New virtual LAB on Ravello (part 1)

New virtual LAB on Ravello (part 1)

So, a couple of months ago (two, to be precise) I wrote about a new lab I created at Ravello. The lab was set up, mainly to try out the functionality of Ravello and especially the bare-metal vSphere support they gave.

A couple of days later unfortunately, the lab was no longer accessible. I tried recovery and restoration, but both failed. So I had to rebuild the lab again (and this time make sure I save it as a blueprint, when everything is configured the way I wanted it.

But looking on the bright side, it gave me an opportunity to rebuild it slightly differently, as to fit my needs and wants.

So this time, I took the time to draw up a “design” as to how the environment needed to be. From a network-perspective I had my heart set on something like this:

Ravello Netwerk

I wanted to use an ESG as a routing device for the physical network, so I could fairly easily connect NSX to the “physical” world, with BGP or OSPF (to be able to test the protocols. The Ravello based routing-function does not offer these functions. I did need to use the Ravello router in order to access my management station, which has static routes to use the ESG, but a default route towards the Ravello router for all non-lab traffic.

The reason for connecting the vSAN network to the Ravello Router as well, is the fact that I wanted an available gateway address that I could use as an isolation address within vSAN. Since the Ravello router is available before the other parts of the Lab, this seems like the appropriate place to put an isolation address. More info on this, in Duncan’s excellent blog:¬†

So I ended up setting up one ESG for North/South routing to and from the virtual network and another ESG with just connectivity to the VLAN-based dPG’s.

After the routers were created and BGP was set up, all routes were nicely advertised and received throughout the network.

The “physical” ESG:


The virtual ESG:


and finally, the DLR:


So, the first phase of the reinstall of the lab environment is completed. I have deployed, vCenter, vSphere, vSAN and NSX in pretty basic setup. Next up vROPS, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Network Insight and maybe I will start playing around with vRealize Automation as well, since the combination of NSX and vRA is pretty powerful.

Last thing I did today, was saving it as a blueprint. It is sometimes nice to start over, but not every time ;).



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