As I mentioned in this post, we’ve added the ability to deploy the cluster using “advanced” host names for your VxRail nodes. This feature was added in 4.7.100 and carries over to when you’re adding nodes to a cluster. If you had your cluster installed with advanced host names, you will be required to provide an IP address and host name for each node as it’s being added to the cluster. In addition, if you’d like to add a new node with a custom host name, you can do that. Just note, that once you start down this path, all future node adds will need to use the custom host naming feature. Another new feature is that you have a choice to leave the node in maintenance mode after the node add is completed.
Here’s a quick walk through of the node add, which is also now done exclusively through the VxRail Manager plugin within vCenter. Once the new nodes are physcially installed, cabled and powered on, they will appear in vCenter through the VxRail Manager plugin. One place to see the nodes would be by selecting the cluster, choosing “Configure” and then in the navigation pane, scroll down to “Add VxRail Hosts”.
Once all the nodes are discovered, you click on the “Add” button in the top right. After clicking on the button, you will see a popup inside vCenter that will show the discovered nodes and give you the option of which node(s) you’d like to add to the cluster.
The following screen will then ask for vCenter login information. This is required as VxRail Manager will handle adding the node into vCenter and the cluster.
A minor change will be that if you used the advanced host naming during install, there is no long a range of IPs to be used to the management IP of the VxRail nodes. You will be required to add the IP(s) for the new nodes. This is done by adding the starting and ending IP and clicking on the “ADD” button.
After adding in the IP information, you will then need to provide the ESXi credentials you’d like set on the new node along with the host name of the new node. If this system were installed without the advanced host naming, the box for “Autofill Host Configurations” would be checked. If you wanted to use your own custom names, you would need to uncheck that box, which would then appear similar to this screen.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, we’ve also added the ability to leave a host in maintenance mode after a successful node add. This has been requested by a few customers so they could further prep the node and/or control when they wanted the resources to become available to the cluster. In the past, at the end of a node add, the node would be taken out of maintenance mode automatically.
The last screen of the node add is the validate screen. This is the standard process where VxRail Manager will make sure everything is in place (DNS, VLANs, etc.) for the node to be successfully added to the cluster. On the validate screen, after you confirm the options specified, you would click the validate button to invoke that process.
Once the validate passes successfully, you’re now ready to bring the node into cluster. Simply click on the “Finish” button and the process will be started. You’ll also be able to monitor the progress in vCenter.
Once the node has been added, you will see a success message and the node will be left in maintenance mode if that option was chosen during the node add process. If you left it in maintenance mode, you will be able to exit maintenance mode when you are ready.
It’s definitely exciting to continue to see VxRail improve based off customer requests, but also to see the node add running native in vCenter by virtue of the VxRail Manager plug in. The more we show our customers the VxRail Manager integration inside vCenter, the more they’re impressed. It truly shows the joint development by both Dell EMC and VMware and our commitment to VxRail in the HCI space.
Finally…if you look at the host names, they do have a relevance. Drop a comment if you can tell my why I chose the names I did.