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Installing the vCloud Director Adapter for vCenter Operations 5.0 OVA

I'm fairly new to vCenter Operations, I had a post a while back talking about vCOps being a hype, but the software is proving itself to be a market catalyst and a differentiator. My goal was to get the vCloud Director Adapter for vCOps integrated so I could see what my vCloud environment looks like.


I'll admit it, I took the hard route. This wasn't the easiest portion to get working, but I'm glad I was finally able to figure it out. When reading through the documentation technote-vCloud-Adapter.pdf it says nothing about installing the adapter on the OVA version of vCOps. Every piece of documentation talks about installing the adapters on the Windows or Linux versions when you build the OS yourself and install the software. If you didn't know, the OVA version is the model VMware wants you to use because it helps correctly align the proper RAM and vCPU requirements. I ended up giving the Windows route a shot and the installation of the plug-in is pretty simple, but the setup of vCenter Operations isn't. So let the mission begin...



After installing the OVA version of vCOps, I'm given two VMs, one for the analytical engine and the other for the user interface.


I figured, what the heck, lets give it a go. I ssh'd into my Analytics VM which is given the great name of "secondvm" by the OVA. I did a wget and then un tar'd the directory. After un archiving the file, I explored and found that the .tgz file actually has a Windows and a Linux adapter in there. Of course, I only need the Linux adapter, so I changed the directory to /Linux/NoVM/ and did a chmod u+x on the .bin file.


Great, now we're ready to install. I did the normal ./VCloudAdapter_install.bin and away the installer went. After Clicking Enter, Enter, Enter about 15 times, I was met with the message "There is no AliveServer Component Installed. Installation will be terminated"


Well, this sucks. This led me down a path I wasn't expecting. After doing research and multiple googles for AliveServer, I found out that it was a piece of Integrien during the acquisition and can actually be found on VMware's download site. VMware Alive Enterprise 7.2. Alright, I guess this is the component that I need. I read some of the pre-reqs in the documentation Alive Installation and Administration Guide and we need to actually setup a database. Really? I thought this whole OVA concept had the database already installed? It does, except that the installation doesn't have the VMware Alive Enterprise piece installed.


To create a database, there is a handy tool you can download from the VMware Downloads section of Alive Enterprise 7.2 called the VMware Alive Enterprise 7.2 SQL Server Database Installation which will do the creation and scripting of all the pieces of the database. I downloaded this to my SQL server and ran the executable. Pretty Simple. Note: the database name here and the database during installation aren't the same, a screwup on my part during the screencap process.


Since I'm not a big linux proficient guy, I downloaded the Linux binary .bin file from the VMware downloads to my desktop, then uploaded it back to my personal FTP space, and performed a wget. This way I didn't need to mount shares or folders.


After this was downloaded, I ran a chmod u+x on the file and began the installation of Alive Enterprise by executing ./alive64.bin -i console. Running the installer in this fashion sets the installer to console mode because a normal ./alive64.bin would try to load a GUI installer, and sinve the OVA doesn't have a GUI, the installer crashes out.


After clicking Enter a few times, we get to the installation piece, enter our database specifics, SMTP if needed,

and it's completed.


Awesome. That was a fairly simple install. Now it's time to see if we can install the vCloud Adapter again. I changed directories over to my .bin file and executed the installer once again. After hitting enter a few times, the VCloud Adapter was installed. NICE!


Now that we FINALLY have the vCloud Adapter installed, we aren't finished just yet. Now we need to go into the vCenter Operations Mangement Interface for custom adapters by navigating to https://IP_of_vCenter_Operations_UI_VM/vcops-custom/. Once we are in the management interface, navigate to Environment -> Configuration -> Adapter Instances. NOTE: Before proceeding any further, I had to reboot my vApp to make the following steps actually work. If i didn't reboot, the authentication of vCloud would fail.


Within the adapter instances, we can see what's being collected by vCenter Operations. In my case, I have already installed the plug-ins for both of my vCenter servers. We need to Add a New Adapter Instance, so click on the blue icon with the green plus symbol, and we will begin configuring.


In the collector, choose vCenter Operations Standard Server, in the Adapter Kind choose vCloud Adapter. The Adapter instance name is a unique name that you can assign. for the vCloud Director Host, I pointed it at the load balanced DNS address instead of going to a single cell. Under the credential, click Add.


This is where we will add a credential that has cloud administration access to vCloud Director. I was able to use AD authentication, click OK.

Once you are done, click on Test to make sure the authentication works, then click on on OK to finish the installation of the custom adapter. Once done, you will see a new Adapter listed.



There you have it. Now wait a few hours for the adapter to start collecting data. We have successfully installed the adapter, but this is about as far as I have taken it. For some reason, I cannot get data to show up in the main vCenter Operations Manager window that can be accessed via the web client or the vSphere client .


However, when I go to the vcops-custom adapter page within https://IP_of_vCenter_Operations_UI_VM/vcops-custom/ I can see that the plug-in is actually collecting data. I'm unsure if there is a configuration I need to do to make this information appear within the previous screen. Being a n00b to vCOps is probably the issue.


I for one am hoping that this process will be simplified in the upcoming releases. I would like the option to have a simple upload to the web interface where an "extension" or adapter is installed and can easily be configured.

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