This section describes the following Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware (RPC-VMware) tasks:
- Accessing the RPC-VMware environment
- Obtaining guest OS images
- Assigning public IP addresses
- Activating Rackspace-provided OS image licenses
- Patching the OS
- Managing capacity
- Using the API
- Managing permissions
- Migrating workloads
- Using plug-ins and third-party software
Accessing the RPC-VMware environment#
For security reasons, you cannot access your RPC-VMware environment directly over the Internet. Instead, you must establish a VPN connection to the Rackspace firewall being used with your RPC-VMware environment. You can establish either a site-to-site or client-to-site VPN to satisfy this requirement.
Rackspace gives you a ticket that provides the details that you need to make the VPN connection and access the various services in your RPC-VMware environment. If you have purchased several environments in different data centers, you receive tickets specific to each environment.
Obtaining guest OS images#
If you purchase an OS license from Rackspace, Rackspace provides complimentary starter images for deploying VMs when your initial deployment is complete. Rackspace does not update the images with patches and updates unless you specifically request it. These images are uploaded as templates and can be viewed in the VM and Template view.
You can request an update to the OS images by submitting a request to your dedicated account team. Rackspace schedules a maintenance to delete the existing templates and upload updated templates. During this maintenance window, the templates are unavailable for the deployment of new VMs.
Assigning public IP addresses#
Rackspace can provide public IP addresses that you can assign to VMs and other virtual systems that you deploy within your RPC-VMware environment. Rackspace provides these public IP addresses by assigning small blocks of IP addresses to the external interface of the physical firewall in your environment and establishing NAT assignments to private IP addresses behind the firewall. Rackspace works with you to determine how many public IP addresses you require and which internal networks the NATs should be assigned to. Rackspace provides you with a table listing this public IP NAT assignment.
It is your responsibility to manage the assignment of private IP addresses that correspond to a public IP address to enable external public access to a system provisioned by you in your environment. Rackspace can assist you in managing access rules on the physical firewall to restrict unwanted access to a system with a public IP address enabled. You can manage these access rules by using the My Rackspace portal. It is your responsibility to remove or adjust these rules if a private IP address will no longer be used or will be transferred to a different virtual system deployed by you in your environment. If you need Rackspace assistance with the access rules on the physical firewall, enter a support ticket or call your dedicated account team.
When additional IP addresses are needed, contact your Rackspace Support team.
Activating Rackspace-provided OS image licenses#
If you purchase host-based OS licensing for Windows or Red Hat from Rackspace, instructions on how to activate the licenses are provided by your account team. Failure to follow these instructions might impact the function of the OS.
Patching the OS#
You can manage your OS patches by using any external OS patching source provided by the OS manufacturer. If you have purchased a host-based license for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you will receive instructions on how to use the Rackspace OS patching sources for that OS, if you choose to use them. If you encounter configuration issues or patching is not working, enter a support ticket or call your dedicated account team.
You are responsible for capacity management and must inform Rackspace when additional resources are required. You can use vCenter Server alarms and performance graphs to monitor cluster, host, VM, and datastore resources.
To aid in capacity planning, we recommend using VMware vRealize Operations that is provided with RPC-VMware. vRealize Operations has advanced forecasting, monitoring, and rightsizing capabilities, as well as alerts through email and SNMP. By viewing the vRealize Operations dashboard or by setting certain alerts, you can learn when resources will run out and how best to optimize and eliminate bottlenecks.
You can also choose to use other third-party software that is compatible with the RPC-VMware services and version used in your environment. Rackspace does not guarantee compatibility with third-party products, which will be limited to functioning within the Customer Access role permissions provided to you.
Using the API#
You can use the VMware APIs within the boundaries of the permission set of each component that you purchase for RPC-VMware. For the most up-to-date API information, see the VMware site.
Rackspace retains administrative access to the RPC-VMware environment. However, over 300 permissions are enabled so that you can manage the hosted VMs as you would on-premises.
If you have a specific use case or third-party system that you want to integrate with your RPC-VMware environment but can’t because of the level of access provided to you in the Customer Access role, discuss your requirements with Rackspace to see if adjustments can be made. Requests for additional permissions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Enter a ticket or call your dedicated account team to discuss your requirements.
If you have selected to use the Rackspace-provided directory service (Intensive.int) to host user accounts for your staff, you must open a ticket to request additional user accounts or changes to existing accounts. It is also your responsibility to request user account deletion for staff no longer authorized to access your RPC-VMware environment.
If you have selected to use your internal Active Directory to host user accounts for your staff, it is your responsibility to manage user accounts that need to be added to or removed from groups that have been enabled for various access roles in your RPC-VMware environment.
Although there are numerous possible methods for transferring your VMs to Rackspace, they can be categorized into two primary ones: network migration and physical migration. Network migration is more commonly used for smaller data sets, and physical migration is typically better for larger data sets. Other factors might affect the method that you choose to select. Each method has multiple options and varies in complexity. Ultimately, you must decide which method is best for you based on several criteria, including time, cost, difficulty, amount of data to be migrated, and discussions with Rackspace.
VMs can be migrated in either a powered on or powered off state; however, powered on migrations have specific requirements that must be met for continuous operation. Powered off migrations have the most flexibility in transfer options but require downtime for the services running on the VMs.
When selecting a migration method, note the following considerations:
- Bandwidth and latency: Transfers over the network between sites can be affected by low bandwidth or latency, increasing the transfer time or preventing live VM migrations.
- Timescale for the migration: The size of the VMs might not allow timely transfer over a network. A physical transfer using a USB drive (or similar method) might result in faster transfer times even with the added time of shipping the drive.
- Downtime for the VMs: A physical transfer requires downtime. Some network methods allow continuous operation or minimal downtime.
- Dataset size: Smaller VMs are more easily transferred over a network, while large amounts of data take time to transfer and might be better suited for physical transfer.
- Longevity of the solution: Will the migration be a temporary or more permanent solution? You need to note which devices will need to be decommissioned, repurposed, or rebuilt.
- Cost for the solution: The cost can range from free, with the customer performing all the work, to customer assistance via Fanatical Support®, to Professional Services engagements, and depends on the complexity of the migration. Additional equipment, infrastructure, and licensing can also affect the cost.
- Skill set of the customer: The self-service option might be sufficient for some customers, while others might need assistance from Professional Services.
- Versions of the VMware products: Certain migration methods require specific versions of the VMware products to properly facilitate the migration.
- Complexity of customer environment: More complex customer environments or business requirements might dictate a specific migration process.
- Snapshots: We recommend removing any VM snapshots before migration to ensure disk file integrity.
Rackspace can provide assistance in selecting, enabling, and even performing the migration of your existing workload to your RPC-VMware environment. Contact your dedicated account team to discuss the services and pricing.
Using plug-ins and third party software#
You can use plug-ins and third-party software that operates with the Customer Access role permissions provided to you. Rackspace does not guarantee compatibility with anything that you may install or configure with your RPC-VMware environment. If Rackspace determines that a plug-in or third-party software tool is causing reliability or stability issues with your RPC-VMware environment that affect Rackspace’s ability to support and maintain it, we will notify you and work with you to resolve the issue.