Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Michelle Drolet, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Andreas Grabner

Blog Feed Post

vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 5.1 – Amazon EC2 Configuration

Usually most people go straight for connecting vCAC to vCenter, but I have decided to connect to Amazon EC2 first. I’m doing this for a few reasons, but mainly because anyone reading this has access to EC2. All you really need is any computer with a Desktop Virtualization tool like VMware workstation and you can test vCAC with Amazon EC2. If you don’t have an Amazon AWWS account go to http://aws.amazon.com and sign-up.

Signing up for Amazon AWS is free and what’s even better is you can also provision “Micro.Instances” for free for an entire year as long as you stay within these guidelines. The basics are this:

  • 750 Hours of Linux/Windows Micro Instance Usage per month. (613Mb Memory). This is enough to run a single micro instance for the whole month.
  • 750 Hours of Elastic Load Balancing plus 15GB of data processing
  • 30GB of Elastic Block Storage
  • 5GB of S3 Storage with 20,000 Get requests and 2,000 Put requests
  • And some other goodies…..

You can run more than one micro instance at a time as long as the consecutive run time of your machines doesn’t go over 750 hours a month. Once you provision an instance it automatically counts as 15 minutes used. I don’t bother trying to calculate by the 15 minutes so the way I look at it is I can perform 750 provisioning tests per month if each test is less than an hour.

Backgroud information

Before we begin the configuration there are a few things we need in place. If you don’t already have vCAC installed and the foundation laid check out these posts to get going:

What were going to configure

In order to configure EC2 integration we are going to setup some additional components of vCAC as outlined below:

  • Credentials -Credentials will be utilized by out endpoints to authenticate us to the infrastructure element managers that we are going to communicate with.
  • End Point – Endpoints are how we manage connections from vCAC to other infrastructure elements in the environment. There are endpoints that allow us to communicate with EC2, vCenter, vCloud Director, vCenter Orchestrator, Hyper-V, NetApp Filers, as well as Physical Servers such as HP iLO, Dell iDrac, and Cisco UCS.
  • Enterprise Group – Although we already created an Enterprise Group we are going to add Compute Resources to the group in this exercise. FOr more information on what Enterprise Groups are see my earlier article “vCloud Automation Center – Laying the foundation“.
  • Reservations – A resource reservation is how we provide available resources to our provisioning groups. Resource Reservation are a one to one mapping to provisioning groups. Resource reservation will get created for any type of resources you want to make available to your groups. we will discuss these in more detail in another article.
  • Global Blueprints – A Blueprint is really a service definition that details what the consumer can request and all the policies and configuration of that service. We will create an Amazon Ec2 Blueprint that a consumer can request through the service catalog in this example. I will cover Blueprints in greater detail in another article.
    •  

      Configuring vCAC to provision to Amazon EC2

      Crating Credentials

      1.) The first thing we need to do is log into the vCAC console at “http://[host]/dcac“, then go to the “vCAC Administrator” menu on the “Left” and select “Credentials“.
      2.) On the “Credentials” page select “New Credentials” in the “Upper Right” corner.

      VCACEC2-1

      3.) Give your “Credential” a “Name” and “Description“. We then need to get your Amazon AWS “Access Key ID” and “Secret Access Key” which are covered in the following steps. The “Access Key ID” will be your “Username” and the “Secret Access Key” will be used as the “Password“.

      VCACEC2-2

      Getting your AWS Access Key ID and Secret Access Key

      4.)Login to your Amazon AWS account at “http://aws.amazon.com“. At the top “Right” corner “Hover” over “My Account/Console” and then select “Security Credentials

      VCACEC2-3

      5.) Scroll Down the page until you set to the section labeled “Access Credentials” and you will see your “Access Key ID” displayed. Copy and paste this in the “Credentials” “Username” field.

      VCACEC2-4

      6.) Next “Click” “Show” to display your “Secret Access Key“. Copy and paste this into the “Credentials” “Password” Fields.

      VCACEC2-5

      7.) Once you have input your “Username” and “Password” click the “Green” check on the “Left” hand side.

      VCACEC2-2

      Creating an EndPoint”

      8.) Next go to “vCAC Administrator” menu and “Click” “Endpoints” Once the “EndPoints” page displays “Hover” over “New EndPoint” and select “Amazon EC2“.

      VCACEC2-48

      9.) Give your “Endpoint” and “Name” and then “click” the selection box next to “Credentials“. Select the “Amazon EC2” “Credentials” you just created and “Click” “Ok“., then “Click” “Ok” on the “New Endpoint” Screen.

      VCACEC2-6

      10.) You will now see your newly crated Endpoint listed on the Endpoints screen. At this point vCAC executes a workflows that connects to Amazon AWS and validates your Credentials. If your credentials are validated the workflow will proceed to do a Data Discovery. The discovery will detect the available Amazon EC2 resources available for use. Once the discovery if finished the Amazon EC2 resources will become available within the “Enterprise Group” for selection.

