Google Cloud VMware Engine – Learning Resources

GoogleCloudAs part of my recent move to Google, I’m working on quickly getting up to speed on the Google Cloud VMware Engine service.

There is a lot of good content out there already, however, it is in various different places. So I’ve decided to create a quick post linking to the various resources that I found. At this stage, they are in no particular order and the list will likely grow over time.

Google Cloud VMware Engine

Google Cloud VMware Engine Overview – Hands-on Lab

Google Cloud VMware Engine Logical Design Poster for Workload Mobility

Google Cloud VMware Engine cheat sheet

Intro to Google Cloud VMware Engine – Deploying a GCVE SDDC with HCX (Matt Elliott)

Intro to Google Cloud VMware Engine – Network and Connectivity Overview (Matt Elliott)

Intro to Google Cloud VMware Engine – Connecting a VPC to GCVE (Matt Elliott)

Intro to Google Cloud VMware Engine – Bastion Host Access with IAP (Matt Elliott)

Intro to Google Cloud VMware Engine – Common Networking Scenarios (Matt Elliott)

Horizon on Google Cloud VMware Engine Architecture

Google Cloud VMware Engine – Short Demo Video

Introduction to Google Cloud VMware Cloud Engine – Training Course

Hey Google!

GoogleCloudI am delighted to announce the next chapter in my career. Today is my first day working for Google! Google Cloud to be specific. The Google Cloud VMware Engine, Center of Excellence to be even more specific!

For me, this a very exciting point in my career. Since the very very days of my IT career, I’ve always been an admirer of Google and all of the services they offer. I was an early Gmail Beta user, back in the day when someone had to invite you to use it. I’ve been an Android user since I brought my HTC Hero back in 2009. I’m all in on Google Home, GoogleTV, YouTubeTV, the list goes on.

Here are a couple of photos of me, the first taken back in 2013 on probably one of my first trips to the US. I just had to visit the Google campus! Who knew that 8 years later, I’d end up working for Google.

The second photo was taken just after I accepted my role at Google a few weeks ago. (I’m not sure why its arms are now missing)

oldAndroidAndroid 2021

Google Cloud VMware Engine (GCVE)

So what will I be doing? I’ll be working in various ways with the Google Cloud VMware Engine service. Assisting Google customers, creating solution/reference architectures, whitepapers, enablement content, speaking at conferences, etc.  If you’ve not heard of GCVE before now, you soon will! I can promise you that.

Taken from the Google Cloud VMware Engine official website, this sentence sums GCVE up nicely.

Migrate and run your VMware workloads natively on Google Cloud.

So I’ll still be working closely with VMware technologies as I have done for the past 15 years. However, in addition, I will be helping our Google Cloud customers on their journey to integrate their existing legacy VMware workloads with the plethora of cloud services offered on the Google Cloud Platform.

It’s an exciting time to be working in the public cloud and to be working for a company that is continuously innovating and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. I cannot wait to get stuck in.

EP13 – Defending Remotely

In episode thirteen of The VCDX Podcast, I am joined by two special guests who share their experiences of defending remotely and offer up plenty of great advice on how to tailor your preparation for a remote defense.

News & Updates

New VCDX’s

Congratulations to the newly minted VCDX’s since our last episode. All VCDX’s can be found in The VCDX Directory

VCDX #291 – Pawel Piotrowski – Poland – (DCV)
VCDX #292 – Asaf Blubshtein – US – (DCV)

Important Dates

The forthcoming online VCDX Workshop:

Up and coming application deadline for the June 2021 VCDX Defenses:

  • Thursday, April 8th, 2021 (Don’t wait until the deadline to submit!!)

All important VCDX dates can be found on The VCDX Calendar 

Interview Notes & Links

This episode’s special guests are:

Products discussed in the episode:

 

Q&A

As always, if you have any questions you want answering on the Podcast, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and ways to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to subscribe (using the links below) and let others know about it on social media.

Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Migrating Workloads Using VMware HCX

In my recent ‘Getting started with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OVCS)’ post; Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Connecting To An On-Premises Environment we set up hybrid connectivity between our on-premises vSphere environment and our OCVS SDDC allowing our on-premises workloads to communicate with workloads running in our workload overlay network.

Posts in this series:

In this blog post, which is the last blog post in this series, we are going to install VMware HCX in our on-premises vSphere environment and set up a site-pairing between our on-premises environment and our OCVS SDDC. Once we have HCX configured, we will test our connectivity by migrating workloads between our sites. We will also configure an extended network between both sites using HCX. This allows virtual machines to move between sites without the need to change IP addresses.

NOTE: As this is not a HCX focused post, we will not be going into the details of how we configured our HCX service mesh. If you are not familiar with configuring HCX, I’d recommend following VMware’s official documentation: VMware HCX User Guide.

Here is a high-level diagram of what we are going to be configuring.

OCVS - HCX Extended Networks
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Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Connecting To An On-Premises Environment

In my recent ‘Getting started with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OVCS)’ post; Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Connecting To Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services we deployed a Windows Server into our OCVS SDDC and connected it, using NFS, to an OCI File System that will be used to store files and folders for our users.

Posts in this series:

In this blog post, we are going to look at connecting our OCVS SDDC environment to our on-premises vSphere environment, so that our workloads in both environments can communicate with each other. There are two main ways of connecting OCVS to an on-premises environment. Oracle FastConnect or Oracle VPN Connect. In my environment, I will be using an Oracle FastConnect connection provided by Megaport.  As there are many other ways of setting up a FastConnect via other services, I will not document that section step-by-step.

