About virtual PCA

The AppNeta Private Cloud Appliance can be deployed as a virtual machine. All of the features of the existing physical private cloud appliance are available in the virtual PCA.

Physical vs. virtual PCA

There is feature parity between the physical and virtual private cloud appliances. There are only minor differences in the initial setup and networking configuration:

  • Initial network and administrator user setup is handled with a new setup wizard
  • Subsequent virtual PCA network and hostname configuration is available via an API rather than the LCD display on physical PCAs
  • The FlowView API feature is available on the virtual PCA

Supported hypervisor

Currently the only supported hypervisor for deploying a production virtual PCA onto is VMWare vSphere 5.5 or ESXi 5.5. AppNeta will provide an Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) virtual PCA image that can be used to create a virtual PCA VM.

Guest system requirements

The virtual PCA image will create a guest machine with the parameters listed below. The host system must be able to handle these as a minimum.

Component Virtual PCA OVA image value configured
CPUs 4
RAM 8 GB
Hard Disk 1 40 GB (SSD performance required)
Hard Disk 2 750 GB (SSD performance required)
Hard Disk 3 2000 GB
Hard Disk 4 326 GB (SSD performance required)
Network Adapter 1 x 1 GigE
Video Card 4 MB

Compute resources should be adjusted based on planned usage:

  Trial up to 250 appliances up to 1000 appliances
vCPUs 4 4 16
RAM, Gb 8 16 64

Storage resources can be thin-provisioned. Actual storage usage may vary depending on number of monitored paths and actual performance of monitored networks and applications.

Obtaining a virtual PCA image

AppNeta Support will provide a link to download the virtual PCA OVA image file.

Initial configuration wizard walk-through

At initial startup, the virtual PCA will run a configuration wizard on the virtual machine console. First, you will be prompted for an initial virtual PCA organization and organization administrator username and password. Second, you will be prompted for hostname and network settings.

  1. On the initial screen of the configuration wizard, you supply the name, email address, organization name and credientials of the person who is to be the administrator of the virtual PCA. This information will be used to create the administrator login account on the virtual PCA.
    vPCA-Setup-01.png

  2. After entering the above information, arrow-down to “Next” and press Enter.
    vPCA-Setup-02.png

  3. On the second screen, you supply the virtual PCA’s hostname, domain and network configuration.
    vPCA-Setup-Host-01.png

  4. Enter a hostname and domain for accessing your virtual PCA on your network.
    vPCA-Setup-Host-02.png

  5. If you choose the network configuration to be set by DHCP, arrow down to the “Preferred NTP Servers” section. If you need to set the IP address statically, arrow down to “Static,” press Enter and follow the next step.

  6. For static IP address configuration, you will be prompted for the host IP address (IPv4 only), a netmask (in dot-decimal notation), the default gateway/next-hop IP and primary and secondary DNS server IP addresses. After setting these values, arrow down to the “Preferred NTP Servers” section.
    vPCA-Setup-Network-Static-02.png

  7. The default NTP server your vPCA will connect to is pool.ntp.org. If this meets your needs, arrow down to “Finish” and press Enter. Alternatively, follow the next step.
    vPCA-Setup-NTP-01.png

  8. You can choose the NTP servers your vPCA connects to by editing the “Preferred NTP Servers” field, and optionally the “Additional NTP Servers” field. These fields accept comma separated hostnames and IP Addresses. Your vPCA will prefer synchronizing with any of the “Preferred NTP Servers”. When you’ve finished editing these fields, arrow down to “Finish”, press Enter.
    vPCA-Setup-NTP-02.png

  9. Please do wait while the configuration wizard values are applied. The virtual PCA services need to restart for all configuration to take effect.
    vPCA-Setup-Complete-01.png

  10. Once the configuration wizard has been applied, a “Ready” message will appear with the URL that you can access with a browser and log into the new virtual PCA web interface.
    vPCA-Setup-Ready.png

  11. Use the username and password you entered on the first screen of the configuration wizard to log in.
    vPCA-Webui-Login.png

  12. At this point, you will need to contact AppNeta Support for your licenses to be installed.

Virtual PCA configuration via API

The virtual PCA hostname and network configuration can be changed by calls to a REST API. There is also an endpoint to enable or disable the maintenance service tunnel. The API can be accessed interactively by going to the virtual PCA’s swagger UI:

      https://<virtual PCA hostname>:9000/swagger