If you are familiar with vCenter and vSphere, you’ve probably heard of vCloud Director and vCloud Air, or even plan to migrate your existing vSphere platform to vCloud. But for those new to vCloud, what is it?
Here I’ll explain both vCloud Air and vCloud Director. vCloud Air is a hybrid cloud platform for high-performance production workloads. It provides virtual compute, storage, and networking infrastructure built on VMware vSphere. It offers services such as virtual private cloud, dedicated cloud, and disaster recovery, and is available both by subscription and on demand.
vCloud Director, on the other hand, helps with building secure private clouds. Since it runs on the top of vCenter, it hides vCenter cluster resources from the vCloud users thereby providing a level of abstraction.
Support for vCloud in ElasticBox
ElasticBox integrates both vCloud Air and vCloud Director through the VMware vCloud Director API, which also works with vCloud Air. To start deploying workloads to either platform, register your vCloud Director or vCloud Air account as a provider in ElasticBox. ElasticBox identifies the organizations, virtual datacenters, and catalogs the user account can access and makes them available for automated deployments from ElasticBox.
How vCloud Director and vCloud Air work
As a vCloud administrator, you manage users, virtual datacenters, catalogs, and policies in virtual organizations. An organization can have multiple virtual datacenters. Each virtual datacenter is a logical pool of resources such as compute, storage and network sourced from the underlying infrastructure.
vCloud Director allows you to group users within organizations and configure policies to determine how they consume resources. Virtual infrastructure resources are served as a catalog-based service. Catalogs contain templates and media files that are shareable between organizations and users. Catalogs can be public or organization-specific.
vCloud Air is similar. It also has a VMware catalog that offers templates by subscription.
A vApp Template is a virtual machine image with an operating system installed and ready for use. Although a template has default settings, when creating a new vApp, you can customize some of these settings, such as network configuration and hardware resources. If you already use vSphere and are thinking to migrate to vCloud, you can import your current vSphere templates to vCloud easily.
Storing vCloud resource metadata for deployments
ElasticBox encapsulates vCloud infrastructure resources as metadata in deployment policy boxes. In it, you specify the vCloud resources to consume across deployments. Like any other box, you can share and version policy boxes.
To create a policy box for your vCloud provider account, define the following settings:
- Resource: Select the catalog and vApp template from the organization you want to use for deployments.
- Placement: Select the virtual datacenter, network, allocation mode, and storage profile.
- Other resources. Select compute resources, such as the number of vCPUs, memory, and disk size.
Creating vApps in vCloud
Finally, the most exciting part. To launch a vApp, choose a workload configured as a box and pair it with a deployment policy. Then click deploy. It’s pretty straightforward, right?
Check out our documentation for more information. vCloud vApp deployments are easier to manage in ElasticBox because they’re completely automated and scalable. Especially if using vSphere, you can deploy the same workloads seamlessly across vCloud and vSphere. So why not give it a shot? Do reach me for any vCloud questions. I look forward to learning about your deployment use-cases.