VMware Cloud on AWS

New Capabilities in PowerCLI 12.1 for VMware Cloud on AWS

PowerCLI 12.1 is now available and it includes several new capabilities that make automation for VMware Cloud on AWS easier than ever.  This release includes two new cmdlets for configuring Elastic DRS (EDRS) policy, several enhancements that improve your ability to control the size, type, and scale of new software-defined data centers (SDDC), and updates that enable scaling multi-cluster SDDCs. In addition to that, this release makes it easier than ever to seamlessly bridge automation from the VMware Cloud infrastructure layer to the vCenter Server instance on your SDDC that is used to manage your workloads.

If you’re just getting started with PowerCLI for VMware Cloud on AWS, be aware that authentication is handled through an API Token and not the traditional username/password combination that is used for on-prem vSphere environments.  For a technical overview on how to get started, visit VMware Cloud Tech Zone.

New Elastic DRS Policy Management Cmdlets

Elastic DRS (EDRS) enables you to stay ahead of resource demands in your SDDC by automatically adding hosts to a cluster when needed, and automatically removing hosts when fewer resources are required. There are several policies that can be configured by administrators to optimize for factors such as cost or performance.

This new PowerCLI release introduces two new cmdlets that provide the ability to view or change the configuration: Get-VmcClusterEdrsPolicy and Set-VmcClusterEdrsPolicy.

EDRS policy

Enhanced Control Over Scalability During SDDC Creation

Software-defined data centers (SDDCs) can be created from the graphical web console or through the New-VmcSddc cmdlet. This new release of PowerCLI adds several new parameters to the existing cmdlet.

The VMware Cloud on AWS service continues to mature, and the recent addition of a new bare-metal host type called i3en.metal provides higher performance along with more vSAN storage for more demanding workloads. With this release of PowerCLI, you are able to specify the host type when creating a new SDDC by using the new -HostType parameter during deployment.

Similarly, the ability to allocate additional resources to the management components for larger clusters is now configurable from PowerCLI. This was previously available only in the web interface, but now can be specified with the -SddcAppliancesSize parameter.

And finally, for business-critical applications with more demanding availability requirements, the stretched cluster option places resources in two physically separate AWS Availability Zones.  This capability is now accessible for PowerCLI deployments by adding the -StretchedCluster parameter.

New SDDC

 

Adding or Removing Hosts in a Multi-Cluster SDDC

An SDDC starts out with a single cluster, but as workloads increase and consume more resources, it may be necessary to add additional clusters to an SDDC.  Those teams managing larger deployments with multiple clusters will be glad to know that PowerCLI 12.1 enhances the Add-VmcSddcHost and Remove-VmcSddcHost cmdlets to accept a new -Cluster parameter. This provides the ability to add hosts to any cluster in the SDDC – previous versions of the cmdlet only supported adding hosts to the first cluster.

Seamless Automation from VMware Cloud to VMware vSphere

PowerCLI is a mature automation framework that can configure and control a wide range of VMware services.  Different services typically have distinct connection endpoints and authentication techniques.  When managing VMware Cloud on AWS, an API token is used to authenticate automation of various infrastructure tasks, such as deploying an SDDC or adding hosts to a cluster. Moving up a layer in the stack, workload VM deployment and management is accomplished by connecting to vCenter Server, which is authenticated through a traditional username and password combination.

Administrators have always been able to obtain their unique SDDC vCenter credentials by logging on to the VMware Cloud console web interface, but with PowerCLI 12.1 there is another option: the URL and credentials are now properties of an SDDC object. This makes it easier to perform full end-to-end automation of the underlying SDDC as well as workload provisioning.

vCenter Credentials

Please note that administrators have the ability to change this password in vCenter – but doing so does not update the initial randomly generated one that is created during SDDC deployment and viewable from the VMware Cloud on AWS console.  Therefore, if the ‘cloudadmin@vmc.local’ password is ever changed, this feature becomes inoperable.

Viewing the VMware Cloud Cmdlets

It’s easy to get a quick list of available commands for the VMware Cloud on AWS module:

PowerCLI 12.1 Commands

Takeaways

VMware Cloud on AWS continues to offer new capabilities and enhancements that enable you to build the best public cloud for all of your workloads, without converting or re-platforming.  PowerCLI is a trusted tool for automating numerous aspects of the VMware Hybrid Cloud and each new release tracks the enhancements and improvements in the underlying infrastructure and services.  For more information on how to get started with PowerCLI, check out VMware Cloud Tech Zone.

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