VMware Validated Design – Automated Deployment with Cloud Builder – Part 5: Cloud Builder Deployment & Environment Validation

This is part 5 of a series of posts on VMware Cloud Builder.

Hopefully you’re still with me!

In this post I will cover the deployment and initial configuration of the VMware Cloud Builder appliance, ingestion of the deployment parameters file, and environment validation.

As i mentioned in an earlier post VMware Cloud Builder is distributed as a VMware virtual appliance in OVA format. The required binaries for all of the VMware products that Cloud Builder deploys are distributed as a single ISO. This is designed to make it easier for you to gather the required binaries and not have to worry about exact build numbers etc. This does however make the ISO quite large (circa 24GB) so there is a trade off for the convenience! All the bits you need including the Deployment Parameters files are located here. You need a valid My VMware account to access the downloads.

Deploying VMware Cloud Builder

The initial deployment of VMware Cloud Builder is no different that deploying any other OVA, except as you don’t have a vCenter server yet, use the ESXi web Client to deploy the OVA, filling in the required networking and storage details. Typically I use the first ESXi in my future cluster and an NFS share. This is also the same host where i have deployed the additional VMs that I will need for my build (See Part 2 for details on those VMs)

  • Once the Cloud Builder appliance is deployed, power it on.
  • Once the appliance is powered on you should be able to connect using SCP software such as WinSCP
    • Username: admin
    • Password: the admin password you set during OVA deployment
      • Note: the root account is not permitted to logon
  • Upload the VMware Validated Design software bundle file vvd-bundle-johndory-x.x.xxxxxxxx.iso that you downloaded from My VMware to the /mnt/hgfs directory on the Cloud Builder appliance.
  • Upload all of the SSL certificate folders generated by CertGen-VVD. See Part 4 for more details.
  • Open an SSH connection to the Cloud Builder appliance
  • Switch to the root user by running su and enter the password for the root account that you set during OVA deployment
  • Мount the VMware Validated Design software bundle .iso and configure application properties by running the following command:
    • /opt/vmware/vvd/cloud-builder/install/reconfigure.sh
  • This script setup up all required paths and restarts some services.

Ingesting the Deployment Parameters File

Before you can start your deployment you first need to ingest your deployment parameters file. See Part 3 for more details on creating this file.

  • Open a web browser to the Cloud Builder appliance.
  • Log in using the admin user & password set during OVA deployment.
  • Accept the EULA
  • Click the Deployment Wizard icon
  • In the Upload Config File tab, select VVD for SDDC Region A from the Select Architecture Type drop-down and click Upload Config File.
  • Browse to your Deployment Parameters file and click Open.
  • Click Generate JSON

Cloud Builder will generate 2 JSON files internally. 1 for the management cluster and one for the shared edge and compute cluster. You can monitor the progress and check for any errors in the following log:

/opt/vmware/sddcsupport/cloud_admin_tools/logs/JsonGenerator.log

Validate the Generated JSON

Before you can begin your deployment you first need to validate the information in the JSON file.

To validate the JSON do the following:

  • Select the Validate Environment tab.
  • From the Select File to Validate drop-down menu, select the vvd-std-rega-mgmt.json file and click Validate.

Environment Validation

Once the JSON files have been validated you can now proceed to running the Environment Validation. This includes the following validations:

  • Active directory connectivity & user account validation
  • ESXi host readiness
  • DNS
  • NTP
  • License Key formats (expiry is not checked so make sure your licenses are valid!)
  • Networking configuration
    • This step can take a while as it tests that it can create vSphere portgroups etc

Environment validation may fail for a number of reasons. Some of which are below with some suggested remediation paths

  • SSL Cert Issues
    • Generate new certs correcting the issue and re upload to the Cloud Builder appliance. You also need to re run /opt/vmware/vvd/cloud-builder/install/reconfigure.sh
    • Re-run validation
  • User input error in the deployment parameters file
    • Upload a new deployment parameters file and click Validate to generate a new JSON file
    • Re-run validation

Once validation completes successfully you are now ready to begin your deployment of your VMware Validated Design using VMware Cloud Builder. I will cover the deployment in another post.

8 thoughts on “VMware Validated Design – Automated Deployment with Cloud Builder – Part 5: Cloud Builder Deployment & Environment Validation

  1. re> Typically I use the first ESXi in my future cluster and an NFS share.

    Are you allowed to use the MGMT nodes of vCF for deploying CB VM? Is that supported by VMware?

  2. Hi Deadpool, This set of posts are related to using Cloud Builder with VMware Validated Designs rather than VCF. With VVD you must manually install the ESXi hosts before deploying Cloudbuilder. With VCF you image the hosts after deploying Cloud Builder so you would need an additional host/cluster to deploy Cloud Builder on first. Hope this helps!

    1. Well I didn’t put my question right. Can I have cbvm on same ESXi where the sddc management cluster would be built?

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