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

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

Create a new VMware Cloud Foundation Workload Domain with PowerVCF

So now that we have a PowerShell module for the VMware Cloud Foundation API, just what can we do with it? Well in this example we will create an NSX-V backed VMware Cloud Foundation workload domain, all using PowerVCF to interact with the API. Now all of this could obviously be wrapped up in a single script but I’m going to show you each step, with some tips along the way.

I will be making the assumption that you are familiar with VMware Cloud Foundation Concepts. If not please review the documentation here.

So once you have the initial VCF bringup completed you need to add a workload domain(s) to service our workloads. In my example below I have a management domain only.

And i have only the 4 hosts that are part of the management domain in my inventory. So i need to add new hosts to my inventory before i can create a new workload domain.

The sequence of events is as follows:

  • Install the PowerVCF Module
  • Connect to SDDC Manager
  • Create a network pool
  • Commission hosts
  • Create Workload domain

Install the PowerVCF Module from the PowerShell Gallery

  • Open PowerShell
  • Run the following to install the module

Install-Module -Name PowerVCF

Connect to SDDC Manager

  • To establish a session with SDDC Manager run the following

Connect-VCFManager -fqdn sddc-manager.sfo01.rainpole.local -username admin -password VMw@re1!

Create a network pool

The first thing you need before you can commission new hosts is to create a new network pool, which will include the vSAN & vMotion network details for this workload domain cluster.

To create a new network pool do the following:

  • Before you can create a network pool you first need to create the json body that will be passed in.

TIP: The PowerVCF Module includes a folder of sample json files to get you started

Here is the json format required for creating a vSAN network pool (Please use the same json with the module rather than copying from here as formatting is probably messed up!)


{
"name": "sfo01w01-cl01",
"networks": [
{
"type": "VSAN",
"vlanId": 2240,
"mtu": 9000,
"subnet": "172.16.240.0",
"mask": "255.255.255.0",
"gateway": "172.16.240.253",
"ipPools": [
{
"start": "172.16.240.5",
"end": "172.16.240.100"
}
]
},
{
"type": "VMOTION",
"vlanId": 2236,
"mtu": 9000,
"subnet": "172.16.236.0",
"mask": "255.255.255.0",
"gateway": "172.16.236.253",
"ipPools": [
{
"start": "172.16.236.5",
"end": "172.16.236.100"
}
]
}
]
}

So first off lets get a list of current Network Pools. To do this run the following cmdlet:

Get-VCFNetworkPool

As expected this returns a single network pool.

So to create a new network pool using the json you created earlier run the following:

New-VCFNetworkPool -json .\SampleJSON\NetworkPool\addNetworkPoolSpec.json

Now running Get-VCFNetworkPool should display 2 Network Pools

Commission Hosts

Now that you have a network pool you can commission hosts and associate them with the network pool. For this you need the following json

TIP: For this json you need the network pool name & ID. These were returned when the pool was created and also by Get-VCFNetworkPool


[
{
"fqdn": "sfo01w01esx01.sfo01.rainpole.local",
"username": "root",
"storageType": "VSAN",
"password": "VMw@re1!",
"networkPoolName": "sfo01w01-cl01",
"networkPoolId": "afd314f6-f31d-4ad4-8943-0ecb35c044b9"
},
{
"fqdn": "sfo01w01esx02.sfo01.rainpole.local",
"username": "root",
"storageType": "VSAN",
"password": "VMw@re1!",
"networkPoolName": "sfo01w01-cl01",
"networkPoolId": "afd314f6-f31d-4ad4-8943-0ecb35c044b9"

},
{
"fqdn": "sfo01w01esx03.sfo01.rainpole.local",
"username": "root",
"storageType": "VSAN",
"password": "VMw@re1!",
"networkPoolName": "sfo01w01-cl01",
"networkPoolId": "afd314f6-f31d-4ad4-8943-0ecb35c044b9"
},
{
"fqdn": "sfo01w01esx04.sfo01.rainpole.local",
"username": "root",
"storageType": "VSAN",
"password": "VMw@re1!",
"networkPoolName": "sfo01w01-cl01",
"networkPoolId": "afd314f6-f31d-4ad4-8943-0ecb35c044b9"
}
]

So to commission the 4 new hosts into my VCF inventory i simply run

Commission-VCFHost -json .\SampleJSON\Host\commissionHosts.json

TIP: This returns a task id, which you can monitor by running the following until status=Successful:

