Configure a vCenter Cloud

Configuring a vCenter cloud is a three step process:

Add a vCenter Cloud

To add a vCenter cloud follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to Admin > Clouds. This brings you to the Clouds page. If you, or another tenant admin in your tenant, have already added clouds to your tenant, they will be listed here. Click the Add Cloud link in the upper right.
  2. After clicking Add Cloud, the Add Cloud dialog box is displayed. Enter the cloud name and select the cloud provider.
  3. Since you are selecting select a vCenter cloud provider, a new data entry field appears at the bottom of the dialog box called vCenter Region Endpoint, as shown in the figure below. You must enter the URL of the vCenter API endpoint in this field before the Next button is enabled. When done click Next.

    Note

    For vCenter clouds, by default, the region endpoint URL is in the format:
    https://<vCenter_dns_name_or_IP>/sdk

  4. After clicking Next, the second page of the Add Clouds dialog box, Connectivity Settings, appears. Set the toggle switches to configured the Cloud Connectivity settings.

    • When adding a private VM cloud in the in the Workload Manager or Cost Optimizer UI, the second page of the Add Clouds dialog box, Connectivity Settings, appears with a two toggles displayed:

      • Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite

      • VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite

    • Setting either of these toggles to No implies you will install Cloud Remote for each region of this cloud. This also causes a third toggle to appear: CloudCenter Suite Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote. 

    • Follow the table below for guidance on setting these toggles.

      Toggle settingsUse caseNetwork Diagram
      Cloud Endpoint Directly Accessible = Yes
      AND
      VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite = Yes
      CloudCenter Suite cluster can initiate a connection to the cloud region API endpoint
      AND
      Worker VMs can initiate a connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster

      Cloud Remote is not required

      Cloud Endpoint Directly Accessible = No
      AND
      Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite = No
      AND
      CloudCenter Suite Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote = Yes
      CloudCenter Suite cluster cannot initiate a connection to the cloud region API endpoint
      AND
      Worker VMs cannot initiate a connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster
      AND
      Cloud Remote can initiate the connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster

      Cloud Endpoint Directly Accessible = No
      AND
      Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite = No
      AND
      CloudCenter Suite Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote = No

      CloudCenter Suite cluster cannot initiate a connection to the cloud region API endpoint
      AND
      Worker VMs cannot initiate a connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster
      AND
      Cloud Remote cannot initiate the connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster


      Cloud Endpoint Directly Accessible = Yes
      AND
      Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite = No

      AND
      CloudCenter Suite Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote = No
      CloudCenter Suite cluster can initiate a connection to the cloud region API endpoint
      AND
      Worker VMs cannot initiate a connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster
      AND
      Cloud Remote cannot initiate the connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster

      Cloud Endpoint Directly Accessible = Yes
      AND
      Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter Suite = No
      AND
      CloudCenter Suite Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote = Yes

      CloudCenter Suite cluster can initiate a connection to the cloud region API endpoint
      AND
      Worker VMs need to communicate to the CloudCenter Suite cluster through Cloud Remote
      AND
      Cloud Remote can initiate the connection to the CloudCenter Suite cluster


      Note

      The connectivity toggle settings set at the cloud level are inherited by each region you add to this cloud. However, it is possible to override these toggle settings on a per region basis from the Regions tab for each region.

  5. Click Done to save the configuration and close the dialog box.  This brings you back to the Clouds page and the cloud you just created will be added to the bottom of the list on the left side of the page.

Configure a vCenter Region

A vCenter cloud has one region that you configure from the vCenter cloud Details tab. Follow this procedure.

  1. Navigate to Clouds page: Admin > Clouds. Find your newly created vCenter cloud from the cloud list on the left half of the screen and click its Configure Cloud link. This displays the Details tab for this cloud as shown in the figure below.

