vCloud Automation Center 6.0 (vCAC 6.0)–Reservation Policies, Storage Reservation Policies, Network Profiles

Before we proceed further let me revise where we are. In first post here we Installed and Configure vCloud Automation Center 6.0 Identity Appliance (vCAC 6.0 Identity Appliance) and vCloud Automation Center Appliance (vCAC 6.0) and in second post here we Installed and configured vCloud Automation Center IaaS (vCAC 6.0 IaaS). In third post we went further to configure Tenant. As per below diagram we completed almost every configuration. This post will be focusing on optional configuration part

ComponentLevel

We created sales business group, assigned Business group admin to it. We created reservation and assigned reservation to sales BU. 

While creating reservation we stopped at explaining Alert tab. Lets resume with its discussion. It is optional configuration but worth understanding and enabling it. In cloud environment where things change dynamically we must configure alert.

Click on the ALERTS tab, Set the capacity alerts to on various parameters seen below.

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Unless you have configuration notification alerts emails won’t be sent

Few consideration about Reservation

Reservation is a portion/share of resources which we assign to multiple business group (e.g. Sales, HR, Marketing) and multiple business group can have different reservation types (e.g. Gold, Silver and Bronze). In my environment Gold cluster was assigned to Sales and Marketing Business group in above figure. I have linked PDF copy to the figure. However reservation cannot be shared across the Business group.
If you have created reservation for, end user cannot request a Hyper-V resource using that reservation. Reservation type must match the platform defined in blueprint. If you name your blueprint accordingly this shouldn’t be problem at all.

Reservation Policy

It is collection of resources into group to make specific type of service available. Below I have created a policy by name Production Reservation Policy and included silver and gold reservation.

 

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In below figure I tried to explain that you can have different reservations assigned to single reservation policy but Blue prints can have only one reservation policy assigned. However when resources are provisioned, only reservation which match the blueprint type are considered & allocated.

 

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Reservation policy needs to be populated with reservations. However this is not quite easy to correlate in practice. When you create reservation you have an option to assign that reservation to the reservation policy. This is where association between reservation and reservation policies is created. Reservations are created for Business group and Business group have multiple reservation from fabric. With reservation policy you have an option to bring all types of reservation assigned to a business group under single reservation policy. let me explain it via simple diagram below

 

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In above example we have tenant, under which we have created a Sales Business group. Inside Sales Business group I have created three reservation of different types. I defined have multiple reservations e.g. Cloud, Virtual and Physical. As Fabric administrator I have created reservation policy by name “Virtual Reservation Policy” to collect resources of both Virtual and Cloud reservations. This policy will help me to provision all virtual resource as long as I select in Blueprint/Reservation “Virtual Reservation Policy”. This is just one way of doing it.

You can create reservation or reservation policy first. There is as such no dependence. In fact reservation policies are optional part of over all piece. Better way to do is create reservation policy first.

Reservation policy is actually a tag. All you need to put a name to the tag, little description for it. To create reservation policy, Go to Infrastructure –> Reservation –>Reservation Policies and Click New Reservation Policies. As described above I have created two reservation policy and can be seen below.

  1. Production Reservation Policy for Gold and Silver reservation
  2. Gold Storage for production virtual machines

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Creating reservation policy is not sufficient. You must Assign reservation policy to reservations which you intended to group together. So below I’m creating new reservations and assigning newly creating reservation policies each one of them as described above.

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Storage Reservation Policy

Storage reservation policy is similar to reservation policy. Primary purpose is to collect datastore of similar characteristic into a group. Below I have created a storage reservation policy by name GOLD and got three different datastores (Datastore01, Datastore02 & Datastore03) of same characteristic into single storage reservation policy.

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This tag helps to assign storage as per the requirement of application. In case Datastore 01 one is full, VM will be automatically provision to datastore 02. It means we just need to have storage reservation policy in place. Behind scene Gold storage from either of datastore01,02 or 03 is assigned for sure.

It is similar to storage profiles released in vSphere 5.0. However these tags were inherited by Dynamic ops. I wonder if there is still a use case of this tag when vSphere DRS cluster is becoming so much popular. Datastore cannot have multiple storage reservation policy e.g. Datastore 01 cannot have another storage reservation policy assigned but storage reservation policy can have different datastores. After storage reservation policy is created to be effective you must assigned it to volume.

Do not create storage reservation policy if you have well designed Storage DRS cluster

Similar to reservation policy, storage reservation policy is also a tag. You can create storage reservation policy from same interface as from reservation policy. Both are almost similar, at least I have not discovered any difference but logically they cannot be combined.

