VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager

VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager is a new product just released in version 1.1. The version 1.0 was not generaly available and thus not widely known. Let me therefore briefly describe what it is and what it can do.

As the name indicates its main goal is to simplify deployment and lifecycle of VMware’s Cloud Provider solutions. Currently in scope are:

  • VMware Cloud Director (10.1.x or 10.2.x)
  • Usage Meter (4.3 and 4.4)
  • vRealize Operations Tenant App (2.4 and 2.5)
  • RabbitMQ (Bitnami based)

The product itself ships as a stateless Docker image that can be deployed as a container for example in Photon OS VM. It has no GUI, but provides REST API. The API calls support the following actions:

  • Deployment of an environment that can consist of one or more products (VCD, UM, …)
  • Upgrade of an environment and product
  • Certificate management
  • Node managment (adding, removing, redeploying nodes)
  • Integration management (integration of a specific products with others)

The image below shows most of the Postman Collection API calls available:

The whole environment (or its product subset) is described in JSON format that is supplied in the API payload. The example below shows payload to deploy VCD with three cells, includes necessary certificates, target vSphere environment and integration with vSphere, NSX-T and RabbitMQ including creation of Provider VDC.

{
    "environmentName": "{{vcd_env_id}}",
    "products": [
        {
            "properties": {
                "installationId": 1,
                "systemName": "vcd-1-vms",
                "dbPassword": "{{password}}",
                "keystorePassword": "{{password}}",
                "clusterFailoverMode": "MANUAL",
                "publicAddress": {
                    "consoleProxyExternalAddress": "{{vcd_lb_ip}}:8443",
                    "restApiBaseHttpUri": "http://{{vcd_lb_ip}}",
                    "restApiBaseUri": "https://{{vcd_lb_ip}}",
                    "tenantPortalExternalHttpAddress": "http://{{vcd_lb_ip}}",
                    "tenantPortalExternalAddress": "https://{{vcd_lb_ip}}"
                },
                "adminEmail": "admin@vcd-test.com",
                "adminFullName": "admin",
                "nfsMount": "{{vcd_nfs_mount}}"
            },
            "certificate": {
                "product": {
                    "certificate": "{{vcd_cert}}",
                    "privateKey": "{{vcd_cert_key}}"
                },
                "restApi": {
                    "certificate": "{{vcd_cert}}"
                },
                "tenantPortal": {
                    "certificate": "{{vcd_cert}}"
                }
            },
            "integrations": [
                {
                    "integrationId": "vcd-01-to-vc-01",
                    "datacenterComponentType": "VCENTER",
                    "hostname": "{{vcenter_hostname}}.{{domainName}}",
                    "integrationUsername": "administrator@vsphere.local",
                    "integrationPassword": "{{vc_password}}",
                    "properties": {
                        "providerVdcs": {
                                "PVDC-1": {
                                "description": "m01vc01-comp-rp",
                                "highestSupportedHardwareVersion": "vmx-14",
                                "isEnabled": true,
                                "clusterName": "{{vc_cluster}}",
                                "resourcePoolname": "{{pvdc_resource_pool}}",
                                "nsxIntegration": "vcd-01-to-nsx-01",
                                "storageProfile":[
                                    "{{pvdc_storage_profile}}"
                                ],
                                "networkPoolname":"NP-1"
                            }
                        }
                    }
                },
                {
                    "integrationId": "vcd-01-to-nsx-01",
                    "datacenterComponentType": "NSXT",
                    "hostname": "{{nsxt_hostname}}.{{domainName}}",
                    "integrationUsername": "admin",
                    "integrationPassword": "{{nsx_password}}",
                    "properties": {
                        "networkPools": {
                            "NP-1": "{{pvdc_np_transport_zone}}"
                        },
                        "vcdExternalNetworks": {
                            "EN-1": {
                                "subnets": [
                                    {
                                        "gateway": "192.168.91.1",
                                        "prefixLength": 24,
                                        "dnsServer1": "",
                                        "ipRanges":  [
                                            {
                                                "startAddress": "192.168.91.150",
                                                "endAddress": "192.168.91.200"
                                            }
                                        ]
                                    }
                                ],
                                "description": "ExternalNetworkCreatedViaVCDBringup",
                                "tier0Name": "{{pvdc_ext_nw_tier0_gw}}"
                            }
                        }
                    }
                },
                {
                    "integrationId": "vcd-01-to-rmq-01",
                    "productType": "RMQ",
                    "hostname": "{{rmq_lb_name}}.{{domainName}}",
                    "port": "{{rmq_port_amqp_ssl}}",
                    "integrationUsername": "svc_vcd",
                    "integrationPassword": "{{password}}",
                    "properties": {
                        "amqpExchange": "systemExchange",
                        "amqpVHost": "/",
                        "amqpUseSSL": true,
                        "amqpSslAcceptAll": true,
                        "amqpPrefix": "vcd"
                    }
                }
            ],
            "productType": "VCD",
            "productId": "{{vcd_product_id}}",
            "version": "10.1.2",
            "license": "{{vcd_license}}",
            "adminPassword": "{{password}}",
            "nodes": [
                {
                    "hostName": "{{vcd_cell_1_name}}.{{domainName}}",
                    "vmName": "{{vcd_cell_1_name}}",
                    "rootPassword": "{{password}}",
                    "gateway": "{{vcd_mgmt_nw_gateway}}",
                    "nics": [
                        {
                            "ipAddress": "{{vcd_cell_1_ip}}",
                            "networkName": "vcd-dmz-nw",
                            "staticRoutes": []
                        }, {
                            "ipAddress": "{{vcd_cell_1_mgmt_ip}}",
                            "networkName": "vcd-mgmt-nw",
                            "staticRoutes": []
                        }
                    ]
                },
                {
                    "hostName": "{{vcd_cell_2_name}}.{{domainName}}",
                    "vmName": "{{vcd_cell_2_name}}",
                    "rootPassword": "{{password}}",
                    "gateway": "{{vcd_mgmt_nw_gateway}}",
                    "nics": [
                        {
                            "ipAddress": "{{vcd_cell_2_ip}}",
                            "networkName": "vcd-dmz-nw",
                            "staticRoutes": []
                        }, {
                            "ipAddress": "{{vcd_cell_2_mgmt_ip}}",
                            "networkName": "vcd-mgmt-nw",
                            "staticRoutes": []
                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    ],
    "deploymentInfrastructures": {
        "infra1": {
            "vcenter": {
                "vcenterName": "mgmt-vc",
                "vcenterHost": "{{vcenter_hostname}}.{{domainName}}",
                "vcenterUsername": "administrator@vsphere.local",
                "vcenterPassword": "{{vc_password}}",
                "datacenterName": "{{vc_datacenter}}",
                "clusterName": "{{vc_cluster}}",
                "resourcePool": "{{vc_res_pool}}",
                "datastores": [
                    "{{vc_datastore}}"
                ],
                "networks": {
                    "vcd-dmz-nw": {
                        "portGroupName": "{{vcd_dmz_portgroup}}",
                        "gateway": "{{vcd_dmz_gateway}}",
                        "subnetMask": "{{vcd_dmz_subnet}}",
                        "domainName": "{{domainName}}",
                        "searchPath": [
                            "{{domainName}}"
                        ],
                        "useDhcp": false,
                        "dns": [
                            "{{dns}}"
                        ],
                        "ntp": [
                            "{{ntp}}"
                        ]
                    },
                    "vcd-mgmt-nw": {
                        "portGroupName": "{{vcd_mgmt_nw_portgroup}}",
                        "gateway": "{{vcd_mgmt_nw_gateway}}",
                        "subnetMask": "{{vcd_mgmt_nw_subnet}}",
                        "useDhcp": false
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

