Release: VMware vCloud Director 1.0 – UPDATED

Posted by virtualization.info Staff   |   Tuesday, September 7th, 2010   |  

During the recently ended VMworld conference (see virtualization.info live coverage), VMware announced a remarkable number of new products. One of them is the long, long awaited vCloud Director 1.0 (formerly vCloud Service Director, and before that Project Redwood).

vCloud Director 1.0 (build 285979) is a management platform for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds powered by VMware vSphere 4.1. It should not be confused with the vCloud Express platform that just four hosting providers worldwide adopted and offered in the last few months as part of large beta program.

This first release of the product introduce a number of basic capabilities expected in this class of solutions, like:

  • Self-service provisioning portal
  • Content catalog (virtual machines and templates library) with customization on provisioning
  • Resource pooling
  • Resource monitoring, reporting and billing
  • Role-based user access (RBAC)
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Service Level Agreements enforcement
  • API

Each vCloud Director can scale up to 25 managed vCenter Servers, and up to 10,000 virtual machines in total.

Of course, compared to vCenter, vCloud Director introduces additional levels of abstraction. A key new object is the virtual Data Center (vDC) which allows to use vSphere for multi-tenancy deployments.
There are two kind of vDCs: the Provider vDCs and the Organization vDCs. The difference between the two is that the former logical object allows customers to define Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and cost (Pay per VM, Reservation Pool and Allocation Pool) for all the physical resources available, while the latter is a logical container for vApps which can have independent users, resource policies (lease, quotas and limits) and content catalogs.

Quite shockingly, VMware only offers six user roles for each Organization vDC: Organization Administrator, Catalog Author, vApp Author, vApp User and Console Access Only.
This definitively doesn’t satisfy the need for granular security permissions in a complex cloud environment like the vCloud one. VMware’s partners like HyTrust are already working on solutions to fill this gap but this basically means yet another component to buy, deploy and manage for customers.

By default, vCloud Director ships with six user roles for each Organization vDC: Organization Administrator, Catalog Author, vApp Author, vApp User and Console Access Only. Customers are able to define custom roles thanks to a number of specific permissions offered by the product.

The vApp is a concept that VMware introduced two years ago, as an evolution of the virtual appliance (VA).
A vApp uses the now standard OVF format to package together multiple virtual machines, the virtual network topology, and even a specific SLA. An organization can either create or import vApps and deploy them in the Organization vDC.

Quite interestingly, a single customer can own multiple Organization vDCs and have them served by different Provider vDCs. This allows different departments in the same company to use different SLAs for their vApps.

Another new level of abstraction is related to the network. Multi-tenancy clouds require isolation at the network level too.
vCloud Director allows to create “super virtual networks”, simply called External Networks, that span across multiple vCenter servers, allowing the vApps to communicate outside their Organization vDCs.
At the same time the product allows to create Internal Networks, that permit the communication between multiple vApps containers.
Besides External and Internal Networks, vCloud Director allows to aggregate all available network links at the vCenter level in Network Pools, that can be linked to specific vApps during the provisioning phase. Network Pools enforce isolation through three different technologies: VLANs, network fencing and portgroups.

VMware allows to further abstract the whole vCloud Director environment, by aggregating together multiple of them in so called vCloud Director Clusters.

VMware is selling vCloud Director as the product of choice for both public and private cloud computing. A key capability for both (mandatory in public clouds but just optional in private ones) is metering and billing. vCloud Director doesn’t have this natively but VMware integrated it with vCenter Chargeback.
The two products are reportedly bundled together and sold with a per-VM licensing.

Another key component of cloud computing is tenancy isolation. VMware is enforcing this through a new security product called vShield Edge. The security technology offered so far, vShield Zones, acquired in October 2008 from Blue Lane Technologies, wasn’t deployable at the perimeter of the virtual data center. This new product is, and its purpose is to filter traffic to/from each vDC in the VMware vCloud.
Like vCenter Chargeback, also vShield Edge is sold in bundle with vCloud Director. 
A point that is very important to clarify is that the VMware security management console, vShield Manager, is a mandatory component of the vCloud but it has a dedicated licensing.

