Getting Ready to Install a VxRail

So, the team I’m on, we’ve been part of just about every VxRail Beta install around the globe from VxRail 3.0 to now.  I will say, along the way, the developers have done a phenomenal job with what we call “first run”.  I could go into all kinds of details about the past, but we’ve come beyond that now and the code is tremendous.

When you get ready for an install, there are a few things you should get ready for and reference.  The 2 most important documents are probably the vCenter planning guide (http://bit.ly/vCenterPlanning) and the VxRail Networking Guide (http://bit.ly/VxRailNetwork).  The amount of information in those 2 guides should have just about any customer ready for their VxRail and their conversation with the Professional Services team to walk through the Pre-Engagement Qualifier (PEQ).

The two guides above should also be used in all presales discussions.  VxRail does require a top of rack (TOR) 10GbE switch (there are options for 1GbE and 25GbE as well), which it uses for node to node communication.  The overall switch configuration isn’t too difficult (some VLANs need to be created and IPv6 Multicast needs to be supported, which is on by default on most switches).

The other thing to pay attention to is where you’d like vCenter to live.  There are 2 options: 1) Internal to the VxRail and 2) External to the VxRail.  For the first option, the VxRail includes licensing for the VCSA to run inside the VxRail, however, that instance of vCenter can only monitor/manage that VxRail Cluster.  If you’re going to deploy multiple clusters, then it may make more sense to go with option 2, where VxRail would tie into your existing vCenter environment.

If it’s decided to use an external vCenter and your vCenter happens to be behind a firewall, please make sure you reference the Appendix in the networking guide to see which ports need to be open.  I’ve seen the install hit a point where it attempts to create storage policies and it fails because port 8080 isn’t open between the ESXi hosts (VxRail Nodes) and vCenter.  This is the vSAN VASA port and we need to make sure it’s able to pass traffic through.

Once you review the 2 guides and start down the path of the PEQ with the professional services team, you’re well on your way to having your VxRail installed.

 

 

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