vCloud Public Console Proxy IP Address

You may have noticed that vCloud Director uses 2 important IP addresses to provide public access to tenants/users. One is the well-known front-end VCD IP address which is access to web portal for managing the organization vDC (also known as HTTP access) and second one provides remote access to virtual console of VM which is in fact resided on ESXi server cluster (known as VRMC access), this latter one is sort of more back-end because it’s coming from ESXi server which never should be exposed to public! So, vCloud Director actually tunnels Remote Console communications between ESXi servers and users through a proxy agent on port 443. Apparently, the proxy service runs on vCloud Director machine. That’s why an extra IP is needed on vCloud Director. This IP address is also specified in initial setup but it can be changed later (of course everything can be changed!).

So, when you want to open up vCloud Director for public users, you should pay enough attention to VRMC IP address and port. If you  have to do NAT through your firewall you should specify a different IP for VRMC and introduce the public IP/URL to vCloud Director in administration web panel. See the picture below:

Also, port 443 should be opened for this public IP on the firewall.

If you need more information about publicizing the whole vCloud Director, I found this excellent blog post about this topic, although it’s very useful for a general architecture of vCD deployment:

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vSphere ESXi on Dell Servers

Just a quick note that if you want to install vSphere ESXi on Dell server hardwares, it’s better to download and use Dell customized ISO image for installation because it has proper drivers, especially NIC drivers. You can find your desired ISO images at the following links:

Microsoft Web Farm Framework Installation Tips for Windows 2008 R2

Microsoft Web Farm Framework can be very useful for system administrators, especially when they have to manage multiple web servers (IIS) in a cluster behind load balancer. It makes the task of updating web applications much easier because the only server that you need to update would be Primary server. It’s also integrated with ARR for load balancing and scaling web servers. Its installation and configuration is fairly easy but if you have Windows Server 2008 R2, you must be careful to satisfy the exact system requirements it needs. In specific, for Controller server these are important modules which should be installed:

  • Microsoft Web Platform Installer V3 (Web PI v3) AND NOT LATER VERSIONS
  • Microsoft Web Deploy v2 AND NOT LATER VERSIONS

I’m emphasizing on not installing later versions because newer versions exist on the market (actually Microsoft) but newer versions are not compatible with WFF. So, if you install Web Platform Installer 4.6 or Web Deploy 3.5 on Controller, WFF installation will fail. To get Web Platform 3 and other components, go to the following download links:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=6164   (Web Platform Installer)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=25230 (Web Deploy 2)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27723  (Web Farm Framework)

If you have Windows 2012, your job is easier because Web Farm is kind of native feature there.

p.s – good HOW TO about using Microsoft Web Farm Framework

Introducing the Microsoft Web Farm Framework
Creating a Server Farm with the Web Farm Framework

Router!

I don’t know how it has started, but I think at the moment ‘Router’ is the most misunderstood term in networking! People, even some technicians use it in wrong places. Yesterday I had a discussion with a technician who insisted to get a gateway/router IP address to do some local communication. When I asked him why you need it? I heard irrelevant explanations!  In this case, it turned out that he needed a DHCP server! but in general many think that Router/Gateway is a mandatory device in networking! while rarely they think of switch! Maybe we should blame Wireless AP producers!