Last bot not least, the fundamental part of cloud computing management platforms is the self-service provisioning portal, which also introduces the concept of content catalog.
The resources available through the self-service provisioning portal are Compute (virtualization hosts and resource pools at the vCenter level), Network (vNetwork Distributed Switches and/or portgroups at the vCenter and ESX level) and Storage (VMFS datastore and NFS network shares at the ESX level).
It is possible to have be multiple content catalogs, and each one can contain pre-defined vApps and other media (CD and floppy images) that users can require to deploy.  
vCloud Director doesn’t allow to directly use the contents from managed vCenters. Administrators have to copy them first inside the product catalogs and then make them available to the self-service portal users.

VMware_vCloudDirector10_Architecture.jpg

Along with vCloud Director 1.0, VMware also released the vCloud API 1.0 specifications. Once cloud providers will start adopting them, it will be possible to leverage the interface to create complex hybrid cloud architectures.
The vCloud API can be further leveraged through vCenter Orchestrator, the orchestration framework that VMware acquired from Dunes Technologies in September 2007 and that is available for free as part of vCenter Server in several vSphere editions.

An interesting point is that the product has been developed for Linux platforms, rather than for Windows like vCenter Server.
It includes a long list of open source components, released by VMware under multiple licenses: BSD/MIT, Apache 2.0, CCDL 1.0, EPL 1.0, Linux GLP 2.1 and 3.0.
These components include the Spring framework, acquired from SpringSource in August 2009.

During the VMworld opening keynote, VMware clarified its vision and strategy to deliver Iaas, PaaS and SaaS cloud computing as part of a single stack, but the integration seems still far away. It’s unclear why Spring is already shipped with vCloud Director.



blog comments powered by Disqus


cloudcomputing.info Newest articles
Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.5

June 13th, 2017

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analysis tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and considered a competitor of Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced the release of version 4.5, available for…

Release: VMware vRealize Automation 7.3

June 6th, 2017

Today VMware announced the latest release of its cloud management platform vRealize Automation, former vCloud Automation Center.
VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 release notes can be found at this link.

The…

Paper: Introducing the NSX-T Platform

February 9th, 2017

“We see greater potential strategic opportunity in NSX over the next decade than our franchise product vSphere has had for the past decade.”
said VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger talking about…

Quest Software leaves Dell

November 1st, 2016

In September 2012 Dell announced to have completed the acquisition of Quest Software, a Californian company with an history in systems management, security, business intelligence and, falling back in our…

Citrix announces Q3 2016 results

October 21st, 2016

Citrix announced its financial results for third quarter 2016.
The revenues for the second quarter were $841 million for an increase of 3% compared to Q3 2015.
Net income was $132…

Amazon EC2 now runs Windows Server 2016

October 21st, 2016

A few days ago Amazon Web Services announced the support for Windows Server 2016 in its IaaS offering Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Windows Server 2016, released in GA last week,…

VMworld US 2016 Wrap-up

September 1st, 2016

Today was the last day of VMware’s flagship conference VMworld in Las Vegas, an highly controversial edition which left a good chunk of the audience disoriented if not properly disappointed….

Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for 2016

August 11th, 2016

Last week Gartner updated its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the year 2016. The Magic Quadrant for the year 2015 was released in May last year…

Release: Ansible Tower 3 by Red Hat

August 2nd, 2016

Ansible is one of the four main players in the automation market, younger then the well known Chef and Puppet, has been launched in 2013 in Durham, N.C. and acquired…

IBM announces earnings for Q2 2016

July 19th, 2016

Yesterday IBM announced its results for Q2 2016.

If we compare with the same quarter in 2015 earnings per share, from continuing operations, decreased 22%. Net income, from continuing operations,…

Red Hat announces earnings for Q1 2017

June 24th, 2016

Red Hat announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2017.
Total revenue for the first quarter was $568 million, with an increase of 18% from the…

RightScale announces Docker Container Management

May 3rd, 2016

RightScale is a Santa Barbara, CA based company, provider of a Software as a Service (SaaS) management solution that so far only supported standard Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud…

Release: OpenStack Mitaka

April 7th, 2016

Today OpenStack Foundation has released the 13th version of its IaaS platform for public, private and hybrid clouds. This new releases has been contributed by 2,336 developers, operators and users…

Cisco acquires CliQr

March 1st, 2016

Today Cisco announced the intent to acquire CliQr Technologies Inc., a privately held company based in San Jose, CA.
CliQr is one of the most promising startups in the Cloud…

 
Monthly Archive