PowerVCF 2.0 Authentication Changes

One of the many major enhancements in VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 is a switch from basic authentication to token based authentication for the VCF API.

Basic authentication is a header field in the form of Authorization: Basic <credentials>, where credentials is the base64 encoding of a username and password. The credentials are not encrypted, therefore Basic Authentication is not the industry standard for API authentication.

VCF 4.0 has moved to using token based authentication (JWT Tokens to be exact) for securing the API. The token implementation is as follows:

  1. An authorized user executes a POST API call to /v1/tokens
  2. The response contains an access token and a refresh token
    1. The access token is valid for 1 hour
      1. The access token is passed in every API call header in the form of Authorization: Bearer <access token>
    2. The refresh token is valid for 24 hours
      1. The refresh token is used to request a new access token once it has expired

PowerVCF 2.0 abstracts all of this in the following way:

  • An authorized user connects to SDDC Manager to request the tokens by running:

Connect-VCFManager -fqdn sfo-vcf01.sfo.rainpole.io -username svc-vcf-api@rainpole.io -password VMw@re1!

  • The access & refresh tokens are stored in memory and used when running subsequent API calls. As each API call is executed PowerVCF checks the expiry of the access token. If the access token is about to expire, it uses the refresh token to request a new access token and proceeds with the API call. So the user does not need to worry about token management.

We have also introduced roles that can be assigned to users. Initially we have ADMIN & OPERATOR, with more roles planned for a future release.

ADMIN = Full Administrator Access to all APIs

OPERATOR = All Access except Password Management, User Management, Backup Management

To request an API token you must have a user account that is assigned either the ADMIN or OPERATOR role in SDDC Manager. The default administrator@vsphere.local user is assigned the ADMIN role during bringup but it is advisable to add additional users for performing day to day tasks.

Once you have a user added you can then authenticate with SDDC Manager to retrieve your access & refresh tokens.

Tip: You can connect using the administrator@vsphere.local user to add new users using PowerVCF. You can use the New-VCFUser PowerVCF cmdlet to create the user and assign a role like so:


Connect-VCFManager -fqdn sfo-vcf01.sfo.rainpole.io -username administrator@vsphere.LOCAL -password VMw@re1!

New-VCFUser -user vcf-admin@rainpole.io -role ADMIN

Once your user is configured PowerVCF will do the rest when it comes to managing the API access tokens.

 

Announcing PowerVCF 2.0

I’m happy to announce the availability of PowerVCF 2.0. This version of PowerVCF is compatible with VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 and above. Due to some API security enhancements in VCF 4.0 around the use of API tokens for authentication the module has been refactored to leverage access & refresh tokens (more on that here). For that reason if you would like to use PowerVCF for VCF 3.9.x you should continue to use PowerVCF 1.2 .

PowerVCF 2.0 is published to the PowerShell Gallery here https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PowerVCF/2.0.0

Whats new in PowerVCF 2.0

Along with a number of new or modified cmdlets the following enhancements have been made:

  • Grouped cmdlets based on order of API documentation
  • Code hygiene

The following table provides a detailed breakdown of all the changes for this release. Thanks to my colleague @GaryJBlake for doing most of the work on this release and for pulling this list together!

