vSphere 7 / VCF 4.X Feature Requests
I am currently responsible for several vSphere 7 related projects. We have a high level of VMware competency in our organization, which extends across the VMware product landscape to include Automation & Cloud Native technologies.
I have identified a few product features and suggestions that would make my life as an Architect and Systems Admin much easier.
1.) VM/Host Rules
We recently deployed a VCF stretched cluster implementation. One of the critical aspects of this solution is place specific management components and workload VMs in a specific Availability Zone (AZ). We have application availability requirements that require us to separate workloads across both AZ`s. We also have a large number of Microsoft VMs that need to be placed on specific hosts in order to satisfy licensing requirements. VM/Host rules are used to place VMs to a physical host or cluster.
Currently in vCenter, you have to add the VMs to their appropriate rules at the cluster level, by going to Cluster > Configure > Configuration > VM/Host Rules and add the VM to the rule.
My issue here is that from the VMs point of view in vSphere, you cannot see which rule your VM resides in... or if it is in a rule at all. To check this, you have to go into VM/Host rules and manually find it.
It would be awesome if they could list the VM/Host Rule that the VM resides in, directly in the VM view as seen from the picture above. This would avoid having to manually check your rules every time you needed to verify something. It would be even better if they could provide a way to export a .csv (or some other form of output) of all VM/Host Rules and the VMs assigned to each rule.
vCenter has a similiar feature in the VMs view of the host:
This really comes in handy when you have several VMs that require affinity pinning to a specific site. I am guessing that there is a magical way to get this out of vSphere with something like PowerCLI.. but this would make it much easier.
2.) VCF Bringup Parameter Workbook Issues (VCF4.X)
VCF uses an input parameter excel sheet to record user inputs which are used to "design" the initial MGMT WLD. This excel document has very few inputs, and I found that a few of these were very prone to error. The issue with this, is that when you upload the sheet you cannot easily update the input fields. Currently the best way is to use the Cloud Builder to generate an editable JSON file, then rerun the verification.
You can perform the following steps to generate an editable JSON file.
Use WinScP to upload the file into the /tmp directory in the Cloud Builder appliance, copy the deployment-parameter.xlsx workbook to this directory
su to root, then cd /opt/vmware/sddc-support/
Run this command to generate a .json format of the excel file: ./sos --jsongenerator --jsongenerator-input /tmp/vcf-vxrail-deployment-parameter.xlsx --jsongenerator-design vcf-public-vxrail
Move the file to the /tmp directory: mv /opt/vmware/sddc-support/cloud_admin_tools/Resources/vcf-public-vxrail/vcf-public-vxrail.json /tmp
Change the file permissions to allow WinScP to transfer the file to the desktop: chmod 777 /tmp/vcf-public-vxrail.json
Open the vcf-public-vxrail.json file with Notepad++, locate any variables that might differ from the original excel file or that need to be updated.
For example, I used this method to insure that vmnic2 & vmnic3 have been added as vmnics for the the MGMT WLD cluster:
Save the file and reupload into the Cloud Builder appliance, click Retry to re-test the input configuration, click NEXT to finish the verification.
It would be nice for us to have an easier way to make changes to the input JSON input, or have an optional edit option here.
3.) Dark Mode for VCF Cloud Builder
Many late nights were spent deploying VCF, and when you work at night, "dark mode" becomes your friend. VMware has already created a dark mode feature for many of its products. It would be awesome if they had it for Cloud Builder as Well :)
I am proud to be a part of a growing world class next generation on-premise team of engineers and we are increasingly pleased with the direction VMware is going with many of their products.
Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the vendors, brands or my employer.