  2. Click Edit Cloud Settings to open the Configure Cloud Settings dialog box.

    The Cloud Settings section contains fields that are unique to the vCenter cloud family and settings that are common to all cloud families. Adjust these field values per the instructions in the following tables.

    vCenter Specific Cloud Settings

    FieldUsage
    vCenter API EndpointThis field is set to the value you set for the API endpoint when you created this vCenter cloud. You can edit it here but should only do so if the API endpoint address of your vCenter cloud has changed since you added it to CloudCenter Suite.
    VM Create Workflow

    This field has two options that can be selected from a dropdown menu:

    • "Clone, Reconfig and Customize together" (default value) and
    • "Clone, Reconfig and Customize separately".

    Choose the second option only if the default value is resulting in failures to deploy VMs.

    Concurrent Nodes LaunchesThis is the maximum number of VMs that can be launched simultaneously per application deployment. If left blank, the default value of 30 is applied. A value of 0 or 1 both mean only one VM will be launched at a time.
    Allowed Root Disk Sizes (GB)Entering a comma separated string of integers will result in corresponding options for root disk size being displayed in the deploy form.
    Allowed Additional Volume Sizes (GB)Entering a comma separated string of integers will result in corresponding options for secondary disk size being displayed in the deploy form.
    Disable Custom AttributesLeaving this toggle at the default Off setting causes any tags specified for the VM, including tier level and deployment level tags, to be written to the attributes field in the VM. Setting this toggle to On prevents any tags from being written to the attributes field in the VM.
    Snapshot LimitEnter an integer for limiting the number of snapshots that can be created through Workload Manager based on the number of snapshots currently stored in vCenter. Once this limit is reached you will no longer be able to create new snapshots through Workload Manager until some of the snapshots are deleted through vCenter.


    Cloud Agnostic Cloud Settings

    Field

    Usage

    Exclude these special characters for Windows password

    When the Workload Manager agent is installed on a Windows worker VM, a special user account, called cliqruser, is created to support RDP sessions that may be initiated by the user through the Workload Manager UI. A Workload Manager process running on the CloudCenter Suite cluster creates a random password and passes it to the agent for creating the cliqruser account. Because some Windows deployments may restrict using certain characters for Windows passwords, this field is provided to tell the Workload Manager to exclude these special characters in the generation of the password for the cliqruser account.

    Agent Bundle URL

    If you plan to use a local repository to host the bundle store, you need to enter the URL of the local bundle store here. Otherwise, leave blank.

    Agent Custom Repository

    If you plan to use a local repository to host the package store, you need to enter the URL of the local package store here. Otherwise, leave blank.

    HTTP/HTTPS proxy fields (host, username, password)

    If you require VMs in your region to access public addresses through a web proxy, enter the URL and credentials of the HTTP and HTTPS proxy servers in these fields.

    No Proxy Hosts

    If you have specified an HTTP or HTTP proxy using the above fields, you can specify that managed VMs in the region should bypass the proxy and connect directly to certain hosts. Use this field to create a comma-separated list of IP addresses or URLs that should be accessed directly. This field is ignored if an HTTP or HTTPS proxy is not specified.

    Important information on proxy settings

    In CloudCenter Suite it is possible to specify proxy settings at the region level, as described here, and at the suite level. To understand the expected behavior when proxy settings are specified at both levels, see Precedence of Proxy Settings.

    Download Configuration and Encryption Key

    After saving the Region Configuration settings in the Workload Manager or Cost Optimizer UI, you can download them to your local computer and then upload them to other conditional components such as Cloud Remote.

    Click the Download Configuration link in the upper right of the Region Connectivity section, as shown in the following screenshot.\

    Clicking Download Configuration causes two things to happen:

    • An encrypted zip file named artifacts.zip is downloaded by your browser. Make note of the location of this zip file as you will need if you are using Cloud Remote.

    • The Region Connectivity section header updates to display a Copy Encryption Key link, as shown in the following screenshot.

    Click the Copy Encryption Key link to save the key to your clipboard. A success message will be display temporarily above the Region Connectivity section header. Make sure not to overwrite the clipboard with other data. You will need the key when you upload the configuration zip file to conditional components like Cloud Remote.