The JSON payload structure is similar for other products. It starts with the environment definition and then follows with a specific product and its product type (VCD, RMQ, TenantApp, Usage Meter). Each has its own set of properties. Integrations section defines for example which tenant VC and NSX should be registered, RabbitMQ etc. Then follows the description of each node to be deployed while referring to Deployment Infrastructure section that is at the end of the JSON and describes the vSphere environent where the nodes can be deployed.

During the bring up the Lifecycle Manager will perform various set of tests and validations to see if the payload is correct and if the referenced environments are accessible. Then it will go on with the actual deployment process. For that it needs to have access to file repository of OVA images (for the bring up) or patch/upgrade files (for lifecycle). This must be manually downloaded to the Docker VM or mounted via NFS.

For the day 2 operations (certificate changes, node manipulations, etc.) an environment must first be imported (as mentioned before the Lifecycle Manager is stateless and forgets everything when rebooted). During the import the same payload as for deployment is provided and checks are performed that the actual environment matches the imported one. Once the state is in the container memory day 2 command can be run. And a six cell VMware Cloud Director deployment can be upgraded with a single API call!

The actual architecture of the deployment is quite flexible. The Lifecycle Manager itself does not prescribe or deploys any networks, load balancers or NFS shares. All those must be prepared up front. I have tested deployment on top of VMware Cloud Foundation 4 (see here) but that is not a hard requirement. Brown field environments are not supported, but nothing is really stopping you to try to describe your existing environment in the JSON and import it.

If you plan to deploy and manage VMware Cloud Director at scale give it a try. And as this is the first public release we have a lot to look forward in the future.

2 thoughts on “VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager

  1. I’m not using Lifecycle Manager, however having issues getting the Tenant App Plugin 2.5 appear in vCD 10.2.2 tenant portal. Using vRealize Ops Management Pack 8.3, added vCD credentials in vrops, configured vCloud adapter – successful test, deployed Tenant App 2.5, validated vrops credentials, enabled plugin access, configured vcd tenant UI plugin, published vCD 2.5 plugin within vCD ‘customize portal’, logged into vCD as tenant and couldnt see a ‘operations manager’ link anywhere. docker ps in the Tenant App shows the container id for vcd plugin up for about a minute than continuously restarts. Is there anything you could advise please or logs i could check for further troubleshooting? Thanks.

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