How To: Creating a Virtual Data Centre (VDC) in Zettagrid

Having a Virtual Data Centre (VDC) up and running only takes a few minutes. The trouble is unless you’ve done it before it can be a daunting process.VDC Creation Zettagrid

Today we will go through the deployment of a VDC. It is in essence a collection of resources that you can divide up and use how you wish. It can be for nearly any purpose.

What is a VDC

We saw in the previous post some great information on VPS here – https://whatwouldlukedo.com/create-vps-zettagrid/.

VDC is a different concept altogether. You are given a highly secured area in Zettagrid with which to deploy servers into. Think of it as your own secure private, hybrid or public cloud.

It runs on the Zettagrid VMware environment. As such it behaves much the same as what you are used to in your on-premises VMware stack.

The VMs you create can be whatever size you like. You can back them up or setup DR across to other zones even. Its pretty cool!

Management wise you can either use the Zettagrid MyAccount page or the vCloud Director console.

Lets create it

Ok, the first step as always is to make sure you have an account.

If you need one head over to Getting Started in Zettagrid, Account Creation to get started.

Head over to the VDC catalog page hereVDC Creation Zettagrid

Everything in Zettagrid is modular and you can scale up or down everything. This typically means you only ever need to buy what you need. Much better than forcing your requirements into some predefined instances.

Less wastage = Money saved

Compute

Choose an amount of RAM and vCPU. RAM is allocated one-to-one but vCPU is a different story.

You are able to over-allocate vCPU which can be a blessing and a curse.VDC Creation Zettagrid

Recommendation

Start off by purchasing what you actually want provisioned to your VMs. Over time play with scaling down how much vCPU you have purchased and check the results. You can start to create CPU scheduling problems if you over-allocate too much. This will start to cause latency problems which users may feel so be careful.

Storage

Zettagrid utilise 4 different storage tiers (plus a few secret higher tiers *wink wink*). Rather than have storage tiers backed by either SATA, SAS or SSD we use ioSTOR which limits max IOPS.VDC Creation Zettagrid

As you can see the 4 tiers are Backup/Archive, Basic, Mid-Tier and High Performance. These set maximum burst-able IOPS at either 100, 250, 500 and 1000 respectively.

Add as little or as much storage as your collection of VMs will require.

Recommendation

When choosing the storage you require I personally suggest selecting 250 IOPS for VM workloads initially. You can swap between storage easily from vCloud later on so no concerns of locking yourself in.

Network

Here’s where we start to deviate considerably from the VPS deployments. VDCs increase security considerably by placing all your VMs behind an edge device.

You can choose from the free edge device all the way through to highly available large NSX Edges. The main differences between the free and paid versions are things like;

  1. VPN connectivity
  2. Certificates
  3. Link terminations
  4. Load balancing

For a full rundown of all the differences head over here.

I personally love NSX so its always my choice when deploying new VDCs.VDC Creation Zettagrid

Choose an amount of Internet Data you will require.

Select an amount of external IP addresses. You get one for free which is fine for most people. Typically people will create NAT and firewall rules for the different services in the VDC. If you need more at a later date its easy to add them on afterwards.

Licenses

Windows licensing is based on the honour system. Put in how many Windows VMs will be running in the VDC.VDC Creation Zettagrid

Recommendation

It ends up being cheaper to buy a full Windows VDC if you have more than 8 Windows VMs. The Windows VDC license will allow you to house unlimited Windows VMs.

Availability Zone

Again this is pretty self explanatory. Decide whether you would prefer your VM in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth.VDC Creation Zettagrid

Process the Order

Hit the “Add to Order” button then confirm all your specifications and hit “Check Out” and watch it provision. I’ve found that depending on what you choose it generally takes 5-10 minutes to deploy.

VDC Management

Open up https://account.zettagrid.com and log in.VDC Creation Zettagrid

Here you can see we have displayed the total amount of resources provisioned and in use. Any external IPs, the type of edge device and internet quota are here also.

We also have access to resize any component or delete the service. The manage button will open up the vCloud Director console.VDC Creation Zettagrid

The Virtual Machines tab brings up some VM specific tasks. From here you have access to all the expected management tasks such as;

  • Start, Stop, Suspend, Reset
  • Resize (change the amounts of resources attached)
  • Rebuild (blow away your changes and back to the stock image)
  • Console (open up a HTML5 console onto the VPS)
  • Setup replication to another zone
  • Performance statistics of the VMVDC Creation Zettagrid

Conclusion

There we have it, a VDC deployed and simple management steps available.

Next time we will go into more detail on the advanced VDC management of;

  • Networks, Firewalls, DHCP and NAT rules
  • IPSec VPN
  • Routing
  • Load Balancing
  • Certificates
  • Network Logging
  • Traffic Stats
  • Password Management

There is a lot of power in the Zettagrid console!

Luke Brown

Author: Luke Brown

Luke Brown is an Advisory Systems Engineer at Dell EMC. He is passionate about all things tech and loves a good debate.

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