Tag: OpenStack

OpenStack has been my world for the past 8 months. It started out with the a work project to design and deploy a large-scale VMware Integrated OpenStack environment for internal use. It then became the design I would submit for my VCDX Defense and spend a couple hundred hours pouring over and documenting. Since then it has included helping other get “up-to-speed” on how to operationalize OpenStack. One of the necessary tools is the ability to execute commands against an OpenStack environment from anywhere.

The easiest way to do that?

A short-lived Docker container with the clients installed!

The container is short and to the point — it uses Ubuntu:latest as the base and simply adds the OpenStack clients.

# Docker container with the latest OpenStack clients

FROM ubuntu:latest

MAINTAINER chris@virtualelephant.com

RUN apt-get -y update && apt-get -y upgrade

RUN apt-get -y install python-openstackclient vim

Follow that up with a quick Docker command to launch the instance, and I’m ready to troubleshoot whatever issue may require my attention.

$ docker run -it chrismutchler/vio-client

Where I am not a developer, I find the usefulness of creating these small types of Docker containers really fun. The ability to quickly spin up a container on my laptop or whatever VM I find myself on at the time priceless.

The repo can be seen on hub.docker.com/chrismutchler/vio-client.

If you need a OpenStack Client Docker container, I hope you’ll give this one a try. Enjoy!

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I am currently working on building out a vPod nested ESXi lab environment that will be deployed through OpenStack’s Heat orchestration service. As I worked out the vPod application components, I realized that I wanted to include a single Linux VM that would run various services inside Docker containers.

I needed a Bind Docker container!

It seems like everything in a VMware SDDC environment needs both the forward and reverse records working properly — so I started here. The Docker container is completely self-contained — all external zone data is stored in S3 and downloaded when the container is built.


The Dockerfile for the container contains the following code:

# Designed to be used in conjunction with a nested ESXi
# virtual lab environment deployed through an OpenStack
# Heat template.

FROM ubuntu:latest

MAINTAINER chris@virtualelephant.com

RUN apt-get -y update && apt-get -y install bind9 dnsutils curl

RUN curl https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/virtualelephant-vpod-bind/db.192.168 -o /etc/bind/db.192.168 && curl https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/virtualelephant-vpod-bind/db.vsphere.local -o /etc/bind/db.vsphere.local && curl https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/virtualelephant-vpod-bind/named.conf.options -o /etc/bind/named.conf.options && curl https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/virtualelephant-vpod-bind/named.conf.local -o /etc/bind/named.conf.local


CMD ["/usr/sbin/named", "-g", "-c", "/etc/bind/named.conf", "-u", "bind"]

To start the container, I setup the Ubuntu VM to execute the following code when it is deployed inside OpenStack.

# docker run -d -p 53:53 -p 53:53/udp chrismutchler/vpod-bind

Once running, it is now able to provide the critical DNS service inside the vPod ESXi environment. From here it is onto building out the Heat template that will leverage the container.


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I am currently pursuing my VCDX certification and the design I have submitted is based on VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Integrated OpenStack. As part of the required documentation, I included a deployment guide — unfortunately, it is not as simple as laying down the SDDC components and the VIO vApp for the deployment.

This blog post will cover a couple items that are needed to get the two pieces playing together.

Shared Edge & Workload Cluster

The VCF architecture currently has a limitation that a vCenter Server can only have a single vSphere cluster — it’s a 1:1 relationship. VMware Integrated OpenStack requires either 3 clusters in a single vCenter Server or a management cluster in one vCenter Server instance and two clusters in a second vCenter Server. Neither of these options are compatible with VMware Integrated OpenStack.

In order to make it work, we are going to use a two vCenter Server deployment of VMware Integrated OpenStack and modify the OMS server to combine the NSX Edge and Workload Clusters into one. We do this by editing a single configuration file and restarting the oms service running on the VIO vApp Management (OMS) VM.

$ cd /opt/vmware/vio/etc
$ sudo vim moms.properties

Add the following line to the end of the file:
oms.allow_shared_edge_cluster = true

$ sudo restart oms

VMware Integrated OpenStack can now be deployed on top of VMware Cloud Foundation.

