VCF 3.0 Commission and Decommission hosts

After a successful bing-up you can now start to add ESXi hosts to the SDDC manager inventory in order to create workload domains. This process is called commissioning within the SDDC Manager. However, before you can add the hosts, you must configure network pools first. ESXi host can also be removed or decommissioned from the SDDC Manager but needs to be cleaned up before they can be used again.

Adding an ESXi host to the SDDC manager in called “commissioning” and removing a host is called “decommissioning“.

Network Pools

VCF 3.0 introduces the concept of Network Pools. In order to create a new Workload Domain with hosts in a different L2 domain than the management domain, you must create 2 new Network Pools first. One for the vSAN and one for the vMotion vmkernel port.

Size the Network Pools properly and keep future expansion of the environment in mind! Once created, Network Pools cannot be changed!

Create Network Pool

  1. Login to the SDDC Manager and navigate to Network Settings under Administration. Click Create Network Pool. Note that the network pool associated with the Management Workload Domain is already present.VCF 3.0 Network pool 01
  2. Enter a Network Pool name. For vSAN and the vMotion Networks, enter the VLAN ID, MTU, Network, Subnet Mast and the Default Gateway. You must also provide the IP addresses range that SDDC Manager can use. VCF 3.0 Network pool 02
  3. Click Save.

With the Network Pools now created, you can start commissioning hosts.

Commission host

You can commission multiple hosts in one go once you have entered the host details. The following steps describe how to commission hosts into SDDC Manager inventory.

  1. On the SDDC Manager Dashboard, click Inventory > Hosts. Click Commission Hosts.VCF 3.0 Commision host 01
  2. Confirm that hosts to be commissioned meet each requirement in the checklist and select the check boxes. Click Proceed.VCF 3.0 Commision host 02
  3. Enter the FQDN of the host, IP address, Root User Name, Password, and associate the host with the correct Network Pool. Click Validate. The host is added to the Validated Hosts list below.VCF 3.0 Commision host 03
  4. Add more hosts by repeating the steps above.
  5. Once all hosts have been added click Commission to add all hosts to the SDDC Manager inventory.VCF 3.0 Commision host 04

Once the commissioning task is completed, the ESXi hosts will be visible in the SDDC Manager inventory and their state will read “Unassigned”.VCF 3.0 Commision host 05

Decommission Host

You can decommission a host for maintenance work or if you want to associate it with another network pool. If you want to re-use a host in a different workload domain, you must decommission the host and clean it up before adding it to the other workload domain.

Remove the host from the Workload Domain and cluster before decommissioning.

  1. Logged in on the SDDC Manager, select the host that you want to decommission from the host list under the Inventory.VCF 3.0 Decommission Host 02
  2. From the Actions drop-down menu, select Decommission. Decommission host 02
  3. Click Confirm.VCF 3.0 Decommission Host 03

The host is removed from the SDDC Manager inventory.

Clean-up Host

Once a host has been decommissioned, it must be cleaned up before it can be assigned to a workload domain.

  1. Open the DCUI of the host, login as root and enable ESXi shell from the troubleshooting options.
  2. Press Alt + F1 to switch to the command line and login as root.
  3. Enter the following command to query the up the vSAN configuration: # vdq -iVCF 3.0 Decommission Host 05
  4. Remove the disk group configuration by removing the naa.xxxxxx identifier. For example: # esxcli vsan storage remove -s naa.58ce38ee205381c1
  5. Run the vdq -i command again to verify if the configuration has been cleared.VCF 3.0 Decommission Host 06
  6. Reset the host configuration by running the following script # /bin/ – – resetVCF 3.0 Decommission Host 07
  7. The host will reboot and all settings will be reset.
  8. When the host is back online, open the DCUI again and set the root password.
  9. Configure the TCP/IP configuration settings.
  10. Open the Web Client of the host by navigating to its FQDN or IP address and log in with the root user.
  11. Select if you want to participate in the CEIP or not and click OK.
  12. Configure the NTP server, start the service and set the policy to start and stop with the host.
  13. Start the SSH service. 
  14. Set the correct VLAN ID on the default VM Network port group.VCF 3.0 Decommission Host 18
  15. If you are using jumbo frames, make sure you change the MTU setting on the vSwitch0 and the vmk0 interface.
  16. Log off.

The host is cleaned up and can be commissioned once again into the SDDC Manager inventory.



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