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In OpenShift Container Platform version 4.11, you can install a cluster on your VMware vSphere instance using infrastructure you provision with customized network configuration options by deploying it to VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS.

Once you configure your VMC environment for OpenShift Container Platform deployment, you use the OpenShift Container Platform installation program from the bastion management host, co-located in the VMC environment. The installation program and control plane automates the process of deploying and managing the resources needed for the OpenShift Container Platform cluster.

By customizing your network configuration, your cluster can coexist with existing IP address allocations in your environment and integrate with existing VXLAN configurations. 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.

Setting up VMC for vSphere

You can install OpenShift Container Platform on VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS hosted vSphere clusters to enable applications to be deployed and managed both on-premise and off-premise, across the hybrid cloud.

VMC on AWS Architecture

You must configure several options in your VMC environment prior to installing OpenShift Container Platform on VMware vSphere. Ensure your VMC environment has the following prerequisites:

  • Create a non-exclusive, DHCP-enabled, NSX-T network segment and subnet. Other virtual machines (VMs) can be hosted on the subnet, but at least eight IP addresses must be available for the OpenShift Container Platform deployment.

  • Configure the following firewall rules:

    • An ANY:ANY firewall rule between the OpenShift Container Platform compute network and the internet. This is used by nodes and applications to download container images.

    • An ANY:ANY firewall rule between the installation host and the software-defined data center (SDDC) management network on port 443. This allows you to upload the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) OVA during deployment.

    • An HTTPS firewall rule between the OpenShift Container Platform compute network and vCenter. This connection allows OpenShift Container Platform to communicate with vCenter for provisioning and managing nodes, persistent volume claims (PVCs), and other resources.

  • You must have the following information to deploy OpenShift Container Platform:

    • The OpenShift Container Platform cluster name, such as vmc-prod-1.

    • The base DNS name, such as companyname.com.

    • If not using the default, the pod network CIDR and services network CIDR must be identified, which are set by default to 10.128.0.0/14 and 172.30.0.0/16, respectively. These CIDRs are used for pod-to-pod and pod-to-service communication and are not accessible externally; however, they must not overlap with existing subnets in your organization.

    • The following vCenter information:

      • vCenter hostname, username, and password

      • Datacenter name, such as SDDC-Datacenter

      • Cluster name, such as Cluster-1

      • Network name

      • Datastore name, such as WorkloadDatastore

        It is recommended to move your vSphere cluster to the VMC Compute-ResourcePool resource pool after your cluster installation is finished.

  • A Linux-based host deployed to VMC as a bastion.

    • The bastion host can be Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or any another Linux-based host; it must have internet connectivity and the ability to upload an OVA to the ESXi hosts.

    • Download and install the OpenShift CLI tools to the bastion host.

      • The openshift-install installation program

      • The OpenShift CLI (oc) tool

You cannot use the VMware NSX Container Plug-in for Kubernetes (NCP), and NSX is not used as the OpenShift SDN. The version of NSX currently available with VMC is incompatible with the version of NCP certified with OpenShift Container Platform.

However, the NSX DHCP service is used for virtual machine IP management with the full-stack automated OpenShift Container Platform deployment and with nodes provisioned, either manually or automatically, by the Machine API integration with vSphere. Additionally, NSX firewall rules are created to enable access with the OpenShift Container Platform cluster and between the bastion host and the VMC vSphere hosts.

VMC Sizer tool

VMware Cloud on AWS is built on top of AWS bare metal infrastructure; this is the same bare metal infrastructure which runs AWS native services. When a VMware cloud on AWS software-defined data center (SDDC) is deployed, you consume these physical server nodes and run the VMware ESXi hypervisor in a single tenant fashion. This means the physical infrastructure is not accessible to anyone else using VMC. It is important to consider how many physical hosts you will need to host your virtual infrastructure.

To determine this, VMware provides the VMC on AWS Sizer. With this tool, you can define the resources you intend to host on VMC:

  • Types of workloads

  • Total number of virtual machines

  • Specification information such as:

    • Storage requirements

    • vCPUs

    • vRAM

    • Overcommit ratios

With these details, the sizer tool can generate a report, based on VMware best practices, and recommend your cluster configuration and the number of hosts you will need.

vSphere prerequisites