VXLAN-backed External Network

This one is a bit trickier and is an obstacle whether or not you are using VMware Cloud Foundation as the infrastructure layer.

Logically, the end result for the OpenStack external network is to attach to a VXLAN port group created by NSX. The NSX logical switch network is attached to the internal interface on a NSX Distributed Logical Router.

The following is the logical diagram for the architecture.

external openstack

The issue is that during the deployment of an OpenStack instance using VMware Integrated OpenStack, you have to specify an external network. However, VMware Integrated OpenStack will not allow a vSphere Administrator to select a VXLAN port group during the deployment. I got around this by creating a non-VXLAN port group on the DVS used only for the deployment.

Once the OpenStack deployment is complete, I needed to attach the actual VXLAN-backed port group as the external network.

SSH to the OMS server
$ ssh -l viouser oms.domain.local

SSH to an OpenStack controller VM
$ ssh controller01
$ sudo cp /root/cloudadmin_v3.rc .
$ source cloudadmin_v3.rc
$ neutron

(neutron) net-list
(neutron) net-create --provider:network_type=portgroup --provider:physical_network=virtualwire-XX vio-external-network
(neutron) net-list

The network will now appear in the OpenStack network list. Go ahead and create your subnet for the external IP addresses, based on the network assignment in your environment.

If you have questions or issues with implementing these changes in your environment, please reach out.

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Note: The following blog post is only relevant to VMware Integrated OpenStack deployments.

In a pilot environment running VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) v3.0, one of the ESXi management nodes experienced a network isolation event. As a result of the event, vSphere HA responded accordingly and began restarting the VMs on the isolated ESXi node onto other ESXi nodes. The isolated ESXi node happened to have the secondary VIO controller VM on it. When the VIO controller VM was restarted through vSphere HA on the new ESXi node, the operating system came online quickly. However, the vRealize Operations dashboard for OpenStack still reported the services in critical status.

vRealize Operations OpenStack Services Dashboard

When I logged into the secondary OpenStack controller VM, I noticed there were no OpenStack services running. That’s not good.

Digging in a bit deeper, I logged into the VIO management VM and ran a viocli command to check the status of the environment to see what other issues may be in existence.

It just so happens that this is expected behavior in the current VIO release when a vSphere HA event occurs. I wouldn’t classify that as ideal at all, but it’s software and sometimes we have to workaround limitations.

In order to restart the services of the secondary controller VM, there are a two options.

  1. Restart the entire OpenStack management stack.
  2. Restart just the affected controller VM.

Both require use of the vSphere Web Client with the corresponding VIO plugin.

Select the broken management VM and select the ‘All Actions’ drop-down menu at the top. Follow it up with selecting ‘Restart services’. A small pop-up window will appear verifying this is the action you wish to take.

Once the services are restarted the entire OpenStack management stack should once again begin functional.

One caveat worth noting, if the services have been stopped on the database nodes the restart of a single management VM through the UI may not re-establish the entire stack and a complete restart of the entire stack may still be required.

The vRealize Operations dashboards can play an integral part of a VMware Integrated OpenStack environment, allowing the services to be monitored remotely.

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VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) enables SSL encryption by default and will be installed with a self-signed certificate. In order to provide your own certificate from a trusted CA, the VIO management VM includes command-line tools for the vSphere administrator.

The first step is to generate the CSR for the environment.

$ sudo viocli deployment cert-req-create

The workflow will ask for some details and then output the CSR, which you can provide to your trusted CA of choice.

After you receive your signed certificate, append all of the CRT files to a single file.

$ cat intermediate1.crt intermediate2.crt root.crt server.crt >> /path/certificate.crt

The final step is to push the new certificate out to the VIO Load Balancers running in the environment.

$ sudo viocli deployment cert-update -p -f /path/certificate.crt

The output will include the following:

Once completed, you can check to see that the new certificate(s) were installed properly by logging into the Load Balancer VMs.

$ ssh usa1-2-violb1
$ cd /etc/ssl
$ sudo cat vio.pem


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