This is the first in a series of posts covering VCF On VxRail 4.2. The following detailed post provides an example walkthrough covering the process of:

  • Deploying a VxRail Management Workload Domain cluster
  • Deploying VMware CloudBuilder for VxRail
  • Bring-Up of VCF 4.2

Versions used in this example are VCF 4.2 & VxRail 7.0.131. Release Notes:

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-Foundation/4.2/rn/vmware-cloud-foundation-on-dell-emc-vxrail-22-release-notes.html

The end result of this example build is that of a single site VCF on VxRail solution including a single NSX-T VI Workload Domain (thanks to @HeagaSteve for the architectural diagram):

Management Workload Domain Creation

The VxRail bring-up of the Management Cluster is similar to a standard VxRail bring-up with embedded vCenter being deployed. Previously there was a requirement to externalize the vCenter using VxRail Manager plugin from the vCenter HTML client but this is now fully automated as part of the Cloud Builder Bring-Up process. Also changing the Management port group to Ephemeral port type post VxRail bring-up is also not required as it is now an option during the VxRail deployment as can be seen in the following walkthrough. Tasks include:

  • VxRail Mgmt WLD cluster bring-up
  • Enable Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)
  • Rename DC, Cluster, VDS, vSAN
  • Confirm health status

Deploy CloudBuilder

VCF On VxRail is deployed leveraging VMware Cloud Builder for which the OVA can be downloaded from VMware.com and deployed as follows: 

VCF Bring-Up

The following section details the VCF on VxRail Bring-Up. At this stage the Cloud Builder VM has been deployed, powered on and user logged into the Cloud Builder UI, from here you proceed as follow:

  • Download the parameter Sheet from Cloud Builder
  • Populate the Parameter sheet based on network and environment specifics
  • Validate the Parameter sheet values

Below are some example screen captures of the parameter sheet including the required AVN entries and BGP Peering details:

Before proceeding with the VCF bring-up it is good practice to create snapshots of the following virtual machines in the result that a rollback is required:

  1. VMware vCenter Server Appliance
  2. VMware Cloud Builder
  3. VxRail Manager

During bring-up the following components are automatically deployed and configured:

  • SDDC Manager
  • NSX-T Managers and Edge cluster

Cloud Builder Tasks:

On completion of VCF Bring-up we review the Management Domain VMs created in vCenter by the VCF Bring-Up process including AVN and confirm automatic IP assignment from the DHCP IP pool for the NSX-T Virtual Tunnel Endpoints (VTEPs).

Coud Builder generates a JSON file for the management cluster from the uploaded config file, this vcf-public-vxrail.json file can be found in:

/opt/vmware/sddc-support/cloud_admin_tools/Resources/vcf-public-vxrail/

In Part2 I will walkthrough the deployment of a VI Workload Domain.

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

Thanks for reading!

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