Deploy Arc-enabled VMware vSphere for Azure VMware Solution private cloud

In this article, learn how to deploy Arc-enabled VMware vSphere for Azure VMware Solution private cloud. Once you set up the components needed, you're ready to execute operations in Azure VMware Solution vCenter Server from the Azure portal. Arc-enabled Azure VMware Solution allows you to do the following actions:

  • Identify your VMware vSphere resources (VMs, templates, networks, datastores, clusters/hosts/resource pools) and register them with Arc at scale.
  • Perform different virtual machine (VM) operations directly from Azure like; create, resize, delete, and power cycle operations (start/stop/restart) on VMware VMs consistently with Azure.
  • Permit developers and application teams to use VM operations on-demand with Role-based access control.
  • Install the Arc-connected machine agent to govern, protect, configure, and monitor them.
  • Browse your VMware vSphere resources (vms, templates, networks, and storage) in Azure

Deployment Considerations

When you run software in Azure VMware Solution, as a private cloud in Azure, there are benefits not realized by operating your environment outside of Azure. For software running in a virtual machine (VM) like, SQL Server and Windows Server, running in Azure VMware Solution provides more value such as free Extended Security Updates (ESUs).

To take advantage of the benefits when you're running in an Azure VMware Solution, use this article to enable Arc and fully integrate the experience with the Azure VMware Solution private cloud. Alternatively, Arc-enabling VMs through the following mechanisms won't create the necessary attributes to register the VM and software as part of Azure VMware Solution and will result in billing for SQL Server ESUs for:

  • Arc-enabled servers
  • Arc-enabled VMware vSphere
  • SQL Server enabled by Azure Arc

How to manually integrate an Arc-enabled VM into Azure VMware Solutions

When a VM in Azure VMware Solution private cloud is Arc-enabled using a method distinct from the one outlined in this document, the following steps are provided to refresh the integration between the Arc-enabled VMs and Azure VMware Solution

These steps change the VM machine type from Machine – Azure Arc to type Machine – Azure Arc (AVS), which has the necessary integrations with Azure VMware Solution. 

There are two ways to refresh the integration between the Arc-enabled VMs and Azure VMware Solution:  

  1. In the Azure VMware Solution private cloud, navigate to the vCenter Server inventory and Virtual Machines section within the portal. Locate the virtual machine that requires updating and follow the process to 'Enable in Azure'. If the option is grayed out, you must first Remove from Azure and then proceed to Enable in Azure

  2. Run the az connectedvmware vm create Azure CLI command on the VM in Azure VMware Solution to update the machine type. 

az connectedvmware vm create --subscription <subscription-id> --location <Azure region of the machine> --resource-group <resource-group-name> --custom-location /providers/microsoft.extendedlocation/customlocations/<custom-location-name> --name <machine-name> --inventory-item /subscriptions/<subscription-id>/resourceGroups/<resource-group-name>/providers/Microsoft.ConnectedVMwarevSphere/VCenters/<vcenter-name>/InventoryItems/<machine-name>

Deploy Arc

The following requirements must be met in order to use Azure Arc-enabled Azure VMware Solutions.

Prerequisites

Important

You can't create the resources in a separate resource group. Ensure you use the same resource group from where the Azure VMware Solution private cloud was created to create your resources.

You need the following items to ensure you're set up to begin the onboarding process to deploy Arc for Azure VMware Solution.

  • Validate the regional support before you start the onboarding process. Arc for Azure VMware Solution is supported in all regions where Arc for VMware vSphere on-premises is supported. For details, see Azure Arc-enabled VMware vSphere.
  • A management VM with internet access that has a direct line of site to the vCenter.
  • From the Management VM, verify you have access to vCenter Server and NSX-T manager portals.
  • A resource group in the subscription where you have an owner or contributor role.
  • An unused, isolated NSX Data Center network segment that is a static network segment used for deploying the Arc for Azure VMware Solution OVA. If an isolated NSX-T Data Center network segment doesn't exist, one gets created.
  • The firewall and proxy URLs must be allowlisted to enable communication from the management machine and Appliance VM to the required Arc resource bridge URLs. See the Azure Arc resource bridge network requirements.
  • Verify your vCenter Server version is 7.0 or higher.
  • A resource pool or a cluster with a minimum capacity of 16 GB of RAM and four vCPUs.
  • A datastore with a minimum of 100 GB of free disk space is available through the resource pool or cluster.

