Deploying HCX (VMware Hybrid Cloud Extensions) is considered to be complex and difficult by most. It doesn’t help that it’s usually one of those things you’d only do once so it doesn’t pay to spend a lot of effort to learn. However, as with everything it’s not hard once you know how to do it. This video aims to show how to deploy HCX both in VMC (VMware Cloud on AWS) and in the on-premises DC or lab.
It uses both the method of creating the service mesh over the internet as well as how to create it over a private connection, like DX (AWS Direct Connect) or a VPN.
A VPN cannot be used for L2 Extension if it is terminated on the VMC SDDC. In this tutorial I’ll use a VPN which is terminated on an AWS TGW which is in turn peered with a VTGW connected to the SDDC we’re attaching to.
I printed in white PLA using the 0.2mm quality preset on a Prusa i3 MK3s
Trying out the fit of a few silver cherry compatible switches after having painted purple using Tamiya TS-24 model paint
Soldering the diodes
For the wiring I used the diagram by Nick Green shown here.
For each row I use the diodes own wires as connectors between the keys. Solder the brown side of the diode to the key and use the black-side wire to hook up to the next key.
Soldering the vertical connectors
To connect the keys on the vertical side I use AWG22 copper wire with different colors to keep them separate more easily. AWG24 might have been better but this is what I had available at home.
I start by laying out the wire over the keys and then using a permanent marker to mark where they should have the insulation removed
Then I use a wire stripper to remove the insulation where the wire is marked. That way we can connect the same wire to multiple keys without having to cut the wire. The exposed part of the wire can also be pushed down over the key pin to get it to stay put while being soldered into place
Soldering largely done! Having some helping “hands” is highly recommended
Soldering pins to the Arduino Pro Micro
To make soldering of the pins easier I simply push them into a breadboard for support
Attaching the wires to the Arduino
To avoid the hassle of soldering each Arduino pin to the keyboard wires, and also to make it easy to replace the Arduino / wires if required, I use a crimping tool and some XH connectors.
Once the wires are attached to the XH connectors they can easily be connected to the pins of the Arduino. Some velcro keeps everything nice and tidy.
Adding the 3.5mm audio jacks
I solder VCC and GND wires to the black 3.5mm audio module and attach them to the corresponding pins on the Arduino using another XH connector. The data pin attaches to D3.
The two halves can now be connected using the 3.5mm audio cable (gray in the picture)
Quick (?) steps for connecting a Mikrotik router in an on-premises lab or DC to an AWS VPC using a VPN. All commands done over AWS CLI and Mikrotik CLI.
Note: The values for tunnel IP addresses and secrets etc. can be found in your VPN configuration file (downloaded later). Please don’t use the ones in this guide or an IT fairy will jump to her death from a VAX system in some remote DC. The values used here are already invalid as the resources have been deleted by the time of writing. Do think of the fairies though.
In this case the Mikrotik is not directly attached to the internet. It goes via an ISP router. If your setup is the same, please configure port forwarding for ESP, UDP port 500 and UDP port 4500 from the ISP public interface to the Mikrotik router as per the diagram.
If the Mikrotik is directly attached to the internet please open the firewall ports accordingly for ESP and UDP 500 / 4500.
Creating the VGW (Virtual Private Gateway but called vpn-gateway on the CLI). I used 65011 here for the AWS-side ASN but feel free to use something different as long as it is supported
Download the router configuration from the AWS console. Navigate to VPC and select Site-to-site VPN connection on the left-hand list. Pick the connection we just created and download the config as a text file
That’s it. The AWS side is done for now. We’ll need to add return routes from the VPC to the on-prem networks later but for now we can continue on to the Mikrotik configuration
Open the downloaded router configuration text file and SSH to the Mikrotik router. I use RouterOS 6.49.6 for this guide (latest at time of writing). An AWS VPN uses two tunnels. We have to configure both but will disable one of them later. Mikrotik doesn’t support dual active tunnels to AWS.
Create the IP addresses for the VPN tunnels. Search from the top of the file and look for “Customer gateway Inside Address”. The first 169.254.x.x IP will be for Tunnel 0. A second IP will be listed further down for Tunnel 1. We use a /30 subnet mask for the tunnel IPs.
Use your router outside interface. Mine is “sfp-sfpplus1” for this example
[admin@MikroTik] > ip address add address=169.254.88.206/30 interface=sfp-sfpplus1
[admin@MikroTik] > ip address add address=169.254.19.154/30 interface=sfp-sfpplus1