VxRail – Welcome Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC)

Introducing ‘EHC on VxRail’!

VxRAILEHC

Introduced as part of the EHC 4.1.1 release (Code named “Challenger”) – GA March ’17

Simple, Easy, Start Small, Scalable!

VxRAIL HCI Appliance now has the option of including the ‘Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.1.1’ platform as part of an automated greenfield installation. Thousands of hours of engineering, designing, testing and validation has gone into this release with a laser focus on delivering an automated ‘EHC on VxRail’ onsite installation. Engineered on the VxRail P470(F) Appliances, ‘EHC on VxRail’ offers a lighter weight and smaller footprint hybrid cloud solution from where you can start small and scale exponentially. Continue reading

vRealize Automation 7.1 Wizard Install – vCenter Agent Name not aligned with IaaS Host

Looks like there maybe a bug in the vRA 7.1 wizard deployment. I’m running vRA version  7.1 build 4270058 and Windows 2012 R2 build 9600.

Even though we configured the vCenter endpoint name as cloudvc01 during the vRealize Automation wizard based install, the IaaS Agent server was displaying the vCenter agent name using the FQDN cloudvc01.ppsilver.lab.local (screen captures below):

Wizard input – ‘Agents’:

vra71install23

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vRealize Automation 7.1 – Installation (Part 1)

This post will provide a step-by-step walk through installation of vRA 7.1, utilising the vRA wizard based install and configuration utility.

This example focuses on the ‘Enterprise Install’ for a distributed, highly-available vRA instance, using the wizard-driven walk through for the installation. The wizard helps to drive such tasks as importing the user generated certificates, creates your vRA SQL database and automatically fixes any issues on the IaaS Windows machines encountered during validation, for example removing MS patches that impede the install or fix IIS related configurations.

This post does not cover pre-requisite tasks such as:

  • Deploying the vRA appliance.
  • Provisioning & joining domain for the required Windows 2012r2 servers detailed on the infrastructure list below, SQL|Web|DEM|Agent machines.
  • SQL server installation.
  • DNS entries for all the components including virtual IP addresses.
  • Ensuring NTP & time is correct across all related components.
  • IaaS associated user accounts.

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DellEMC EHC 4.x ‘Hybrid Management Model’ (VxBlock/VxRack)

This post provides a high level overview of the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 4.x ‘Hybrid Management Model’which is the default model used for VxBlock & VxRack EHC solutions.

The following DellEMC acronyms are used throughout this post:

EHC =  Enterprise Hybrid Cloud
CPSD = Converged Platforms & Solutions Division 
AMP = Advanced Management Pod
ESSM = EMC Simple Support Matrix
RCM = Release Certification Matrix
vCSA = vCenter Server Appliance
CI = Converged Infrastructure
HCI = Hyper Converged Infrastructure
LCS = Logical Configuration Survey

The images used in this post were taken from the EHC Architecture Guides, for more detailed architectural explanations please refer to the following EHC 4.1 Architecture Guides:

EHC Reference Architecture Guide

EHC Concepts and Architecture Guide

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vCenter 6.0 – Active Directory Identity Source

There are two options for Active Directory Identity Sources with PSC (SSO) 6.0:
  • Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication)
  • Active Directory as an LDAP server

Note: there are underlying issues using ‘AD Integrated Windows Authentication’ when VMware SRM is part of a solution.

The chosen SSO identity source outlined in this example is ‘Active Directory as an LDAP Server’. This is also the identity source configuration used for an EHC solution.

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EMC EHC 3.5 Release

Based on the vSphere v6.0 platform the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.5 solution has a host of new features, code upgrades and converged platforms support which result in an impressive release of the product.

What’s New

Feature wise here are some of the notable feature additions included with EHC 3.5:

•XtremIO DR support with RecoverPoint (Source & Target = XtremIO)
•VMAX3 DR support with VPLEX and RecoverPoint (Source & Target = VMAX3)
•Encryption Services: CloudLink SecureVM v5.0 support
•Add EHC BaaS to existing or imported VMs (New workflow ‘Ingest for DP’)
•Add EHC DRaaS to existing or imported VMs (New workflow ‘Ingest for DR’)
•VMware PSC replaces SSO
•Updated EHC Sizing Tool (platform-driven) Continue reading