Note

  • Private endpoint is currently not supported.
  • DHCP support isn't available to customers at this time, only static IP addresses are currently supported.

If you want to use a custom DNS, use the following steps:

  1. In your Azure VMware Solution private cloud, navigate to the DNS page, under Workload networking, select DNS and identify the default forwarder-zones under the DNS zones tab.
  2. Edit the forwarder zone to add the custom DNS server IP. By adding the custom DNS as the first IP, it allows requests to be directly forwarded to the first IP and decreases the number of retries.

Onboard process to deploy Azure Arc

Use the following steps to guide you through the process to onboard Azure Arc for Azure VMware Solution.

  1. Sign in to the Management VM and extract the contents from the compressed file from the following location. The extracted file contains the scripts to install the software.

  2. Open the 'config_avs.json' file and populate all the variables.

    Config JSON

    {
      "subscriptionId": "",
      "resourceGroup": "",
      "applianceControlPlaneIpAddress": "",
      "privateCloud": "",
      "isStatic": true,
      "staticIpNetworkDetails": {
       "networkForApplianceVM": "",
       "networkCIDRForApplianceVM": "",
       "k8sNodeIPPoolStart": "",
       "k8sNodeIPPoolEnd": "",
       "gatewayIPAddress": ""
      }
    }
    
    • Populate the subscriptionId, resourceGroup, and privateCloud names respectively.
    • isStatic is always true.
    • networkForApplianceVM is the name for the segment for Arc appliance VM. One gets created if it doesn't already exist.
    • networkCIDRForApplianceVM is the IP CIDR of the segment for Arc appliance VM. It should be unique and not affect other networks of Azure VMware Solution management IP CIDR.
    • GatewayIPAddress is the gateway for the segment for Arc appliance VM.
    • applianceControlPlaneIpAddress is the IP address for the Kubernetes API server that should be part of the segment IP CIDR provided. It shouldn't be part of the K8s node pool IP range.
    • k8sNodeIPPoolStart, k8sNodeIPPoolEnd are the starting and ending IP of the pool of IPs to assign to the appliance VM. Both need to be within the networkCIDRForApplianceVM.
    • k8sNodeIPPoolStart, k8sNodeIPPoolEnd, gatewayIPAddress ,applianceControlPlaneIpAddress are optional. You can choose to skip all the optional fields or provide values for all. If you choose not to provide the optional fields, then you must use /28 address space for networkCIDRForApplianceVM with the first lp as the gateway.
    • If all the parameters are provided, the firewall and proxy URLs must be allowlisted for the lps between k8sNodeIPPoolStart, k8sNodeIPPoolEnd.
    • If you're skipping the optional fields, the firewall and proxy URLs must be allowlisted the following IPs in the segment. If the networkCIDRForApplianceVM is x.y.z.1/28, the IPs to allowlist are between x.y.z.11 – x.y.z.14. See the Azure Arc resource bridge network requirements. 

    Json example

    { 
      "subscriptionId": "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx", 
      "resourceGroup": "test-rg", 
      "privateCloud": "test-pc", 
      "isStatic": true, 
      "staticIpNetworkDetails": { 
       "networkForApplianceVM": "arc-segment", 
       "networkCIDRForApplianceVM": "10.14.10.1/28" 
      } 
    } 
    
  3. Run the installation scripts. You can optionionally setup this preview from a Windows or Linux-based jump box/VM.

    Run the following commands to execute the installation script.

    Script isn't signed so we need to bypass Execution Policy in PowerShell. Run the following commands.

    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process -ExecutionPolicy ByPass; .\run.ps1 -Operation onboard -FilePath {config-json-path}
    

  1. More Azure resources are created in your resource group.
    • Resource bridge
    • Custom location
    • VMware vCenter

Important

After the successful installation of Azure Arc resource bridge, it's recommended to retain a copy of the resource bridge config.yaml files and the kubeconfig file safe and secure them in a place that facilitates easy retrieval. These files could be needed later to run commands to perform management operations on the resource bridge. You can find the 3 .yaml files (config files) and the kubeconfig file in the same folder where you ran the script.

