Building a Private Cloud with vCloud Director- Part-2- Infrastructure Setup

In my previous post vCloud Director Introduction we have seen an overview of what are the components that makes up a vCloud suite and how each component is tied together to provide a cloud based infrastructure.

For setting up vCloud environment a lot of prerequisites are there which should be met prior to deploying the vCloud director and other components. In this post I am including my Infrastructure design and the preparations which I did.

vCloud requires your vSphere Infrastructure (Esxi + vCenter Server) to be ready before start jumping in and installing vCloud director. Also other components like DNS/AD/Storage should be ready in advance. I am listing here all the pieces which I made ready for my home lab.

Hardware Component

I have a Dell M4800 Mobile workstation laptop with 32 GB of RAM and i7 Quad Core processor. I am running all the components inside Vmware Workstation.

My Lab Components

  1. I installed Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition as my base OS. This machine will act as my vCenter Server as well as DB server.
  2. I have Server 2003 Enterprise edition installed in my Vmware-Workstation. This VM is acting as my domain controller and DNS Server. I allocated 1 vCPU and 1 GB of RAM to this machine.
  3. I installed openfiler version 2.99 as virtual machine. The resources allocated to this VM are 2 vCpu and 3 GB RAM. Also I have added 2 additional disks which are presented as iSCSI LUN’s to my Esxi Hosts.

DNS Configuration

I have my DNS Server configured at very first place before start building any component in my Home Lab. My DNS server (AD included) is running on Server 2003 Enterprise edition. I have configured my domain as “alex.local” and created both forward and reverse lookup zone in my DNS.



Also I tested name resolution using nslookup and it went fine without any issues:


Active Directory Configuration

I am using dedicated user accounts for my cloud lab. I have created following user accounts in my AD

1: svcadhelper: This account will be used by Esxi hosts to authenticate themselves against AD

2: vcadmin : For administering and configuring anything in my vCenter Server

3: svcvcloud: Dedicated account for doing configuration/management of anything in my vCloud Director

Note: vcadmin and svcvcloud accounts have been granted Domain/admins privileges.


vSphere Components:

a: 3 Esxi hosts running version 5.5 update 2d. Each host having 6 GB RAM and 2 vCPU. Also each Esxi host is equipped with 2 NICS and both of them connected to different VMNet adapters having different IP address range.



b:  vCenter Server version 5.5 update 2d. As this is installed on my base OS so all 32 GB RAM is visible to vCenter Server.


vCenter Server Configuration:

  1. Datacenter created and cluster configured. HA and DRS is enabled on the cluster and all my 3 Esxi hosts are added to this cluster. DRS is in fully automated mode.
  2. All Esxi hosts are mounting the 2 LUN’s which I created in my openfiler. I am using iSCSI software adapter to connect to my storage.



c) I have vDS created and port-groups configured. There are 3 port-groups which I created on my vDS: Lab-Mgmt, VM_NW and vMotion_NW. Pretty clear from name what is the purpose of these port-groups.



d)created a dedicated folder under VM and Templates for storing my vCloud VM’s.


vCloud Director VM:

I have decided not to use the traditional vCloud-Director ovf file for deploying vCloud director. I wanted to understand how things are installed/configured so I have opted for installing vCloud director on RHEL server.

I created a virtual machine with RHEL Server 6.5 installed and provided 2 NIC cards both mapped to different VMnet adapters. IP address has been configured on both NICS and tested the connectivity with vCenter server, Esxi hosts, DNS and other components. This VM has 4 GB RAM and 2 vCPU.

Note: vCloud director VM needs 2 NIC’s each with different ip subnet range (preferred), one NIC for http access and one NIC for console access.


VMware Workstation Network Configuration

In my Vmware Workstation I have 2 different network configured:

NAT: VMNet8 is using NAT ip addressing scheme and is on 192.168.0.x Subnet. All my Esxi host Management IP, DNS Server IP, Openfiler IP and vCenter Server IP is on this subnet.


Host-Only: VMNet1 is using Host-Only ip addressing scheme and is on 172.18.0.x Subnet. This network is used for vMotion Network on my Esxi host and also for my vCloud director VM (Console IP is on this network)


Hostname and IP address scheme:

The below table list the hostname and ip address of all the components of my Lab. Definitely table will be expanded as I create more VM and other related stuffs

Component Hostname/FQDN  IP Address-1  IP Address-2
vCenter Server vcentersrv01.alex.local NA
DC + AD dc01.alex.local NA
Esxi-1 megatron.alex.local
Esxi-2 optimus.alex.local
Esxi-3 galvatron.alex.local
Storage openfiler.alex.local NA
vCloud Director vcd.alex.local

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