Building a VCF SDDC on OVH Value Server

Very rarely do I actually post a Blog, but I actually got something working and felt documenting this for the greater vCommunity would be a good thing to do. I’ve been after trying to get a workable Demo Lab built for some time. I wanted all the SDDC Components, vSphere, NSX, SDDC Manager, vRNI, vSAN, NSX Intelligence, vROPS. I want it ALL! 

Enter the VLC 

So I started down the path of the VLC Cloud Foundation Lab Constructor. I don’t have the required Hardware on hand to make this work, so I thought I’d try building this on an OVH US based Host. Here’s the Step by Step Process to getting everything up and running. I’ll point out important things in between screen shots, so be sure to read between the lines, literally.

Step 1: Order up a OVH Dedicated Host. I’m using the Best Value series with some larger storage to meet the VLC minimum requirements.

Step 2: Once your server is in your account, Install ESXi from an OVH Template. You also get IPMI Console access and if you want to mount an ISO image and manually install, you can do that too.









Note: Software RAID isn’t recognized by ESXi, so you’ll end up with a bunch of individual Datastores to use.


Step 3: While your server is building, if you want to enable External Internet connectivity to the LAB VMs order up an OVH Failover IP. 



Step 4: Once you have the Failover IP, you can then add a Virutal MAC address to it. The Virtual MAC is assigned to the VNIC of the Guest VM you will install on the host. This VNIC must use a Port Group that is mapped to the Physical NIC on vSwitch0. You get TWO physical NICs on an OVH host. NIC 0 connects to the Internet if you map the MAC correctly. NIC 1 maps to the Internal OVH vRACK network for connecting multiple Physical Hosts together across OVH Network. You essentially create your own VLAN with their vRACK service.

Step 5: Add the Virtual MAC as a VMware MAC, and Label it. I’ll be mapping mine to a VeloCloud Virtual Edge, but you can also use your Virtual Firewall Edge Appliance of choice. pFsense works well too. 


Step 6: Login to the Host using the Public interface info OVH gives you. Start setting up your datastores. You’ll also want to configure the vSwitch Networks per the VLC Guide. You’ll also need to add another MGMT vmknic that has an IP that will be reachable from the VLC Jump host we will create later.


Step 7: Upload some ISO images to the host to build yourself a Jump Box from which you will install everything. I’m using Server 2019. Eventually I’ll migrate the DNS and other services the Cloud Builder appliance provides onto a proper Domain Controller. 

Step 8: Install Windows Guest, be sure to follow the VLC Guide for requirements, and add additional VMXnet3 Network Interfaces.

Step 9: Download the VLC Script package 

Step 10: Download the CloudBuilder OVA of your choice from the VMware Portal, or vExpert Portal or wherever you have access. Here I’m using the OVA for VCF 4.0.

Step 11: I had to modify the default host json. The settings it had were too restricted to reliably get all the services running on this low budget OVH host. So I cranked up each host as follows for best results. Yes I’m oversubscribing the 256GB of Memory on the physical host, but it’ll be OK I promise.

Step 12: Once you have everything ready per the VLC Guide, right click the VLCGui Script and RUN WITH POWERSHELL!


Step 13: Select AUTOMATED then, Connect the VLC GUI to your host Internal MGMT IP you created in step 6. Select the VLC-Trunk you created and the Datastore. Uncheck the “Do Bringup?” check box. I could not reliably get this part to work. So doing a hybrid of Automated and Manual bring up worked multiple times for me on this Hardware. 

Step 14: Point the VLC to the location of the CloudBuilder OVA.

Step 15: Hit CONSTRUCT and go get some Coffee. Takes about 35 mins to spin up the Virtual Nested infrastructure in this step.


Step 16: If you skipped the Fully Automated Bring up, here’s the steps to complete the rest of the VLC build. Login to the Cloud Builder VM. 

Step 17: Agree to the EULA

Step 18: Select VMware Cloud Foundation

Step 19: Check the box, click Next

Step 20: Skip the download since we already have this with the JSON included with the VLC, NEXT

Step 21: Select the JSON

Step 22: Point it to the AUTOMATED NO AVN JSON file

Step 23: Validate the JSON

Step 24: It may find some Warnings due to the CloudBuilder running DNS, but there should be no show stoppers here. Acknowledge the warnings to proceed.



Step 26: Wait, this one takes awhile, somewhere between 3 and 4 hours for me.

Step 27: SUCCESS!

Step 28: LAUNCH SDDC Manager!

Step 29: If the UI for SDDC Manager doesn’t load, you may need to Migrate it to another host, I moved mine to host 4 and it was working better. You may need to reboot SDDC Manager and NSX Manager to get their UI’s to load up after they’ve been deployed.


Step 30: If all went well, you should now have a fully operational VCF deployment, with SDDC Manager and NSX-T 3.0!


I hope you find this helpful. More to come as I attempt to add in vRNI and NSX Intelligence.

Britton Johnson