Today morning I’ve received a shirt from VMware after participating in VMwolrd 2020 Live sessions and Labs ,in fact this year VMware has opened this World Big event to all people interested to the data center virtualization and Cloud technologies from all the world because of the pandemie 😦 🙂
Before I have received a PIN Badge from VMworld to add it in my Linkedin Profle and certification
Thank you VMware hope to attend the next VMworld event on site 😉
In Part 1 I’have introduced the Horizon VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure ) with the Installation of different servers and roles, in this part 2 I will continue the setup and configuration of the Horizon server and preparing the Desktop Pools and personalization of the master Windows 10 Image.
Configuring Horizon 7
Below are in brief steeps needed in order to configure horizon server for the First time
To use vCenter Server with Horizon 7, we must configure a user account with appropriate vCenter Server privileges. We also must create a user account in AD that Horizon 7 can use to authenticate to the View Composer service on the standalone machine
Login with the service account or the admin account details given during installation.
Adding Horizon Admin Groupe: this Groupe should be created before on the AD
select the permissions required and click next
Licensing Horizon settings – product licensing and usage – edit license and paste the license Code
Adding vCenter and connection server and Linked to the Horizon Composer, provide the below the AD account crated before to Authenticate With horizon
Standalone composer and provide the composer derver details
Creating Linked Clone Desktop Pool ( Composer)
Note that in Horizon we can create two types of pools:
Linked clone which uses composer to provision VDI’s which saves the storage.
Instant clone need Horizon Enterprise licenses and uses only connection server, no composer required and its saves storage.
Horizon Agent installation on Windows 10
Windows 10 machine preparation:
Create a windows 10 master image.
Use DHCP not static ip
Join machine to domain
Install all required app
Install and configure the the Horizon Agent
Shutdown the VM after reboot and take snapshot ( this snapshot wil be used later during the creation of Desktoop Pools)
In the PART 01 I’ve introduced my LAB environment and the pre requirements that i prepared fro my VSAN 02 Nodes Cluster , in this Part i will explain in detail the configuration of the LAB
Adding the Witness Host
As explained before the Witness Host is a crucial component in any VSAN 02 Nodes and configuration is similar to Witness role in a stretched 02 Sites Cluster , the Witness appliance could be deployed as an OVA from VMware or could be deployed as nested ESXi host and setup the necessary configuration accordingly (NICs, VMKernel, vsitch, Local HDD + SSD disk )
In this LAB I used the witness OVA model on separate ESXi Hosts outside my VSAN vCenter
Here are the step to ADD the Witness as standalone host to the vCenter VSAN data center
Checking the Witness Host Storage configuration
Checking the Witness hosts NEtwork configuration
2. Configuring the VSAN Cluster
Navigate to the cluster in the vSphere Client. Click the Configure tab.
Under vSAN, click Services. Click the Configure tab.
Select the vSAN Witness host to act as the vSAN Witness for the 2 Node vSAN Cluster.
When selection the Witness host VASN will ask to setup fault domain configuration and setupe the selected Preferred Host and Secondary Host
Claim storage devices on the witness host and click NEXT.
Select one flash device for the cache tier, and one or more devices for the capacity tier
3. Configuring Disk Groups
As explained in part 01 My Cisco UCS MX5 servers has a mixed of HDD and SSD Disks So I decided to reorganize them in order to have identical Disk groupe for both Servers
Disk Goup 01 (Hybrid) : 01 Cach Disk 894 GO SSD + 5 x 1.64 TO HDD Disk : Total Capacity : 8.2 TO
Disk Group 02 (Falsh) : 01 Cach Disk 894 GO SSD + 4 x 894 Go SSD Disk : Total Capacity : 3.4 TO
in resume we will got a Total of 23.38 TO storage capacity and effective capacity of 11.7 TO
3. Network Post check Poste Check
One of the Most important preCheck to do before enter the cluster in producton is to ensure that the Network connectivity between the 02 Nodes Cluster and the witness Host passe without fails
VMware has HCI Solution called VSAN that was introduced since vSphere 6.0 and was one of the most important gap in storage evolution in the last 05 years , one of the Most condition to deploy a VSAN cluster is to have at least 03 Node with the same configuration that can be scaled up to 64 Nodes.
