Thursday 27 May 2021

Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-9-HA-DRS

In my previous post, Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-8-vCenter we have successfully deployed vCenter server, and now we are ready to configure vCenter server.

Just be aware that as we are performing these actions in a nested environment, we will face performance issues, hence do not run out of patience due to slowness and delayed response. 

Now in order to start we will login to the vCenter server https://vcsa.lab.local, using SSO credentials.

To start, we need to create one datacenter, right click on vCenter name and select the option New datacenter.

As we are creating this lab in a nested environment, I am naming the DC as "NestedSDDC". In real world we follow the naming convention which customer follows, based on their IT policies. You can find few examples here.

Next step is to add hosts into the newly build SDDC, for that right click on the SDDC and select option add host.

Lets follow the wizard to add the hosts. Provide name for the host to be added.

Provide hosts root credentials.

Accept the certificate presented by the host.

Review the host summary, keep that in mind hosts with same build number or lower build number can be added to a vCenter.

We are running evaluation license, if you have license keys we can apply license later from vCenter.

We will keep the lockdown mode disabled, we will review these settings when we will look at the security hardening guide.

As we have not created any VM folder so far, we will keep VM location as the SDDC.

Review the details and finish. 

Follow same steps for all the hosts.

Once all the hosts are added in the datacenter, we will create cluster to configure DRS and HA services.
Right click on datacenter, select option to add new cluster.

We will not enable HA and DRS at the moment. I have highlighted the option with the check box to manage all the hosts in the cluster with single image, if we check that box than we would not be able to apply baselines to the hosts of that particular cluster, this feature is introduced with vSphere 7 and it is  useful as it keeps all hosts in check for the image compliance.

Well for now we are not using any of these options, hence I have kept everything disabled. we will enable settings one by one.

Once cluster is created, you can use the quick start feature to configure cluster settings, under cluster configuration.

Under cluster basics, select edit.

Enable vSphere DRS and HA. Services will be enabled with VMware default configuration, incase you wish to know more about each setting under HA and DRS, I would recommend reading articles I have tagged.

Now under 2nd option add host, click add host option.

Select existing hosts option and add both the hosts.

You would see a warning on the host where VCSA is hosted, that warning is to show that host can not be moved into maintenance mode before admitting into the cluster. We can ignore this warning, however VMware has made sure that if any host is added to the cluster, it should be in maintenance mode, so that if any configuration which is not in place can be configured before production workloads are placed on it. 

 Now read the warning for your understanding and click finish. 

Do not take out the host from maintenance mode, once they are part of the cluster and click on Configure under configure cluster tab.

Let us configure the Distributed switch for the ESXi host networking.

Provide name for the distributed switch, and select the uplinks.

Assign the vMotion IP address for the hosts. We have manually created the vMotion network on these hosts with standard switch, but now we are moving to distributed switch.

Fill and validate the advanced options, I have kept everything to VMware defaults.

This will configure distributed switch for you as well as, it will migrate the networking from standard switch. Now you can take second host out of maintenance mode. Right click on the host and select option maintenance mode>>exit maintenance mode.

Now this environment is ready to deploy other VMware solutions. In my next post Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-10-vSAN 7 we will test vSAN on our virtual environment.

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  1. hi thanks for the steps. Facing an issue where after configuring Distributed switch, an alert pops out that says "network uplink redundancy lost" for each of the esxi host.

    1. Hi Dear, It is going to give you this alert as while moving uplinks from standard to DVswitch host will lose redundancy. Hence after migration of uplink is complete reset that alert to green.


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