you will notice the network configuration wizard for the virtual appliance is not available as you would expect when deploying to a vCenter Server.
GuestOperations API (previously known as VIX API) which allows you to perform operations within the guestOS that is running VMware Tools. The other nice thing about the GuestOperations API is that it does not require any network connectivity from the virtual machine.
Note: The GuestOperations API can be accessed in variety of ways and in this article I am demonstrating just two methods and does not require a Windows system. You can also access the GuestOperations API using PowerCLI if you are more comfortable with Windows and do not wish to use the vSphere C# Client to manually configure the network settings for the VCSA. I would also like to stress that though this article is about the VCSA, you can easily apply this to any VMware based virtual appliance or virtual appliance running VMware Tools.
The most important thing to identity before using the GuestOperations API is the specific command or program you wish to invoke and the argument it accepts. To configure the network configuration for the VCSA or any other VMware based virtual appliance, you would use /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_set_network If you just run this command by itself, there are variety of options from IPv4 to IPv6, static or dhcp configuration. In our example, we will be configuring a Static IPv4 address for our VCSA and the command we would run is the following:
/opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_set_network "eth0 STATICV4 192.168.1.150 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.1"
Method 1 - Using RVC (Ruby vSphere Console)
RVC is a nice open-source tool for interactively managing and configuring your vSphere infrastructure. RVC can be installed on any platform, in this example, I am running RVC on my Apple OS X laptop.
Step 1 - We first need to deploy the VCSA OVA and we can do so by using the ovftool via the command-line which can also be installed on Mac OS X system.
vm_guest.start_program . --program-path /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_set_network --arguments "eth0 STATICV4 192.168.1.150 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.1"Note: All commands in RVC can be tabbed out with auto-completion.
If the command was successful, you can quit RVC and you should be able to ping the IP Address that you have just configured.
Method 2 - Using vSphere SDK for Perl Script
Awhile back I wrote a script called guestOperations.pl which is a vSphere SDK for Perl script that implements the new GuestOperations API. This is a generic script which can be used to remotely connect to either a vCenter Server or ESXi host and perform operations within a guestOS as long as VMware Tools is installed and running. In this example, I also have the vSphere SDK for Perl installed on my Mac OS X laptop, but you can also install this SDK on any platform as well.
Step 1 - We will first use the "validate" operation to ensure our credentials to the guestOS is correct, but more importantly ensure that VMware Tools is up and running.
Step 2 - To invoke the command to configure the network configuration, we will use the "startprog" operation and run the following:
./guestOpsManagement.pl --server mini --username root --guestusername root --vm VCSA-5.1 --operation startprog --program_path /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_set_network --program_args "eth0 STATICV4 192.168.1.150 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.1" --working_dir /
As you can see, with the use of the GuestOperations API, you can do more than just setup the network configuration for a VM, you can run pretty much any command within the guestOS as you normally would if you were to RDP or SSH in. This is a very powerful interface that you can leverage to help you automate your virtual machine deployment and configurations!