Later and since version vSphere 6.2 VMware has announced 2-Node vSAN cluster, that is a great choice for remote/Small office like my case😊 . Setting up the 2 nodes in a direct connect configuration can be beneficial if the remote site has limited switch port availability, or no 10GB switching available
Setting up my VSAN Lab
Recently we have recovered 02 CISCO UCS Servers from one of one Makor Telecom client here in Algeria, theses Servers has a couple of HDD, SSD SAS disks and I was thinking about to exploit themes
unfortunately the hosts are from two different models C220 and C240 and with different Disk count and models HDD + Flash but are from the same Cisco 05 Generation , Hence I go an idea to rearrange the disks inside the Hosts in order to Meet one VMware VSAN conditions is the each host must have the same disk configuration and Disk count.
Server’s Specifications and disk repartition
Cisco UCS C220 :
Internal: 02 x 270 GO SDD Disk , Contain the ESXI installation and local Data store (RAID 0)
Disk Group 1 : (Hybrid ) 01 x 500 GO SSD (Cache) + 05 1.6 TO HDD (Capacity)
Disk Group 2 : (Flash) 05 x 500 GO SSD DISK (Capacity)
Cisco UCS C240 MX5:
Internal: 02 x 270 GO SDD Disk , Contain the ESXI installation and local Data store (RAID 0)
Disk Group 1 : (Hybrid ) 01x 500 GO SSD (Cache) + 05 1.6 TO HDD (Capacity)
Disk Group 2 : (Flash) 05 x 500 GO SSD DISK (Capacity)
Architecture of 2-Node vSAN cluster
As I mentioned above in a VSAN 02 Node cluster wa avoids the need of expensive 10Gbs Network switch, that is primordial in traditional VSAN Configuration , the two host could be connected through a crossover Network Cable to achieve 10 GBs/ Network bandwidth required for a Storage operation
This diagram is the architecture of 2-Node vSAN cluster
In total we will need, 08 x IP addresses are required for this vSphere cluster
2 x routable management IP/VLAN per ESXi node (Blue Linge)
2 x non-routable vSAN/VLAN IP per ESXi node (Pulpe Line)
2x non routable vMotion/VLAN IP per ESXi node
1 x routable management IP for witness Node (Witness site VLAN)
1 x routable Witness VMKernel IP for witness Node ( Green Line)
The configuration and the setup of this VMKernel protogroups also the vCenter pre requises is not descried in this Document since they are basic task for any vSphere deployment
Witness terminology is issued from the clustering world . If we take Microsoft Clustering (MSCS) for example, and we take a simple two node cluster, this also has the concept of a quorum or witness disk. When one node fails, or there is a split-brain scenario where the nodes continue to run but can no longer communicate to each other, the remaining node in the cluster reserve the witness disk. Therefore it select the quorum, and either continues to provide the clustered service, or takes over the running of the service from the node which failed.
Witnesses play an import role in ensuring that more than 50% of the components of an object remain available, If less than 50% of the components of an object are available across all the nodes in a VSAN cluster, that object will no longer be accessible on a VSAN datastore.
The Witness could be configured and deployed as p OVA appliance or as ESXI hosts in this lab I used the 2nd method and configured a nested ESXi with proper protogroups and Local disks (01 HD +1 SDD)
VSAN Network consideration
On the above architecture diagram and during the setup of my lab I encored a connectivity issue between my 02 Node and the Witness Host, in fact the VSAN network on the witness appliance ca’t reach the VSAN network(s) of the data sites (and vice-versa). In ESXi, there is only one default gateway, typically associated with the management network. The storage networks, including the VSAN traffic networks, are normally isolated from the management network, meaning that there is no route to the VSAN network via the default gateway of the management network.
The solution is to use static routes in the current version of VSAN. Add a static route on each of the ESXi hosts on each data site to reach the VSAN network on the witness site. Similarly add static routes on the witness host so that it can reach the VSAN network(s) on the data sites. Now when the ESXi hosts on the data sites need to reach the VSAN network on the witness host, it will not use the default gateway, but whatever path has been configured on the static route. The same will be true when the witness needs to reach the data sites.
Witness traffic Separation WTS,
this is very important future to set up in 2 Node VSAN cluster it is an alternate VMkernel for traffic destined for the Witness host from a directly connected vSAN tagged VMkernel. It is important to note that you cannot tag witness traffic via the web client. You must open a SSH session to each of the data nodes in the cluster and configure the witness tag from the command line. This does not get configured on the Witness host; only on the data nodes. You can use a VMkernel that is created specifically for this purpose or use a pre-existing VMkernel. Either way, running the following command will configure tagged witness traffic on the VMkernel:
[esxcli vsan network ip add -i vmk0 -T=witness]
in the end and to confirm that the witness traffic is tagged on Both Hst check
In part 02 We will detail step by step how to configure the VSAN 02 Node Cluster
Today is my first labs on deploying KEMP Load balancer in order to prepare one lab for new Exchange deployment ,
The Kemp Virtual LoadMaster is a version of the Kemp LoadMaster that runs as a virtual machine within a hypervisor and can provide all the features and functions of a hardware-based LoadMaster.
