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vCenter Integration for Contrail Release 5.0.2

These topics provide instructions for integrating Contrail Release 5.0.2 and microservices with VMware vCenter.


Before you start the integration, ensure that the contrail controller meets the prerequisites given in Server Requirements and Supported Platforms.

Follow these steps to prepare Contrail controller(s):

ESX Agent Manager

VMware provides a standard vCenter solution called vSphere ESX Agent Manager (EAM), that allows you to deploy, monitor, and manage ContrailVMs on ESXi hosts.

Starting in Contrail Release 5.0.2, the ContrailVM is deployed as an Agent VM that is monitored by EAM. With this integration, ContrailVMs are marked as more critical and privileged than other tenant VMs on the host.

The following are the benefits of running ContrailVM as an AgentVM from EAM:

  • Auto-deploy ContrailVMs on ESXi hosts in scope (clusters).

  • Manage and Monitor ContrailVMs through EAM in the vSphere web client.

  • Integrate with other vCenter features like AddHos, Maintenance Mode, vSphere DRS, vSphere DPM, and VMWare HA.

These topics provide instructions for integrating Contrail Release 5.0.2 and microservices with VMware vCenter.

Set Up vCenter Server

Follow these steps to set up the vCenter server.

  1. Download the Contrail Ansible Deployer (contrail-ansible-deployer-< >.tgz) onto your provisioning host. You can download the deployer from
  2. Untar the tgz.
  3. Prepare a vcenter_vars.yml file populated with vCenter server and ESXI hosts parameters. You can download the CentOS 7.5 and ESXi VM Host from

    You can see a sample of the vcenter_vars.yml file in the contrail-ansible-deployer/playbooks /roles/vcenter/vars/vcenter_vars.yml after you extract the image files.


    The ContrailVM’s Open Virtualization Format (OVF) image must be hosted on an http or https server which runs on and is reachable from the vCenter server. The location of the OVF is provided as a URL path for vmdk: as shown in the example given below.

    Example: Enabling HA and DRS in the cluster

    For definition examples, refer contrail-ansible-deployer/playbooks/roles/vcenter/vars/vcenter_vars.yml.sample.

    To enable HA and DRS in the cluster, set enable_ha and enable_drs to yes in the vcenter_vars.yml file. If these flags are not enabled, HA and DRS is turned off by default for newly created and existing clusters.

    Example instances.yaml File


    The default login credentials for Contrail OVF is

    Username: root

    Password: c0ntrail123

    Example vcenter_vars.yml File

  4. Run the Contrail vCenter playbook.

Verify that the hostnames for the contrail controller(s) and the ContrailVMs (vRouters) are unique in /etc/hostname file.

You can verify hostname from either the DHCP options (if the management network uses DHCP) or manually (if the management network uses static IP allocation).

Configure Contrail Parameters

Populate the file config/instances.yaml with Contrail roles.

For an example file, see contrail-ansible-deployer/confing/instances.yaml.vcenter_example.

Install Contrail

Install Contrail by running the following Contrail playbooks:

Monitor and Manage ContrailVM from ESX Agent Manager

ContrailVMs can be monitored from EAM by using ContrailVM-Agency.

Follow these steps to monitor and manage Contrail VM from EAM:

  1. Resolve issues from the ContrailVM-Agency.

    The ContrailVM-Agency is in an alert state when the ContrailVM in any host is powered off or is deleted.

    Click Resolve All Issues from the ContrailVM-Agency to correct the issue. The ContrailVM-Agency will attempt to correct the issue by bringing the ContrailVM back online or by spawning a ContrailVM from the OVF on the ESXi host.

    Figure 1: vCenter Server ExtensionsvCenter Server Extensions
    Figure 2: ESX AgenciesESX Agencies
  2. Add host.
    1. Add ESXi host to the cluster.
    2. Configure Agent VM Settings for the ESXI host.
      Figure 3: Configure Agent VM SettingsConfigure Agent VM Settings

      For more information on configuring Agent VM, network, and datastore settings, see Configure Agent VM Settings.

      EAM deploys a ContrailVM (from the base OVF) on the ESXi host.

    3. Add ESXi host details to vcenter_vars.yml and repeat step 4 to add appropriate interfaces to the ContrailVM and to configure necessary settings in the vCenter server.
    4. Add ContrailVM details to instances.yaml and provision Contrail on the newly added ContrailVm (router). For more information on provisioning Contrail, see Install Contrail.
  3. Clean up the ContrailVM-Agency.

    Delete ContrailVM-Agency from the EAM user interface to delete ContrailVM and the agency.