Category cmdlet Name Description Comment
Backup and Restore Start-VCFRestore Starts the restore process of SDDC Manager NEW
Backup and Restore Get-VCFRestoreTasks Gets the status of the restore process NEW
Connectivity Connect-VCFManager Create authentication header for SDDC Manager appliance UPDATED – Support the new token / bearer authentication model and basicAuth switch for restore process
Connectivity Connect-CloudBuilder Create authentication header for Cloud Builder appliance NEW
Certificates Get-VCFCertificateAuthority Get Certificate Authority information UPDATED – Added support for getting the details by id
Certificates Remove-VCFCertificateAuthority Deletes Certificate Authority configuration NEW
Certificates Get-VCFCertificate View certificate of all the resources in a domain UPDATED – Added support for get certificate details by resource
Credentials Get-VCFCredential Get the credentials UPDATED- Added support for getting the details by id
Credentials Stop-VCFCredentialTask Cancels a failed update or rotate passwords task RENAMED – From Cancel-VCFCredentialTask
Credentials Restart-VCFCredentialTask Retry a failed rotate/update passwords task RENAMED – From Retry-VCFCredentialTask
Hosts Commission-VCFHost Commissions a list of hosts UPDATED – Added support for validating the input spec for host operations (-validate switch)
NSX-T Edge Clusters Get-VCFEdgeCluster Get an Edge Cluster NEW
NSX-T Edge Clusters New-VCFEdgeCluster creates an NSX-T edge cluster NEW
Personalities Get-VCFPersonality Get the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Personalities NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Get-CloudBuilderSDDC Retrieve all SDDCs NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Start-CloudBuilderSDDC Create SDDC NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Restart-CloudBuilderSDDC Retry failed SDDC creation NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Get-CloudBuilderSDDCValidation Get all SDDC specification validations NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Start-CloudBuilderSDDCValidation Validate SDDC specification before creation NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Stop-CloudBuilderSDDCValidation Cancel SDDC specification validation NEW
SDDC (Cloud Builder) Restart-CloudBuilderSDDCValidation Retry SDDC validation NEW
System Prechecks Start-VCFSystemPrecheck Perform System Precheck RENAMED – From Start-PreCheckVCFSystem
System Prechecks Get-VCFSystemPrecheckTask Get System Precheck Task RENAMED – From Get-PreCheckVCFSystemTask
Tasks Restart-VCFTask Retry a previously failed task RENAMED – From Retry-VCFTask
Users Get-VCFRole Get all roles NEW
Users Get-VCFUser Get all Users NEW
Users New-VCFUser Adds a new user NEW
Users New-VCFServiceUser Adds a new service user NEW
Users Delete-User Deletes a user NEW
vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager Reset-VCFvRSLCM Redeploy vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager NEW
vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager New-VCFvRSLCM Validate the input specification for vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager deployment UPDATED – Added support for validating the json spec (-validate switch).

Create a multi pNIC VMware Cloud Foundation NSX-V Workload Domain with PowerVCF

Hopefully by now you’ve seen my earlier posts about the new PowerShell module for the VMware Cloud Foundation API. If not i’d suggest reviewing these before reading on

With the release of VMware Cloud Foundation 3.9.1 it is now supported, via the API only, to use more than 2 physical NICs (pNICs) per host. In fact the API now supports up to three vSphere Distributed switches and six physical NICs, providing more flexibility to support high performance use cases and physical traffic separation.

There is a tech note that goes into more detail on the use cases for more than 2 pNICs and it also shows how this works using PostMan but we can also achieve this using PowerVCF.

The workflow using PowerVCF is the same as my earlier example for creating a workload domain. The only difference is the content in the JSON file.

Note: There is a validation API to validate the JSON you are passing before making the submission. PowerVCF dynamically formats the validation JSON as the formatting is slightly different to what you submit to create the workload domain.

To get you started there is a sample JSON file with the required formatting. Here is a snapshot of what it looks like

