Expert Reference Series of White Papers

Automation in the
vCloud Automation Center
vs. vCloud Director

vCloud Director John Hales.vCD 5. 2013. 2 . we’ll focus on self-service provisioning. and configuring storage and networks.vCloud Networking and Security .1: • vCloud Director 5. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC.Automation in the Cloud: vCloud Automation Center vs. Introduction Automation is the next big frontier in IT as we look to reduce costs and increase productivity. its edition and features are based on the edition of the vCloud Suite purchased) .5 . A+. In this white paper. VCP-DT. MCDBA. VCA-Workforce Mobility. VMware vCloud Director 5. Strategic Directions According to VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article 2057589.vCloud Connector • Effective September 19. MCSE. VCA-Cloud. waiting for management approvals. CTT+. • Existing vCloud Director customers can maintain their software through the entitlement program (if they already have vCloud Suite and just want to upgrade to 5. which will serve as a framework for the remaining content of this white paper.vCenter 5. Before we begin examining the products. All rights reserved.Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.5 (included in the Enterprise Edition of vCloud Suite only) . VCA-DCV. After that. MCT.vCAC .5 will be available only as part of vCloud Suite 5.5 . VMware has two primary tools in this category today: vCloud Director (vCD) and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC). we will review vCD and then discuss the newer vCAC. VMware announced the following changes to vCD 5. and we have previously discussed many. VCAP-DCA.1 is not available for sale as a stand-alone product. VCI. Global Knowledge VMware Instructor. we’ll explore VMware’s new strategic direction as it relates to vCD and vCAC. additionally. but rather IT administrators and developers) to deploy the VMs they need quickly—without the long delays that include provisioning new VMs. which is the ability of users (typically not end users. VCP.5.5 Enterprise Plus . MOUS. There are many tools and products that can enhance efficiency.v C OPS Suite (which comprises multiple products. Network+. This includes the following products: . such as Log Insight and vCenter Operations Manager.5) or while converting from the standalone product to the vCloud Suite with the Fair Value Conversion Program.vSphere 5.

vCD features that are moving into the hypervisor/vCenter: • Content catalogs: A collection of VMs that can be used as templates to create other VMs or groups of VMs. this portal restricts available actions based on permissions and allows administrators to provision VMs with unique characteristics that are specified by them. especially in light of the first two points. this statement provides VMware’s strategic direction: “Over the course of the next several release cycles for vCAC and vSphere product lines VMware expects all the use cases of vCD in the enterprise to be fully accommodated.5. The last bullet point is the most interesting.5 until Q3 2017 or when their current support contract expires. Beyond their usual practice of providing support for two years from the general availability of the major release or for 12 months for the latest released version. it is controlled by various policies and e-mail notifications before an automated action occurs. 3 . • Intelligent placement of VMs: Presently this is done through DRS and Storage DRS. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. Customers will be able to get telephone and Internet support for vCloud Director 5. along with Profile driven storage. All rights reserved. vCD features that are moving into vCAC: • Governance: Some basic functionality in this area is currently available. For anyone concerned about current vCD capabilities (that vCAC doesn’t address in the enterprise space).vmware. whichever is earlier. the VM automatically expires. VMware will provide support for vCloud Director 5. and which other VMs they can interact with. if an administrator desires such. Does that mean that vCD will eventually vanish? Much speculation occurred about that. They are also working on tools to migrate from vCD to vCAC. enhancements could make this more seamless and automatic. • Multitenancy: This feature is in its early stages and allows VMs from different departments and divisions to coexist on the same infrastructure but limits or disallows access to VMs from other divisions/ departments. they clarified the future of both vCD and how they are addressing the needs of their customers.html). and the current version (5. such as the ability to have automated policies that define who can access what.• VMware will extend support for vCloud Director 5. this feature provides the ability to define a life span for a VM. so in a blog post (http://blogs.” VMware also provided some guidance on current vCD functionality and their plans on its target use case (present plans are subject to change at any time).com/vsphere/2013/09/vcloud-director-convergenceand-transition-plan-whats-the-scoop. It seems that VMware is making vCD harder to obtain (or at least more expensive to do so for many customers). • Self-service portal: Presently available. what they can do with the VMs.5.5) has an extended support policy.5 for four years from general availability. • Network virtualization: VMware has begun doing this through NSX in 5. • VM lifecycle management: Currently available. after which. • Virtual data centers: The datacenter object can be used in this way currently but was designed to support islands of connectivity (different physical locations) instead. and it will probably become simpler and more integrated with the rest of the system in the way that Distributed Switches are today over time.

