Category Archives: vCloud Air

How to configure vCloud Connector with vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand

This post starts with a bit of a mouthful, however if you want to configure your private ‘on-prem’ vSphere environment with vCloud Connector in order to access vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand resources you’ll need the following information.

If like me you have a small lab environment which consists of a single vCenter Standard appliance/server and you have access to credit on vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand then you will need to configure something called the vCloud Connector (referred here as the ‘Server’, and then the ‘Node’). These are two separate appliances which you’ll deploy via a simple OVF template and then link together with your vCenter instance (which is referred to as ‘vSphere’. VMware’s own documentation is pretty straight forward apart from one specific area which I think needs a little improvement.

First, download and deploy the vCloud Connector Server appliance, followed by the Node. Both of these steps are detailed here in the product documentation and simply require a static IP address, default gateway, DNS and subnet mask during the template deployment.

Once the appliances are online, check that the time zone is correct and in agreement between both appliances. Configure the Node first, by entering your ‘Cloud’ details which in my use-case is simply the vCenter server’s URL. Once this is complete, configure the Server component by registering the Node which you just worked with. This step links the Node to the Server, and completes the following relationship

Private Cloud (vCenter) Node <<—>> Server <—>

The vCloud Connector server maintains a local content repository which you can then use to synchronise content between the vCloud Air service and your own content catalogue (think templates).

The next step is to configure the Server with a connection to vCloud Air’s own Node – we’re lucky here because it’s already deployed as a shared resource within the infrastructure layer at VMware’s datacentre. Go to the Server’s ‘Nodes’ page and add another connection using the ‘Register Node’ button.

This time, you’ll need the URL of vCloud Air’s ‘On Demand’ servers, which are documented on the following location

http://pubs.vmware.com/vca/index.jsp#com.vmware.vcc.vca.doc/GUID-AD5E9377-7A9E-4EDA-95AD-9DBECEA55787.html

These URLs are different to the ones which you are redirected to if you select “Want to Migrate Virtual machines?” link in vCloud Air and correspond with the On Demand service.

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Do you want to migrate virtual machines!?

Configure the appropriate URL for the location of your vCloud Air instance and then select the Public checkbox (this is required if there is a firewall/Internet between you and the datacenter). For some reason I needed to ignore the SSL certificate in order to authenticate correctly, but I’m not too worried about these things in a lab environment. The official explanation for this is below

vCloud Connector nodes in vCloud Air have SSL enabled and certificates from DigiCert installed. If you want to use the certificate, you must add a DigiCert High Assurance CA-3 intermediate certificate to your vCloud Connector server trusted keystore. Obtain the certificate, then see Add CA Root Certificate to Trusted Keystore for information on uploading it.

You should select ‘vCloud Director’ as the cloud type because this is the back-end core of the vCloud Air service, but the rest had me stumped for a little while. The VMware documentation says that you should just go ahead and enter your Organisation ID into the VCD Org Name box. But what is my org ID?

Specifically it says:

Specify the name of your vCloud Air virtual data center. (This is also the Organization name in the underlying vCloud Director instance.) You must use a valid name. vCloud Connector validates the name that you provide.

Luckily I noticed that the information was literally staring me in the face! Look in the URL of your vCloud Air management portal and you will find the GUID for it here (highlighted in bold) e.g.

https://uk-slough-1-6.vchs.vmware.com/compute/ui/?orgName=63567c98-f839-4632-9df2-b510155fa436&serviceInstanceId=.

It would have been nice had VMware provided a bit of a nudge here in terms of the field description, but I suppose it’s obvious now after going through the process.

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Once this is done, enter your username and password details which you have already used in order to gain access to the vCloud Air portal and you should have a successful connector. Now if you’ve performed all of the steps as described then you will now have a local vCloud Connector Server coupled with a Node in your private cloud and another in vCloud Hybrid Air, looking something like this

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Now that you’re done with this we’ll return back to the original end to end connectivity to review the outcome

Private Cloud (vCenter) Node <<—>> Connector Server <—> vCloud Air Node

The two components on the left hand side belong to you and run on your private cloud infrastructure, whilst the right hand side connects you to VMware’s cloud platform. Once this is achieved we now have a new icon displayed within the vSphere Client which allows us to access our content library and begin to upload Templates, VMs and vApps to the cloud.

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Check back for more vCloud fun soon.