was this account I used for the local login for the installation.
With contributions from our esteemed colleagues:
Massimo Re Ferre, Eric Fulton, Tomas Fojta, Ray Budavari, Jesse Schachter, Kyle Smith, Francois Misiak, Benham Chia, Ranga Maddipudi, Trevor Gerdes and Ben Byer.
In this month digest we focus on both vCloud Director and vCNS Edge Gateway questions and answers including:
- vCloud Director:
- Guest OS Clustering
- vApps with VMs spanning clusters
- IP Masquerade in vCD 5.x
- Changes in networking when upgrading from vCD 1.5 to 5.1
- Increasing vCD Cell Performance
- Partially powered on VMs and Licensing
- 3rd Party VPN Support
- High Availablity for the Edge Gateway
- Edge Gateway Storage Placement
- Edge Gateway and Physical Equipment
It’s with great pleasure and pride to say that I will speaking at the UK Northeast England VMUG Meeting on the 6th June. It will be nice to supporting my local area (kind of) where I was born and bred (well, actually I’m Teessider, not a Tynesider, but I guess that’s better than being a Mackem right?). I will probably go up North the night before and kip with my parents, before heading up to Newcastle in the morning. Plan to check into a local hotel so I can stay on for the vBeers – before toddling back home the following morning.
Might pop on Owa Mam for a lunch time Parmo…
We kick off at 12.30pm at:
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2JQ
Here’s the Agenda so far:
- Networking and Lunch
- Cisco Presentation: How Cisco Do IT
- Meet Richard Gore who will discuss how Cisco deployed VMware in their environment as the first step toward deploying private cloud, IaaS and PaaS in Cisco production data centers.Rich is a Cisco IT senior manager with 14 years’ experience in Cisco IT infrastructure architecture. He has 30 years of IT experience at Bell Labs, AT&T, as a private consultant and now with Cisco IT.
- User Presentation: Virtualising SQL instances
- Rod Hope from BSkyB (and Scottish VMUG) will give a presentation on his real world experiences virtualising SQL Server. Rod has over 13 years’ experience working with some of the world’s largest investment / investment services banks and has recently joined BSkyB’s Operations Engineering group in an Infrastructure Designer role.
- VMware Presentation: “DR and the Cloud – To, From, Of”
- Meet Mike Laverick (for it is I) who will discuss the challenges of doing DR to the cloud, from the cloud and of the cloud. Mike spent several years as an instructor and blogger, and written several books on topics such as vSphere 4, SRM and View, he joined VMware as an employee last year.
- Q&A and Wrap-Up: Raffle and Interactive Feedback: Bring Your Own Device. We’ve been using an App to ask the audience so far but if the Wi-Fi lets us down we’ll go old school and ask for show of hands on what you’d like for forthcoming topics.
- vBeers: Join us in a local pub, The Bridge Hotel, for a drink courtesy of our sponsors Nimble Storage
I’d really recommend Rod’s session – as I know him well from the Scottish VMUG…
vCloud Connector 2.0 and the VMware Cloud Service Evaluation
One source for Service Provider would be VMware’s very own Cloud Service Evaluation – which is currently in beta. The evaluation is just recently been upgraded to vCloud Director 5.1 and support vCloud Connector 2.0. I think there was originally some confusion. From the start the “vCloud Server Evaluation” wasn’t intended as production grade hosted experience – its merely intended as taster of how vCloud Director works. However, when we announced our intention build our own Hybrid Cloud solution – the two became conflated with each other. So on the day of the announcement many people thought this eval was the Hybrid Cloud – when it was just announcement – a statement of intent. Sadly, the poor evaluation got pretty hammered in this time. I guess the good intention was try and get our naming ducks in a row, but people were confused about to two different initiatives if I can call them that.
The sign-up process for the VMware Cloud Evaluation is nice slick affair – usual suspects apply and there’s SMS PIN validation of the sign-up process which I rather like nowadays – you’ll need a credit card handy. I would recommend digging out your corporate company credit card. That’s what I did. Please don’t tell Jeff my manager. Okay? Fortunately, my friends over in the vCloud Evaluation provided me with a voucher number – so I have some credit already…
I’ve already written posts about the setup of the vCloud Connector private use already, as well as documenting the setup with a public provider like Stratogen, as well the process of copying, content sync and stretched deploy – so I won’t repeat myself.
