How to manage vCloud Air via the vSphere client

In order to manage the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service with the vSphere client you first need to install the vCloud Connector. The vCC comes in one free version now, it used to be two but now you get all features for free. This post shows the steps to set this up:

Summary:

  1. Download the vCC Node and vCC Server appliance into you local vSphere environment
  2. Configure the vCC Node and Server to talk to each other and the local vCenter
  3. Register the vCC plugin with the vSphere client (it doesn’t support the Web Client yet)
  4. Configure the vCC Server to talk to the vCloud Air cloud node and provide credentials

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A common mistake when sizing virtual environments

download (1)When designing a virtual infrastructure to host either desktops (VDI) or servers it’s important to size it correctly. Time and time again I see people misunderstand the approach to sizing by reading metrics on the face value but not fully understanding them.

I’m going to specifically focus on compute sizing, that is how much CPU and Memory capacity will I need on my virtual hosts to run my virtual workloads. I’ll talk about Disk and Network IO in another post but the same principles apply.

To size correctly we need to do the following:

  1. Understand what workloads are in scope
  2. Monitor these workloads over a representative period to understand their performance requirements
  3. Convert the metrics into hardware requirements (I’ll cover this in a later post)

Let’s break this down…

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VMware Horizon Mirage pivot fails if you replace the logon GINA

Issue

When trying to perform a migration recentl the pivot process failed to complete as expected due to Imprivata. Imprivata is a SSO solution which replaces the Windows GINA (Interactive Logon) to provide a custom login screen.

When attempting the Pivot process (VMware Horizon Mirage 4.3) the Windows Update Splash screen doesn’t appear and the standard Windows login appears. If I manually log on the Mirage client shows that the USMT process is occurring. This allows users to login and generally is not the expected process however it does seem to complete the USMT process and join the domain.

Troubleshooting and trial and error shows that this was due to the Imprivata client, although we suspect that this would occur with any product that replaces that Windows GINA.

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Understanding the basics of vCloud Air networking

download (2)Internally within vCloud Air there are two types of networks you can create:

  • Isolated
  • Routed

Isolated Networks

Isolated networks allow traffic only between virtual machines within that network therefore they are not able to communicate to the outside world. The use cases for these are more limited than for routed networks, but could be useful when testing completely self contained services or infrastructures such as test, dev or lab environments.

When configuring an isolated network you have the option of enabling basic DHCP services. Here you can define the IP range to allocate and the lease time. If you want more advanced DHCP options then you’ll need to deploy your own DHCP server within a VM.

You can also configure the range of static IP addresses and Pri/Sec DNS servers that vCloud Air will allocate and configure on new VMs. This saves you from manually having to configure yourself but should not to be confused with DHCP.

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