Tanzu Community Edition


Reference for vSphere account

If you encounter issues deploying a cluster to vSphere, review the following troubleshooting and reference content.

Required Permissions for the vSphere Account

The vCenter Single Sign On account that you provide to Tanzu Comunity Edition when you deploy a management cluster must have the correct permissions in order to perform the required operations in vSphere.

It is not recommended to provide a vSphere administrator account to Tanzu Community Edition, because this provides Tanzu Community Edition with far greater permissions than it needs. The best way to assign permissions to Tanzu Community Edition is to create a role and a user account, and then to grant that user account that role on vSphere objects.

  1. In the vSphere Client, go to Administration > Access Control > Roles, and create a new role, for example TCE, with the following permissions:

    vSphere ObjectRequired Permission
    DatastoreAllocate space, Browse datastore, Low level file operations
    Global (if using Velero for backup and restore)Disable methods, Enable methods, Licenses
    NetworkAssign network
    Profile-driven storageProfile-driven storage view
    ResourceAssign virtual machine to resource pool
    SessionsMessage, Validate session
    vSphere ObjectRequired Permission
    Virtual machineChange Configuration > Add existing disk
    Change Configuration > Add new disk
    Change Configuration > Add or remove device
    Change Configuration > Advanced configuration
    Change Configuration > Change CPU count
    Change Configuration > Change Memory
    Change Configuration > Change Settings
    Change Configuration > Configure Raw device
    Change Configuration > Extend virtual disk
    Change Configuration > Modify device settings
    Change Configuration > Remove disk
    Change Configuration > Toggle disk change tracking*
    Edit Inventory > Create from existing
    Edit Inventory > Remove
    Interaction > Power On
    Interaction > Power Off
    Provisioning > Allow read-only disk access*
    Provisioning > Allow virtual machine download*
    Provisioning > Deploy template
    Snapshot Management > Create snapshot*
    Snapshot Management > Remove snapshot*
    *Required to activate the Velero plugin, as described in Back Up and Restore Clusters. You can add these permissions when needed later.
  2. In Administration > Single Sign On > Users and Groups, create a new user account in the appropriate domain, for example tce-user.

  3. In the Hosts and Clusters, VMs and Templates, Storage, and Networking views, right-click the objects that your Tanzu Community Edition deployment will use, select Add Permission, and assign the tce-user with the TCE role to each object.

    • Hosts and Clusters
      • The root vCenter Server object
      • The Datacenter and all of the Host and Cluster folders, from the Datacenter object down to the cluster that manages the Tanzu Community Edition deployment
      • Target hosts and clusters
      • Target resource pools, with propagate to children selected
    • VMs and Templates
      • The deployed Tanzu Community Edition base image templates
      • Target VM and Template folders, with propagate to children selected
      • Storage
      • Datastores and all storage folders, from the Datacenter object down to the datastores that will be used for Tanzu Community Edition deployments
    • Networking
      • Networks or distributed port groups to which clusters will be assigned
      • Distributed switches

If you intend to use Velero to back up and restore management or workload clusters, you must also set the permissions listed in Credentials and Privileges for VMDK Access in the Virtual Disk Development Kit Programming Guide.

Static VIPs and Load Balancers for vSphere

Each management cluster and workload cluster that you deploy to vSphere requires one static virtual IP address for external requests to the cluster’s API server. You must be able to assign this IP address, so it cannot be within your DHCP range, but it must be in the same subnet as the DHCP range.

The cluster control plane’s Kube-vip pod uses this static virtual IP address to serve API requests, and the API server certificate includes the address to activate secure TLS communication. In workload clusters, Kube-vip runs in a basic, Layer-2 failover mode, assigning the virtual IP address to one control plane node at a time. In this mode, Kube-vip does not function as a true load balancer for control plane traffic.

Tanzu Community Edition also does not use Kube-vip as a load balancer for workloads in workload clusters. Kube-vip is used solely by the cluster’s API server.

To load-balance workloads on vSphere, use NSX Advanced Load Balancer, also known as Avi Load Balancer, Essentials Edition. You must deploy the NSX Advanced Load Balancer in your vSphere instance before you deploy management clusters.

Obtain vSphere Certificate Thumbprints

If your vSphere environment uses untrusted, self-signed certificates to authenticate connections, you must verify the thumbprint of the vCenter Server when you deploy a management cluster. If your vSphere environment uses trusted certificates that are signed by a known Certificate Authority (CA), you do not need to verify the thumbprint.

You can use either SSH and OpenSSL or the Platform Services Controller to obtain certificate thumbprints.

vCenter Server Appliance

You can use SSH and OpenSSL to obtain the certificate thumbprint for a vCenter Server Appliance instance.

  1. Use SSH to connect to the vCenter Server Appliance as root user.

    ssh root@vcsa_address
  2. Use openssl to view the certificate thumbprint.

    openssl x509 -in /etc/vmware-vpx/ssl/rui.crt -fingerprint -sha1 -noout
  3. Copy the certificate thumbprint so that you can verify it when you deploy a management cluster.

Platform Services Controller

On vSphere 6.7u3, you can obtain a vCenter Server certificate thumbprint by logging into the Platform Services Controller for that vCenter Server instance. If you are deploying a management cluster to vSphere 7, there is no Platform Services Controller.

  1. Log in to the Platform Services Controller interface.

    • Embedded Platform Services Controller: https://vcenter_server_address/psc
    • Standalone Platform Services Controller: https://psc_address/psc
  2. Select Certificate Management and enter a vCenter Single Sign-On password.

  3. Select Machine Certificates, select a certificate, and click Show Details.

  4. Copy the certificate thumbprint so that you can verify it when you deploy a management cluster.

Thick provisioning versus thin provisioning

If you select thick provisioning as the disk format, when Tanzu Community Edition creates cluster node VMs from the template, the full size of each node’s disk is reserved. This can rapidly consume storage if you deploy many clusters or clusters with many nodes. However, if you select thin provisioning, as you deploy clusters this can give a false impression of the amount of storage that is available. If you select thin provisioning, there might be enough storage available at the time that you deploy clusters, but storage might run out as the clusters run and accumulate data.

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