Been using vCloud since version 5.1. After a brief love affair with something called “Azure Pack” we put all our focus into vCloud.
8.20 was the first sign of heartbeats coming from VCD. We got confirmation that vCloud was for sure the platform that we were and had been looking for. Now we see the 10.1 released and from my point of view it’s a big one, may things change in GUI as in infrastructure. This release is also the final farewell to the old flex GUI.
First off we have to address the naming, I always liked the vCloud term, for me a strong brand. So a bit sad to see that go and now we have to get used to the Cloud Director instead. Thankfully we can still use the acronym VCD for VMware Cloud Director. #LongLiveVCD.
In the next few points, I will address some of the major things within this release.
We use a lot of the functionality of the APIs of VCD. Since we see that the development of VCD is changing into higher gear, so is the deprecation of the older API versions. For a small service provider, it’s always hard to revisit automation already working with existing APIs. When going on board 10.1 we have to go through a couple of workflows to update the to use the new 34.0 API. But on the other side, it’s also a good chance to refactor and optimize.
- VMware Cloud Director API version 29 and below are not supported.
- VMware Cloud Director API version 30.0 is deprecated and will become unsupported after VMware Cloud Director 10.1
- VMware Cloud Director API version 31.0 is deprecated.
NSX-T feature improvements
More of the core NSX-T features is now available through VCD.
- IPSec VPN
- Dedicated External Network
- BGP and Route Advertisement
We have been looking from the side for NSX-T development to reach an acceptable level for some time. NSX-V is still doing a good job. As someone who right now is standing up a new 16 node VMware cluster as a new provider VDC, I would have wished for it to be 6 months later so that all NSX-T functionality was ready and we could hopefully solo use NSX-T.
But we have to look into maybe having two 8 node clusters for NSX-V and on for NSX-T so we can already now start to transition to NSX-T…
But the good thing about being a VMware customer is that you are not left in the dust. There have been already been created migration tools for NSX-V > NSX-T, NSX-T Data Center Migration Coordinator, but it had no integration to VCD. which bring me to the next point!
NSX-V to NSX-T VCD Migration Tool
This is a way of helping us transition from NSX-V to NSX-T as we are seeing NSX-V lacking to the end of support in January 2021.
Before we could still do a new provider VDC that was backed by NSX-T controller and then start to move workloads over to the new cluster and at the time had to use NSX-T functionality, but all in a manual process.
There is now an automated way to do it, which is VCD aware. The approach will require a new cluster since NSX-V and NSX-T can’t coexist in the same cluster. From the Whats New in 10.1 it stats that the workflow will help with following
- Automates migration of vCD metadata and workloads from NSX-V to NSX-T
- Migrate per Org VDC migration to reduce maintenance window to single tenant
- Minimize network downtime with bridged networks during migration
- Live migrate with vMotion to ensure non-disruption to user workloads
- Keep source VDC configuration and environment as-is to allow rollback
Tomas did a good discussion on this subject
SSL and Certificate Management
This seems like something to read up on carefully. In short, VCD does not trust endpoint certificates unless they have been imported to the trust store.
There is a tool helping with the import, trust-infra-certs, that automatically connect to the endpoint, grabbing and importing the certificate. If this is not done successfully you will not be able to talk to those endpoints after upgrading to VCD 10.1.
A new feature to help introduce a marketplace with the help of the content from Bitnami. From there we can now offer customers to easily find, deploy and manage new workloads. Not just as VMs but also as containers.
Daniel did an excellent write up on this subject.
There is still a lot more in this release to talk about, CSE2.6, OSE1.5, Terraform 2.7 provider, etc. read more from the official release notes.
Might have had to write a disclaimer for the length of this post and the lack of interesting pictures, will try to improve for next time.
I love to see VCD take flight. We are looking forward being part of the future journey where things like Bitnami and App Launchpad together with more NSX-T functionality and a whole lot of other features helps us Cloud Providers to help other business to there digital transformation .
Big shout out to VMware and the VCD team!