This document describes the installation of the Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) within a VMware hypervisor environment.
The Virtual LoadMaster is VMware ready. Starting with LoadMaster Operating System (LMOS) version 7.2.50:
The VMware VLM is delivered as a hardware version 10 virtual machine. You can upgrade to a higher virtual machine number as needed.
Virtual LoadMaster is supported with:
VMware ESXi 5.5 and above
vCenter Server 5.5 and above
There are several different versions of the VLM available. Full details of the currently supported versions are available on our website: www.kemptechnologies.com.
The VMware virtual machine guest environment for the VLM, at minimum, must include:
2 x virtual CPUs (reserve 2 GHz)
2 GB RAM
16 GB disk space (sparse where possible)
There may be maximum configuration limits imposed by VMware such as maximum RAM per VM, Virtual NICs per VM and so on. For further details regarding the configuration limits imposed by VMware, please refer to the relevant VMware documentation.
VMware Horizon view is the leading VDI Solution using for Desktop virtualization, in this Blog post I will detail how to deploy a VMware Horizon Environment on a VMware vSAN cluster using Windows 10 template as master image for Desktops VMs
As a VMware production Horizon view is integrated with VMware vCenter/vSphere infrastructure so in this Lab we suppose that the vSphere infrastructure is already configured
Also since horizon view used to provide for MS Windows workload Desktop machines , other Windows infrastructure components should be ready like Active directory , DNS DHCP Servers
2. VMware Horizon Infrastructure
The Horizon View infrastructure consist of the following Servers
VMware Horizon Connection Server
VMware Horizon Security Server
VMware Horizon Data Base Server
VMware Horizon Composer
VMware Horizon Unified gateway
Other roles be needed for more advanced configuration like integration with VMware Workspace One
3. Prerequisite for VMware horizon
vCenter 6.7 server with Cluster of ESXi hosts for VDI.
Create 05 Windows server 2019/2016 for Horizon view (Connection server Master + Replica, Security Server, Data Base server and Composer Server )
All machines renamed and joined to domain
vCenter server reachable form Composer and connection servers ( fqdn of vCenter)
Service account to install Horizon Connection server and composer (Adminhorizon)
SQL sa account to have access to Database for composer DN owner permissions.
Login credentials of vCenter server with admin access.
OU for VDI Creation and delegated permissions on domain to service account to create & Delete computer objects.
Create one windows 10 VM for Linked Clone VDI master image on vCenter server
Create another windows 10 VM for instant Clone VDI master image on vCenter
DHCP scope for Windows 10 VDI tested and working.
4. VMWare Horizon Connection server installation
Login to the connection server with service account –run the connection server
Select the Installation Folder
Select the Installation Option
Enter the Server FQDN name
Provide the recovery password
provide the service account and the horizon admin groups
5. Installing second horizon connection server
Second server installation steps are very similar to thes primary except below two screens.
Login to second server and run exe as admin – Select Replica Server in the Intaltion option
Enter the FQDN of the Primary Horizon Connection Server
6. Installation the Security Server
Security Server optional since it is only used for remote user using their personnel laptop/desktop through VMware Horizon client and in DMZ Zone
7. Installing and configuring Data base Server
After Installing a data base server with SQL server official package with the Installation Account (Cloudz\AdminSQL) , we create and SQL Data base then we create an ODBC Connection from The composer Server to the data base server
Step 1: ON the SQL Server, Management Studio – Security – Logins – Add new login
Step 2: Create SQL local sa account as shown below. VMWare composer doesn’t support domain accounts only sql local accounts are supported.
Step 3: Right click on databases – New Database
Step 4: Provide new database name and click on owner and select the sa account created
8. Installing Horizon Composer Server
On the composer windows server and Click on windows admin tools ODBC
Then create an ODBS Link to the Data Base server created in the Step 7
verify that you are logged in with valid domain service account.
provide the DSN name created earlier – sql sa account name and password – click next
8. Unified Access Gateway (UAG) deployment
The configuration of the Unified Gateway UAG will be presenter in septated BLOG entry with a LOAD balancer solution ,
In part 2nd part of this LAB, I will Explain how to configure to Horizon View and Desktop Pools
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