San Diego VMUG: vCloud Director Best Practices

This session covered some high level Clould Director best practices, by Spencer Cuffe (VMware). It was short session without a lot of detail, but for what it’s worth here are a few notes:

  • Pre-Reqs – One cell per vCenter, NTP across all devices, one vCNS per vCenter, one provider vDC per vSphere Cluster


  • There is no one size fits all solution
  • There are some things very challenging to change post-development
  • Allocation models: Changing may require powering down VMs to apply limits/reservations
  • Storage tiering is important (capacity, tiers, I/O requirements, fast provisioning [don’t use it everywhere])
  • Networking: Configure external network first, then configure DVS first
  • IP addressing withing the VM will require power cycle if changed
  • VXLAN: Plan for it and prepare vCNS with it first
  • Use distributed switches for everything

vCloud Director Use Cases

  • Hosted/Public Cloud – Customer isolation, catalog isolation
  • Development – Consistency, on-demand environments
  • Testing – Dev, IT, vendor packages, etc.
  • QA – Pre-prod clean environments
  • Support desk – Test in isolated environment
  • Private/Hybrid Clouds


  • Storage gets used quickly
  • Services: DHCP, DNS, NTP, etc.
  • Who is responsible? Administrators, organization admins, template maintenance, firewalls, remote access, etc.
  • Access to VMs? Jump box, remote console, SSH, etc.

Redundancy and Maintenance

  • Load balance cells
  • VMware vCenter heartbeat
  • Consider VMware FT/HA for vCNS
  • Use maintenance mode when doing maintenance on a cell
  • Use “Display debug information” to dig deeper into error messages
  • Configure syslog to capture all the activities centrally

Using vCD

  • Set HA host failures to a percentage instead of N+1
  • Use VMware Orchestrator to automate common tasks
  • When using fast provisioning, end users should have a limited lifecycle for vApps.
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