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In OpenShift Container Platform version 4.10, you can install a cluster on your VMware vSphere instance by using installer-provisioned infrastructure with customized network configuration options. By customizing your network configuration, your cluster can coexist with existing IP address allocations in your environment and integrate with existing MTU and VXLAN configurations. To customize the installation, you modify parameters in the install-config.yaml file before you install the cluster.

You must set most of the network configuration parameters during installation, and you can modify only kubeProxy configuration parameters in a running cluster.

OpenShift Container Platform supports deploying a cluster to a single VMware vCenter only. Deploying a cluster with machines/machine sets on multiple vCenters is not supported.

Prerequisites

  • You reviewed details about the OpenShift Container Platform installation and update processes.

  • You read the documentation on selecting a cluster installation method and preparing it for users.

  • You provisioned persistent storage for your cluster. To deploy a private image registry, your storage must provide ReadWriteMany access modes.

  • The OpenShift Container Platform installer requires access to port 443 on the vCenter and ESXi hosts. You verified that port 443 is accessible.

  • If you use a firewall, confirm with the administrator that port 443 is accessible. Control plane nodes must be able to reach vCenter and ESXi hosts on port 443 for the installation to succeed.

  • If you use a firewall, you configured it to allow the sites that your cluster requires access to.

    Be sure to also review this site list if you are configuring a proxy.

Internet access for OpenShift Container Platform

In OpenShift Container Platform 4.10, you require access to the internet to install your cluster.

You must have internet access to:

  • Access OpenShift Cluster Manager to download the installation program and perform subscription management. If the cluster has internet access and you do not disable Telemetry, that service automatically entitles your cluster.

  • Access Quay.io to obtain the packages that are required to install your cluster.

  • Obtain the packages that are required to perform cluster updates.

If your cluster cannot have direct internet access, you can perform a restricted network installation on some types of infrastructure that you provision. During that process, you download the required content and use it to populate a mirror registry with the installation packages. With some installation types, the environment that you install your cluster in will not require internet access. Before you update the cluster, you update the content of the mirror registry.

VMware vSphere infrastructure requirements

You must install the OpenShift Container Platform cluster on a VMware vSphere version 6 or 7 instance that meets the requirements for the components that you use.

Table 1. Version requirements for vSphere virtual environments
Virtual environment product Required version

VM hardware version

13 or later

vSphere ESXi hosts

6.5 or later

vCenter host

6.5 or later

Installing a cluster on VMware vSphere version 6.7U3 or earlier and virtual hardware version 13 is now deprecated. These versions are still fully supported, but version 4.11 of OpenShift Container Platform will require vSphere virtual hardware version 15 or later. Hardware version 15 is now the default for vSphere virtual machines in OpenShift Container Platform. To update the hardware version for your vSphere nodes, see the "Updating hardware on nodes running in vSphere" article.

If your vSphere nodes are below hardware version 15 or your VMware vSphere version is earlier than 6.7U3, upgrading from OpenShift Container Platform 4.10 to OpenShift Container Platform 4.11 is not available.

Table 2. Minimum supported vSphere version for VMware components
Component Minimum supported versions Description

Hypervisor

vSphere 6.5 and later with HW version 13

This version is the minimum version that Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) supports. See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 supported hypervisors list.

Storage with in-tree drivers

vSphere 6.5 and later

This plugin creates vSphere storage by using the in-tree storage drivers for vSphere included in OpenShift Container Platform.

Optional: Networking (NSX-T)

vSphere 6.5U3 or vSphere 6.7U2 and later

vSphere 6.5U3 or vSphere 6.7U2+ are required for OpenShift Container Platform. VMware’s NSX Container Plugin (NCP) is certified with OpenShift Container Platform 4.6 and NSX-T 3.x+.

If you use a vSphere version 6.5 instance, consider upgrading to 6.7U3 or 7.0 before you install OpenShift Container Platform.

You must ensure that the time on your ESXi hosts is synchronized before you install OpenShift Container Platform. See Edit Time Configuration for a Host in the VMware documentation.

Network connectivity requirements

You must configure the network connectivity between machines to allow OpenShift Container Platform cluster components to communicate.

Review the following details about the required network ports.

Table 3. Ports used for all-machine to all-machine communications
Protocol Port Description

ICMP

N/A

Network reachability tests

TCP

1936

Metrics

9000-9999

Host level services, including the node exporter on ports 9100-9101 and the Cluster Version Operator on port 9099.

