Getting started with RPC-VMware#

RPC-VMware architecture#

The following diagram shows the architecture of RPC-VMware as configured with optional add-on components.

Architecture2

RPC-VMware features#

The core features of RPC-VMware are based on the underlying VMware vCenter Server and VMware vSphere products. These features include the following capabilities:

  • Deploying virtual machines (VMs) on-demand into clusters that are preconfigured for high availability and load balancing.

  • Running your VMs on dedicated hypervisors with preconfigured datastores and networks.

  • Migrating VMs on-demand between hypervisors and datastores.

  • Resizing VMs on-demand.

The following table provides details about the Managed Backup (MBU) for Management Services feature. If any component of your RPC-VMware cloud encounters a failure, Rackspace might determine that a restore of the component is required. If you want to request a restore of any component, contact your account team.

Feature

Description

File-level backup and restore

Some of the management services allow file-level backups and where necessary, Rackspace uses file-level backups.

Image-level backup and restore

All VMs and appliances in the management resource pool are backed up at an image level for a complete system backup.

You can choose to use additional features in your RPC-VMware. These features include the following capabilities:

  • Deploying and managing a virtual network built on software-defined networking, where you configure switching, routing, and security on-demand.

  • Deploying VMs onto software-defined storage, where you can control the performance and availability policies with VM granularity.

  • Providing Quality of Service (QoS) and operational efficiency in your private cloud with minimum manual effort by leveraging software-based cloud operations and analysis services.

  • Use cloud management services to provide your applications, VMs, and SDDC as on-demand services.

  • Rely on image-level backups of all VMs in your private cloud without the need to install a backup agent within the VM.

  • Request on-demand database administration support by Rackspace database administrators (DBAs).

  • SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAG) are natively supported on vSAN, the main storage platform for RPC-VMware. For customers interested in Failover cluster Instances (FCI), you can use additional Dedicated or Shared SAN Rackspace solutions. Interested Customers, contact our support team for assistance.

For details about the currently available optional add-on features, contact your account team.

RPC-VMware roles and permissions#

To implement the separation of customer and Rackspace duties in RPC-VMware, Rackspace uses built-in and custom roles in the vCenter Server. Rackspace assigns you a maximum permission role (customer role) and any lesser privileged roles that you request for specific users or groups.

Customers have permissions to create, delete, and manage VMs within their private cloud. Rackspace manages and maintains the ESXi hosts, the vCenter Server, Platform Services Controller, and additional management VMs as required by the RPC-V solution. Customers therefore have limited permissions on hosts and management servers.

Specific resource pools and folders are created to house customer created VMs and ensure separation from management VMs. In support of this separation, customers are granted permissions to create, delete, and manage VMs in the Compute-ResourcePool and Network-ResourcePool resource pools and in the Workloads, Templates and Networking VMs virtual machine folders.

If required for organisational or resource management purposes, customers can create new resource pools below the Compute-ResourcePool and Network-ResourcePool, and new folders below the Workloads, Templates and Networking VMs folders.

The following permission sets are predefined in the vCenter Server:

  • Customer Access

  • VM Power User

  • VM User

  • Read Only

Customer Access permission set is a product of permissions applied to two sets of roles. A lower permission set is enforced at the root of the inventory tree, and a higher permission set is applied at the resource pool level of the inventory tree.

The following table shows which vCenter Server permissions are available to each role.

