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Expert Reference Series of White Papers

Automation in the
Cloud:
vCloud Automation Center
vs. vCloud Director

1-800-COURSESwww.globalknowledge.com

There are many tools and products that can enhance efficiency. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. VCA-DCV. VCAP-DCA. MOUS.1: • vCloud Director 5.vSphere 5. and we have previously discussed many. we will review vCD and then discuss the newer vCAC. 2013.1 is not available for sale as a stand-alone product.vCenter 5. A+. CTT+. All rights reserved.Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5. VCA-Workforce Mobility. VCP. we’ll focus on self-service provisioning. After that.vCD 5. such as Log Insight and vCenter Operations Manager. • 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. Before we begin examining the products.vCloud Connector • Effective September 19. 2 . MCT. VCI.5. Strategic Directions According to VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article 2057589. VCA-Cloud. VMware has two primary tools in this category today: vCloud Director (vCD) and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC). VCP-DT. we’ll explore VMware’s new strategic direction as it relates to vCD and vCAC. MCDBA.Automation in the Cloud: vCloud Automation Center vs.vCAC . additionally.5 Enterprise Plus . Network+. waiting for management approvals. Introduction Automation is the next big frontier in IT as we look to reduce costs and increase productivity. and configuring storage and networks. which will serve as a framework for the remaining content of this white paper.5 will be available only as part of vCloud Suite 5. but rather IT administrators and developers) to deploy the VMs they need quickly—without the long delays that include provisioning new VMs. its edition and features are based on the edition of the vCloud Suite purchased) .vCloud Networking and Security . Global Knowledge VMware Instructor.5 .5 .v C OPS Suite (which comprises multiple products. VMware announced the following changes to vCD 5. In this white paper. MCSE.5 (included in the Enterprise Edition of vCloud Suite only) . This includes the following products: . which is the ability of users (typically not end users. VMware vCloud Director 5.5) or while converting from the standalone product to the vCloud Suite with the Fair Value Conversion Program. vCloud Director John Hales.

 3 . • Network virtualization: VMware has begun doing this through NSX in 5.com/vsphere/2013/09/vcloud-director-convergenceand-transition-plan-whats-the-scoop. vCD features that are moving into vCAC: • Governance: Some basic functionality in this area is currently available. • VM lifecycle management: Currently available. It seems that VMware is making vCD harder to obtain (or at least more expensive to do so for many customers).5. along with Profile driven storage. 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. enhancements could make this more seamless and automatic.vmware.html).• VMware will extend support for vCloud Director 5. 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. such as the ability to have automated policies that define who can access what. Does that mean that vCD will eventually vanish? Much speculation occurred about that. All rights reserved. after which.5 for four years from general availability. and which other VMs they can interact with. • 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. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. The last bullet point is the most interesting. For anyone concerned about current vCD capabilities (that vCAC doesn’t address in the enterprise space). if an administrator desires such. • Intelligent placement of VMs: Presently this is done through DRS and Storage DRS. VMware will provide support for vCloud Director 5. • 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.” 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). and the current version (5. especially in light of the first two points. 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.5 until Q3 2017 or when their current support contract expires. the VM automatically expires. this portal restricts available actions based on permissions and allows administrators to provision VMs with unique characteristics that are specified by them. Customers will be able to get telephone and Internet support for vCloud Director 5.5. whichever is earlier. 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. this feature provides the ability to define a life span for a VM. they clarified the future of both vCD and how they are addressing the needs of their customers. it is controlled by various policies and e-mail notifications before an automated action occurs.5) has an extended support policy. • Self-service portal: Presently available. what they can do with the VMs. so in a blog post (http://blogs. They are also working on tools to migrate from vCD to vCAC.

CPU. 4 .6 and later) will be aimed specifically at them. or even companies to coexist on the same physical hardware. The next version of vCD. and Amazon Web Services (AWS). while allowing for additional resources as Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. and future upgrades (5. cross-platform tool in vCAC. allowing or preventing the VM(s) access to other VMs that have been likewise configured. firewall. It also was deeply tied to the vSphere platform. Billing is part of the product as well. to create what VMware calls “the software-defined data center. 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. Quotas also provide a way to prevent billing surprises at the end of the month.If you have already adopted vCD. and other network and security services.If you haven’t already adopted vCD and are looking at cloud technologies. What is vCloud Director? vCD transforms the basic vSphere virtualization platform into a cloud-based one. This tool is much less expensive to deploy and maintain and is based on Windows and Windows technologies (such as SQL Server and IIS). Hyper-V. let’s examine each more carefully. vCenter. 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). within a company). but not as much within a company.6. migrate to CAC instead. excel as a tool for public cloud providers (which as VMware stated.5 and use the extended support window to allow for the vCAC and vSphere updates (described above) to become publicly available. while fully supporting vSphere and vCD. NAT. tentatively 5. as well as automation and strong security boundaries to enable multiple departments. and it was just too cumbersome for many users. 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). and does. VMware’s blog post recommends these transition plans: • Enterprise customers: .” The basic virtualization of storage. is the future for vCD). and so forth. 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. . • Cloud service providers will still be able to get vCD.What does this mean in practical terms? vCD was perceived as too difficult to use and too expensive (it required an Oracle database). to a pay-as-you-go model that bills for actual resource consumption. 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). This is critical in public cloud environments. will be available to Cloud service providers only. and vCAC embraces them all. networking. divisions. Now that we have briefly reviewed the benefits and limitations of vCD and vCAC. Many organizations use other technologies. Quotas on space consumption and leases can be created to control resource utilization and ensure that provisioned resources are actually used. while VMware now also provides a simpler. All rights reserved. this is not the primary focus of this document and thus will not be discussed further. It did. such as Citrix. you should move to 5. using vSphere. Security boundaries are strictly enforced by adding to each VM (or group of VMs deployed) a virtual network appliance that provides DHCP. Red Hat / KVM. This makes it simple and easy to control costs. for example.

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

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. John has written a book called “Administering vSphere 5: Planning. Implementing. As such.Conclusion vCAC is a relatively new product in VMware’s portfolio and thus not as full featured yet. John lives with his wife and children in Sunrise. VCP. now might be a good time. Network+. MCDBA. teaching all of the vSphere and View classes that Global Knowledge offers. VMware vCloud Automation Center: Install. However. hybrid cloud space—one that really showcases VMware’s strategic direction of being a management company for everything virtual. 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. as vCAC progresses. About the Author John Hales (A+. EMCSA) is a VMware instructor at Global Knowledge. to customize it as necessary. along with PowerShell and other mechanisms. Manage All VMware Courses Visit www. VCA-Workforce Mobility. enhance efficiency.com/products/vclouddirector/ • More information on vCloud Automation Center can be found at: http://www. Configure. If you haven’t looked into vCAC yet. CTT+. MCSE. VCI. MCT. VCAP-DCA. • More information on the vCloud Director can be found at: http://www.” which is published by Cengage. VCA-DCV.vmware. regardless of the vendor. VCP-DT.com/products/ vcloud-automation-center/ Learn More Learn more about how you can improve productivity.com or call 1-800-COURSES (1-800-268-7737) to speak with a Global Knowledge training advisor.vmware.globalknowledge. it looks to be a worthy successor to vCD in the private. it makes sense to migrate this into an industrial strength public cloud platform and then let vendors use the APIs it provides. MOUS. Florida. vCD is a good product that has gotten better over the years. All rights reserved. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. as well as custom courseware for individual customers. 6 . and Troubleshooting. and sharpen your competitive edge through training. as well as other technical books— from exam-preparation books to quick-reference guides.

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