VMware Validated Design – Automated Deployment with Cloud Builder – Part 3: Deployment Parameters File

This is part 3 of a series of posts on VMware Cloud Builder.

In this post I will cover the deployment parameters file.

In order for VMware Cloud Builder to automate the deployment of your VMware Validated Design SDDC you must supply the deployment parameters for your environment. This is done by completing an excel spreadsheet with the following tabs:

NOTE: This file can be downloaded from VMware Downloads to enable you to gather all required information before beginning your deployment. It can also be downloaded from the VMware Cloud Builder UI.  Cells that require user interaction are coloured yellow to make them easily identifiable.

    • Prerequisite Checklist
      • This tab contains a checklist for you to ensure you have met all of the prerequisites prior to running VMware Cloud Builder. You can set a status of Verified or Not Complete to track all prerequisites and add customer comments for any customer specific asks.
    • Management Workloads
      • This tab contains the sizing details for each of the management workload virtual machines. The sizing chart is pre populated based on VMware Validated Design guidance. All you need to fill in here are your product licences. 
    • Users and Groups
      • This tab contains all of the required users & groups for the VMware Validated Design. You’ll notice that some user/group name cells are yellow and can be changed, while others are grey and are locked as some usernames (root etc) must be used. Here is where you also set passwords for each user.
    • Hosts and Networks
      • This tab contains all vSphere portgroups, VLANs & IP details for the management & shared edge and compute clusters. All yellow fields must be populated. vSphere portgroup names can be populated in the grey cells however there is a formula in place to prepend the site name from the next tab (Deploy Parameters) so its best to leave that formula in place, unless you require more prescriptive portgroup naming.
    • Deploy Parameters
      • This tab contains the a lot of information so I might break it into sections.
        • Existing Infrastructure:
          • SSO Site Name: The first thing i would fill in here is your site name as that will then propagate to other fields/tabs
          • Active Directory details
          • DNS details
          • SMTP details
          • NTP details
          • Datastore names (These will populate based on site name but can be changed if required)
        • vSphere Infrastructure
          • IP Addresses for vCenter Servers & Platform Services Controllers
          • Physical nics to assign for ESXi management
        • Virtual SAN
          • Datastore names (These will populate based on site name but can be changed if required)
          • The IP addresses for vSAN VMKernels were populated on the Hosts & Networking tab.
        • NSX
          • NSX Manager hostname & IP details (Hostnames will populate based on site name but can be changed if required)
          • IP Pools for NSX Controllers & VTEPs
          • ESG details
          • Top Of Rack (TOR) switch details
          • uDLR Configurations
        • vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager
          • Hostname & IP Address
        • vRealize Automation
          • vRealize Automation hostnames & IPs
          • Master IaaS VM to be cloned (See this post for more details)
          • SQL Server & database details for IaaS database
        • vRealize Operations Manager
          • vRealize Operations cluster hostnames & IP details
          • vRealize Operations remote collectors hostnames & IP details
        • vRealize Log Insight
          • Hostname & IP Addresses
        • Update Manager Download Service
          • Hostname & IP Address
        • SRM & vSphere Replication
          • Hostname & IP Addresses
        • Certificate Management
          • Keystore password used with CertGen (NOTE: This one is crucial and must match the password used when running the CertGen SSL certificate generation script. I will cover running this script in a later post!)
    • vRA Configuration
      • This tab contains the vRealize Automation tenant information
    • Run Parameters
      • This tab contains some choices you can make 
        • Step 1 – Product Selection
          • Here you can select what products you wish to deploy. Not all products are optional (NSX is an example as it is core to the design) but you can customize your deployment here.
        • Step 2 –  Run Parameters
          • Here you can specify if you are using vSAN or traditional storage. You can also specify things like BGP validation.
        • Step 3 – Set Virtual Appliance Sizing
          • Here you can define sizing for vROPs, Log Insight etc
    • CertConfig
      • This tab contains all of the inputs required for generating the SSL certs for VMware Validated Designs. Values will populate from other tab entries. Tip: Export this tab to a CSV for use with the CertGen script. I will cover this in a later post.

That covers the Deployment Parameters file. Any questions please post in comments! Next up will be taking a look at the SSL certificate generation process.

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