VCF on VxRAIL – Expand A Cluster (Add Node)

In this post I will provide an example walk-through of the process for adding a new host to an existing VCF on VxRail ‘VI Workload Domain (WLD)’.

At a high level there are two key integrated procedures to follow, leveraging:

  1. The VxRail Manager plugin in vCenter to expand the VxRail Cluster.
  2. The SDDC Manager to add the new VxRail Host(s) to the VI WLD in VCF.

This example begins with a 3 node VCF on VxRail ‘VI Workload Domain’ and we expand with one additional host.

Logging into vCenter we can see the existing 3 node cluster :vcfvxrailhostadd2

Navigating to Configure->VxRail->System in vCenter we can view additional cluster details such as the current running VxRail code version which the new host needs to be imaged to:

vcfvxrailhostadd1

From the SDDC Manager dashboard we can also confirm the current VI WLD configuration which consists of 3 hosts. Inventory->Workload Domains->View Details->VI WLD->Hosts:

vcfvxrailhostadd3

Expanding The VxRail Cluster

To begin the VI WLD host expansion we leverage the VxRail Manager plugin in vCenter to expand the VxRail Cluster.

Note: you can add up to 6 hosts at a time.

Click on the VxRail cluster in vCenter to which we are adding a host, click on the tab Configure->Add VxRail Hosts from here you can view the newly discovered host. Click on the ADD button in the top right corner to begin the expansion process:

vcfvxrailhostadd4

Note: ensure the DNS entries have been created for the new ESXi hosts and both forward and reverse lookups are resolving.

The Add Hosts wizard initial screen displays the discovered host, select the Host and click NEXT:

vcfvxrailhostadd5

Enter the vSphere credentials:

vcfvxrailhostadd6

Enter the required ESXi, vMotion & vSAN IP details for the new host (unless the IP Pool has free entries which can be leveraged), click ADD for each IP entry and click NEXT to continue:

vcfvxrailhostadd7

Enter the ESXi & Mgmt a/c credentials and the associated ESXi Hostname (pre-configured in DNS). Click NEXT to continue:

vcfvxrailhostadd8

Click the check box for Maintenance Mode. This is required as SDDC manager will be performing additional tasks post the VxRail expansion, such as NSX component installation. Click NEXT to continue:

vcfvxrailhostadd9

Review all the config details entered. Once you are happy with the config entered click on the VALIDATE Button to begin the validation process:

vcfvxrailhostadd10

Once validation completes successfully click on the  FINISH button which in turn initiates the VxRail ADD HOSTS workflow:

vcfvxrailhostadd11

Monitoring progress of the workflow from vCenter:

vcfvxrailhostadd12

4th Host successfully added to the VxRail cluster:

vcfvxrailhostadd13

The second part of this procedure leverages the SDDC Manager to add this new 4th VxRail Host to the VI WLD in VCF.

Add VxRail Host To VCF WLD

From the SDDC Manager dashboard navigate to Inventory->Workload Domains->View Details->VI WLD (viwld01)->Clusters->VI WLD (viwld01):

vcfvxrailhostadd14

From the viwld01 cluster dashboard click on the ACTIONS button and choose ‘Add VxRail Hosts’ option:

vcfvxrailhostadd15

The SDDC Manager ‘Add Host’ wizard has detected the newly added host in VxRail Manager, simply enter the ESXi host SSH password and click ADD:

vcfvxrailhostadd16

From the Tasks pane we can view the list of steps the workflow is executing and track progress of the workflow:

vcfvxrailhostadd17

Host successfully added to the VI WLD:

vcfvxrailhostadd18

Add licenses to the new hosts.

Note: this is an example for reference only please use the VxRail installation procedures provided by Dell EMC.

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