VMworld 2015 Session Notes – PAR6421 – Best Practices for Deploying IaaS


So I started to take notes myself but found that Bill Gurling’s notes were way better (@vdingus on Twitter) – I’m publishing them here with his permission (call me his hype man).


Hartman Schoebel
Shannon Wilber
  • Ask the customer what they want?
    • Maybe not – customers don’t know what they don’t know. “Henry Ford’s faster horse”
  • IaaS Lifecycle Whiteboard Workshop
    • Overlays vCAC functionality on the customers process and environment
    • Easily identifies areas of synergy and divergence
    • Provides the customer with full understanding of vCAC
    • Provides VMware with holistic view of the customers needs
    • Workflow:
      • Request
      • Placement
      • Approval
      • Provision
      • Post Provision
      • Management
      • Decomission
  • Admin’s Processes First
    • Focus on automating for the IT admins
    • Simplify the provisioning and repetitive interactions with VMs
    • import and manage existing VMs
  • Use the VMware vRealize Automation published reference architecture
    • Small / Medium, does it matter?
      • Small if not HA or Load Balanced
  • Considerations
    • Load Balancers
      • F5 is common, lots of documentation and reference materials
    • Scale
    • High Availability
      • lots of complexity, leg a / leg b
  • Managing vRA
    • Combine with vRealize Ops and vRA Management Pack
    • Log insight content pack for vRA and turn into events for vRO
Setup and Hardening
  • Base / Small Architecture (from the reference architecture)
    • 2 Appliances not including DB
    • up to 4000 VMs / 100 catalogue items
    • Can add vRealize business as well as app services
  • Backup and Recovery w/ 6.x
    • Required Components
      • SQL Database for IaaS
      • PostgreSQL Database
      • Identity Appliance (SSO)
      • vRealize Automation Appliances
      • Optional – Load Balance
    • Minimize the # of active transactions before you begin the backup and backup all databases at the same time for the most consistent DB backups
    • Internal Installations of PostgreSQL database are not automatically backed up as part of the IaaS backup. You must back the PostgreSQL database up separately.
    • If using snaps, must bring down the appliances prior to snaps to get app consistent snaps
    • Set up PostgreSQL replication if possible, important to this architecture
Upgrade / Migration
  • Potential for upgrade assessment due to dependencies and complexity of vRA upgrades
  • 5.2 => 6.2
    • Requires a migration rather than an in place upgrade due to complexity and significant changes
    • Upgrades from versions prior to 5.2.3 will first need to go to 5.2.3 as a prereq for migrating to the newly created 6.2 environment
    • It is expected and acceptable that there will be some manual reconfiguration required pre and post upgrade
  • 6.1 => 6.2
    • minimal downtime
    • in place upgrade
  • Planning
    • Identify tenants, managed machines, blueprints, provisioning groups, enterprise groups, business groups, fabric groups, reservations and end points and validate dependencies, especially plugins.
    • Identify a migration plan for how the customer will migrate data
  • Upgrading to 6.1
    • Supported upgrade versions
      • vRA 6.0.1
      • vRA
      • vRA6.0.1.2
  • NSX
  • CMDB
  • IPAM – Infoblox most common
  • Storage
  • Configuration Mangement – Puppet / Chef / Salt / Ansible
Configuration of a Provisioning Infrastructure
  • Configuration Steps
    • Add a tenant
    • Configure endpoints
    • Create fabric groups
      • An IaaS administrator can organize virtualization compute resources and cloud endpoints into fabric groups by type and intent. One or more fabric administrators manage the resources in each fabric group.
      • Fabric administrators are responsible for creating reservations on the compute resources in their groups to allocate fabric to specific business groups. Fabric groups are created in a specific tenant, but their resources can be made available to users who belong to business groups in all tenants.
    • Create business groups
    • Create reservations
    • Create blueprints
    • Add blueprints to service catalogue
    • Entitle users
  • Often many cooks in the kitchen
    • Architect / Consultant looking at current technology and operations workflows, potentially conducting full fledged assessments
    • Implementation engineers for vRA, vRO, vRB including necessary customizations and orchestration workflows
    • Engineers assisting with integrations for post provisioning platforms
    • Ongoing management and maintenance of the environment
No troubleshooting…ran out of time.

One thought on “VMworld 2015 Session Notes – PAR6421 – Best Practices for Deploying IaaS

  1. Pingback: VMWorld 2015 – Blog Posts Reference | Think Meta

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