    If you change the connectivity settings in the CloudCenter Suite UI and need to again download the zip file, a new encryption key is automatically created and can be copied to the clipboard by clicking the Copy Encryption Key link again.


    When you are done editing the settings in the dialog box, click Save.

  3. Determine if you need Cloud Remote for this region. Scroll down to the Region Connectivity section for the region and click on the Configure Region link in the upper right to open the Configure Region dialog box. The toggle settings should be the same as when you set them in the connectivity page of the Add Cloud dialog box. If all of the connectivity toggles in the Region Connectivity dialog box are set to Yes, then Cloud Remote is NOT needed for this cloud region. In this case, you would normally leave all region connectivity settings at their current values and continue to the next settings section. 

    The exception to this guidance is when a NAT firewall or proxy server exists between the CloudCenter Suite management cluster and worker VMs, or between the CloudCenter Suite management cluster and users that would use Workload Manager to initiate a Guacamole remote connection to a worker VM. In either of these cases, override the address fields in the Region Connectivity dialog box as explained below.


    Networking Constraint

    Field

    Value

    Worker VMs must use a proxy server or NAT firewall to access the "local" AMQP server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster.Worker AMQP IP AddressIP address and port number that the firewall or proxy server presents to the worker VMs on behalf of the "local" AMQP server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster.
    Users must use a proxy server or NAT firewall to access the Guacamole server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster.Guacamole Public IP Address and PortIP address and port number that the firewall or proxy server presents to users on behalf of the Guacamole server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster.
    Worker VMs must use a proxy server or NAT firewall to access the Guacamole server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster.Guacamole IP Address and Port for Application VMsIP address and port number that the firewall or proxy server presents to the worker VMs on behalf of the Guacamole server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster.


    Click OK to save the changes and dismiss the dialog box. You can now proceed to the next region settings section: VM Naming and IPAM Strategy.

  4. If any of the connectivity toggles in the Region Connectivity dialog box are set to No, then you must install and configure Cloud Remote for this region. 

     Steps to configure Cloud Remote in a vCenter Cloud

    Configure Cloud Remote in a vCenter Region

    Configure Cloud Remote in a vCenter region as follows.

    Download and Launch the Cloud Remote Appliance in vCenter

    1. From your local computer, download the Cloud Remote appliance OVA from software.cisco.com.

    2. Log in to the vCenter console using the vSphere web client with Flash, or with the vSphere Windows client. Do not use the HTML5 web client.

    3. Navigate to the folder or resource pool where you want to deploy the OVA. Right click on that resource pool or folder and select Deploy OVF Template.

    4. From the Deploy OVF Template dialog box, for Source, select Local file and click Browse to find the OVA file you downloaded in step 1.

    5. Complete the fields for Name and location, Host / Cluster, Resource Pool, Storage, and Disk Format appropriate for your environment.

    6. For the Network Mapping section, make sure to properly map the Management network (public) and VM Network network (private) to the appropriate network names in your environment.

    7. For the Properties section, make sure to check the box labeled Does the VM need a second interface? if the Cloud Remote appliance needs to be multi-homed on a public network and a private network.

    8. Confirm your settings and click Finish to launch the VM.

    9. Optional but recommended for production environments: Deploy two additional instances of the appliance to form a cluster for HA. Cloud Remote includes support for clustering of multiple nodes. You will "add" these two additional instances to the first instance after the first instance is configured. See Cloud Remote (Conditional) > Scaling for details.

    10. Once the first instance of the appliance has been launched, use the vSphere client to note its IP public and private addresses. You will need this information later on in order login to the Cloud Remote web UI and to complete the Region Connectivity settings in the CloudCenter Suite Web UI. Also, note the IP addresses of any other appliances you launch.