10250-10259

The default ports that Kubernetes reserves

10256

openshift-sdn

UDP

4789

virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN)

6081

Geneve

9000-9999

Host level services, including the node exporter on ports 9100-9101.

500

IPsec IKE packets

4500

IPsec NAT-T packets

TCP/UDP

30000-32767

Kubernetes node port

ESP

N/A

IPsec Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)

Table 4. Ports used for all-machine to control plane communications
Protocol Port Description

TCP

6443

Kubernetes API

Table 5. Ports used for control plane machine to control plane machine communications
Protocol Port Description

TCP

2379-2380

etcd server and peer ports

VMware vSphere CSI Driver Operator requirements

The following requirements must be met in order to install the CSI Driver Operator:

  • VMware vSphere version 6.7U3 or later

  • Virtual machines of hardware version 15 or later

  • No third-party CSI driver already installed in the cluster

If a third-party CSI driver is present in the cluster, OpenShift Container Platform does not overwrite it. The presence of a third-party CSI driver prevents OpenShift Container Platform from upgrading in a future release.

Additional resources

vCenter requirements

Before you install an OpenShift Container Platform cluster on your vCenter that uses infrastructure that the installer provisions, you must prepare your environment.

Required vCenter account privileges

To install an OpenShift Container Platform cluster in a vCenter, the installation program requires access to an account with privileges to read and create the required resources. Using an account that has global administrative privileges is the simplest way to access all of the necessary permissions.

If you cannot use an account with global administrative privileges, you must create roles to grant the privileges necessary for OpenShift Container Platform cluster installation. While most of the privileges are always required, some are required only if you plan for the installation program to provision a folder to contain the OpenShift Container Platform cluster on your vCenter instance, which is the default behavior. You must create or amend vSphere roles for the specified objects to grant the required privileges.

An additional role is required if the installation program is to create a vSphere virtual machine folder.

Roles and privileges required for installation in vSphere API
vSphere object for role When required Required privileges in vSphere API

vSphere vCenter

Always

Cns.Searchable
InventoryService.Tagging.AttachTag
InventoryService.Tagging.CreateCategory
InventoryService.Tagging.CreateTag
InventoryService.Tagging.DeleteCategory
InventoryService.Tagging.DeleteTag
InventoryService.Tagging.EditCategory
InventoryService.Tagging.EditTag
Sessions.ValidateSession
StorageProfile.Update
StorageProfile.View

vSphere vCenter Cluster

If VMs will be created in the cluster root

Host.Config.Storage
Resource.AssignVMToPool
VApp.AssignResourcePool
VApp.Import
VirtualMachine.Config.AddNewDisk

vSphere vCenter Resource Pool

If an existing resource pool is provided

Host.Config.Storage
Resource.AssignVMToPool
VApp.AssignResourcePool
VApp.Import
VirtualMachine.Config.AddNewDisk

vSphere Datastore

Always

Datastore.AllocateSpace
Datastore.Browse
Datastore.FileManagement
InventoryService.Tagging.ObjectAttachable

vSphere Port Group

Always

Network.Assign

Virtual Machine Folder

Always

InventoryService.Tagging.ObjectAttachable
Resource.AssignVMToPool
VApp.Import
VirtualMachine.Config.AddExistingDisk
VirtualMachine.Config.AddNewDisk
VirtualMachine.Config.AddRemoveDevice
VirtualMachine.Config.AdvancedConfig
VirtualMachine.Config.Annotation
VirtualMachine.Config.CPUCount
VirtualMachine.Config.DiskExtend
VirtualMachine.Config.DiskLease
VirtualMachine.Config.EditDevice
VirtualMachine.Config.Memory
VirtualMachine.Config.RemoveDisk
VirtualMachine.Config.Rename
VirtualMachine.Config.ResetGuestInfo
VirtualMachine.Config.Resource
VirtualMachine.Config.Settings
VirtualMachine.Config.UpgradeVirtualHardware
VirtualMachine.Interact.GuestControl
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOff
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOn
VirtualMachine.Interact.Reset
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Create
VirtualMachine.Inventory.CreateFromExisting
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Delete
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.Clone
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.MarkAsTemplate
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.DeployTemplate

