NSX-T 2.0 Lab Build: Edge Installation

| 23/10/2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab – if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs!

Lab Environment

This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.

Physical, virtual and nested components of the NSX-T lab

Deployment Plan

I will follow the deployment plan from the NSX-T 2.0 documentation:

  • Install NSX Manager.
  • Install NSX Controllers.
    • Join NSX Controllers with the management plane.
    • Initialize the control cluster to create a master controller.
    • Join NSX Controllers into a control cluster.
  • Join hypervisor hosts with the management plane.
  • Install NSX Edges.
    • Join NSX Edges with the management plane.
  • Create transport zones and transport nodes.

When this post series is complete, the network topology should be something like this, with two hostswitches configured. The ESXi Hosts will have a Tunnel Endpoint IP address, as will the Edge. The Edge will also have an interface configured for a VLAN uplink.

The NSX-T Transport Node network configuration

In this post I will walk through configuring the Transport Zone, Transport Nodes, Edge Cluster and other configuration required to support the deployment.

#VMworld 2016 – VCAP6-DCA Deploy Exam Experience

| 29/08/2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

vegasGreetings from Day 1 of VMworld US 2016!


Every year I try and make use of the VMworld discount at the exam centre, and this year was no exception I sat the VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam, and results are still pending! Overall it’s a good exam, there was very little of the spelling and grammatical errors I’ve complained about in the past, performance was OK and the level of difficulty was good.

In terms of study, I have to confess that I didn’t really study for this exam – I’ve been using vSphere 6 since it’s first beta and I felt fairly confident in the blueprint content. There’s a tonne of stuff out there if you are studying, a quick google will find what you need. We’ll see if my confidence was misplaced when my results come through!

My exam strategy is not a new one, I complete all the questions I am 100% confident on, and write down the numbers of the questions that I’m not to circle back on if I have time at the end. I got through the first pass with about 45m remaining, and about 6 questions partially completed or not touched. At this point I went back through and used the documentation (which was pretty quick to access, top tip!) to answer the questions I felt I could complete. By the end of the allotted time I’d completed all but 2 questions, one was partially complete and the other untouched.

Overall, I think this exam is a step up from the VCAP5-DCA and is in line with the quality that seems to be coming through the pipeline now. I’ll update this page later when my results come in.

Update 15:59 29/08/2016

I just received my results and I’m pleased to say that I passed with a score of 377!


vCAC 6.1 build out to distributed model: Clustered vCAC Appliances

With the release of vCAC 6.1 there have been some great improvements in the setup of the clustered vCAC appliances – none of the previous copying of configuration files between appliances – just a simple wizard to do it all for you. In my opinion this is superb.

You’ll need to have deployed a load balancer of some sort – vCAC 6.0 build-out to distributed model – Part 3.1: Configure Load Balancing with vCNS or vCAC 6.0 build-out to distributed model – Part 3.2: Configure load balancing with NSX

Deploy vCAC Appliances

Deploy three vCAC appliances by running through the OVF deployment wizard, two to be configured as vCAC Appliance nodes and one to be the external vPostgres database.

  • vCAC-61-PG-01.definit.local
  • vCAC-61-VA-01.definit.local
  • vCAC-61-VA-02.definit.local

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vCAC 6.0/6.1 build out to distributed model: Deploy the Identity Appliance

| 12/09/2014 | Tags: , , ,

SSO is a fundamental requirement when deploying vCAC, whether for a distributed or simple installation. This walk through goes through the deployment and configuration of the vCAC Identity Appliance, which provides a stand alone SSO instance for vCAC.

Some of the posts in this series are completed with vCAC 6.0.1, others will be with 6.1. Where there are differences I will aim to point them out!

Deploying the OVF

Deploying the OVF is very simple, just run through the wizard:

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The appliance will perform a reverse lookup to get it’s hostname – if you have pre-staged a DNS A and PTR record, and have a reservation set for the VM. If you statically assign an IP address, make sure you use the FQDN in the hostname field – not doing so will cause issues with the self-signed certificates and also when you join the Active Directory domain. (more…)

vCAC 6.0 build-out to distributed model – Part 2: vPostgres

This is the second article in a series about how to build-out a simple vCAC 6 installation to a distributed model.

The diagram below shows the deployment at the end of this part, with vPostgres deployed and the vCAC Appliance running from the remote database.

vCAC topology with vPostgre

vCAC deploymnent with vPostgres deployed

An overview of the steps required are below:

  • Issue and install certificates
  • Deploy an external vPostgres appliance and migrate the vCAC database
  • Configure load balancing
  • Deploy a second vCAC appliance and configure clustering
  • Install and configure additional IaaS server
  • Deploy vCenter Orchestrator Appliance cluster