VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager 1.6 is now GA

We are pleased to announce the general availability of VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager (VCPLCM) Version 1.6 As of: October 19, 2023.

With VCPLCM, we aim to reduce the complexity and simplify the operational burden of managing and maintaining VMware products for our cloud provider partners. Our focus was to free our partners’ efforts as much as possible from unnecessary tasks such as upgrades, product management and day 2 operations. Our approach is to automate these processes to eliminate human error and minimize maintenance downtime.

We’ve expanded support for additional products as we release versions and continue to add features that benefit our partners.

In our previous version (VCPLCM 1.5), we introduced auto-registration of Usage Meter and Interop Reporting along with improvements to task execution. In this release we bring you some great additions with a focus on:

  • Improving user experience
  • Expansion of product and maintenance support

Let’s take a quick look at what it is before we go into more detail on each point in the blog.

Improved User Experience:

First of all, the new version offers the user more controls. We have the new “Administration” option that helps providers securely delegate and control maintenance and management operations to respective personas, each with separate credentials.

Another big change is the introduction of the new product registration interface, which makes deploying or registering new products on VCPLCM easier and more straightforward.

Extended product support:

Users can now register NSX Advanced Load Balancers on VCPLCM and integrate it with VMware Cloud Director And Usage counter.

The addition on the Data backup and recovery A long-awaited question at the front, is now available. Users can now back up data and ensure overall effective recovery of the VCPLCM appliance, minimizing data loss in the event of system failures or process failures.

Next we have a “Maintenance mode‘Switch for product components. This is an important introduction because upgrading often requires products to be restarted, stopped, or edited for various reasons, such as a patch update on a node. The node would be unavailable in such situations without notifying the operator. This switch would mark nodes as “in maintenance mode” so that users know the status of the product/component.

Now let’s examine these features in detail:

Improved user experience

We’ve improved the user interface and made operations such as deploying and registering an existing product much easier.

Figure 1 – New user interface for product registrations

We have also introduced an option to allow users to view the existing binaries in the repository via the UI and deploy/update products accordingly.

There is no need to log into the appliance via SSH and check the binaries.

Figure 1.1 – View product binary repository via UI

Role-based access management

Role-based access was introduced with version 1.6. Users can now:

  • Configuration of external authentication sources (LDAP/AD)
  • Definition and assignment of roles with permissions for various operations
  • Log in with different users and tasks assigned to the requesting users.

Fig. 1.2 – User management layer

Figure 1.3 – Define role-based permissions

Day 2 Operations: VMware Cloud Director Maintenance Mode

Users can now enable/disable maintenance mode of VCD cells.

This is beneficial when performing patching or maintenance activities on VCD cells and ensures smooth operation. With this advanced user interface, one can determine the status of each VCD cell via the VCPLCM portal itself.

Fig. 1.4 – Maintenance mode

Backup and restore VCPLCM

This is a long-awaited feature and we have received many requests regarding the backup and restore feature of the VCPLCM appliance.

Now users can backup and restore VCPLCM appliances of the same version, and the backup file is password protected, which users must provide when creating the backup.

Below are the components that can be restored using the backup file.

  • Provided/Registered Products
  • Registered infrastructure components
  • Recent tasks and logs.
  • Authentication sources, roles and users
  • Vault contents (secrets such as passwords and private keys)
  • Certificates and keys for the VCP LCM appliance

However, the product binaries in the appliance’s /cplemrepo are not backed up and you must back up these files manually.

Figure 1.5 – Backup and Restore

Fig. 1.6 – Backup Backup

Figure 1.7 – Secure Restore

Registering NSXALB with VCD and Usage Meter

You can now register NSX ALB as an infrastructure component and integrate with VMware Cloud Director and Usage Meter. This integration can occur during deployment of VMware Cloud Director and Usage Meter.

Figure 1.8 – Register NSX ALB

API improvements

Below are the key API improvements

  • The VCPLCM REST API has been updated with version 4.
  • Versions 1, 2, and 3 of the API are still accessible, but it is recommended to use version 4.
  • Additional API operations to restart, resume and reset tasks.
  • Additional API operation to retrieve a task’s request payload, generate an interop report, and archive/read notifications.
  • CLI and GUI use v4. However, CLI also provides the ability to work with older API versions (must be specifically specified).
  • An updated Postman collection with corresponding sample payloads for both API versions can be accessed here.

We hope this was helpful for you. And don’t hesitate to contact us through our VCPLCM community Slack channel. Or write us if you are not yet a member. For more information about products and resources, visit our VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager product page. You can also refer to the Release Notes Further information about the publication can be found here. For more information about the product and operations, see Product documentation Page.

We published the VMware Cloud Provider Lifecycle Manager hands-on lab exercises to get a first-hand look at the product. do not forget Try our hands-on labs.