VMware vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode with Cisco HyperFlex

When configuring HyperFlex cluster, each HyperFlex cluster is required to register to a VMware vCenter server. For customer with multiple HyperFlex clusters and vCenter servers, VMware enhanced linked mode could be considered to reduce the management effort.

This post is to high light a few points when configuring Cisco HyperFlex with VMware vCenter enhanced linked mode.

HXVCLinked

Advantages of VMware Enhanced Linked Mode with HyperFlex

The well-known reason is to login to one vCenter and manager all vCenter servers from a single panel of view.

There is one additional advantage for this integration. The VMware SSO user with VMware global Administrators rights is able to login all vCenter servers in linked mode and HyperFlex Connect as well. This also applies to the Active Directory integration.

For example, user1@mycompany.com is configured in VMware SSO with global Administrators rights, then this user can be used to login each vCenter and HyperFlex Connect within vCenter enhanced linked mode.

 

Planning

Planning is important as the vCenter linked mode can only be configured during the vCenter deployment stage (vCenter 6 and above). This means if you would like to configure vCenter linked mode at a later stage, a re-deployment of the vCenter is required.

If a new vCenter need to be redeployed into linked mode, make sure all the existing vCenter configuration (cluster/host/folder/tag/vSwitch and etc.) is captured before redeployment. Follow VMware’s best practice to redeploy and apply the existing configuration.

In addition, below HyperFlex command is required to register the HyperFlex cluster to the new vCenter server.

stcli cluster reregister --vcenter-cluster CLUSTER_NAME --vcenter-datacenter DATACENTER_NAME --vcenter-url vCENTER_IP --vcenter-user administrator@vsphere.local

 

Firewall Consideration

Below firewall rules need to be considered if required.

  1. Standard vCenter enhanced linked mode Firewall ports. (https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1012382)

 

  1. HyperFlex Plugin firewall requirement. Specific to allow the HyperFlex plugin in one vCenter to access other vCenter servers and HyperFlex clusters with enhanced linked mode. (https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/hyperconverged_systems/HyperFlex_HX_DataPlatformSoftware/HyperFlex_Preinstall_Checklist/b_HX_Data_Platform_Preinstall_Checklist.html)

 

VMware DataCenter and Cluster “moRef ID”

It is highly recommended that the Datacenter “moRef ID” under different vCenter in enhanced linked mode is with unique ID. Same for the cluster moRef ID.

This is because the HyperFlex plugin (found in HyperFlex version 4.0(2a)) use moRef ID to query the HyperFlex cluster info. Different VMware DataCenters/clusters with same moRef ID may result unexpected result, for example, the plugin shown incorrect information of the HyperFlex cluster.

Below PowerCLI command can be used to query moRef ID:

Get-datacenter –name DATA_CENTER_NAME| get-view
Get-cluster –name CLUSTER_NAME | get-view

Below HyperFlex command can also be used to query the registered moRef ID:

stcli cluster info | grep vCenterDatacenterId
stcli cluster info | grep vCenterClusterId

The moRef ID is unique and assign to datacenter and cluster when creation, it is impossible to change it after creation. Therefore, the above steps are high recommended to be checked when the datacenter/cluster object is just created. If any datacenter/cluster is with same moRef ID between different vCenter in enhanced linked mode, re-create a datacenter/cluster will generated a new moRef ID.

 

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