Expert Reference Series of White Papers

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

1-800-COURSESwww.globalknowledge.com

Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. VCA-DCV. MCT. In this white paper.vCloud Connector • Effective September 19. vCloud Director John Hales. such as Log Insight and vCenter Operations Manager. MOUS.5 Enterprise Plus . waiting for management approvals. • 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.vCenter 5.vSphere 5. Before we begin examining the products. 2013.5) or while converting from the standalone product to the vCloud Suite with the Fair Value Conversion Program. we’ll focus on self-service provisioning.5 . VCI. VMware has two primary tools in this category today: vCloud Director (vCD) and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC).5 will be available only as part of vCloud Suite 5.5 . additionally. Global Knowledge VMware Instructor. we will review vCD and then discuss the newer vCAC. and configuring storage and networks. which will serve as a framework for the remaining content of this white paper.Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5. which is the ability of users (typically not end users.v C OPS Suite (which comprises multiple products. After that.vCAC . VCP. 2 . All rights reserved. VCA-Workforce Mobility. its edition and features are based on the edition of the vCloud Suite purchased) . but rather IT administrators and developers) to deploy the VMs they need quickly—without the long delays that include provisioning new VMs. MCDBA.5 (included in the Enterprise Edition of vCloud Suite only) . A+. we’ll explore VMware’s new strategic direction as it relates to vCD and vCAC. Network+. MCSE. VMware vCloud Director 5. Strategic Directions According to VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article 2057589.vCloud Networking and Security . VCA-Cloud.1: • vCloud Director 5.1 is not available for sale as a stand-alone product. CTT+.5. and we have previously discussed many. Introduction Automation is the next big frontier in IT as we look to reduce costs and increase productivity.vCD 5. This includes the following products: . VCP-DT. VCAP-DCA. There are many tools and products that can enhance efficiency.Automation in the Cloud: vCloud Automation Center vs. VMware announced the following changes to vCD 5.

• Intelligent placement of VMs: Presently this is done through DRS and Storage DRS. VMware will provide support for vCloud Director 5.5 until Q3 2017 or when their current support contract expires.5) has an extended support policy. this feature provides the ability to define a life span for a VM. what they can do with the VMs. and which other VMs they can interact with. 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. • Self-service portal: Presently available. especially in light of the first two points. Copyright ©2013 Global Knowledge Training LLC. • Network virtualization: VMware has begun doing this through NSX in 5. after which. It seems that VMware is making vCD harder to obtain (or at least more expensive to do so for many customers). 3 .” 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. the VM automatically expires. The last bullet point is the most interesting. along with Profile driven storage.html). they clarified the future of both vCD and how they are addressing the needs of their customers. They are also working on tools to migrate from vCD to vCAC. 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. • 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. if an administrator desires such.5. 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). whichever is earlier. 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. and the current version (5. it is controlled by various policies and e-mail notifications before an automated action occurs.5 for four years from general availability.• VMware will extend support for vCloud Director 5.5. All rights reserved. Customers will be able to get telephone and Internet support for vCloud Director 5. such as the ability to have automated policies that define who can access what. • 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. Does that mean that vCD will eventually vanish? Much speculation occurred about that. vCD features that are moving into vCAC: • Governance: Some basic functionality in this area is currently available. 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.vmware. • VM lifecycle management: Currently available. so in a blog post (http://blogs.

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

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

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

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