{
  "domainName": "PowerVCF",  
  "vcenterSpec": {  
    "name": "sfo01w01vc01",  
    "networkDetailsSpec": {  
       "ipAddress": "172.16.225.64",  
       "dnsName": "sfo01w01vc01.sfo01.rainpole.local",  
       "gateway": "172.16.225.1",  
       "subnetMask": "255.255.255.0"
     },  
     "rootPassword": "VMw@re1!",  
     "datacenterName": "PowerVCF-DC"  
   },  
   "computeSpec": {  
      "clusterSpecs": [ {  
          "name": "Cluster1",  
          "hostSpecs": [ {  
              "id": "d0693b58-4012-4387-92ed-721cfa709e44",
              "license":"AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA",
              "hostNetworkSpec": {  
                 "vmNics": [ {  
                     "id": "vmnic0",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
                  }, {  
                     "id": "vmnic1",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
                  }, { 
                     "id": "vmnic2",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2" 
                  }, {  
                     "id": "vmnic3",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2"  
                  } ]  
               }  
            }, {  
              "id": "7006bec4-fccb-49a0-bff6-fd56c807d26a",
              "license":"AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA",
              "hostNetworkSpec": {  
                 "vmNics": [ {  
                     "id": "vmnic0",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
                  }, {  
                     "id": "vmnic1",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
                  }, { 
                     "id": "vmnic2",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2" 
                  }, {  
                     "id": "vmnic3",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2"  
                  } ]  
               }  
            }, {  
              "id": "cc257a80-e179-4297-bf7e-179a0944bbab",
              "license":"AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA",
              "hostNetworkSpec": {  
                 "vmNics": [ {  
                     "id": "vmnic0",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
                  }, {  
                     "id": "vmnic1",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
                  }, { 
                     "id": "vmnic2",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2" 
                  }, {  
                     "id": "vmnic3",  
                     "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2"  
                  } ] 
               } 
           } ],     
    "datastoreSpec": {  
        "vsanDatastoreSpec": {  
            "failuresToTolerate": 1,  
            "licenseKey": "BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB",
            "datastoreName": "vSanDatastore" 
         }  
     },  
     "networkSpec": { 
         "vdsSpecs": [ { 
             "name": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1", 
             "portGroupSpecs": [ {  
                 "name": "SDDC-DPortGroup-Mgmt", 
                 "transportType": "MANAGEMENT" 
             }, { 
                 "name": "SDDC-DPortGroup-VSAN",  
                 "transportType": "VSAN" 
             }, {  
                 "name": "SDDC-DPortGroup-vMotion", 
                 "transportType": "VMOTION" 
             } ] 
          },  
          {  
             "name": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2", 
             "portGroupSpecs": [ { 
                "name": "SDDC-DPortGroup-Public", 
                "transportType": "PUBLIC"  } ] 
           } 
        ],  
        "nsxClusterSpec": { 
           "nsxVClusterSpec": {  
              "vlanId": 2237,  
              "vdsNameForVxlanConfig": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1"  
            }  
          }  
        }  
      } ] 
   }, 
  "nsxVSpec" : {
    "nsxManagerSpec" : {
      "name" : "sfo01w01nsx01",
      "networkDetailsSpec" : {
        "ipAddress" : "172.16.225.66",
        "dnsName" : "sfo01w01nsx01.sfo01.rainpole.local",
        "gateway" : "172.16.225.1",
        "subnetMask" : "255.255.255.0"
      }
    },
    "nsxVControllerSpec" : {
      "nsxControllerIps" : [ "172.16.225.121", "172.16.225.122", "172.16.225.123" ],
      "nsxControllerPassword" : "VMw@re123456!",
      "nsxControllerGateway" : "172.16.225.1",
      "nsxControllerSubnetMask" : "255.255.255.0"
    },
    "licenseKey" : "CCCCC-CCCCC-CCCCC-CCCCC-CCCCC",
    "nsxManagerAdminPassword" : "VMw@re1!",
    "nsxManagerEnablePassword" : "VMw@re1!"
  }
}

You can see that the magic happens in the hostNetworkSpec section where you map each vmnic to a vdsName

<p>"hostNetworkSpec": { "vmNics": [ { "id": "vmnic0", "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1" }, { "id": "vmnic1", "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private1" }, { "id": "vmnic2", "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2" }, { "id": "vmnic3", "vdsName": "SDDC-Dswitch-Private2" } ] }</p>

So please try it out and let us know how it goes!

Introducing PowerVCF – A PowerShell Module for the VMware Cloud Foundation API

Its been a while since I’ve posted something so I thought it was about time! Since joining VMware a year ago I’ve been heads down drinking from the firehose, learning from a phenomenal team and generally keeping very busy. More recently I’ve been playing a lot with VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). A recent release (3.8) introduced a public API and I started getting field questions on how to leverage it so I started digging. The API has been expanded in 3.9. It is based on the OpenAPI standard (formerly Swagger) and can be accessed through the developer center in the SDDC Manager UI or via code.vmware.com

Now I’m not a developer so I fell back on Postman to do some initial testing. I like Postman as it dumbs it down for us non-devs 🙂 but I wanted something a little easier to consume so i started a little side project called PowerVCF (hat-tip to the far superior PowerNSX, PowerVRA, PowerVRO)

Basically I wanted to provide a simple, efficient, PowerCLI style experience for consuming the VMware Cloud Foundation public API.

Solution?

I am delighted to unleash the first iteration of PowerVCF on the community! Creating this has been a great learning experience for me. In the process I’ve improved my PowerShell skills, learned Git, Markdown and have started looking into CI/CD workflows. It’s also my first submission to the PowerShell Gallery.