Last week we released version 3 of the SDDC.Lab project. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, it’s a set of Ansible scripts (Playbooks) that perform automated deployments of nested VMware SDDCs. An hour after you issue the deploy command, a fully-fledged vSphere-NSX-T environment is at your disposal. Pretty cool.
The diagram below illustrates a high level overview of a typical SDDC.Lab Pod deployment:
For more details we highly encourage you to check out the updated README.md which contains all the details.
What’s New In Version 3?
Speaking of updated, let’s have a look at what we think are some of the highlights in SDDC.Lab version 3.
Simultaneous Pod Deployments
My friend and co-developer Luis Chanu tweeted about this a while back:
Need to spin up multiple nested #NSX-T labs? Latest #SDDCLab commit supports concurrent lab Pod deployments. So, deploy 1, 2, or even 10 labs in just over an hour. @KarlNewick did…see below! New in the “dev-v3” branch. https://t.co/tpR2FpL2jP @vExpert @rutgerblom pic.twitter.com/H7UiY31NSS— Luis Chanu (@LuisChanu) April 14, 2021
Indeed, sometimes one SDDC.Lab Pod is not enough. Given that it takes some time to deploy a Pod (about an hour) we’re very happy that with version 3 we can deploy multiple Pods simultaneously. And this is done without any impact on deployment time. Pure magic!
BGP Between Pod Router And Physical Network
Many have asked for this and we’re happy to announce that version 3 adds support for BGP dynamic routing between a Pod router and your physical Layer-3 switch/router. Of course you can still choose to configure a Pod router for OSPF v2/v3 or static routing. You can even do BGP and OSPF simultaneously. It’s entirely up to you.
Support For New Releases
For some reason VMware and others keep releasing new software versions all the time. It’s kind of hard to keep up! Anyway, SDDC.Lab v3 supports deploying the following software versions:
- vCenter 7.0 U2a
- ESXi 7.0 U2
- NSX-T 3.1.2
- VyOS 1.4 (Rolling release)
- vRealize Log Insight 8.4.0
- Ubuntu Server 20.04.2
It’s likely that deploying newer (and older) releases of the above software will work without any problems, but SDDC.Lab v3 has been tested with the BOM above.
Miscellaneous Updates And Changes
We brought back the CHANGELOG.md where you can read pretty much everything we did while working on version 3. Some of the smaller changes worth mentioning are:
- Updated Ansible modules for NSX-T
- Improved vSAN disk claiming thanks to an Ansible Python module written by Luis
- Scripts are now using Ansible Fully Qualified Collection Names (FQCN) in tasks
- Updated documentation now contains detailed information on the network configuration
Version 3 comes with some really cool improvements and optimizations. We hope that you’ll be able to give version 3 a spin and find that it makes your life easier on those days you want to try out something in a clean vSphere-NSX-T environment.
With v3 now being the project’s new stable/default branch, a new dev-v4 development branch has been created. Both NSX-T and vSphere have come with interesting new features within their respective platforms and we look forward to incorporate some of these into v4 of the project.