Detaching and Deleting Independent Disks in vCloud Director via REST API

Yesterday while working on one of the production issue where we had to deprovision a tenant environment in vCloud Air, I noticed that independent disks were preventing automated deprovision of the environment and the error messages were loud and clear in the log files.

It was a new issue for me so I started reading about independent disks in vCloud Director and want to share few things about this.

First of all independent Disk feature in vCD is completely different from an Independent Disk in vSphere. Independent disks can be shared across multiple vApps/VM’s in vCloud Director. This feature was first introduced in vCD v5.1.

Following quote from vCloud Architecture Toolkit document rightly explains about independent disks

The use of independent disks with vCloud Director allows updates of virtual machines without impacting the underlying data.

The feature is designed to enable users to create virtual disks which can be attached to and detached from virtual machines. There is no functionality to control this feature from the vCD UI and this can be controlled via API’s only. 

When you create an independent disk, it is associated with an organization vDC but not with a virtual machine. After the disk has been created, the disk owner or an administrator can attach it to any virtual machine deployed in that vDC, detach it from a virtual machine, and remove it from the vDC.

Presence of Independent disks in vCD can be seen on navigating to Org > Administration > Org vDC > Independent Disks tab. If you right click on any of the disk you will not see any action window opening. 


In this post I am going to demonstrate how we can detach/delete independent disks from VM via API calls. Lets get started.

For sake of this demonstration, I have used some hypothetical names for Org and Org vDC.

Step 1: Obtain vCD Auth token code

# curl -sik -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.6” -u “admin@system” -X POST https://vCD-FQDN/api/sessions | grep auth

Enter host password for user ‘admin@system’:

x-vcloud-authorization: Auth

Step 2: Locate your Org 

# curl -sik -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.6” -H “x-vcloud-authorization:Auth-X GET https://vCD-FQDN/api/org/

On using the above API call, you will see a href to all your Org that are present in vCD. For your next query chose the href of the org where independent disks are lying.  

<Org href="https://vCD-FQDN:443/api/org/08356307-2939-42d3-a2a2-aeccef6478e4" name="ABC" type="application/"/>

<Org href="https://vCD-FQDN:443/api/org/2b729e6f-588e-49c4-964f-89b2e744c075" name="DEF" type="application/"/>

<Org href="https://vCD-FQDN:443/api/org/fc432145-f1f3-42f6-a26f-eeb3d306a405" name="GHI" type="application/"/>

Step 3: Locate your Org vDC

# curl -sik -H “Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.6” -H “x-vcloud-authorization: Auth” -X GET https://vCD-FQDN:443/api/org/fc432145-f1f3-42f6-a26f-eeb3d306a405 | grep vdc

<Link rel="down" href="https://vCD-FQDN:443/api/vdc/adf0929b-a107-4671-9f85-b629b744c2b7" name="VDC1" type="application/vnd.vmware.vcloud.vdc+xml"/> read more

Replacing vCD SSL Certificates in a Multi Cell Environment

After a long wait I finally got chance to work on vCloud Director ssl certificates. This was the only component in my lab which was still using self-signed certs and that encouraged me to do something new in lab.

A note on vCD SSL certificates

vCloud Director like any other VMware product needs a certificate to be installed on the device that it uses for communication with the other products. By default vCD uses a self-signed certificate. If you have a certificate authority in your environment then you can get the certs created in advance before installing vCloud director and save your self from pain of messing with certificates at later stages. read more

Troubleshooting Failed Org Network Creation in vCloud Director

Today while working in my lab, I observed that while creating a new VDC in vCD was failing because org network failed to create.

On navigating to Org VDC list and clicking on error, it read the error load and clear that org vdc network can’t be created.


On navigating to Org VDC Networks section and clicking on error, I was able to identify what has caused the network creation failure.


The error stack was reading as below:

[ 114db22d-fc14-4c87-9030-36d2316aff8b ] Cannot deploy organization VDC network (f1514426-647e-4a03-a5a9-fafa4d73bb58)
com.vmware.vcloud.api.presentation.service.InternalServerErrorException: Cannot create network “dvs.VCDVSRouted-NW-9ab02973-9ded-4c4b-8826-4a52bdf2d6cf” from VXLAN network pool “urn:uuid:5c9de104-0f40-4cec-898f-985ee1fce1d6”. Make sure vShield Manager infrastructure is properly configured and there are segment IDs available. read more

Troubleshooting Mysterious Catalog Item in vCloud Director

Few days back while working on one of the customer ticket, I came across an incident where customer was reporting that he is not able to see one of his template in his catalog. He sent the VM via ODT to vCloud Air to be imported in his catalog.

I verified that VM was missing from catalog but was present in vCenter. I tried to import the VM again in Catalog by selecting the option “Import from vSphere” but to my surprise the VM was showing up in the list for selection.

corpsql01 not listing

I have never seen such behaviour in VCD. Even if import of template is failed midway, the item is listed in catalog with a question mark against it and status of item reads as “failed to create read more

RabbitMQ Clustering

In last post of this series we learnt how to install/configure RMQ for vCloud Director. This post is extension of my last post where I will be adding one more node to my RMQ setup to form a cluster for high availability.

What data is replicated in a RMQ Cluster?

