One of my recent discoveries whilst playing with vCloud Director 5.1 is the automation and intergration with VXLAN. Now, I don’t want to start here writing a primer on VXLAN. Mainly because I don’t think I’m qualified to do that yet – and mainly because this post is intended as a “heads-up” post. Just alerting people to where that intregration resides – and how it changes the “Quick Start” experience that is many peoples first use of vCD. Lets start with a number list of key facts.

1. VXLAN is available on a vSphere5.1 Distributed vSwitch. Currently the management of it is in the ye olde vSphere Client, and not in the all-new singing and dancing Web Client. It’s one of the few case where you still need the ye olde vSphere Client – because normally if its a shiny new feature it is usually only available in the Web Client. You can locate the VXLAN configuration in Home > Inventory > Networking and Select the datacenter and select the “Network Virtualization” tab. There’s a “preparation” phase which enabled VXLAN on a cluster level.

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2. By default vCD will create “Network Pools” automagically when you add for the first time a Provider vDC. Unless, the “preparation” has been done first then these pools will have a system error, because vCD cannot create a VXLAN backed network pool, if it hasn’t been enabled and configured on the clusters being used to back the Provider vDC itself. This is something you will see when you get to the “Network Pools” part of the “Quick Start” wizard.

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If you don’t enabled VXLAN first before you add in a Provider vDC for the cluster(s) at the time, the VXLAN backed pools get created by are not enabled properly.

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3. You have two choices here. Ignore VXLAN – if you have no intention of using VXLAN and you prefer to create network pools backed by VLANs, Portgroups or Network-Isolation Backed. Alternatively, you could go through the “preparation” of the hosts prior to adding your first Provider vDC.

That involves – understanding the requirements of VXLAN (MTU sizes; Multicast; Nic Teaming algorithm) and running through the preparation wizard accordingly. Screen grabs give you a feel for that below:

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