Back in februari 2013 I wrote a first article about vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) titled “What is VMware vCloud Automation Center?“. With the announcement of VMware vCloud Suite 5.5, vCAC became part of each vCloud Suite edition as detailed in this article. vCAC is becoming a more important and is expected to be the primary tool for private cloud scenarios. Sound like a good reason to learn more about the product, in this article I will discuss the concept of credentials and endpoints.
Before you can use vCAC you have to (of course) install the product first. The installation procedure for vCAC is a bit complicated; vCAC is using MS IIS and you have to install different components that work together to deliver vCAC functionality. I strongly suggest to use the installation procedure pointed out by Jad El-Zein in this article. I think it’s even better than the official installation guide, but the choice is yours of course.
After vCAC is up and running, the next step is to add endpoints. vCAC is connecting to these endpoints, which are managed resources representing virtualization platforms, cloud service accounts, physical machines and storage devices. After endpoints are added to vCAC, resources (e.g. virtual machines) can be deployed to these endpoints. Endpoint examples are:
- Cloud: Amazon EC2 and VMware vCloud Director;
- Orchestration: VMware vCenter Orchestrator;
- Physical: Cisco UCS Manager, Dell DRAC, HP ILO;
- Storage: NetApp Ontap;
- Virtualization: HyperV (Microsoft SCVMM), KVM (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization), vSphere (VMware vCenter).
The vCloud Automation Center Support Matrix includes full details on supported configurations.
Step 1: Add the credentials
Before configuring an endpoint, first add the correct credentials to vCAC. The process is pretty straightforward: Choose vCAC Administrator, credentials and add new credentials through the “New Credentials” option. Enter the name (I prefer to use the hostname of the endpoint), username and password. I advise to use a service account to connect to vSphere, vCloud Director etc. The most easy way is to give this user administrative rights on the external resource, or configure the exact permissions for vSphere according to table 16 of the vCAC 5.2 installation Guide. vCD needs administrator privileges anyway.
For VMware vCloud Director or vSphere connections the username is just the username, and the password is just the….well, you understand. Note that if you’re using vCD’s LDAP integration, the username is without the domain prefix…otherwise you will get an error. In some cases the username and password fields may be used for other data; in the case of an Amazon EC2 endpoint the username is Amazon’s Access Key ID and the Secret Access Key is the password. More information about an EC2 configuration in this article at dailyhypervisor.com.
Step 2: Add the endpoints
After you’ve configured the credentials you can add the actual endpoints to vCAC. To add a vSphere endpoint:
- Choose vCAC Administrator, endpoints, new endpoint, virtual, vSphere (vCenter).
- Enter the name (and write this down, you will need it in step 8), description, vCenter Server address according to the format https://vcenter-FQDN/sdk, and choose the correct credentials (configured in the previous step). Choose OK when finished.
- For vSphere you will need to install an additional proxy agent. The proxy agent is part of the vCAC installation files and called vCAC-Agent-Setup.
- Start the installation of vCAC-Agent-Setup; click next, accept the license terms and click next. Enter a name for the agent and add the vCloud Automation Center hostname and Model Manager Web Service hostname.
- Choose vSphere Agent and click Next.
- Leave the default options in the next screen and enter the (service) account and password used for vCloud Automation Center. Click Next.
- Enter the username and password for the vCAC model manager in the next screen and click Next.
- At vSphere Generic Endpoint enter the name for this endpoint, this has to be the same as the name in step 2.
- Click next and install the agent. After installation finishes check if the agent is up and running in the services.msc snap-in.
- You can check if the agent is connected to vCAC by opening vCAC Administrator, Agent Configuration, Proxy Agent Name (note: no configuration is required here, it’s just to see if the agent is available). This can take a short while.
- Also check vCAC administrator, Log Viewer for any errors. If you have configured the agent incorrectly you might see something like:
To add vCloud Director as an endpoint repeat the procedure:
- Choose vCAC Administrator, endpoints, new endpoint, cloud, vApp (vCloud Director).
- Enter the name , description, vCloud Director address according to the format https://vclouddirector-FQDN/, and choose the correct credentials (configured in the previous step). Leave organization blank to connect to the all the organizations at once, or select an organization when required. Choose OK when finished.
- vCloud Director does not need an extra agent to be installed.
- Check vCAC administrator, Log Viewer for any errors.
Both vSphere and vCloud Director are now connected to vCAC. Check this article by Mike Laverick which explains how to connect to Microsoft SCVMM 2012.
Step 3: Configure Enterprise Groups
Although endpoints are now available in vCAC, you will not see available resources before they are added to an Enterprise Group. An Enterprise Group is a group of virtualization compute resources and cloud endpoints managed by one or more Enterprise Administrators. After adding recourses to an Enterprise Group they will show up under Enterprise Administrator, Computer Resources.
Open Enterprise Groups and click New Enterprise Group:
Think of a descriptive name for the group, add an Enterprise Administrator and link resources to this group. As you can see, in this example both vSphere as well as vCloud Director resources are available. You can choose to create different Enterprise Groups with different Enterprise Administrators. Each Enterprise Administrator is for example responsible for the resources in a vCD organization or for the vSphere resources.
After adding resources to an Enterprise Group a Dashboard and Enterprise Administrator dashboard will be created in vCAC. If the vCAC administrator is the same person as the Enterprise Administrator, the Enterprise Administrator menu item will popup in vCAC.
More information on this menu item and vCAC general will be published in upcoming articles. Subscribe to this blog by adding your e-mail to the “Subscribe to this blog” option on the right side of the screen, or just follow me on twitter.
It is a well written article, it’s helped me a lot.