If landed directly on this post and ig you want to know what is vCF please visit below links:

Introduction to vCF

I wanted to try deploying it myself and see how it works. I prepared myself, read a couple of documents like the Architecture and Deployment Guide and the Operations and Administrations Guide and started planning my first deployment.

I managed to get my hands on a couple of servers, which I could use as a test lab. As I had quite powerful machines for a test lab, but not many of them, I decided to deploy everything in a nested environment.  

This article describes how I installed vCF, what I learned, and the tweaks I had to use to get it configured.

Physical environment preparation :

Before I was able to start the deployment of vCF, I had to prepare the existing underlying environment. 

AD/DNS/DHCP

  • I deployed a new Windows Server VM to be used as Active Directory Server, DNS and DHCP. Following tasks were required for the setup preparation: 
  • Configuration of the AD Role and creation of a new domain for the VCF Lab
    • Creation of a new Domain Admin user
    • Configuration of DHCP and DNS (Authorize the server for the DHCP role in the new AD Domain, create DHCP scope with reservations for 4 nested ESXi hosts, create forward and reverse DNS entries for the nested ESXi hosts, the Cloudbuilder VM, vCenter, PSC, NSX Manager, vRealize LogInsight and SDDC Manager).  


Deploy nested ESXi hosts:

I created 4 VMs to be used as nested ESXi hosts for the management workload domain. These VMs had following specifications:

  • 12 vCPUs
  • 84 GB RAM
  • 3 Hard disks: 20 GB, 50 GB, 300 GB
  • 2 VMXNET3 NICs connected to the same Portgroup
  • Virtual hardware version 14
  • Guest OS: Other
  • Guest OS version: VMware ESXi 6.5 or later
  • Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS enabled
  • EFI firmware

Enable fake SCSI reservations on the underlying vSAN configuration

My first nested ESXi deployment failed on my vSAN datastore, I found the solution to the problem on William Lams blog (again… Thanks for sharing William).

On all the physical ESXi hosts, I entered following command in CLI:

esxcli system settings advanced set -o /VSAN/FakeSCSIReservations -i 1

vDS:

The Portgroup I intended to use had to be adapted to allow network traffic coming from multiple MAC addresses. 
As I used vSphere 6.7, I could use the new Mac Learning feature, as described by William Lam in this post.  


Note: If you have a lower vSphere version for the underlying infrastructure, Security settings on the Portgroup you want to use for the nested environment will have to be set to allow Forged Transmits, MAC address changes and Forged Transmits.

When the hosts were up, had an IP address, name and password defined, I had to perform another couple of tasks to get them ready for the vCF deployment. (I will not go through the details how to configure all this, as this is basic vSphere configuration.)

This concludes the preparation of the underlying infrastructure for the VMware Cloud Foundation deployment. The next article will continue at this point with the preparation steps for the vCF deployment itself. Stay tuned.!