Thursday, 9 December 2021

Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install AVNs

In my previous post Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install Edge Nodes we completed deployment of edge node cluster in VMware cloud foundation management domain and successfully deployed T0 and T1 router instance for dynamic routing. For dynamic routing we used BGP in real world deployment your network team will enable BGP on uplink devices, however if you are doing it in LAB then you need to enable BGP on your uplink router which would be in our case CSR1000v. Please refer to my post where I have enabled it on our virtual router. 

Now as we are advancing with the deployment its time we create AVNs for hosting vRealize components. As each component will be placed on a AVN based on its usage and compliant with VMware Validated Designs.

I have already talked about VMware validated designs in my post Home Lab Step-by-Step-NSX-T 3.1 design and Install-P1 I would recommend to have a look at it once.

Monday, 22 November 2021

Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install Edge Nodes

In my previous post "Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install MGMT domain" we have completed VCF management domain deployment.

As we are using version 4.3, which gives us flexibility of deploying either with Static routing or dynamic using BGP, it doesn't deploy edge nodes and no AVN gets created. It actually allows us "Architects" to design and deploy without manual intervention or work around for keeping up with the needs of customer.

In a brown field deployment if you have an underlay network which is configured with static routes, as customer have limited subnets and do not have requirement of rapid network provisioning, they would not want to enable BGP, only to accommodate VCF and to design around this requirement we used work arounds, but now its a straight solution.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Step-by-Step-NSX-T 3.1 design and Install-P3

In my previous post Step-by-Step-NSX-T 3.1 design and Install-P2 we have have cover configuration of IP pool for host and edge transport node, transport zones, uplink profiles, Distributed switch for nsx, host addition to vds, host transport node profile and finally configuration of NSX on host transport nodes.

Now our esxi hosts are ready to participate in NSX-T datacenter however until we have a working connectivity model it would be of no use. Hence in this post we will take care of EDGE nodes.

To start with, I would urge you all to configure backup of your nsx-t manager cluster, as making it a habit will save you from many unfortunate situations. 

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install MGMT domain

As VMware cloud foundation 4.3 is around for a while and 4.3.1 is already available, I thought I should write this piece on how to design and deploy step by step. So with out wasting any time lets directly jump on to the product. VMware cloud foundation is available for some time now and many enterprises are adopting it because of ease of management it provides, in terms of a complete suite which includes all required/necessary products for a true software defined datacenter. But if you are new to VMware Cloud Foundation then be aware VMware cloud foundation is a VMware validated suite of products such as vSphere for compute virtualization, vSAN for storage virtualization and NSX for network virtualization along with other products to ease day 2 operations. Interoperability of these products is extensively tested by VMware and finally made available for general use. It is based on VMware validated designs so all solution designing principle are accounted for.

If you are installing it fresh or you need to upgrade from a previous version of VCF I would recommend reading the release notes. Below are few sections I focus.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Step-by-Step-NSX-T 3.1 design and Install-P2

In my previous post Home Lab Step-by-Step-NSX-T 3.1 design and Install-P1, we completed the installation of NSX-T managers and added compute manager. In this post we will start discussing the different deployment options and how to ascertain which deployment model is best suited for our customers.

But, before jumping on to deployment options, I would like to talk about architecting/designing a solution. This is for the folks who are new to solution architecture field. To summarize, a solution is build up of  5 components. Requirements, Risks, Constraints, Assumptions and based on these, design decisions.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Step-by-Step server 2022 installation on VMware platform

Here I came again with a new post, this time its not a VMware product but recently announced Microsoft Windows server 2022, on 1st June 2021 it was announced that it is available in evaluation center. It was in preview since march 2021, in addition to multi-layer security and hybrid capabilities with azure, it features flexible platform to modernize applications with containers.

We are going to install Server 2022, On VMware platform with ESXi Version 7.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Are you testing NSX-T ECMP link failover or network convergence correctly?

 Hello friends!! In this post I am going to talk about NSX-T link failover testing, which we all do at the end of deployment. 

I recently got to know I was doing it all wrong. Though it was always giving correct results still that's not the recommended way of checking link failover or testing convergence NSX-T deployment.

Well you must be wondering what was I doing and what you should be avoiding. 

So let me spill the beans, I was testing convergence by disconnecting Edge node virtual NIC one by one, which makes that path down and traffic use to converge to other available path. However it is not the correct way of doing it. 

So if you are also using same test for making a path down, would suggest not to use it, instead bring down physical NIC card of the host and for complete edge node failure, put edge node in maintenance mode.  

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

URPF mode NSX-T with VMware Cloud Foundation Not configured automatically

I am writing this post for everyone who is planning to use VMware cloud foundation with NSX-T Tier-0 Active-Active configuration.

Well its a short post and will not take long.

In my recent engagement, we completed the VMware cloud foundation management domain bring-up with AVN but without BGP.

I have posted about bring-up without BGP topic in a separate post.

Monday, 23 August 2021

VMware Cloud Foundation with AVN and Static Routes but No BGP

In my previous post Home Lab Step-by-Step-vCF 4.2.1 install using VLC, we deployed the SDDC environment using VMware Lab Constructor with AVN and BGP, and with VLC you have an option to do it without AVN as well which would be a scenario where you wish to leverage VLAN backed networks only. Now, I am talking about the use case where you want to use AVN (Overlay segments), but do not want north-south routing to happen using dynamic routing protocol BGP. I didn't find any written or official document which explains the process it may be because whole idea of VCF is to bring more automation to the SDDC and using static routes every time we add a network adds more manual efforts.  

Having said that, though automation has its benefits, but when it comes to network you might have a constraint or may be a better design justification for using static routing over dynamic. For example, customer has limited routes which are less in number, along with customer only adds/deletes limited number of networks in a year, then they would want to go with static routing. Or may be just to keep the control in hand they would want to keep using static routing.

Now we know what are the requirements for setting up AVN's with BGP, now I am going to lay down the steps to deploy the environment with static routes.

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Home LAB step by step Networking using VMware workstation

In my Home Lab series we covered everything from a physical ESXi Host perspective, however as highlighted by many readers most of us do not have server and wish to do the lab using VMware workstation, trickiest part is networking. How to achieve networking same as a DC and route multiple VLANs.

Thanks to my friend Mr Vaibhav Tiwari who helped me understand VMware workstation product as a whole, and it is really good for performing labs with limited resources, if not all but most of the labs can be covered with it.

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