Cloud Computing

Load Balance Cloud Director Cells Using NSX ALB

According to VMware Cloud Director Appliance Sizing Guidelines, the recommended minimum number of cells to deploy for a production environment is three. There may be more cells depending on the size of the deployment and the expected tenant load.

Since there is no built-in option to load balance these cells, an external solution must be used for this purpose. There are several options involving different solutions and designs: one is to use VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer.

To begin configuring VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer, several things should already be in place:

  • VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer must be deployed in the management zone and at least one cloud with at least one service engine group must be created. VMware vCenter/vSphere ESX and NSX clouds are supported to load balance VMware Cloud Director cells.
  • The sizing of the Service Engine must be defined according to the expected load.
  • VMware Cloud Director cells should already be deployed and running.
  • All certificates required for virtual services must be generated, which will be used in the configuration of public addresses.

To simplify configuration and future maintenance, the general recommendation is to create two virtual services instead of one: one internal (cloud provider) and one external (tenant). This will save effort later on and minimize the risk of making an error in configurations, as each virtual service has its purpose clearly identified. However, VMware Cloud Director cannot set multiple addresses/FQDNs in its public address settings. This means that the VMware Cloud Director FQDN must be resolved by public DNS pointing to the external VIP and internal DNS pointing to the internal VIP.

With VMware Cloud Director 10.5, a new dedicated section of the Documentation lists some suggested load balancing settings.

Based on these recommendations, the following must be created and configured in VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer to successfully load balance VMware Cloud Director cells:

  • Application Profile
  • health monitor
  • Certificate import
  • swimming pools
  • Virtual IPs (VIPs)
  • Virtual Services

Additionally, depending on whether the environment requires it or not, things like DataScripts and string lists can be applied.

To find full setup and security details, step-by-step procedures for creating each item, and sample screenshots, please see our Load Balancing VMware Cloud Director Cells with VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer recently published white paper.

It also contains configuration information for older versions of VMware Cloud Director (before 10.4) where Console Proxy requires additional attention.

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