    Setup Cloud Remote Firewall Rules for a VM-based Cloud Region

    After you deploy the Cloud Remote appliance, you will need to open various ports on each instance of the appliance. To do this, use the tools provided by the cloud provider to create a new security group for your Cloud Remote cluster; then, associate each appliance in the cluster with that security group. Use the tables below for guidance on what port rules should be added to that security group.

    Port rules for a single node Cloud Remote deployment:

    PortProtocolSourceUsage
    22TCPLimit to address space of users needing SSH access for debugging and changing default portsSSH
    443TCPLimit to address space of users needing access to the Cloud Remote web UI for setup and scalingHTTPS (Cloud Remote web UI)
    8443TCPLimit to address space of users needing SSH or RDP access to their managed VMsUser to Guacamole
    5671TCPLimit to address space of the managed VMs and the address of the CloudCenter Suite cluster's local AMQP serviceAMQP
    15671TCPLimit to address space of users needing web access for debugging the remote AMQP serviceHTTPS (AMQP Management)
    7789TCPLimit to address space of the managed VMsWorker VM to Guacamole

    The Cloud Remote web UI, User-to-Guacamole, and AMQP ports listed above are the defaults used by Cloud Remote. You may change these port numbers using the Change Ports shell script (see Cloud Remote (Conditional) > Custom Port Numbers (Conditional)) once the appliance is fully configured and communicating with the CloudCenter Suite cluster. If you plan to modify any of these three port numbers, update the firewall rules accordingly.

    For a multi-node Cloud Remote cluster deployment, these additional port rules should be added to the same security group used for the single node configuration:

    PortProtocolSource
    2377TCP<cr_sec_group> *
    25672TCP<cr_sec_group>
    7946UDP<cr_sec_group>
    4369TCP<cr_sec_group>
    9010TCP<cr_sec_group>
    4789UDP<cr_sec_group>

     * <cr_sec_group> represents the security group that all Cloud Remote nodes are joined to.

    Specify AMQP and Guacamole Addresses for Supporting Cloud Remote

    From the CloudCenter Suite UI, for the cloud region requiring Cloud Remote, navigate to the corresponding Regions or Details tab. Click the Configure Region link in the upper left of the Region Connectivity section to bring up the Configure Region dialog box. The toggle settings should be the same as when you set them in the connectivity page of the Add Cloud dialog box. You must update some of the address fields in the dialog box according to the scenarios summarized in the table below.

    Toggle SettingsFieldValue

    Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter = No
    AND
    CloudCenter Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote = Yes

    Local AMQP IP Address

    Pre-populated with the address and port number of the "local" AMQP server running in the CloudCenter Suite cluster. This address must be accessible to Cloud Remote

    If Cloud Remote is accessing the CloudCenter Suite cluster through a user-supplied proxy server or NAT firewall, overwrite this field with the corresponding local AMQP IP address and port number provided by the user-supplied proxy server or NAT firewall and accessible to Cloud Remote.

    Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter = No
    AND
    CloudCenter Directly Accessible from Cloud Remote = No
    Remote AMQP IP Address

    Enter <Cloud_Remote_IP>:<amqp_port>, where
    <Cloud_Remote_IP> = the IP address Cloud Remote which is accessible to the CloudCenter Suite cluster, and
    <amqp_port> = 5671 OR the custom AMQP port number you would later set with the Change Ports shell script on the Cloud Remote appliance (see Cloud Remote (Conditional) >
    Custom Port Numbers (Conditional)).

    If there is no user-supplied NAT firewall or proxy server between the CloudCenter Suite cluster and Cloud Remote, the IP address would be the public IP address of Cloud Remote.

    If there is a NAT firewall or proxy server between the CloudCenter Suite cluster and Cloud Remote, instead, enter the corresponding public IP address and port number that the firewall or proxy server presents to the internet on behalf of the "remote" AMQP server running in Cloud Remote.


    Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter = NoWorker AMQP IP Address

    Enter <Cloud_Remote_IP>:<amqp_port>, where
    <Cloud_Remote_IP> = the Cloud Remote IP address accessible to the worker VMs, and
    <amqp_port> = 5671 OR the custom AMQP port number you would later set with the Change Ports shell script on the Cloud Remote appliance (see Cloud Remote (Conditional) > Custom Port Numbers (Conditional)).

    Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter = NoGuacamole Public IP and PortEnter <Cloud_Remote_IP>:<guac_port>, where
    <Cloud_Remote_IP> = the Cloud Remote IP address accessible to CloudCenter Suite users, and
    <guac_port> = 8443 OR the custom Guacamole port number you would later set with the Change Ports shell script on the Cloud Remote appliance (see Cloud Remote (Conditional) > Custom Port Numbers (Conditional)).
    Worker VMs Directly Connect with CloudCenter = NoGuacamole IP Address and Port for Application VMsEnter <Cloud_Remote_IP>:<guac_port>, where
    <Cloud_Remote_IP> = the Cloud Remote IP address accessible to worker VMs, and
    <guac_port> = 7789

    When done, click OK to save the setting and dismiss the dialog box.

    Download Region Connectivity Settings and Upload to Cloud Remote

    Cloud Remote uses the region connectivity settings set in the Workload Manager or Cost Optimizer UI. After saving the Region Configuration settings in the Workload Manager or Cost Optimizer UI, you must download them and to your local computer and then upload them to Cloud Remote as follows.

    Click the Download Configuration link in the upper right of the Region Connectivity section, as shown in the figure below.

    Clicking Download Configuration causes two things to happen:

    • An encrypted zip file named artifacts.zip will be downloaded by your browser. Make note of the location of this zip file as you will need to upload it to Cloud Remote through the Cloud Remote web UI (see below).

    • The Region Connectivity section header updates to display a Copy Encryption Key link, as shown in figure below. 

    Click the Copy Encryption Key link to save the key to your clipboard. A success message will be display temporarily above the Region Connectivity section header. Make sure not to overwrite the clipboard with other data. You will need the key when you upload the configuration zip file to Cloud Remote.

    If you change the connectivity settings in the CloudCenter Suite UI and need to again download the zip file, a new encryption key is automatically created and can be copied to the clipboard by clicking the Copy Encryption Key link again.

    After you have downloaded the zip file and copied the encryption key to your clipboard, login to Cloud Remote web UI.

    1. Open another browser tab and login to https://<Cloud Remote_ip> with the default credentials: admin / cisco. 
    2. You will immediately be required to change your password. Do so. 
    3. You are now brought to the Cloud Remote home page as shown in the figure below.
    4. Click the Apply Configuration button in the page header. This prompts you to select a configuration file and enter the encryption key as shown in the figure below.
    5. Paste the encryption key that was copied to the clipboard into the Encryption Key field in the dialog box.
    6. Click Select File and browse to the artifacts.zip file that you downloaded through the CloudCenter Suite web UI and select it.
    7. Click Confirm.
    8. Once the zip file is successfully transmitted and accepted, the Cloud Remote appliance attempts to establish communication with the CloudCenter Suite cluster and the Cloud Remote web UI home page is updated to show the name of the region it is connecting to in the upper right (see figure below).

    Switch your focus back to the Region Connectivity section of the target cloud region in the CloudCenter Suite web UI. The status indicator in the Region Connectivity section header will change from Not Configured to Running once connectivity between  Cloud Remote and the CloudCenter Suite cluster is completely established (see figure below).

    After completing these steps, Workload Manager and Cost Optimizer can use Cloud Remote for communicating with the target cloud region.


  5. VM Naming and IPAM Strategy (conditional): Configure any VM naming or IPAM strategies in the Strategy section as explained in VM Naming and IPAM Strategies. If you leave the settings at the defaults, no IPAM strategy is applied and the default VM naming strategy is applied.