Here is a high-level diagram of what we are going to be configuring.

OCVS - Hybrid Connectivity
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Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Connecting To Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services

In my recent ‘Getting started with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OVCS)’ post; Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Networking Configuration we familiarized ourselves with the OCVS networking configuration, including NSX-T. Now that we have a better understanding of how the networking is configured within the environment, we can start to look at connecting our workloads running within our OCVS SDDC to other Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Services.

Posts in this series:

In this blog post were are going to deploy a Windows Server into our SDDC and connect it to an OCI File System that will be used to store files and folders for our users. This is a very simple example chosen to illustrate how easy it is to connect OVCS workloads to OCI services. This is a high-level diagram of what we are going to be configuring.

OCVS - OCI Communication Compnents
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Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Networking Configuration

In my recent ‘Getting started with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OVCS)’ post; Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Deploying The SDDC With HCX we deployed ourselves a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) along with VMware HCX into Oracle Cloud.

Posts in this series:

In this post, I’m going to review the overall networking configuration, including NSX-T.

ESXi Host ‘Oracle Cloud’ Connectivity

First, let’s take a look at how the ESXi Hosts are connected to the Oracle Cloud infrastructure.

  1. Login to the OCVS console
  2. Select the correct Region. (This should be the same region that the SDDC and the Bastion host were deployed)
  3. Click on the burger icon at the top left of the screen to display the menu
  4. Scroll down on the left-hand side menu and select VMware Solution
    • Select the name of your newly deployed SDDC
    • Scroll down to the ESXi Hosts section
    • Select one of the ESXi Hosts (Compute Instance column)
    • Scroll down to the Metrics section
    • Select Attached VNICs on the Resources menu (left-hand side of the page)

OCSV - ESXi vNICs

Here we can see virtual network interfaces, Subnets, and VLANs that are attached to the ESXi Host. The following diagram illustrates a single ESXi Host’s connectivity to the various VLANs deployed as part of the SDDC configuration. As we go through the networking configuration, the diagram will begin to make more sense.

OCVS - ESXi Connectivity
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Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Deployment Overview

In the most recent ‘Getting started with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OVCS)’ post; Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Deploying The SDDC With HCX we deployed ourselves a VMware vSphere Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) along with VMware HCX into Oracle Cloud.

Posts in this series:

In this post, I’m going to do a high-level review of the SDDC deployment which includes the VMware vSphere components (vCenter, ESXi Hosts), NSX-T Manager, and VMware HCX. Subsequent posts will dive deeper into the configuration.

SDDC Deployment Overview

OCVS - SDDC 

  1. Login to the OCVS console
  2. Select the correct Region, this should be the same region that the SDDC and Bastion host were deployed into
  3. Click on the burger icon at the top left of the screen to display the menu
  4. Scroll down on the left-hand side menu and select VMware Solution
    • Select the name of your newly deployed SDDC

We are now presented with the SDDC information. This page contains all of the important URLs, IP Addresses, Usernames, Passwords that you’ll need to access and manage your environment.

OCVS - SDDC Details
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Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Deploying The SDDC With HCX

Following on from my recent post; Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Deploying A Bastion Host which documents the steps needed to deploy a bastion host on Oracle Cloud, that will be used to access our OCVS SDDC. We can now deploy the SDDC, including VMware HCX (optional).

Posts in this series:

As you will see, the deployment process is very simple and straightforward. Once we have successfully deployed the SDDC and HCX, in the next blog post in this series, we’ll take a closer look at how the solution is deployed within Oracle Cloud.

Prerequisites

  • SSH Keys
    During the deployment of our bastion host, we created a set of keys (public and private) that were used to access the bastion host via SSH. The same approach is used with the ESXi hosts in the SDDC. Instead of providing a root password, we need to supply our public key.

Deploying the SDDC

OCVS - Select VMware Solution
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Getting Started With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) – Deploying A Bastion Host

As part of my new role at VMware, I recently got access to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS as it’ll be called from now on) to check out their solution and begin to understand how it all works. If you aren’t familiar with OCVS, you can read more about it here; Oracle Cloud VMware Solution

As part of my discovery and learning process, I thought I would try and share some of my thoughts and findings as I go about learning this new, cool, solution.

Posts in this series:

By default, after deployment, the OCVS SDDC is not available directly via the internet, which means my first task is to deploy a bastion host that will be used to enable external access into the Oracle Cloud environment. While the process isn’t complicated, I thought I’d document the process step-by-step, to make it easier for others in the future. I used this official Oracle Cloud Bastion Host document as a guide throughout the process. (Note: A bastion host may not be required if you are using an Oracle FastConnect or an IPSec VPN to securely connect to the Oracle Cloud environment.)

When it comes to bastion hosts, there are many options for you to choose from. In this post, I’ll only document how to deploy a Linux virtual machine which can then be used to provide an SSH Tunnel, or used to install Apache Guacamole onto. If you really wanted to, you could deploy a Windows server and RDP to that instead. The type of bastion host you use is entirely up to you.

Below is a simple diagram of how the environment will be configured at the end of this post. I’ll have a single virtual server (bastion host) that is available on the internet via a public IP address.

OCVS - Bastion Host Network Design
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