VMware is offering an interesting tool: The VMware vCloud Connector. VMware vCloud Connector can be used to move workloads between vSphere and private/public vCloud Director based IAAS clouds. You can download vCloud Connector for free at vcloud.vmware.com; all you need is a (free) VMware store account.
In this article I will show you have to install & configure the vCloud Connector, and how you can use the tool to move workloads around.
The vCloud Connector consists of two virtual appliances:
- The VMware vCloud Connector (vCC) Server
- The VMware vCloud Connector (vCC) Node
The vCC Node is responsible for transferring data from one cloud (vSphere/vCloud Director) to the other. The vCC Server is used to manage your vCC node’s. You will just need one vCC server. The number of vCC nodes depends on the number of private/public cloud and vSphere environments you want to connect.
To install vCloud Connector, extract both zip files so you will get the OVF’s available. First deploy the vCC Server OVF; within vSphere this is pretty straightforward: Choose File –> Deploy OVF Template in the vSphere Client and select the vCC Server OVF. You just have to enter the IP settings (if using a static IP address) or leave the networking properties blank for DHCP. The vCC Server needs 2 GB of memory and 2 vCPU’s.
The default login for the vCC Server is admin, the default password is vmware. The configuration URL for the vCC server is https://url-of-vcc-server:5480/. This URL will become available after starting the VM.
After login to the management website, verify your time-zone and network settings. You can configure a proxy if necessary.Don’t forget to change your default password. The management website is used for the network configuration, configuring the vCC GUI and connecting vCC Nodes.
You can choose to register the vCC Server interface (GUI) in the vSphere Client, within the vcloud.vmware.com portal or both.
vSphere registration is quite simple, just enter the vCC Server hostname or ip, your vCenter Server FQDN and the username/password used for registration. After registering, vCloud Connector will be available in your vSphere environment as a new management tool:
An important note from the vCC Installation guide:
Create a vCC Node
At this moment you cannot use the vCloud Connector because no vCC Node was deployed. So, let’s now first deploy a vCC Node in the same way you’ve deployed a vCC Server (using the vCC Node OVF in this case of course ;)).
The default login for the vCC Node is also admin with password vmware. The configuration URL is https://url-of-vcc-node:5480/. For the vCC Node review network, password and proxy settings.
Register the vCC Node
The next step is to register to vCC node in the vCC server. Important: you have to complete this task in the vCC Server web interface (not in the vSphere Client). The node tab allows you to add an extra node:
In this situation the node connects to a vCenter server (you can also connect to a vCloud Director instance). After successfully connecting the vCC node, you will now be able to add a cloud (in this case your vSphere environment) to vCloud Connector in the vSphere Client. Open the vCloud Connector plugin in the vSphere Client and click “Add Cloud”, after entering the credentials you vSphere infrastructure will be displayed in the vCloud Connector:
Not too much to do in Cloud Director right now, because we haven’t connected any other cloud or vSphere infrastructure to the connector. We will do this in a short while, let’s first register the vCC Server at the VMware vCloud Connector portal at vcloud.vmware.com. You must use vCC Server webinterface for this, using the option under Server->vcloud.vmware.com.
Enter a name for the connector, the URL of the vCC Server and your vcloud.vmware.com credentials. After successful registration, visit vcloud.vmware.com and (after login in) choose “vCloud Connector” and the top left of the website. Now you can add your vCC Node to vcloud.vmware.com as well, which enables you to view your vSphere infrastructure through vcloud.vmware.com:
Connecting to a another (second) Cloud
Things are getting interesting after connecting a cloud infrastructure to your vCC instance. Some public cloud providers offer a test drive; a nice option to see what private, public and hybrid cloud actually means.
In my case I will use my own vCloud Director environment to deploy a vCC node, connect this new vCC node to vCloud Director (vCD) and then add this vCD based cloud to the vCloud Connector Server.
Note: Of course vCloud Director offers an option to import VMs from vSphere to vCD. This is another use case in which vCD runs on the vSphere infrastructure where you’re importing VMs from. The vCC tooling offers you the option to connect to a great variety of private and public clouds to one or more vSphere infrastructures.
First, upload de vCC node to the catalog of vCloud Director. You can use the upload vApp option for this:
Then, add the vApp to the cloud you want to vCC Node to connect to (right click->Add to MyCloud). A OVF deploy wizard will start in vCD. Accept the EULA, and select an appropriate vCD network. vCD networking is out of scope for this article, but it’s important that you make sure that:
- The vCC Server can connect to the vCC code on port 8443;
- vCC nodes can interconnect with each other on port 8443;
- The vCC node can connect to the vCloud Interface webinterface IP address;
- The vCC webinterface (running on 5480) is available for the initial configuration of the node;
Regarding the IP configuration for the vCC node:
Either configure an IP address manually (by setting the network parameters in the networking properties page of the OVF deploy wizard), or let vCD manage the IP address for your vCC node. If you choose the latter option, leave the networking properties page of the wizard empty and configure your network in the configure virtual machines page of the wizard: You can use a static IP pool to let vCD assign an IP address to the vCC Node or use the static manual option. After assigning an IP adres you probably have to setup some NAT firewall rules; two ports are important here: 8443/tcp for traffic between the vCC nodes and vCC server. Port 5480/tcp is used for the initial configuration.
After deploying this new vCC Node, log on to the webinterface to verify and complete the initial configuration. Now, logon to the vCC server and add this new node. We’re now connecting to vCD, so configure your node accordingly:
Now open the CC interface in the vSphere client again, and add the vCD vCloud Connector Node. Important: vCloud Connector needs Organization Administrator rights to work, so use an organization administrator account for connecting! Also important, you’re not connecting to a vCD instance…you’re connecting to an organization within vCloud Director.
Now we have vSphere infrastructure and a vCloud Director infrastructure available in vCloud Connector. This means we can move workloads from vSphere to vCD and vice versa. A virtual machine has to be switched off if you want to move it. Select a VM, and “copy” it to the cloud….here we go:
Page 38 of the vCC Installation guide show an excellent picture of the dataflow when copying VMs between clouds. The steps are:
- Customer requests transfer using vCC UI.
- vCC Server tells Node to transfer vApp.
- Node tells vCenter Server to “export” using VIM API.
- Content is moved from datastores to source Node cache via vmkernel network.
- Content is transferred from source to destination Node via multipart using check
- Destination Node tells vCD to do an “import” using vCloud API.
- Content transfers from destination Node cache to vCD transfer server storage.
- vCD commands the appropriate vCenter import.
- Content transfers from vCD transfer server storage to destination datastore via vmkernel network and is made available through the vCD catalog.
By default a vCC node offers a 40 GB staging area, which is available as a LVM Volume Group in the node:
You can increase the staging area by following this procedure (from the installation guide, for vSphere based vCC Nodes):
- Log in to the vSphere Client.
- In the hierarchy tree, select the vCC Node virtual appliance.
- Right-click and select Edit Settings.
- The Virtual Machine Propertieswindow opens to the Hardwaretab.
- Select Hard disk 2in the Hardwarecolumn.
- Modify the size, based on the size of the resources you are going to be transferring, and click Okay.
- Open the console for the vCC Node.
- Run the following command to resize the disk:
For vCD based nodes you cannot increase the disk size (it’s not a feature of vCD). You have add an extra disk, and add this disk to the staging area. The procedure is on page 37 of the vCC Installation guide.
So far so good, if everything is configured correctly you can now move you workloads around. Good luck!