      VCACEC2-7

      Adding Compute Resources to an Enterprise Group

      11.) Next let’s go to the “vCAC Administrators” menu and select “Enterprise Groups“. Once on the “Enterprise Groups” page “Hover” over the “Enterprise Group” we created and “select” “Edit

      VCACEC2-8

      12.) In the “Enterprise Group” we now see the “Amazon Regions” that are available. Select the “Amazon Region” that you would like to use and “Click” “Ok“.

      VCACEC2-9

      13.) Next if you go to the “Enterprise Administrators” Menu on the left and select “Compute Resources” you will see a “Compute Resource” for each “Amazon Region” you selected. Once the “Compute Resource” is available we can create a “Resource Reservation” to assign to our “Provisioning Group“.

      VCACEC2-10

      Creating a Reservation

      14.)On the “Enterprise Administrators” menu select “Reservations” and then “Hover” over “New Reservation” in the upper right corner and select “Cloud

      VCACEC2-11

      VCACEC2-12

      15.)On the “New Reservation – Cloud” page select the “Drop Down” dialog next to “Compute Resource” and select the “Amazon EC2” “Compute Resource

      VCACEC2-13

      16.) vCAC will “auto-generate” a “Name” for the “Reservation” however you can change the name if you like. The select the “Drop Down” dialog next to “Provisioning Group” and “Select” the “Provisioning Group” we created.

      VCACEC2-14

      17.) Next if you like you can set a “Machine Quota” to limit the number of machines that can be provisioned on to this “Amazon AWS Reservation“. You must set a “Priority” for the “Reservation” which is used to assist in making placement decisions if you have multiple reservations. I will talk more about this in another post. Once you have set your “Priority” “click” the “Resources” tab above.

      VCACEC2-15

      18.)”Amazon AWS” utilized “Key Pairs” for enhanced security of machine management tasks. You ave a few options within vCAC. You can let vCAC “Auto-generate a key pair per Provisioning Group“, “Auto-Generate a key pair per Machine“, or you can use a “Specific key pair” that you have already created through the “Amazon AWS” console. I’m going to use the “Auto-Generated per Provisioning Group” option in this example.

      VCACEC2-16

      19.) Next we need to select the “Locations” within the “Selected AWS Region” that we want to make available for use. I’m going to select them all. Then we need to select the “Security Group” we would like to make our machine part of. The “Security Group” can be looked at as a firewall rules for your machine. I’m going to select my “Default” “Security Group“. Optionally you can select a “Load Balancer” to attach the machine to as well. I will cover this in a later article. When you are finished “Click” “Alerts” above.

      VCACEC2-17

      20.) Here you can optionally enable “Alerts” that will send notifications if the “Reservation” is nearing capacity. Set the “Quota Threshold” for your alert, the email addresses to be notified, and the “Reminder Frequency” and click “Ok

      VCACEC2-18

      21.) You will now see your newly created “Reservation” listed on the “Reservations” screen. Now select “Global Blueprints” located under the “Enterprise Administrators” menu.

      VCACEC2-19

      Creating a Blueprint

      22.) Once you are on the “Global Blueprints” page “Hover” over “New Blueprint” and select “Cloud

      VCACEC2-20

      23.) Once on the “Blueprint Information” tab give your “Blueprint” a “Name“, and optionally change the “Display Icon“. Next assign it to a “Group(s)” and then optionally override the “Prefix” associated with this “Blueprint“. Then you can optionally set the max number of machines a user can request for this blueprint and a daily cost if you wish. Once complete select the “Build Information” tab above.

      VCACEC2-21

      24.) On the “Build Information” tab change the “Blueprint Type” to “Server”

      VCACEC2-22

      25.) Then next to “Amazon Machine Image” click the “Selection” box.

      VCACEC2-23

      26.) Once the dialog box appears you can filer the results at the top to narrow the result for the AMI you would like to use. If you selected multiple regions for use make sure the AMI is in the Region you want to use. Select the “AMI” you would like to use and click “Ok

      VCACEC2-24

      27.) “Optionally” you can “override” the “key Pair” setting that we configured in the “Reservation“.

      VCACEC2-25

      28.) “Optionally” you can “Enable” network options for the “Bluepeint“. The will allow the requester to select the “Security Group” they would like to apply to the machine if more than one was selected in the “Reservation“.

      VCACEC2-26

      29.) Next select the “Instance Types” you would like the requester to be able to choose from.

      VCACEC2-27

      30.) Then select the “Security” tab above.

      VCACEC2-28

      Making a Request

      31.) “Hover” over the newly created “Blueprint” on the “Global Blueprints” page and select “Request machine” to test our configuration. You can also go to the “Self Service” menu and select “Request Machine

      VCACEC2-29

      32.)On the “Confirm Machine Request” page click the “Drop Down” next to “Instance Type” and select the type of “Instance” you would like to request.

      VCACEC2-30

      33.) Then click the “Drop Down” next to “Provision Into” and select “Non-VPC Location” because we do not have a “VPC” configured.