All data/state required for the operation of a RabbitMQ broker is replicated across all nodes. An exception to this are message queues, which by default reside on one node, though they are visible and reachable from all nodes. To replicate queues across nodes in a cluster, see the documentation on high availability read more

Installing RabbitMQ for vCloud Director

In this post we will learn how to install RMQ for vCloud Director. Before jumping into any lab activity, lets learn first what is RabbitMQ nd why we need it.

What is RabbitMQ?

RabbitMQ is an open source message-queuing software which helps in facilitating message exchange between 2 or more applications. The exchange of messages is done via queue which is defined by administrator. An application can publish a message to the queue which can be retrieve or consumed by a different application. read more

vCloud Air Disaster Recovery- Performing Reverse Replication (Failback)

In last post of this series,we learnt about Recovery options available with vCloud Air Disaster Recovery and we discussed about Test recovery and actual recovery and saw the use case for both type.

In this post we will discuss about failback of a VM (which is recovered in vCloud Air) to on-premise. If you have landed straight to this post accidentally then I will urge you to check out previous blog posts which I have wrote on vCloud Air Disaster Recovery.

vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Solution (DRaaS) read more

vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Failover

Disaster Recovery to vCloud Air is now a tested and reliable solution and helps customer to replicate their critical workloads to vCloud Air so that in event of Disaster in on-premise, customer can recover their workloads and continue their operation without much impact to business.

In this post we will learn how to recover VM’s in vCloud Air in event of disaster or in case when scheduled maintenace is planned in on-premise. For those who are not much familiar with what is vCloud Air Disaster Recovery solution, I urge you to read about that from below links: read more

VM replication state going to ‘Not Active’ as soon as vm is configured for replication

After a long back I dived into my lab yesterday and was working again on setting up DR to vCloud Air.I have wrote few blog posts in past on vSphere Replication and DR to vCloud Air using VR. If you are interested in reading those posts, you can read them from below links

1: Replicating and Recovering VM’s using vSphere Replication

2: Disaster Recovery with vcloud Air

3: Replicate VM to vCloud Air using vSphere Replication

This time in my lab I noticed that all my VM’s replication state were going to ‘Not Active’ as soon as its configured for replication. This was a brand new setup and I was sure that I followed all required steps in deploying and configuring the replication appliance. This was strange as I never faced this issue before. read more

Find Snapshot Creation Date of a vCloud Director VM

Last month while working on a customer ticket, I came across a request from customer where he wanted to know snapshot creation date for one of his VM as he can not find this detail from vCD UI.

To confirm this, I logged into vCD and navigated to my test lab to see what are the information available.

On navigating through vCD I found that vCD only tells that whether or not snapshot exists for a vApp/VM.

You can see in below screenshot in top right corner that there is no option for selection snapshot creation date. read more

Exploring vSphere 6.5 API-Part 3: Esxi Host

In last 2 post of this series, we learn about digging out info about datacenter,cluster and virtual machines.

In this post we will learn about API options available for Esxi hosts.

If you have missed earlier posts of this series, you can read them from here:

1: Exploring vSphere 6.5 API-Datacenter & Cluster

2: Exploring vSphere 6.5 API-Virtual Machines

Let’s get started with fetching info about esxi hosts.

1: List all hosts present in a vCenter

Following query will list all esxi hosts that are present across all cluster/datacenter which are there in a vcenter. read more

Storage Migrate a vCloud Director VM using Rest API

If you are using vCloud Director in your environment and if you have ever tried doing a Storage vMotion of a VM from vSphere directly, you will notice a warning saying that its not recommended to modify the entity since its managed by VCD.


This is because of the the fact that with VCD, the management layer lies with itself and not with vSphere. All changes to the entities should be made via vCD and not vSphere.

Although doing a storage migration will not break anything but as a best practice we should avoid that. read more

Exploring vSphere 6.5 API-Part 2: Virtual Machines

In last post of this series we looked into some basic Rest API’s to fetch info about datacenter and cluster.

In this post we will explore API options for virtual machines. Out of all the components like host, cluster etc, max number of available API options are for virtual machines.

Let’s start with figuring out available options:

To start exploring the different API options available for virtual machine, you can use below query:

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: 3762fda1e69484ce746e93d9332f6ada’ -X GET https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/resource/id:VirtualMachine read more

Exploring vSphere 6.5 API-Part 1: Datacenter & Cluster

I am using API for quite a bit now in our prod environment which is based on vCloud Director and many times API’s had proved a handy way to troubleshoot issues where GUI was not providing a way to proceed.

Inspired by vCD API’s, i decided to test that in my vSphere 6.5 lab and in this post I will try to demonstrate few queries which can be helpful in fetching info in your infrastructure.

In my lab I am exploring REST API’s using a linux tool called curl.

1: You can browse list of API’s by browsing https://vc-fqdn/ and clicking on “Browse vSphere Rest API’s” read more

vCloud Air: Access Your Linux Server Over SSH From Outside

This week while working in my lab, I came across a situation where I wanted to run few commands on my linux server which is running in vCloud Air. To access my lab from outside I have configured a Windows jump server and from there I access my lab components (using SSH or RDP to other server). At times it is annoying to switch back and forth between your home desktop and the RDP session.

I went ahead and configured my main Linux server to access it over SSH directly from my home computer (without logging into my windows jump server). read more