Assigning storage reservation policy differs from the assigning reservation policy. Storage reservation policy must be applied directly on datastores. Go to Infrastructure – Compute Resources – Compute Resources

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Network Profiles

By default vCAC will assigns DHCP IP Address to all machine it can provision. DHCP is ok for non-production Server VMs but production Server VMs needs IP address. Probably we never need to worry about Desktop VMs as far as networking policies are considered. To allocate static IP is the primary intention of network profiles. It is way to create a pool of IPs using a pre-defined. You can apply network profiles while creating reservation or while creating Blueprint. 

Network profiles do not apply to AWS

Fabric Administrators defines the IP ranges, subnet mask, DNS, DHCP, WINS (does it exist yet???), DNS suffix and combine all these values into single profile referred as network profile. Network profile like reservation policies can be applied to the reservation, blueprints.

Create a Network Profile for Static IP Address Assignment

Login as fabric admin, navigate to infrastructure –> reservations –> New Network Profiles –>External

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1) Name of network profile –Append the name with type of profile e.g. Production External

2) Subnet mask for the network range

3) Gateway ( for NAT type network profile this field is compulsory)

4) Primary DNS server

5) DNS Suffix

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6) Click on IP Range tab. Below screen enter  IP Address you need to reserved for this profile. Provide name and description. Press OK once done

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After you press OK, below screen displays IP range and allocation status in status column.

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Now we have network profile, we need to assign it to reservation. Below here I’m  assigning it to existing reservation. Go to Infrastructure –> Reservations –> Edit Existing Reservation configured. For network path “VM Network” select network profile from drop down menu. Press OK

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So in this post we learn the importance of reservation policy. How to configure reservation policy. We learnt about storage reservation policy and how to configure storage reservation policy. Storage reservation policy needs to applied to compute resource, while reservation policy needs to be configured at reservation screen. Then we went and checked the Network profile, it’s use cases. Finally we learnt How to configure network profile so that static IP’s can be assigned to Servers.

Next post I will be discussing how to create and configure vCloud Automation Center 6.0 (vCAC 6.0) Blueprints

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Storage DRS FAQ

Storage DRS Cluster

 

What are functions get enabled when you enable storage DRS?

Space load balancing among datastores within datastore cluster

I/O load balancing among datastores within datastore cluster

Initial placement for virtual disks on space and I/O workload

When you disable storage DRS all the above functions gets disabled but you can specifically disabled I/O load balancing. When you disable Storage DRS unlike DRS all settings are preserved to the point where Storage DRS was disabled.

When an initial placement does happen?

  1. When VM is created
  2. When VM is cloned
  3. When VM is migrated to another datastore cluster
  4. When you add a disk to existing VM

On what basis Initial recommendations are made?

  1. Datastores user defined space utilization threshold
  2. I/O latency
  3. Anti-affinity rules

When is storage DRS invoked?

  1. It is invoked at the configured frequency i.e. every 8 hours (this is default)
  2. When space of one of the datastore in a datastore cluster exceeds user configurable space utilization threshold.

What happens when storage DRS is invoked?

When storage DRS is invoked it checks each datastores space utilization and I/O latency values against threshold. For I/O latency, storage DRS uses the 90th percentile I/O latency measured over the course of a day to compare against the threshold.

What are the reasons for recommendations?

  1. Balance datastore space use
  2. Balance datastore I/O load

When does storage DRS makes mandatory recommendations

The datastore is out of space

Anti-affinity or affinity rules are being violated

The datastore is entering maintenance mode and must be evacuated

However optional recommendations are made when datastore is about to run out of space or when adjustment should be made for space and I/O load balancing.

Does virtual machine states are considered when Storage DRS is invoked?

Storage DRS is focused on disk space. Therefore state of virtual machine does not matter. So Storage DRS considers moving virtual machine which are powered on or powered off for space balancing.

How many automation level are available for Storage DRS?

In storage DRS unlike DRS only two automation level are available.

No Automation (Manual): Same as DRS i.e. both initial placement and migration recommendation needs to be implemented manually.

Fully automated: Everything is automated without any manual intervention

What are requirements of datastore cluster?