  6. External Lifecycle Actions (conditional): Specify any external lifecycle actions to be performed on all VMs launched by Workload Manager in this region as explained in External Lifecycle Actions Settings

  7. Instance Types (conditional): A vCenter cloud region includes one "default" instance type with 1 vCPU, 1 vNIC, 1024 MB RAM, and no additional disk storage. CloudCenter Suite will also automatically create instance types based on the parameters of VMs you deploy from within vCenter. You would manually add more instance types to your vCenter region if you want Workload Manager to deploy jobs to this region with different sized instance types. See Instance Types Settings for more details.

  8. Storage Types (conditional): For private VM-based clouds like vCenter, CloudCenter Suite uses storage types for cost tracking purposes. CloudCenter Suite creates a default storage type with zero cost. You would manually edit this storage type to enter your own cost factor. You can optionally add more storage types to your vCenter region. See Storage Types Settings for more details.

  9. Image Mappings: Image mappings allow services based on Workload Manager logical images to be deployed using the appropriate physical image stored on the target cloud region. You must manually import these physical images into your vCenter region and then map the appropriate Workload Manager logical images to these physical images. See Images for more context.

Add a vCenter Cloud Account

Prerequisites

For Workload Manager to deploy jobs in vCenter using a particular user account, that account must have the permissions identified in the table below.

vCenter ObjectRequired PermissionReason
NetworkAssign NetworkIf the default network in a template/snapshot must be changed
Datastore

Allocate space

For persistent disk operation


Browse datastore
Low level file operations
Remove file
FolderCreate folderFor user folder creation
Resource

Apply recommendation

For datastore cluster support
Assign VM to resource poolFor resource pool selection
Tasks

Create task

For VM operation

Update task
Virtual MachineAll permissions
Global RoleSet Custom AttributesTo add custom attributes on virtual machines
Manage Custom Attributes

Configuration Process

To add a vCenter cloud account, follow this process:

  1. Locate the vCenter cloud in the Clouds page and click Add Cloud Account button. This will display the Add Cloud Account dialog box as shown in the figure below.

  2. Assign a new cloud account Name

    Tip

    The name should not contain any space, dash, or special characters.

  3. Provide the vCenter cloud credentials: vCenter User Name and vCenter Password.

  4. Click the Connect button. CloudCenter Suite will now attempt to validate your account credentials.
  5. After the credentials are verified, the Connect button changes to an Edit button and two new fields appear Enable Account For and Enable Reporting By Org Structure

    1. Set the Enable Account For dropdown per the table below.

      ValueUsage
      ProvisioningWorkload Manager can deploy jobs using this account.
      ReportingCost Optimizer and Workload Manager will track cloud costs for this account. Typical usage: master cloud accounts which are used for billing aggregation.
      Provisioning, ReportingDefault. Account is used for both provisioning and reporting.
    2. For AWS and Google clouds only: Set the Enable Reporting By Org Structure toggle to On to cause Cost Optimizer to import the cost hierarchy created in the cloud provider portal. This saves the time of manually creating a comparable cost hierarchy within Cost Optimizer. See Cost Groups Configuration for more information on cost hierarchies in Cost Optimizer.

    3. Click the Save button when done. 

Cloud Accounts Tab

After you add cloud accounts to a cloud, they will appear in the Accounts tab for the cloud as shown in the figure below.

The Accounts tab contains columns for data entered when creating an account: Account Name, Description, Enabled For; and two additional columns: Billing Units and Actions. Billing Units is a dual function:

  • If the cloud account contains only one billing unit, the ID for that billing unit is displayed.

  • If the cloud account contains multiple billing units, such as an AWS master account, the number of billing units in that account is displayed followed by the text Billing Units

A billing unit is the most granular level of cloud cost recording in CloudCenter Suite. The definition of a billing unit varies by a cloud provider as shown in the table below.

Cloud ProviderBilling Unit
AWSAccount ID
AzureRMSubscription ID
GoogleProject ID
IBM CloudAccount ID
vCenterCloud Group Prefix - Datacenter Name
vCDOrganization Name
OpenStackProject ID
KubernetesNamespace UID

The last column, Actions, contains links to let you edit or deleted the cloud account, or manage instance types for the cloud account.


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