Installing The vSphere OpenStack Virtual Appliance (VOVA) On Your Laptop, Part 1

OpenStack-Nova-Cinder-Diagram-278x300(Diagram by Rawlinson Rivera from VMware)


Beginning with the Grizzly release earlier this year, VMware began to make a splash in the OpenStack community, both with a stated commitment of support and followed up with integration of vSphere with the Nova Compute project.  That has continued in the recent Havana release with further vSphere integration with Nova and additional integration with the Cinder block storage project and NSX integration with the Neutron Networking project.  I’ve previously provided some technical details on VMware’s work in OpenStack in a blogs series on vSphere with Nova Compute and a post on vSphere with Cinder.

As part of their effort to encourage vSphere professionals to take OpenStack with vSphere for a non-production “test drive,” VMware also released a virtual appliance they named the vSphere OpenStack Virtual Appliance (VOVA).  VOVA is essentially a vm running an all-in-one OpenStack Cloud Controller that manages vSphere and uses it as its hypervisor for launching cloud instances; in this case, all-in-one means that besides all the OpenStack services required for the Controller, VOVA is also running Nova Compute, Nova Networks, Glance, Cinder, etc..  To assist with running VOVA, VMware released a VOVA manual along with the virtual appliance.  Also, Rawlinson Rivera from VMware has provided additional details and a demo via several blog posts.  VOVA is intended to be deployed in a vSphere lab environment and that’s what I would suggest be done for extensive testing.  However, I thought it may be helpful, for demo purposes and for anyone who may have access to a lab environment, if I walked though how to deploy VOVA with a small vSphere environment on a single laptop or workstation.

In this part 1 post, I will walk though setting up a vSphere environment, including ESXi and vCenter, using VMware Fusion.  In part 2, I walk through deploying VOVA and using vSphere with OpenStack.

Requirements and Limitations

  • You will need either VMware Fusion or VMware Workstation
  • You will need enough physical resources to power-up and run an aggregate of 4 to 6 vCPUs, 8 to 12 GBs of  vRAM, and 165 to 205 GBs of thinly provisioned storage (~40 GB actual physical capacity depending on how many instances you will be spinning up.)
  • This walk-though will for Fusion but the same instructions should work, with minimal changes, in Workstation.
  • Download and review the VOVA manual
  • This post assumes that the reader has enough knowledge of vSphere to create and manage a small vSphere environment; if you don’t have that yet, I recommend reading the excellent “Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5” book.
  • VOVA is supported with vSphere 5.1 but I will be using vSphere 5.5 for this walk-through.
  • I will be using the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) instead of installing the Windows version of the vCenter Server.
  • For additional requirements and limitations, related to VOVA, please read the VOVA manual.

Installing ESXi on your laptop

I will walk readers thought installing ESXi on your laptop via Fusion.  We will be taking advantage of the nested hypervisors feature in Fusion and Workstation to run both VOVA and “OpenStack Cloud instances” on 1 or more ESXi hosts.  Note that we will begin with just a single ESXi hosts to get a working VOVA environment running; you can add more hosts if you have enough physical resources on your laptop or workstation.

  • Start by downloading ESXi 5.5.0 to your laptop; if you do not have or do not want to license an ESXi Server, you can install and use in evaluation mode.
  • From within Fusion, create a new virtual machine by choosing disc image as the installation media:

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 10.36.54 PM

  • After choosing the ESXi 5.5 ISO, accept the ESX 5 defaults for the Operating System; before finishing setup of the new VM, choose to customize settings.

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 10.41.11 PM

  • From the “Customize Settings” screen, check the “Processors & Memory” settings; depending on which version of Fusion or Workstation you are using, you may have to increase the default memory for the vm to 4096 GB, as is now required by ESXi 5.5 (Note for any settings changes, you have to click on the “Show All” button for the changes to be finalized).

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 6.47.35 PM

  • Prior to powering on your ESXi vm, add a second network adapter as a device.  Configure BOTH network adapters to ensure they are reachable outside the VM.  In my case, I changed both “Network Adapter Settings’ and configure them to use “vmnet2.”

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.12.15 PM

  • After the vm is powered on, walk through the ESXi 5.5 install by accepting all defaults.
  • Once the installation is completed and the ESXi vm rebooted, log on to the console and change the “Configure Management Network” settings for vmnic0 ONLY.  Change the network settings to allow you to access the vm from your laptop’s console and browser, including setting a reachable static IP address and subnet; also remember to set a host name.

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 11.55.39 PM

Deploy VCSA On Your Laptop

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.32.07 PM

  • After the import has completed and prior to powering on the VCSA vm, customize settings and change the “Processor & Memory” settings.  The default memory setting for VCSA is 8198 GB; but for the purpose of this walk-through, you can lower the amount to 4096 GB (Note for any settings changes, you have to click on the “Show All” button for the changes to be finalized).

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.36.40 PM

  • Once the memory setting has been changed, go ahead and power up the VCSA vm; from the menu screen which will come up after the vm is powered on, choose “Login” and log on using the defaults of user name: root and password: vmware.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.38.49 PM

  • To ensure that you will be able to access the VCSA management page and the vSphere we client, we will manually configure the network settings for your VCSA.  From the CLI type “/opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_config_net” to access the network configuration main menu.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.39.30 PM

  • Using the above menu, change the network settings to allow the VCSA to be accessed from your laptop and your ESXi vm, including setting a reachable static IP address and subnet; also remember to set a host name.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.44.11 PM

  • Because VCSA SSO will require proper name resolution and I don’t have a valid DNS server for my environment, I worked around it by editing the VCSA’s /etc/hosts file; I added the VCSA, ESXi host, and the VOVA that I will deploy later.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.46.51 PM

  • Now go ahead and access the VCSA management page from your browser, using the static IP address you set earlier and going through port 5480.  Log on with username: root and password: vmware.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.07.46 PM

  • Once you log in , go ahead accept the EULA; you will then be directed to the “vCenter Server Setup” screen.  You could go ahead and configure with the default setups; for this walk-though, however, I will  hit “Cancel” and configure the Database and SSO manually.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.09.39 PM

  • You will be dropped to the main management page; from there go to the Database tab; choose ’embedded” for the Database type and save settings.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.10.36 PM

  • Now go to the SSO tab and choose ’embedded” as the SSO deployment type; create a password for the administrator, save settings, and confirm re-installation of the SSO Server.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.11.36 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.11.52 PM

  • Go to the Time tab and you will have the option to set up time synchronization.  Feel free to choose what works for your environment; in my case, I chose “No Synchronization.”
  • Go back to the Summary tab where you will the Server and Inventory services being started.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 8.19.12 PM

Once the Sever and Inventory services are started, we are ready to look at deploying VOVA with your newly created vSphere environment.  In part 2, I walk through preparing for and deploying VOVA, followed by a tutorial on how to use OpenStack with vSphere.



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