vCloud Connector (vCC)

Definition: An enterprise product that provides a single user interface for overseeing multiple public and private clouds and for transferring cloud content from one cloud to another.

It also ties in allow to see vsphere environment also but the main gist is that you can tie in the clouds that you own being the public cloud or the cloud that other people own and manage in the form of a public cloud by means of a vCC. And this is the glue that holds together essentially migrate workloads to and from private to public, or public to public, whatever topology you want to build. There are two versions available, vCloud connector core and vCloud Connector advanced, vCC core is sometimes term to basic and it is free that can be downloaded from the VMware website, it has some basic functionality to connect VC and cloud environment together. This really starts with powering off and on of virtual machines, vapps, general performance details, transferring vapps, vm’s to and fro from different environments, different clouds. If you own vCloud suite, which is licensed product, you will also get vCloud connector advanced, and this all of the core functionality including share content library, synchronized templates and ways to stetch DC’s, and it need money (it is not free :)). It is having many features but it is not possible to discuss all of them here. We are gonna focus more on setting up the core product. Lets dive into the architecture, lets have a look on the three main components that exists within vCloud director, the first is the vCC server – this is and OVF that you download from VMware website, it is an appliance, it is a control point for the nodes in the environment. Its provide the user interface and its kind of like the analogy how Vcenter manages the ESX hosts, similarly vCC nodes manages vCC server. Now a node kind of an edge point that lives inside your vsphere environment or cloud (public/private). We need a node in every cloud environment, and there is a requirement for only server to manage all the nodes. The node has a certain amount of disk spaces allocated to it that it can use as a transfer repository. So, when you want to transfer workload the repository node talks to the destination node to transfer workload. When there is disruption during the transfer, the node will have information about the files, and will resume when the links are up and ready to go. This gives some resiliency for to and fro communication, and it is considered as the edge point to migrate the loads. It can be used for multiple tenants inside of a VMware vCloud. It is kind of a hidden, clients cannot see from where it is coming and whether it is been shared to multiple client or whatsoever. It gives a liberty to form smaller nodes and share it to your tenants when required. Now the final phase is user interface, it is really only available from vSphere client or via vcloud.vmware.com. Now we will be focusing on the interface from vsphere cloud, but we really have a choice of how we are gonna present it to the users. User interface is different than when you assign and ip to the vCC server and get a weblink for configuring and managing vCC server. User interface can sit on the vsphere vCloud but it is not the web browser for configuring but it is an entity to understand how different clouds are presented in totality to the clients.

vCC server and each node requires – A static IP address, Subnet mask, Gateway, DNS server, Hostname (not mandatory). If you are going to create a simple lab, you then probably need 3 ips, 2 for the nodes and one for vCC server.

Some default logins .

Username – admin
password – vmware

Deploying in the vCloud environment:

  1. Import the vCC server and node as vApp templates
  2. Deploy both the vCC server and nodes to an organization VDC
  3. Configure using the previous prep work information
  4. Point the vCC Node to the vCC server

We can put it in any catalog , private or public, and then anybody in the organization can see it. One vCC server and one Node, pay for the consumption and pay for the node.

Once they are deployed and powered on, points the vCC node to the server. From Vsphere perspective, we can see both cloud and vCC environment.

Deploying in the vSphere environment

  1. Deploy the node OVF into vSphere
  2. Configure using the the previous steps
  3. Point the vCC node to the vCC server

At this time the server is aware of 2 nodes, it knows vSphere cloud and vCloud environment.

Configuring vCloud Connector

The actual configuration of the vCloud connector,  we have to use 3 distinct environment.

  1. vsphere management cluster
  2. VMware vCloud environment (vCloud Director)
  3. Hybrid cloud evaluation (full fledged public cloud) – this is by default configured by VMware.

Registration of first two (above) environment are done by giving the inputs for cloud type, cloud URL, SSL and proxy inputs if present. If you are using a local certificate, then the option should be unchecked, and proxy can be used if it is not connected to the internet and you need a medium to reach to the external network.

Once the registration is done, then we have to move to the vCloud connector server and register all the node to the server. Connect to vcloud connector server – go to vsphere client, provide vsphere connector server URL, provide IP of vcenter server, vcenter server id & password. That’s it, hit register. Go in and manage user interface. Be careful to use your vsphere account managing your vcloud, generally the root account for this registration.

Now, connect to the cloud vsphere and go to connectors from the home menu and enjoy.

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