  • Datastore cluster must contain similar datastore. It can have different sizes, disks and even different arrays and vendors. But following types of datastore cannot exist
    • NFS & VMFS cannot be mixed, you can make VMFS based datastore cluster or NFS based datastore cluster
    • Replicated datastores cannot be mixed with non-replicated datastores.
  • All hosts must be ESXi5.0 or above
  • Datastores shared across multiple datacenters cannot be included in datastore cluster
  • VMware recommends not mixing array which has hardware acceleration support with non-hardware acceleration support. Datastores in a datastore cluster must be homogenous to take advantage of hardware assisted features

Check Storage Compliance with Virtual Machine Storage Profile

Procedure
1 In the vSphere Client, select View > Management > VM Storage Profiles.
2 Select a virtual machine storage profile from the inventory.

3. Select the Virtual Machines tab.
    The Virtual Machines tab lists the virtual machines and the virtual disks that use the selected virtual machine storage profile.

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4 Click Check Compliance Now.

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The Compliance Status column shows whether the virtual machine files or the virtual disks use datastores that are compliant or noncompliant with the selected virtual machine storage profile.

Associate a Virtual Machine Storage Profile with a Virtual Machine and Its Virtual Disks

You can associate a virtual machine storage profile with a virtual machine to define the storage capabilities that are required by the applications running on the virtual machine.
You can associate a virtual machine storage profile with a powered-off and powered-on virtual machine.

Below is conceptual diagram. Here we

  1. First defined/read storage capabilities (i.e. system/User defined)
  2. Create Storage profiles
  3. Then these storage profiles are applied to VM

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Procedure

1. Open the Profiles tab of a virtual machine.

Right-click a virtual machine from the inventory and select VM Storage Profile > Manage Profiles

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2. Associate the virtual machine home files with a virtual machine storage profile from the Home VM Storage Profile drop-down menu.


NOTE The virtual machine home files include the file types .vmx, .vmsd, .nvram, and so on.


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3 (Optional) Click Propagate to disks to associate all virtual disks with the same virtual machine storage profile.
4 Under VM storage profiles for virtual disks, associate each virtual disk with a different virtual machine storage profile from the VM Storage Profile drop-down menu.
5 Click OK.

The virtual machine storage profile name appears in the VM Storage Profiles pane of the Summary tab for the virtual machine

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Create a Virtual Machine Storage Profile

Procedure

1. In the VM Storage Profiles view of the vSphere Client, click Create VM Storage Profile.

The Create New VM Storage Profile wizard appears.

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2. On the Profile Properties page, type a name and a description for the virtual machine storage profile, and
click Next.

3. On the Select Storage Capabilities page, define storage requirements for the virtual machine storage profile
by selecting one or more storage capabilities from the list, and click Next.

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A datastore that has any of the selected capabilities will be compliant with the virtual machine storage profile.

4. On the Ready to Complete page, verify the virtual machine storage profile settings, and click Finish.

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The new virtual machine storage profile appears one level under the VM Storage Profiles folder in the inventory.

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Enable Virtual Machine Storage Profiles on a Host or a Cluster

Before you can use virtual machine storage profiles, you must enable them on a host or a cluster.

Prerequisites

Verify that the host or all the hosts in the cluster for which you want to enable virtual machine storage profiles
are licensed with a vSphere Enterprise Plus license key.

Procedure

1. In the VM Storage Profiles view of the vSphere Client, click Enable VM Storage Profiles.The Enable VM Storage Profiles window appears. The window shows all available clusters and hosts, their licensing status, and whether virtual machine storage profiles are enabled or disabled for the host or the cluster.

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2. To enable virtual machine storage profiles, select a host or a cluster whose status is Disabled or Unknown and click Enable. The status of the host or cluster changes to Enabled in the VM Storage Profile Status column.

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How to Assign User-Defined Storage Capability

Procedure
1 In the vSphere Client, select View > Inventory > Datastores and Datastore Clusters.
2 Right-click a datastore from the inventory and select Assign User-Defined Storage Capability.
3 Select a storage capability from the list of storage capabilities and click OK.

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In the below screen you will Storage Capability Window being updated (high lighted) with Replicated Store as this was the user defined capability we selected in above.

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View Existing Storage Capabilities

Procedure
1. In the vSphere Client, select View > Management > VM Storage Profiles.

2. In the VM Storage Profiles view of the vSphere Client, click Manage Storage Capabilities.
The Manage Storage Capabilities dialog box appears.

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3. View the names and descriptions of the storage capabilities in the Name and Description column.

4. View the System and User-defined types of the existing storage capabilities.
       a Click the Type column to sort the storage capabilities by type.
       b View the storage capabilities whose type is System.
       c View the storage capabilities whose type is User-defined.