When the script is run successfully, check the status to see if Azure Arc is now configured. To verify if your private cloud is Arc-enabled, do the following actions:

  • In the left navigation, locate Operations.
  • Choose Azure Arc.
  • Azure Arc state shows as Configured.

To recover from failed deployments:

If the Azure Arc resource bridge deployment fails, consult the Azure Arc resource bridge troubleshooting guide. While there can be many reasons why the Azure Arc resource bridge deployment fails, one of them is KVA timeout error. Learn more about the KVA timeout error and how to troubleshoot.

Discover and project your VMware vSphere infrastructure resources to Azure

When Arc appliance is successfully deployed on your private cloud, you can do the following actions.

  • View the status from within the private cloud left navigation under Operations > Azure Arc.
  • View the VMware vSphere infrastructure resources from the private cloud left navigation under Private cloud then select Azure Arc vCenter resources.
  • Discover your VMware vSphere infrastructure resources and project them to Azure by navigating, Private cloud > Arc vCenter resources > Virtual Machines.
  • Similar to VMs, customers can enable networks, templates, resource pools, and data-stores in Azure.

Enable virtual machines, resource pools, clusters, hosts, datastores, networks, and VM templates in Azure

Once you connected your Azure VMware Solution private cloud to Azure, you can browse your vCenter inventory from the Azure portal. This section shows you how to make these resources Azure enabled.

Note

Enabling Azure Arc on a VMware vSphere resource is a read-only operation on vCenter. It doesn't make changes to your resource in vCenter.

  1. On your Azure VMware Solution private cloud, in the left navigation, locate vCenter Inventory.
  2. Select the resource(s) you want to enable, then select Enable in Azure.
  3. Select your Azure Subscription and Resource Group, then select Enable.

The enable action starts a deployment and creates a resource in Azure, creating representative objects in Azure for your VMware vSphere resources. It allows you to manage who can access those resources through Role-based access control granularly.

Repeat the previous steps for one or more virtual machine, network, resource pool, and VM template resources.

Additionally, for virtual machines there is an additional section to configure VM extensions. This will enable guest management to facilitate additional Azure extensions to be installed on the VM. The steps to enable this would be:

  1. Select Enable guest management.
  2. Choose a Connectivity Method for the Arc agent.
  3. Provide an Administrator/Root access username and password for the VM.

If you choose to enable the guest management as a separate step or have issues with the VM extension install steps, review the prerequisites and steps discussed in the following section.

Enable guest management and extension installation

Before you install an extension, you must enable guest management on the VMware VM.

Prerequisite

Before you can install an extension, ensure your target machine meets the following conditions:

  • Is running a supported operating system.
  • Is able to connect through the firewall to communicate over the internet and these URLs aren't blocked.
  • Has VMware tools installed and running.
  • Is powered on and the resource bridge has network connectivity to the host running the VM.
  • Is Enabled in Azure.

Enable guest management

You need to enable guest management on the VMware VM before you can install an extension. Use the following steps to enable guest management.

  1. Navigate to Azure portal.
  2. From the left navigation, locate vCenter Server Inventory and choose Virtual Machines to view the list of VMs.
  3. Select the VM you want to install the guest management agent on.
  4. Select Enable guest management and provide the administrator username and password to enable guest management then select Apply.
  5. Locate the VMware vSphere VM you want to check for guest management and install extensions on, select the name of the VM.
  6. Select Configuration from the left navigation for a VMware VM.
  7. Verify Enable guest management is now checked.

From here additional extensions can be installed. See the VM extensions Overview for a list of current extensions.

Next Steps

To manage Arc-enabled Azure VMware Solution go to: Manage Arc-enabled Azure VMware private cloud - Azure VMware Solution To remove Arc-enabled  Azure VMWare Solution resources from Azure go to: Remove Arc-enabled Azure VMware Solution vSphere resources from Azure - Azure VMware Solution