vCloud Blog

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 Cloud Application Manager

Cloud Application Manager 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 Cloud Application Manager. Cloud Application Manager identifies the organizations, virtual datacenters, and catalogs the user account can access and makes them available for automated deployments from Cloud Application Manager.

Add vCloud Provider

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

Cloud Application Manager 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.

Policy Box

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?

Instance Select Policy

Check out our documentation for more information. vCloud vApp deployments are easier to manage in Cloud Application Manager 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.

Want to Learn More About Cloud Application Manager and ElasticKube?

Cloud Application Manager is a powerful, scalable platform for deploying applications into production across any cloud infrastructure – private, public or hosted. It provides interactive visualization to automate application provisioning, including configuration, deployment, scaling, updating and migration of applications in real-time. Offering two approaches to cloud orchestration — Cloud Application Manager and ElasticKube — enterprise IT and developers alike can benefit from multi-cloud flexibility.

Explore ElasticKube by visiting GitHub (curl -s | bash).

Visit the Cloud Application Manager product page to learn more.