      VCACEC2-31

      34.) Next select the “Drop Down” next to “Location” and select a location to provision to.

      VCACEC2-32

      35.) Next click the “Storage” tab above.

      VCACEC2-33

      36.) Optionally you can add “EBS Storage” volumes to your “Request“. Click the “Network” tab above.

      VCACEC2-34

      37.) “Optionally” if you added more than one “Security Group” to your “Reservation” and “Enabled” “Network Options” in the “Blueprint” you can select a different “Security Group” for your machine. Click “Ok” when finished.

      VCACEC2-35

      38.) Next under the “Self-Service” menu select “My Machines” to track the status of your request.

      VCACEC2-36

      39.) Your newly “Requested” machine will appear under “My Machines” and the status will show “Requested“. Note: If you machine does not show up click refresh as it can take a few seconds for it to appear.

      VCACEC2-37

      40.) If you continue to “Refresh” the page you will see the requests updated “Status“. The next “Status” your “Request” will go to is “CloudProvisioning“.

      VCACEC2-38

      41.) After your request goes to “CloudProvisioning” If you login to your “AWS Console” and go to “AWS Management Console“, then “EC2“, and then “Instances” you will see your newly provisioned machine in the “Pending State

      VCACEC2-39

      42.) Once finished the machine state in “vCAC” will go to “MachineProvisioned“, Then “Turning On“, and finally “On

      VCACEC2-40

      VCACEC2-41

      VCACEC2-42

      43.) You will now see your machine “Running” in the “AWS Console“.

      VCACEC2-43

      44.) In “vCAC” if you “Hover” over your newly created machine you will see the “Machine Options Menu” select “Edit

      VCACEC2-44

      45.) On the “Machine Information” tab near the bottom you will see “Admin Password“. Here you can show the “Local Password” for your newly provisioned “Amazon AWS Instance” Click the “Storage” tab above. Note: It can take Amazon 30+ minutes to make the password available even through the AWS Console. Once it is available from Amazon, it will not be available in vCAC until vCAC performs a data collection.

      VCACEC2-45

      46.) On the “Storage” tab you can add “EBS” storage “post-proviosioning” if you would like. Click on the “Network” tab above.

      VCACEC2-46

      47.) On the “Network” tab you can assign an “Elastic IP Address” if you have made them available through “Amazon AWS“. You can also change the “Security Group” and assign the machine to a “Load Balancer” Click “Ok” when you are done. More on these option soon.

      VCACEC2-47

      There are a few important things to note. If you add additional services such as Elastic IP Address, Elastic Block Storage, Elastic Load Balancers, Sucurity Groups, etc through the Amazon AWS Console they will not appear as available in vCAC until after the next Inventory Data Collection. You can perform a manual data collection as well as change the data collection frequency by doing the following:

      1. Go to “Enterprise Administrator” menu and select “Compute Resources
      2. Hover over the “Compute Resource” and select “Data Collection
      3. Under the “Inventory” section you can set the “Frequency” in hours as well as manually “Request” a “Data Collection“.
      4. If you “Request” a “Data Collection” you can select “Refresh” at the bottom of the page to get the status of the collection.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Sidney Smith

Sid Smith, founder of DailyHypervisor is considered to be a cloud expert in the IT field with over 10 years experience in Virtualization, Automation, and Cloud technologies. Sid Smith started in the industry designing and implementing large scale enterprise server and desktop virtualization environments for fortune 100 and 500 companies. He later went on to become a key employee at DynamicOps the well know creators of Cloud Automation Center. In July 2012 DynamicOps was acquired by VMware who has adopted Cloud Automation Center as a center piece for it’s vCloud Suite of products. Sid has helped dozens of fortune 100 and 500 enterprises successfully adopt both private and public cloud strategies as part of their IT offerings. The result of which was large operational and capital savings for his customers. Sid continues to help large enterprise customers reach their hybrid cloud strategies at VMware. On DailyHypervisor you will find exclusive content that will help you learn how to adopt a successful cloud strategy through the use of VMware Cloud Automation Center, Open Stack, and other industry recognized cloud solutions.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Are you interested in accelerating innovation, simplifying deployments, reducing complexity, and lowering development costs? The cloud is changing the face of application development and deployment, with enterprise-grade infrastructure and platform services making it possible for you to build and rapidly scale enterprise applications. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Gene Eun, Sr. Director, Oracle Cloud at Oracle, will discuss the latest solutions and strategies for application developers and enterprise IT organizations to leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy modern business applications in the cloud.
Hybrid cloud refers to the federation of a public and private cloud environment for the purpose of extending the elastic and flexibility of compute, storage and network capabilities, in an on-demand, pay-as-you go basis. The hybrid approach allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. Hybrid cloud environments involve complex management challenges. First, organizations struggle to maintain control over the resources that lie outside of their managed IT scope. They also need greater infrastructure visibility to help reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their company data and resources are properly handled and secured.