Expert Reference Series of White Papers

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

1-800-COURSESwww.globalknowledge.com

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

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

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

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

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

 7 . All rights reserved.Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC.