All posts by Tom Stephens

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Troubleshooting

VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 3.9.1 requires the configuration of BGP in order to deploy a new instance of VCF. If BGP is not configured properly, the deployment of VCF will fail as it will not be able to validate the communication to the Edge Service Gateways has been configured properly. In this post, I’m just going to quickly run through some methods you can use to attempt to troubleshoot a deployment that is failing due to a BGP issue.

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VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) with VyOS

With the release of VCF 3.9.1, new VCF deployments require Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) be configured and functioning prior to initiating the VCF deployment. Using BGP simplifies the management of routes to the Application Virtual Networks (AVNs) deployed by VCF.  

VMware Lab Constructor (VLC) provides an option to automatically configure the deployed Cloud Builder appliance to provide BGP services. But what if you want to provide your own infrastructure for your home lab?  In this case, you have to provide BGP services within your environment. One method to do this is to use a software-based router, such as VyOS. Today, I’ll walk through how to configure VyOS to provide these services in your home lab.

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VCF Certificate Authority Integration

If you have ever had to manually change the certificates in a vSphere environment, you’ll appreciate the automation VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) provides. After connecting the VCF SDDC Manager to a Microsoft CA server, you are a few clicks away from being able to rotate the certificates for various VMware products.

Establishing the connection to the Microsoft CA server, however, requires that the Microsoft CA server is configured properly. Today, I’ll walk through the steps required to configure a Microsoft CA for use with VCF.

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Make a Local VCF Depot

VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) communicates periodically through the internet with a hosted web service in order to check for and retrieve software updates and bundles. What if you don’t have internet access? Today, I’m going to demonstrate how you can build out your own software repository for VCF.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that this process is not supported for production environments. To understand why, I need to give you a short overview of what I will be showing you today.

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VCF Bringup with Multiple Physical NICs

I’ve talked about how to use hosts that have multiple physical NICs to create NSX-V and NSX-T backed workload domains and even how to expand a cluster in one of these workload domains. But what if you want to do an initial installation of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) using hosts with multiple physical NICs?

As I’ve mentioned before, the support for multiple physical NICs with VCF is new with VCF 3.9.1. All of the operations we performed previously relied on the VCF API. This worked well for our intended use, but bringup is a different animal.

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NSX-T Backed Workload Domains with Multiple Physical NICs

Last week, I shared an example of how to create a new workload domain with VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) using hosts with more than two physical NICs. In that example, I used NSX-V in the creation of the workload domain. Today, I’d like to provide an example of how you would do this for a NSX-T backed workload domain.

As support for multiple physical NICs (>2) is a newly supported feature with the VCF 3.9.1 release, doing this requires the use of the VCF APIs.

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Multiple Physical NICs in VCF

With the VCF 3.9.1 release, support for hosts with multiple physical NICs has been added. This allows you to dedicate specific traffic across specific physical NICs to conform to your best practices. Let’s take a quick look at how this is configured…

By default, VCF will use the first two physical NICs (vmnic0 and vmnic1) on a host for all traffic. When working with a host with multiple physical NICs, you will need to define what the physical NICs are connected to (VDS or N-VDS). The VDS or N-VDS will need to exist, of course.

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Manually Uploading VCF Bundles

Although VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) will automatically download the software bundles once connected to the Internet, there are times that you may wish to manually inject the software bundles into the SDDC Manager using the API.

After the initial deployment of VCF is completed, additional bundles may be required to enable optional functionality. For example, the bundles for Horizon, PKS, and vRealize Automation are optional and would be downloaded and then installed as needed. Because these bundles can be quite large and VCF downloads them in a serial fashion, it can be faster at times to inject the bundles into VCF manually through the API.

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