It did. Quotas also provide a way to prevent billing surprises at the end of the month. Security boundaries are strictly enforced by adding to each VM (or group of VMs deployed) a virtual network appliance that provides DHCP. allowing or preventing the VM(s) access to other VMs that have been likewise configured. VMware’s blog post recommends these transition plans: • Enterprise customers: . Hyper-V. but not as much within a company. and other network and security services. within a company). or even companies to coexist on the same physical hardware. 4 .If you have already adopted vCD. firewall. All rights reserved. Red Hat / KVM. This is critical in public cloud environments. to create what VMware calls “the software-defined data center. This makes it simple and easy to control costs. networking. . This tool is much less expensive to deploy and maintain and is based on Windows and Windows technologies (such as SQL Server and IIS).If you haven’t already adopted vCD and are looking at cloud technologies. divisions. let’s examine each more carefully. This occurs without any of them knowing that any of the others exist or having any access to them (unless it’s allowed by an administrator. for example. NAT. Quotas on space consumption and leases can be created to control resource utilization and ensure that provisioned resources are actually used. and it was just too cumbersome for many users. cross-platform tool in vCAC. The next version of vCD. and memory that is provided by the vSphere platform is enhanced by vCD with self-service provisioning (with a variety of roles to provide the right combination of privileges and security). while fully supporting vSphere and vCD.What does this mean in practical terms? vCD was perceived as too difficult to use and too expensive (it required an Oracle database). using vSphere. and Amazon Web Services (AWS). • Cloud service providers will still be able to get vCD.6. The billing capabilities allow for integration with various third-party billing solutions to automate the billing and payment process and to allow for centralized billing solutions used by accounting. and vCAC embraces them all. will be available to Cloud service providers only. is the future for vCD). and does. to a pay-as-you-go model that bills for actual resource consumption. allowing for internal “show back” that explains to the various departments/divisions the value of the IT services provided (or actual chargeback to either internal or external customers). What is vCloud Director? vCD transforms the basic vSphere virtualization platform into a cloud-based one. Many organizations use other technologies. excel as a tool for public cloud providers (which as VMware stated.6 and later) will be aimed specifically at them. and future upgrades (5. vCenter. while allowing for additional resources as Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. this is not the primary focus of this document and thus will not be discussed further. It also was deeply tied to the vSphere platform. as well as automation and strong security boundaries to enable multiple departments. Billing is part of the product as well. Now that we have briefly reviewed the benefits and limitations of vCD and vCAC. Customers can also select any resource consumption model they prefer—from a guaranteed amount of resources that you pay for no matter what (making for easy budgeting month-to-month). migrate to CAC instead. tentatively 5. CPU. while VMware now also provides a simpler. and so forth. you should move to 5.” The basic virtualization of storage.5 and use the extended support window to allow for the vCAC and vSphere updates (described above) to become publicly available. such as Citrix.

