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vCloud Suite Architecture-1

This blog talks about vCloud Suite architecture. I will try to explain it as clearly as I can. vCloud Suite is the VMware’s Cloud solution for Hybrid cloud for an enterprise. It’s a step up in a big way from its earlier Avatars of vBlock Solutions and VMware vCloud Director. Though this suite is an evolution on these earlier suits.
I will write multiple blogs to explain in detail vCloud Suite architecture. This particular blogs covers only its components. The next one will go much deeper into architecture and the terminologies in vCloud Suite.
You wont regret going through vCloud Suite Architecture series blog.

Below is the diagram of all technologies that come together to make vCloud suite.

In the figure above all the components of the suite are mentioned. For the sake of simplicity I will mention them once again. vCloud Suite components are:
  1)      vCloud Director
  2)      vCloud Networking and security
  3)      vCenter
  4)      Site Recovery Manager
  5)      vSphere
  6)      vCloud Automation Center
  7)      vCenter Operations management suite
  8)      vFabric Application Director
  9)      APIs
  10)   vCloud Connector
  11)   vCenter Orchestrator

I will try to explain each of these components in detail ( or most of it, I don’t think I need to explain what vSphere or vCenter is). After this I will try to explain the concepts and architecture of the vCloud suite. There is no end to explaining n number of things VMware has. The main objective of the blog is to understand just the high level architecture of VMware’s vCloud suite.

VMware vCloud Director : VCloud Director (vCD) is VMware Inc.'s cloud computing management tool. It manages Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) architectures by monitoring and controlling various cloud-computing components, such as security, virtual machine (VM) provisioning, billing and self-service access. It focuses on private and hybrid cloud-computing infrastructures. A typical installation creates a vCloud Director Server group comprising several servers. Each server in the group runs a collection of services called a vCloud Director cell. All members of the group share a single database. Each cell in the group connects to multiple vCenter servers, the hosts that they manage, and the vShield Manager servers that are configured to support the vCenter servers




Diagram: Courtesy VMware Inc

vCloud Networking and security : VMware vCloud Networking and Security is the software defined networking and security solution. It provides a broad range of services in a single solution, including virtual firewall, VPN, load balancing and VXLAN extended networks.





Site Recovery Manager: SRM 5.5 offers limited support for vCloud Director environments. Using SRM to protect the management structure of vCD is supported. In order to ensure all management components are restarted in the correct order, and in the least amount of time vSphere Site Recovery Manager will be used to orchestrate the fail-over. . Using SRM to protect virtual machines within vCloud resource pools (virtual machines deployed to an Organization) is not supported .Due to this limitation these will be failed-over through several manual steps. All of these steps can be automated using tools like vSphere PowerCLI or vCenter Orchestrator.


vCloud Automation Center: VMware vCloud Automation Center™ (formerly DynamicOps Cloud Automation Center) enables you to rapidly deploy and provision business-relevant cloud services across private and public clouds, physical infrastructure, hypervisors, and public cloud providers. It provides

  • Unified cloud management that seamlessly spans private and public clouds that are based on VMware or other technology
  • Fast delivery of virtual, physical and cloud-based infrastructure services that meet the needs of both the business and individual users
  • Simpler management of multivendor virtual desktop solutions through automation and orchestration of tasks across the tools and infrastructure required to deliver the virtual desktop service
  • Intelligent resource management designed to help ensure higher utilization through placement, prevention and reclamation of resources across virtual and physical servers
vCenter Operations management suite: Provides predictive capacity and performance planning, compliance and configuration management, dynamic resource metering, cost modeling, and report generation using the following components:
  ·       vCenter Operations Manager
  ·         vCenter Configuration Manager
  ·         vCenter Infrastructure Navigator
  ·         vCenter Chargeback Manager 

vFabric Application Director: it seeks to significantly simplify the process of deploying applications and updating those applications. vFabric Application Director works by allowing you to declare your application and its components and make a blueprint of that application. vFabric Application Director then integrates with the vCloud API’s to deploy your application into a private or public cloud.
An important aspect of vFabric AppDirector is that it is not about building up a single image. It is about assembling an entire multi-tier application into a container that even contains the scaling rules for each of the tiers. This container is actually a vApp, but all of the complexities of dealing with a vApp are completely handled by vFabric AppDirector and shielded from the user.

vCloud Connector: VMware vCloud Connector can be used to move workloads between vSphere and private/public vCloud Director based IAAS clouds.

vCenter Orchestrator: VMware Orchestrator is a free vCenter feature that helps automate VMware vCloud Suite, vSphere and other virtualization management system processes. 
Orchestrator's workflow engine can be used to automate bulk operations and create workflow processes for integrating existing third-party tools.  It can be installed as a virtual appliance, a vCenter add-on or a standalone product for a Windows Server installation.

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