There is PDF guide that walks you through Cloud with specific emphasis on vCloud Connector, and page 17 is where the document begins to talk about using the Cloud Evaluation with vCloud Connector:
1. The first step is to create a new user specifically to be used by the vCloud Connector itself. This can be be done under the “Administration” tab by clicking the “Add A User” button. This user must be an Organization Administrator – and no you cannot use the “admin” account generated during the sign-up process – and used as the primary login to the VMware Cloud Evaluation.
One of the things I’ve been looking at is ways the vCommunity can learn more about cloud and vCloud Director with minimal effort. After all not everyone has a homelab or colocation like I do. It’s worth saying that the physical resources required to learn more about vCloud Director are not insignificant. So it was with those thoughts in mind that I started to look at the VMware Cloud Evaluation – as a possible route in. One of the interesting things about the evaluation is that it demonstrates how a customer could wrap their own UI shell around vCloud Director, as well as or instead of exposing the native vCloud Director interface to the consumer.
The sign-up process for the eval is pretty slick and I would recommend any SP who is thinking of entering this space to take a look at this enrollment process. Along side taking essential user data, the evaluation uses SMS text messages to verify the sign-up process along with the more common email method. Its something I’ve seen banks do frequently to sign up new payees in my Internet banking.
It takes about 15mins once all the details have been taken instantiate a new cloud evaluation account. That might sounds a long time to you, but believe me this actually pretty quick – especially as I heard only a couple of weeks ago that one SP’s idea of an acceptable onboarding process was 6 months! I guess that’s corporate compliance for you – previously it took a year – so things are getting better! The Organization name is a numerical value that is assigned along with your password when your account is created. Once logged in to your evaluation account you have the option of using a simplified UI interface or the more sophisticated vCloud Director. The simplified evaluation UI is on the “My Cloud” tab while on that tab you can choose to view in vCloud Director if you want to. As the OrgAdmin you have the right to create vApps and vApp Networks using the core vCloud Director interface.
Chinwag is back! Yes, I know its been a while a combo of travel and finding it difficult to pin guests down for specific dates has been the source of the unexpected hiatus. In fact I think its the biggest chinwag-gap I’ve had since I started. This weeks chinwaggee is Angelo Luciani. He’s one of the VMUG Leaders in Toronto, and he also helped to found the Silicon Valley VMUG. His day job is with a large financial institution in Toronto – but in fact most of our chat remained on the topic of VMUGs – and how to encourage more user/member participation. It was sort of inspired by the recent blogpost I did on the subject.
For some reason the old 70′s Kung-Fo Movie gremlins were at play – so you’ll notice that ye old lip movements aren’t in synch with the sound. Not quite sure why that happened, as Skype & YouTube normally play ball. Anyway, so long as the audio is clear – what the hell…
Note: There’s quite few components to vCAC that need to be installed and configured. I intend to update the post as learn more.
UPDATE: After writing this post I came across a script that can handle all the pre-reqs for vCAC. It’s on Randy Stanley’s blog killerclouds.com as part of his blogpost “VMware vCAC 5.1 Install Process – Overview“, specifically his PowerShell script is here.
I went down to the crossroads (to quote Robert Johnson), and decide to take the turning to the right. I’ve been working solidly with vCloud Director since August of last year. But there is more to our vCloud Suite than single product, so I’ve decide to turn my attention to another product in the suite vCloud Automation Center. So I’ve downloaded all the PDFs, and I’ve managed to get hold of the “Foundation Training” manual, but I’m not due to attend the course until June. I’m getting married in a couple of weeks, followed by a honeymoon in Venice – so that sort of made attending courses and such like in late April and early May an impossibility.
Not to be outdone, I thought I would dip my toes in. I figure if I’m to have any chance of following the manual for the course in my own time I’m going to need an instance of vCAC up and running. But before I do that I must broker the whole issue of how one handles the product name. There seems to be to approaches – spelling out each letter in turn “VC-AC” as if you were making a reference to the rock group “AC-DC” or merely dispensing with the whole v-business altogether and saying “Cloud Automation Center”. Personally, I quite like “VC-AC” it has nice ring to it… Personally, I think ALL our products should start with a small v. It would make finding them on the A-Z list of technologies – just click at V and you’ll find them all there.
A quick looks at the official admin guide shows the task before me – It is entirely possible to create one big Uber Windows instance and run the whole thing on single VM . But I want also to be realistic – and have the option to do configurations that will require redundancy and resiliency One of my experiences of the last 20 years in IT is the more software you shoe-horn into the same OS the more conflicts – plus separate instances allow you keep the structure of the product in your head.. So looking at the diagram below I’m already thinking at least 5 VMs for the Web-Server, vCAC Server, MS-SQL Database Server, The vCAC Agent and the DEM…