vSphere vCenter Datacenter

If the installation program creates the virtual machine folder

InventoryService.Tagging.ObjectAttachable
Resource.AssignVMToPool
VApp.Import
VirtualMachine.Config.AddExistingDisk
VirtualMachine.Config.AddNewDisk
VirtualMachine.Config.AddRemoveDevice
VirtualMachine.Config.AdvancedConfig
VirtualMachine.Config.Annotation
VirtualMachine.Config.CPUCount
VirtualMachine.Config.DiskExtend
VirtualMachine.Config.DiskLease
VirtualMachine.Config.EditDevice
VirtualMachine.Config.Memory
VirtualMachine.Config.RemoveDisk
VirtualMachine.Config.Rename
VirtualMachine.Config.ResetGuestInfo
VirtualMachine.Config.Resource
VirtualMachine.Config.Settings
VirtualMachine.Config.UpgradeVirtualHardware
VirtualMachine.Interact.GuestControl
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOff
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOn
VirtualMachine.Interact.Reset
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Create
VirtualMachine.Inventory.CreateFromExisting
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Delete
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.Clone
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.DeployTemplate
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.MarkAsTemplate
Folder.Create
Folder.Delete

Roles and privileges required for installation in vCenter graphical user interface (GUI)
vSphere object for role When required Required privileges in vCenter GUI

vSphere vCenter

Always

Cns.Searchable
"vSphere Tagging"."Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag"
"vSphere Tagging"."Create vSphere Tag Category"
"vSphere Tagging"."Create vSphere Tag"
vSphere Tagging"."Delete vSphere Tag Category"
"vSphere Tagging"."Delete vSphere Tag"
"vSphere Tagging"."Edit vSphere Tag Category"
"vSphere Tagging"."Edit vSphere Tag"
Sessions."Validate session"
"Profile-driven storage"."Profile-driven storage update"
"Profile-driven storage"."Profile-driven storage view"

vSphere vCenter Cluster

If VMs will be created in the cluster root

Host.Configuration."Storage partition configuration"
Resource."Assign virtual machine to resource pool"
VApp."Assign resource pool"
VApp.Import
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add new disk"

vSphere vCenter Resource Pool

If an existing resource pool is provided

Host.Configuration."Storage partition configuration"
Resource."Assign virtual machine to resource pool"
VApp."Assign resource pool"
VApp.Import
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add new disk"

vSphere Datastore

Always

Datastore."Allocate space"
Datastore."Browse datastore"
Datastore."Low level file operations"
"vSphere Tagging"."Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag on Object"

vSphere Port Group

Always

Network."Assign network"

Virtual Machine Folder

Always

"vSphere Tagging"."Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag on Object"
Resource."Assign virtual machine to resource pool"
VApp.Import
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add existing disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add new disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add or remove device"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Advanced configuration"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Set annotation"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change CPU count"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Extend virtual disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Acquire disk lease"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Modify device settings"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change Memory"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Remove disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration".Rename
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Reset guest information"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change resource"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change Settings"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Upgrade virtual machine compatibility"
"Virtual machine".Interaction."Guest operating system management by VIX API"
"Virtual machine".Interaction."Power off"
"Virtual machine".Interaction."Power on"
"Virtual machine".Interaction.Reset
"Virtual machine"."Edit Inventory"."Create new"
"Virtual machine"."Edit Inventory"."Create from existing"
"Virtual machine"."Edit Inventory"."Remove"
"Virtual machine".Provisioning."Clone virtual machine"
"Virtual machine".Provisioning."Mark as template"
"Virtual machine".Provisioning."Deploy template"

vSphere vCenter Datacenter

If the installation program creates the virtual machine folder

"vSphere Tagging"."Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag on Object"
Resource."Assign virtual machine to resource pool"
VApp.Import
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add existing disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add new disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Add or remove device"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Advanced configuration"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Set annotation"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change CPU count"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Extend virtual disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Acquire disk lease"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Modify device settings"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change Memory"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Remove disk"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration".Rename
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Reset guest information"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change resource"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Change Settings"
"Virtual machine"."Change Configuration"."Upgrade virtual machine compatibility"
"Virtual machine".Interaction."Guest operating system management by VIX API"
"Virtual machine".Interaction."Power off"
"Virtual machine".Interaction."Power on"
"Virtual machine".Interaction.Reset
"Virtual machine"."Edit Inventory"."Create new"
"Virtual machine"."Edit Inventory"."Create from existing"
"Virtual machine"."Edit Inventory"."Remove"
"Virtual machine".Provisioning."Clone virtual machine"
"Virtual machine".Provisioning."Deploy template"
"Virtual machine".Provisioning."Mark as template"
Folder."Create folder"
Folder."Delete folder"

Additionally, the user requires some ReadOnly permissions, and some of the roles require permission to propogate the permissions to child objects. These settings vary depending on whether or not you install the cluster into an existing folder.