Get-VCFTask -id b93e2bc7-627b-4f7c-980b-c12b3497c4ea

Create a Workload Domain

Once the commission hosts task is complete you can then create a workload domain using those hosts. Creating a workload domain also requires a json file. For this you need the id’s of the hosts that you want to use. In VCF hosts that are available to be used in a workload domain have a status of UNASSIGNED_USEABLE so to find the id’s of the hosts you want to add run the following

TIP: Filter the results by adding | select fqdn,id

Get-VCFHost -Status UNASSIGNED_USEABLE | select fqdn,id

This returns the ids you need for creating the workload domain. Here is the Workload domain json. (Replace ESXi licence (AAAAA), vSAN licence (BBBBB) & NSX-V licence (CCCCC) with your keys)


{
"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" : "dd2ec05f-39e1-464e-83f1-1349a0dcf723",
"license":"AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA",
"hostNetworkSpec" : {
"vmNics" : [ {
"id" : "vmnic0",
"vdsName" : "sfo01w01vds01"
}, {
"id" : "vmnic1",
"vdsName" : "sfo01w01vds01"
} ]
}
}, {
"id" : "809b25e8-1db6-464b-b310-97f581c56da5",
"license":"AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA",
"hostNetworkSpec" : {
"vmNics" : [ {
"id" : "vmnic0",
"vdsName" : "sfo01w01vds01"
}, {
"id" : "vmnic1",
"vdsName" : "sfo01w01vds01"
} ]
}
}, {
"id" : "5d3eea32-6464-4ae6-9866-932fb926a5f1",
"license":"AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA",
"hostNetworkSpec" : {
"vmNics" : [ {
"id" : "vmnic0",
"vdsName" : "sfo01w01vds01"
}, {
"id" : "vmnic1",
"vdsName" : "sfo01w01vds01"
} ]
}
} ],
"datastoreSpec" : {
"vsanDatastoreSpec" : {
"failuresToTolerate" : 1,
"licenseKey" : "BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB",
"datastoreName" : "sfo01w01vsan01"
}
},
"networkSpec" : {
"vdsSpecs" : [ {
"name" : "sfo01w01vds01",
"portGroupSpecs" : [ {
"name" : "sfo01w01vds01-Mgmt",
"transportType" : "MANAGEMENT"
}, {
"name" : "sfo01w01vds01-VSAN",
"transportType" : "VSAN"
}, {
"name" : "sfo01w01vds01-vMotion",
"transportType" : "VMOTION"
} ]
} ],
"nsxClusterSpec" : {
"nsxVClusterSpec" : {
"vlanId" : 2237,
"vdsNameForVxlanConfig" : "sfo01w01vds01"
}
}
}
} ]
},
"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" : [ "172.16.235.121", "172.16.235.122", "172.16.235.123" ],
"nsxControllerPassword" : "VMw@re123456!",
"nsxControllerGateway" : "172.16.235.1",
"nsxControllerSubnetMask" : "255.255.255.0"
},
"licenseKey" : "CCCCC-CCCCC-CCCCC-CCCCC-CCCCC",
"nsxManagerAdminPassword" : "VMw@re1!",
"nsxManagerEnablePassword" : "VMw@re1!"
}
}

To create the workload domain run the following:

New-VCFWorkloadDomain -json .\SampleJSON\WorkloadDomain\workloadDomainSpec-NSX-V.json

This will return a Task ID. Monitor the workload domain creation by running the following

Get-VCFTask -id b93e2bc7-627b-4f7c-980b-c12b3497c4ea

And that should be it. If you’ve gotten all your json details correct you should have a fully functioning NSX-V workload domain without using the UI!

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?

  • A PowerShell Module to abstract the API to familiar cmdlets (New, Get, Set etc)
  • Provide sample JSON templates
  • Provide some scripting examples

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.

DISCLAIMER: This is (currently) a personal project, while it has the backing from my leadership and has been reviewed and approved by our excellent VCF engineering and tech marketing teams it is not an officially supported VMware module. As such it should be used with caution and thoroughly tested before using in production. It will be best effort to validate with each VCF release. I am sharing it in the hope folks find it useful. Please contribute if you can.

A massive thank you to the current contributors!

Gary Blake

Giuliano Bertello

Brandon Willmott

OK now that the legalities are out of the way  here is a link to the github project. I’ve added a readme to get you started. Look out for more blog posts from me and the other contributors on using the module to automate your VMware Cloud Foundation!

Repo: https://github.com/PowerVCF/PowerVCF

Documentation: https://powervcf.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

Follow @PowerVCF on Twitter for future updates