This is not your traditional ESXi server.
This is VxRail a HCIA, Hyper Converged Infrastructure Appliance. VxRail is an appliance, that decreases the complexity of management of your compute and storage. The daily experience is simplified but at the same time offers a powerful and agile solution that can grow as you need it to.
The setup of VxRail enables you to get started quickly. Shared Storage is provisioned via vSAN, Virtual Distributed switching, syslog capabilities (VMware LogInsight) and Life Cycle management get setup for you automatically. The VxRail Appliance comes with VxRail Manager for complete life cycle management of the hardware and software components.
With that in mind, let me introduce you to the PCF (Pivotal Cloud Foundry) solution with VxRail. If you are transforming your DevOps into Cloud Native Applications, embracing a more resilient smarter App Dev Cycle, you can now choose VxRail as an infrastructure option that will simplify your setup and let you focus on getting your business working faster. VxRail will accelerate your project by simplifying the configuration of enterprise level infrastructure.
Recently we published Reference Architecture for Pivotal Cloud Foundry on VxRail.
There are several aspects that I wanted to highlight about this RA that can assist your Cloud Native Applications Dev project.
The high level requirements system requirements for Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) deployment with Ops Manager and Elastic Runtime on vSphere are:
- vSphere 6.0, 5.5, or 5.1.
- Disk space: 2TB recommended.
- Memory: 120GB
- Two public IP addresses: One for Elastic Runtime and one for Ops Manager
- vCPU cores: 80
- Overall CPU: 28 GHz
- vSphere editions: standard and above.
- Ops Manager Director must have HTTPS access to vCenter and ESX hosts on TCP port 443.
- A configured vSphere cluster: DRS set to Fully Automated
Out of the box the VxRail RA exceeds the technical requirements for PCF above.
For this reference architecture, a VxRail G series model G410 Appliance was used, with each node having the following components:
- 2 Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3 eight-core CPUs
- 256 GB of memory
- Dual ports 10GbE NICs
- Storage: Hybrid vSAN
The infrastructure setup is done for you with VxRail Manager.
There is not much required to ensure your PCF can run successfully on VxRail. You will have everything you in place to integrate with your current infrastructure.
- You can choose to use a separate vCenter embedded in VxRail or use an existing external vCenter.
- Determine what additional VLANS or networking your environment requires.
VxRail provides you an on-premise vSphere environment ready to put to use. That is the accelerated power of HCIA. You journey to DevOps Application transformation is made easier. You can now log onto your vCenter that manages your VxRail, There is not the need to invest more time to setup vCenter or your enterprise storage. VxRail manager does all for that for you.
Deploy Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF)
PCF Deployment is readily completed via standard OVA Deployment of the PCF Ops Manager VM
Login to the web interface for management via Fully Qualified Domain Name.
https://hostname.vmware.com/setup Verify your DNS settings.
There are some things you need to know to help you be successful.
- PCF Authentication
- Internal Authentication PCF maintains your user database. You can choose to use an identity provider if you desire.
- You must complete the following steps: Enter a Username, Password, and Password confirmationto create an Admin user.
- Ensure DNS is available and assigned for you PCF, vsphere and VxRail instance.
- Pivotal recommends that you use the same domain name but different subdomain names for your system and app domains. Doing so allows you to use a single wildcard certificate for the domain while preventing apps from creating routes that overlap with system routes. For example, name your system domain EXAMPLE.comand your apps domain apps.EXAMPLE.com.
- IP addresses
- Find an adequate range available to your instance of PCF. Exclude this range from DHCP assignment. In my case I had a large range identified by its CIDR (Classless Inter-domain routing). Work with your networking team. For example a CIDR of 192.168.100.0/22 represents 1024 IPv4 addresses from 192.168.100.0 to 192.168.103.255
- VxRail presets the vSAN Datastore name. You will need to have the exact name for PCF deployment and configuration. Do Not change the provided name.
- PCF Access
- To download PCF, you will need to signup, download Elastic Runtime and OpsMgr and other PCF tiles https://network.pivotal.io/
Pivotal cloud Foundry is your on-premises native cloud Application PaaS. You will have lots of flexibility in creating applications.
Depending on how many applications you scale up and how many PCF tiles and services you use, make sure you have enough IP addresses. It depends on what you are testing and using PCF for.
If you missed the previous posts that have introduced VxRail, here are a few helpful links: Introduction to VxRail: VxRail: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure for Affordable, Scalable Cloud Agility. There are even online resources to experience, hands-on what VxRail is: New VxRail Hands-on Lab – Experience the Standard in Hyper-Converged. But, VxRail isn’t standing still; there are now new models: Dell EMC VxRail 4.0 Announcement – New Models, More Use Cases announced since the introduction.