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Implementation Guide: Configure and Connect | Azure VMware Solution and Pure CBS

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Deploying an Azure Ultra/ErGw3AZ SKU Virtual Network Gateway

In the previous section of this guide, we focused on pre-work along with with deployment of AVS and CBS themselves.  If both of those items are not in an available state, please wait for the deployments to complete and/or revisit the first section of this guide as you will not be able to complete this section until AVS and CBS are both deployed and available.

The Azure Virtual Network Gateway is the key component for connecting AVS and CBS.  Azure Virtual Network Gateways are available in multiple SKUs that are primarily differentiated by the level of network bandwidth, performance and Availability Zone affinity.  To provide maximum network bandwidth between AVS and CBS, it is strongly recommend selecting the ErGw3AZ SKU for the Virtual Network Gateway as this SKU provides the Ultra SKU performance, allows you to deploy it into the same Azure Availability Zones as CBS and AVS and lastly offers another unique important capability:  FastPath.   This section will cover requirements and steps for deployment of such a Virtual Network Gateway.

More information about FastPath can be found at this link.  The key reason it is beneficial for the AVS and CBS connection is that it allows virtual machine traffic from AVS to go directly to the Azure vNet CBS is attached to, bypassing the gateway.

It is important to note that the Ultra Virtual Network Gateway SKU does have a fixed monthly cost associated with it, pricing details can be found at the following link.  (Pricing is shown in the ExpressRoute Gateways tab).

GatewaySubnet Deployment

To begin the Ultra Virtual Network Gateway deployment, you first need to add a Gateway Subnet to the Azure vNet that CBS is utilizing.  

Navigate to the Azure vNet that CBS is leveraging, select the Subnets sub-menu and then select the + Gateway subnet button.

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From the Add subnet wizard, the subnet address range will be pre-populated with an available range but you may optionally input a CIDR block range for the Gateway subnet.  Click on Save when finished.

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After successful deployment, inspect your vNet subnets to confirm that the GatewaySubnet exists.

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Azure Ultra Virtual Network Gateway Deployment

After successfully adding a Virtual Network Gateway to your Azure vNet, you can next deploy the Virtual Network Gateway itself.  To begin, search for virtual network gateway in the Azure Marketplace and then click on the create button on the appropriate tile.

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From the creation wizard, please see the below screenshot and itemized list of fields to fill out for using the virtual network gateway with AVS.

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  1. Subscription:  Select the subscription you will be using for AVS and CBS.
  2. Name:  Select a descriptive name for the Azure Virtual Network Gateway.
  3. Region:  The region selection should be the same as where AVS and CBS are deployed.
  4. Gateway Type:  The ExpressRoute option is required.  The VPN Gateway type will not work with this solution.
  5. Gateway SKU: For optimal performance, the ErGw3AZ SKU is strongly recommended.
  6. Azure Virtual Network:  Select the same Azure virtual network you deployed Cloud Block Store with.
  7. Gateway Subnet:  The GatewaySubnet field should be automatically filled in when the Azure vNet is selected.  If a Gateway subnet is not populated, see the previous section of this article for how to create a GatewaySubnet as this is required for virtual network gateway deployment to succeed.
  8. Public IP address:  A virtual network gateway requires a public IP address.  An existing one may be used or a new one can be created from scratch.  Using the Basic SKU is acceptable.
  9. Availability Zone:  Select the same Azure Availability Zone where AVS and CBS were deployed into previously for your given region.  This is critical to ensure network traffic between AVS and CBS stays contained within the same Azure Availability Zone.

With the above selections completed, click on the Next button (10) at the bottom of the screen and optionally tag your virtual network gateway.  Click on the Review and Create button to proceed.

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Review the configuration selections made for the virtual network gateway.  If everything is correct, click on the Create button to begin the deployment.  Note that this deployment can take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to complete.

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Connecting AVS to CBS

At this point, all of the core networking, storage and VMware components have been deployed.  The next phase is to connect these components together so we may provision and manage CBS storage within AVS.  AVS has a dedicated ExpressRoute circuit that we will leverage to provide a high performance connection.  Additionally, we will use Azure vNet connect to provide basic accessto the AVS cluster.

Azure vNet Connect

Starting with Azure vNet Connect, go to your AVS cluster and navigate to Connectivity on the left-hand menu.  Select the Azure vNet connect tab and then from the pull-down menu, select the Azure vNet that is being used with your CBS instance.

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With the vNet selected, click on the Save button to establish the vNet connection.

 

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AVS ExpressRoute with FastPath Connection Setup

In order to setup AVS ExpressRoute, we first need to gather a couple of important pieces of information from the AVS cluster.  
Start by navigating to the AVS instance, then to the Connectivity menu item.  Next, select the ExpressRoute tab and lastly copy the ExpressRoute ID.  You will use this URL when establishing the Connection later in this section.

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The other piece of information required is found on the same screen.  An authorization key must be generated and utilized for the connection.  To generate the key, click on the Request an authorization key button.

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Provide a Name for the key and then select Create.

 

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Copy the generated key.  It can take a few minutes to be created.

 

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Next, navigate to the Azure Virtual Network Gateway that we created earlier in this section.  Select the Connections menu item and then click on + Add.

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The next screenshot and associated list of fields below will show the detailed information required for each field.

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  1. Name:  Provide a unique name for the ExpressRoute connection.
  2. Connection Type:  Select ExpressRoute from the drop-down menu.
  3. Redeem Authorization:  Check the Redeem authorization box.
  4. Virtual network gateway:  This should be auto-populated with the virtual network gateway we added this connection from.
  5. Authorization Key:  This is the authorization key we generated and copied from the AVS deployment earlier in this section.
  6. Peer circuit URL:  This is the ExpressRoute Circuit ID we copied from the AVS cluster earlier in this section.
  7. FastPath:  Make certain that this option is selected in order to have maximum performance between AVS VMs and CBS.
  8. Subscription, Resource group and Location:  These items should be automatically filled in based upon information pulled from the virtual network gateway.

When the fields have been correctly populated, click on the OK button to establish the connection.

The Connection will first be in an Updating status before becoming Successful.  This can be viewed in the Connections menu for the virtual network gateway.

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The steps shown above to establish a connection between AVS and CBS can be viewed in the below technical demo video.

With the ExpressRoute connection successfully established, we can now move on to provisioning and managing storage with Pure Cloud Block Store in the next section.