to policy administrators. The self-service portal is used by everyone—from the administrators who set it up. It can be used to deploy IaaS. such as the amount of GHz or GB of RAM actually used. in particular. It does not integrate with third-party billing tools. HP. and Xen Server) and clouds (whether or not they are based on VMware technologies. With basic billing support. utilizing instead VLANs and other native methods (of the hypervisor or cloud provider) for network control. and then rebranded and enhanced the other cloud-related product. Smaller mid-size companies. but. often have experience with Windows but may have limited experience with Linux. this makes it much less expensive to install and configure than vCD. and Cisco. It also does not have a strong network component like vCD does. as well as physical servers from Dell. Utilizing vCD. For many companies. or Amazon’s E2C or Microsoft’s Azure). 5 . and corporate governance. The cost and complexity involved are not difficult for large organizations to undertake (especially service providers that require all the vCD features). The automation capabilities are designed to span tools and technologies to make management and deployment as simple as possible. Hyper-V. such as IIS and SQL Server. vCAC. That leads us to why VMware bought from Dynamic Ops. so this is not a limitation. it allows you to bill for vCPUs and GB of RAM allocated to a VM. It also has a catalog of servers and software available that can be deployed easily from the webbased self-service portal. user requirements. PaaS. It has a simple dashboard interface for users to see what they have deployed. and other components used by vCD. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. vCD is powerful but also very complex and expensive to set up and configure. but those requirements are a very high barrier for smaller companies that wish to get into cloud computing. to the actual users of the portal to deploy VMs. and/or Database-as-a-Service (DaaS) cloud platforms. including VMware’s vCD. What is vCloud Automation Center? vCAC is designed to quickly provision physical and/or virtual infrastructures across hypervisors (including vSphere. It is designed with policies in mind to meet the needs of business. There is a great deal of granularity in what can be billed. but there is often not a bill-back process for IT services within the company. vCAC uses Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) to determine who has what permissions to do which tasks. unlike many other tools that are primarily focused on one or the other. allowing for both variable (such as GHz or GB of disk space used) and fixed (such as license costs for the OS or any installed apps) costs. which primarily affects companies that do not offering hosting services to external customers. but it does not provide resource-based billing. IT departments and cloud service providers can create Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds. Oracle. it does not provide VM console access like vSphere and vCD. It can be used to deploy desktops as well as servers.needed. vCAC depends heavily on Windows and Windows-related features and products.

com or call 1-800-COURSES (1-800-268-7737) to speak with a Global Knowledge training advisor. VMware’s two-prong strategy seems to be a much better fit with reality than a one-size-fits-all strategy that they previously espoused. it makes sense to migrate this into an industrial strength public cloud platform and then let vendors use the APIs it provides. VCA-Workforce Mobility. as vCAC progresses. All rights reserved.globalknowledge. it looks to be a worthy successor to vCD in the private. VCAP-DCA. As such. vCD is a good product that has gotten better over the years. and sharpen your competitive edge through training. John has written a book called “Administering vSphere 5: Planning.” which is published by Cengage. as well as custom courseware for individual customers. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. VMware vCloud Automation Center: Install. VCP-DT. teaching all of the vSphere and View classes that Global Knowledge offers. hybrid cloud space—one that really showcases VMware’s strategic direction of being a management company for everything virtual.Conclusion vCAC is a relatively new product in VMware’s portfolio and thus not as full featured yet. Configure. 6 . to customize it as necessary. MCT. along with PowerShell and other mechanisms. EMCSA) is a VMware instructor at Global Knowledge.vmware. • More information on the vCloud Director can be found at: http://www. Florida. Implementing. John lives with his wife and children in Sunrise. Network+. CTT+. However. regardless of the vendor. About the Author John Hales (A+. now might be a good time. VCI. and Troubleshooting. but it has never quite gotten the ease-of-use issues firmly under control and is tightly tied to VMware’s own virtualization platform. VCA-Cloud. MOUS. • More information on vCloud Automation Center can be found at: vcloud-automation-center/ Learn More Learn more about how you can improve productivity. If you haven’t looked into vCAC yet. as well as other technical books— from exam-preparation books to quick-reference guides. MCDBA. Manage All VMware Courses Visit www. enhance efficiency.vmware. VCA-DCV. MCSE.

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