vCenter permissions and roles

Permission

Customer Access

VM Power User

VM User

Read Only

Alarms

Full access

No access

No access

No access

Datastore

Limited access

Limited access

No access

No access

Folder

Full access

No access

No access

No access

Network

Limited Access

No access

No access

No access

Performance

Full access

No access

No access

No access

Profile-driven storage

Full access

No access

No access

No access

Resource

Full access

No access

No access

No access

Scheduled task

Full access

Full access

Full access

No access

Tasks

Full access

Full access

Full access

No access

vApp

Full access

No access

No access

No access

Virtual machine

Full access

Full access

Limited access

No access

Datacenter

Limited access

No access

No access

No access

Global

Limited access

Limited access

Limited access

No access

Host

Limited access

No access

No access

No access

Sessions

Limited access

No access

No access

No access

Storage views

Limited access

No access

No access

No access

Datastore cluster

Full Access

No access

No access

No access

Distributed virtual switch

No access

No access

No access

No access

Distributed virtual port group

No access

No access

No access

No access

ESX agent manager

No access

No access

No access

No access

Extension

No access

No access

No access

No access

vCenter inventory service

No access

No access

No access

No access

vSphere update manager

No access

No access

No access

No access

VRM policy

No access

No access

No access

No access

vService

No access

No access

No access

No access

vSphere tagging

Full Access

No access

No access

No access

Managed services for RPC-VMware#

The following table provides describes the features that Rackspace provides as a managed service to you in RPC-VMware.

Features provided as managed services

Feature

Description

High Availability (HA)

HA clustering is set up by Rackspace.

Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS)

DRS clustering is set up by Rackspace.

vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI)

VAAI is available if it is supported on the storage array.

Distributed Switch™

Rackspace configures the distributed virtual switch and distributed port groups to which customers can connect VMs.

RPC-VMware compatibility#

RPC-VMware might not be compatible with all Rackspace products and services. Contact your Rackspace support specialist for detailed information about whether any specific Rackspace product is compatible with your RPC-VMware.

RPC-VMware compatibility with third-party products#

You can access RPC-VMware by using various VMware services APIs. You can use any third-party management, orchestration, or other type of tools that are compatible with these APIs. In this case, the functionality of any such tool is limited by the RPC-VMware features and capabilities as described in this handbook, and the permissions applied to your RPC-VMWare environment. Ensure that the VMware services API versions of your environment are compatible with the third-party tools that you want to use.

RPC-VMware compatibility when elevated permissions are needed#

In some cases, existing role permissions provided by Rackspace do not allow a custom or third-party tool to function. Contact the Rackspace account team to determine if role permission adjustments are possible.

RPC-VMware authentication methods#

RPC-VMware customers have two choices for vCenter authentication:

  • Rackspace-provided Active Directory service

  • Customer-provided Active Directory service

Rackspace support authenticates to your RPC-VMware cloud with the Rackspace hosted directory service. Your directory service is added as an additional authentication source.

You must also indicate the groups and roles to be assigned in vCenter from the vCenter roles available in RPC-VMware roles and permissions.

External data centers#

In addition to being available in Rackspace data centers, the RPC-VMware product is also available in customer’s own, or 3rd party, data centers.

External instances of RPC-VMware provide the same functionality as it would in a Rackspace data center. Rackspace provides and supports the networking, including redundant connections back to Rackspace to enable a seamless support experience for the customer.

Pay-Per-Use Infrastructure#

RPC-VMware with Pay-Per-Use Infrastructure, delivered by Rackspace and Hewlett Packard Enterprise® (HPE) offers a pay-per-use billing model for customers. This is differentiated from traditional fixed cost private infrastructure environments where customers pay for everything up front, pay by the month for a low utilized environment, or do both. A minimum commitment is required for this solution.

Customers are billed on a per-unit basis for compute and storage resources consumed (assuming that usage exceeds the minimum commit level). The per-unit prices are “all-in” - they cover the hardware and hardware management in addition to the cost of private cloud operations, support, and licensing. Pricing is determined per customer deployment and is dependent on installed capacity and expected growth. This per-unit pricing will also reduce as the customer’s environment grows and consumption increases over the duration of the contract. This allows the customer to predict their growth costs with no hidden fees.

How It Works#

A monitoring agent is installed on each VMware Private Cloud to meter usage. This agent monitors hourly consumed resources on your private cloud (for example, the hourly RAM consumed on a daily basis across all the compute hosts). The usage is averaged for the day and at the end of each month that Rackspace aggregates the daily usage to determine the monthly usage. Then the appropriate per unit price is applied from the pricing table. Rackspace monitors the customer’s usage constantly and recommends adding new resources or hosts into the private cloud environment as the customer’s usage exceeds the thresholds of installed capacity. New resources are seamlessly integrated into the existing private cloud allowing customers to grow their environment without any downtime.

For more information about Pay-Per-Use with RPC-V, contact your Rackspace sales representation.

Note

Pay-Per-Use is available for RPC-VM deployments at customer or colocation data centers.