Required permissions and propagation settings
vSphere object When required Propagate to children Permissions required

vSphere vCenter

Always

False

Listed required privileges

vSphere vCenter Datacenter

Existing folder

False

ReadOnly permission

Installation program creates the folder

True

Listed required privileges

vSphere vCenter Cluster

Existing resource pool

True

ReadOnly permission

VMs in cluster root

True

Listed required privileges

vSphere vCenter Datastore

Always

False

Listed required privileges

vSphere Switch

Always

False

ReadOnly permission

vSphere Port Group

Always

False

Listed required privileges

vSphere vCenter Virtual Machine Folder

Existing folder

True

Listed required privileges

vSphere vCenter Resource Pool

Existing resource pool

True

Listed required privileges

For more information about creating an account with only the required privileges, see vSphere Permissions and User Management Tasks in the vSphere documentation.

Using OpenShift Container Platform with vMotion

If you intend on using vMotion in your vSphere environment, consider the following before installing a OpenShift Container Platform cluster.

  • OpenShift Container Platform generally supports compute-only vMotion. Using Storage vMotion can cause issues and is not supported.

    To help ensure the uptime of your compute and control plane nodes, it is recommended that you follow the VMware best practices for vMotion. It is also recommended to use VMware anti-affinity rules to improve the availability of OpenShift Container Platform during maintenance or hardware issues.

    For more information about vMotion and anti-affinity rules, see the VMware vSphere documentation for vMotion networking requirements and VM anti-affinity rules.

  • If you are using vSphere volumes in your pods, migrating a VM across datastores either manually or through Storage vMotion causes, invalid references within OpenShift Container Platform persistent volume (PV) objects. These references prevent affected pods from starting up and can result in data loss.

  • Similarly, OpenShift Container Platform does not support selective migration of VMDKs across datastores, using datastore clusters for VM provisioning or for dynamic or static provisioning of PVs, or using a datastore that is part of a datastore cluster for dynamic or static provisioning of PVs.

Cluster resources

When you deploy an OpenShift Container Platform cluster that uses installer-provisioned infrastructure, the installation program must be able to create several resources in your vCenter instance.

A standard OpenShift Container Platform installation creates the following vCenter resources:

  • 1 Folder

  • 1 Tag category

  • 1 Tag

  • Virtual machines:

    • 1 template

    • 1 temporary bootstrap node

    • 3 control plane nodes

    • 3 compute machines

Although these resources use 856 GB of storage, the bootstrap node is destroyed during the cluster installation process. A minimum of 800 GB of storage is required to use a standard cluster.

If you deploy more compute machines, the OpenShift Container Platform cluster will use more storage.

Cluster limits

Available resources vary between clusters. The number of possible clusters within a vCenter is limited primarily by available storage space and any limitations on the number of required resources. Be sure to consider both limitations to the vCenter resources that the cluster creates and the resources that you require to deploy a cluster, such as IP addresses and networks.

Networking requirements

You must use DHCP for the network and ensure that the DHCP server is configured to provide persistent IP addresses to the cluster machines. All nodes must be in the same VLAN. You cannot scale the cluster using a second VLAN as a Day 2 operation. Additionally, you must create the following networking resources before you install the OpenShift Container Platform cluster:

It is recommended that each OpenShift Container Platform node in the cluster must have access to a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server that is discoverable via DHCP. Installation is possible without an NTP server. However, asynchronous server clocks will cause errors, which NTP server prevents.

Required IP Addresses

An installer-provisioned vSphere installation requires two static IP addresses:

  • The API address is used to access the cluster API.

  • The Ingress address is used for cluster ingress traffic.

You must provide these IP addresses to the installation program when you install the OpenShift Container Platform cluster.

DNS records

You must create DNS records for two static IP addresses in the appropriate DNS server for the vCenter instance that hosts your OpenShift Container Platform cluster. In each record, <cluster_name> is the cluster name and <base_domain> is the cluster base domain that you specify when you install the cluster. A complete DNS record takes the form: <component>.<cluster_name>.<base_domain>..

Table 6. Required DNS records
Component Record Description

API VIP

api.<cluster_name>.<base_domain>.

This DNS A/AAAA or CNAME record must point to the load balancer for the control plane machines.