vSphere 6 nested in vCloud Director

I wanted to do a test run of VMware vSphere 6 but only operating as an end-user, and I wanted to do it using vCloud Director (no longer available to end-users, just service providers).

This took some effort but really wasn’t too bad. Trying to do vCenter Server Appliance was a bust, though, as I don’t have direct access to the vCloud Director infrastructure and I really didn’t want to use some of my precious resources within the nested ESXi systems for a management application. So I took the easy way out and just used Windows Server 2012 R2.

This is 1 A/D controller, 1 vCenter, 1 FreeNAS file server, and 3 ESXi hypervisors. Total time to put this together not including the VCSA battles was about 3 hours. The VCSA items was a lot more hours even with the help of my vendor who tried to do a deploy for me and import into my virtual data center (it just didn’t work as expected with weird networking items and unable to change the IP address).

There are 4 networks in place:

    miketest-internal – NAT to public networks firewall for management (A/D and vCenter)
    storage – internal vApp network – ESXi mounts NFS storage (no internet access) (ESXi and FreeNAS)
    intra-vm – internal vApp network – virtual machines can talk privately (no internet access) (VMs)
    external-direct-130 – NAT to public networks firewall for application serving (VMs)

I installed FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE and it worked just fine. Did a make buildworld && make installworld for fun and it progressed along quite well, not as fast as doing it without double virtualization and/or directly on my trashcan.

I took some screenshots at the end of my run so the nested VMware infrastructure was shutdown.

vApp Diagram mode
vApp Diagram mode
vApp VMs with more detail
vApp VMs with more detail

And last – configuration of the VMs used for this experiment.

    ad.vmware.geeks.org – 2 GiB RAM, 1 vCPU, 20 GiB storage
    esxi{1,2,3}.vmware.geeks.org – 8 GiB RAM, 2 vCPU, 20 GiB storage
    freenas.vmware.geeks.org – 8 GiB RAM, 2 vCPU, 40 GiB boot, 6×200 GiB RAID10 ZFS
    vc.vmware.geeks.org – 10 GiB RAM, 2 vCPU, 120 GiB storage

Except for the FreeNAS system the VMs were all configured to use VMXNET3 for networking interfaces.

All systems used the LSI SAS SCSI adapter.