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November 13, 2023

Streamlining Tanzu and TKGS Deployments with AVI Load Balancer Automation

Introduction:

 

Rapid and efficient deployment processes are crucial. Unfortunately, many IT professionals encounter significant challenges when it comes to the deployment of AVI load balancers for Tanzu or TKGS environments. The deployment of AVI load balancers for Tanzu or TKGS poses challenges due to the intricate configuration requirements, integration complexities within the Tanzu ecosystem, and the need for high availability and redundancy. Networking intricacies, especially in setting up Virtual IPs and defining network policies, add to the complexity. Furthermore, deployments in closed or restricted environments lacking internet access can hinder the process by limiting the availability of necessary dependencies. Security concerns, such as access controls and SSL certificate management, must also be carefully addressed. Lastly, ensuring scalability to meet dynamic demands while maintaining efficient load-balancing algorithms and resource allocation is a critical challenge in these deployments. These complexities necessitate a robust automation workflow to streamline the process and ensure a secure, scalable, and efficient deployment of AVI load balancers in Tanzu and TKGS environments.

 

To contend with these hurdles, I developed a solution that simplifies this process and enhances efficiency, reducing deployment times significantly. If you’re an IT professional working with Tanzu or TKGS environments, read on to explore the intricacies of this automation, breaking down the tools, phases, and steps involved. Whether you are a seasoned IT expert or a newcomer to cloud deployments, understanding this workflow can make your tasks smoother and more efficient.

 

Tools Utilized:

 

The AVI load balancer automation workflow comprises two fundamental tools: Ansible and Terraform. Ansible serves as the orchestrator, guiding the deployment process, while Terraform handles the initial setup, deploying AVI controllers and ensuring redundancy.

 

Phases and Steps in Deployment:

 

1. Terraform Deployment:

  1. Terraform orchestrates the initial deployment of AVI controllers in a vCenter environment.
  2. Users provide essential details through a Vars YAML file, including vCenter credentials, AVI name, and other configuration specifics.
  3. AVI OVA is seamlessly integrated into vCenter via a content library, ensuring smooth cloning of controllers.
  4. Ansible fetches necessary information from the Vars YAML and configures the AVI controllers, setting up a cluster for redundancy.

 

2. Ansible Configuration:

  1. Post-Terraform deployment, Ansible steps in to further configure AVI controllers.
  2. Key configurations include setting up vCenter cloud connections, defining service engine groups, configuring IPAM and DNS profiles, and generating SSL certificates for AVI controllers.
  3. Specific configurations, such as route management and license type (Essential or Enterprise), are tailored to individual project requirements.
  4. A generic template of variables and steps ensures consistency across multiple Tanzu projects, simplifying the deployment process significantly.

 

3. Challenges and Solutions:

One notable challenge this automation workflow addresses is the need for closed environments without internet access. Terraform requires providers to download from the internet, a hurdle overcome by creating a closed bundle. This bundle contains all essential components, enabling clients to clone the repository without internet dependency.

 

 

This AVI load balancer automation workflow changes the game for Tanzu and TKGS deployments, offering outstanding efficiency. By automating manual configurations it accelerates project completion significantly. Standardized templates ensure consistency across projects, reducing errors and simplifying troubleshooting. Moreover, its adaptability allows customization for diverse requirements, including closed environments or specific licensing needs. By streamlining the deployment process, I hope this automation empowers IT teams to concentrate on strategic tasks, fostering innovation and progress in their projects.

 

Written by: Aviv Shaar, Infrastructure and Network Virtualization Senior Engineer

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Tags:
VMware
Tanzu
TKG
Terraform
AVI load balancers
Ansible
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