vCloud Extender-Part 1:Introduction

By | 29/09/2018

What is VMware vCloud Extender?

VMware vCloud Director Extender creates a hybrid cloud environment between an end-user on-premise data center, and a multi-tenant vCloud Director environment. vCloud Extender is replacement for vCloud Connector and this product was released soon after vCloud Director 9.0 was announced. 

What does vCloud Extender offers?

vCloud Extender allows customers to migrate workloads from On-prem vSphere environment to a vCloud Director based Public Cloud. The two migration methods that are available with vCloud Extender are the cold and warm migration and I will talk about these methods in detail in upcoming post of this series.

One more exciting feature that vCloud Extender offers is to stretch an on-prem Layer 2 network to cloud. This feature helps customer to achieve their “Cloud Migration” objective without much hassle as you no longer need to Re-IP workloads that are migrating to cloud. 

You do not need to have on-prem deployment of NSX to stretch a layer 2 network to cloud but without on-prem NSX, you are limited to extending only vLANs to VXLAN on the cloud side.

The current version of vCloud Extender is 1.1.0 and it works with vCD 8.20 and 9.X. Please see Release Notes to see what’s new with vCloud Extender 1.1.0. 

vCloud Director Extender Architecture & components

Below diagram taken from VMware website shows high level overview of vCloud Extender 

vCloud-Extender-Architecture.png

On the service provider side, we have following components (excluding vCD and underlying vSphere Infrastructure)

1: vCloud Director Extender: This is the virtual appliance which is downloaded from VMware website and it hosts the CX Cloud Service and the Cloud Service Setup UI that you use for configuring the vCloud Director Extender cloud components.

2: Cloud Continuity Manager or Replication Manager: This appliance is deployed from within CX-Cloud-Service appliance and its primary job is to manage the Replicator. It is also responsible for configuring the Replicator hosts and staging the replication workflow

3: Cloud Continuity Engine or The Replicator: The Replicator is a replication and recovery engine used for the virtual machines migration. Its role is to manage the VMs replication between the Tenant’s on-prem vSphere environment and the Service Provider’s vCD based cloud. This appliance is also deployed via CX-Cloud Service applaince.

On the Tenant side, we only need vCloud Director Extender (configured with cx-connector role) and the Replicator applaince.

vCloud Extender 1.1.0 can be downloader from here . It is located under ‘Drivers & Tools’ section of the vCloud Director for Service Providers page.

vcd-ext1

Prerequisites : Following prerequisites must be met before planning vCloud Extender deployment:

  1. Tenant site (On-Prem) must be running vSphere 6 Update 3 or later (6.5.0 and 6.5 U1 are also supported).
  2. In order to use L2VPN network extension, tenants should have VMware NSX  v6.2.8 or v6.3.2 deployed in their on-prem.
  3. The cloud provider must be running vCloud Director v8.20 or v9.x.

Reference Links:

vCloud Director Extender 1.1.0 – GA Announcement

Intro to vCloud Extender

And that’s it for this post. 

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