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vCloud (vCAC 6): Architecture and components

Below is the overall refernce architecture of VCAC 6

The table below identifies common use cases and the functionality available with each edition

Smmary Comparison
vRealize Automation
Features Standard (1) Advanced Enterprise
vRealize Automation
VMware Infrastructure Services, cloning only, vRealize Orchestrator Integration
Multi-vendor, multi-cloud Infrastructure (2), and multi-vendor SW provisioning  
Custom Services (XaaS), Approvals, Reclamation, Chargeback, multi-tenancy  
Application Services, Release Automation, DevOps Integration    
Detail Comparison
vRealize Automation
Features Standard Advanced Enterprise
Services Provisioned and Managed
Infrastructure Services (vSphere and vCloud only)
Day-2 Operations for Infrastructure: Reconfigure, Snapshot
Infrastructure Services (multi-vendor virtual, physical, and public cloud) (2)  
Custom Services  
Application Services ( virtual, private and public cloud)    
Day-2 Operations for Applications: Update, Rollback, Scale-in and Scale-out    
Software Deployment Mechanisms
Hypervisor and vApp Cloning
Multi-vendor software deployment tools (e.g. BMC BladeLogic, HP Server Automation, Microsoft SCCM, NetApp FlexClone, Citrix Provisioning Server, Linux Kickstart/AutoYast, Windows WIM Imaging PXE Boot and others)  
Deploy integrated multi-tier applications    
Leverage existing services in new application deployments (e.g. Production LoadBalancer)    
Governance and Controls
Business rules, resource allocation and infrastructure service definition policies
Multi-tenancy and approvals  
Application definition and release automation policies    
Business Management
Chargeback and cost display throughout the product  
Integration with VMware vRealize Business Standard Edition ( IT cost management solution)  
Solution Extensibility
vRealize Orchestrator Integration
Optional vRealize Automation Development Kit (SDK)
VMware Cloud Management Marketplace solutions
Advanced Service Designer  
Integration with Configuration Management Solutions e.g. Puppet, Chef and SaltStack    

When planning a vCloud Automation Center deployment you must consider all the logical

With single sign-on (SSO), Active Directory users who are granted access to the vCloud Automation Center portal can log in without typing a user name and password again. The Identity Appliance is deployed from an Open Virtualization Format (OVF) template

At least one vCloud Automation Center appliance is required. The appliance includes the
Web console, which provides a single portal for self-service provisioning and management of cloud
services. The console also provides authoring, administration, and governance. You can deploy
multiple instances of vCloud Automation Center behind a load balancer

The IaaS component of vCloud Automation Center is made up of
multiple parts:
• IaaS Web site
• Distributed Execution Managers (DEMs)
• Agents
• Model Manager
• Manager Service
• Database

The IaaS Web site component provides the infrastructure
administration and service authoring capabilities to the vCloud Automation Center console. The IaaS
Web site component communicates with the Model Manager, which provides updates from
the DEM, proxy agents, and database.

The Model Manager holds the core of the business logic for vCloud Automation Center. This
business logic contains all the information required for connecting to external systems like VMware
vSphere®, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Cisco UCS Manager. The
Model Manager Web service component can have multiple instances that communicate with a single
database. The database can be a clustered instance

The Manager Service coordinates communication between agents, the IaaS database, Active Directory (or LDAP), and SMTP. The Manager Service communicates with the console Web site through the Model Manager. This service requires local administrative privileges to run.

DEMs are used for provisioning and managing machines on:
• vCloud Director and vCloud Hybrid Service
• Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Manager
• Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)
• Amazon Web Services
• Physical Server Management Interfaces for Dell, HP, and Cisco

Agents are used for provisioning and managing machines and
services on:
• Hypervisor proxy agents (vSphere, Citrix, XenServer, Hyper-V)
• External provisioning infrastructure (EPI)
• Virtual Desktop Infrastructures
• Windows Management Instrumentation

Distributed Execution Managers (DEMs) are responsible for coordinating and executing the
requested workflows. The two types of DEMs are the Orchestrator and the Worker. The Worker
DEM is responsible for executing the requested workflows. The Orchestrator is responsible for
preprocessing and scheduling the workflows on all available Worker DEMs

Agents, like DEMs, are used to integrate vCloud Automation Center with external systems:
• Virtualization proxy agents are used to collect data from and provision virtual machines on 
virtualization hosts, for example, a Hyper-V agent, a vSphere agent, or a Xen agent.
• Integration agents provide vCloud Automation Center integration with virtual desktop systems, for 
example, an EPI Windows PowerShell agent, or a VDI Windows PowerShell agent.
• Windows Management Instrumentation agents enable data collection
from Windows machines managed by vCloud Automation Center.

vCenter Orchestrator integrates with vCloud Automation Center to extend the business process
automation capabilities of your cloud infrastructure. The standard master workflow in vCloud
Automation Center can be extended to call vCenter Orchestrator workflows that communicate with
external systems or perform external processes

Upon approval, a work
order is generated against an external management system. At the time of provisioning, a custom 
script is executed and CMDB is updated to reflect the new machine. After provisioning, the machine 
can be backed up or changed. That change in the machine requires an update to the CMDB. The CMDB is  updated once again when the machine is not needed, put into retirement, and subsequently
VMware vCloud Application Director automates the deployment, update, and maintenance of
applications. Application Director integrates with vCloud Automation Center to form an extensible,
flexible, and automated system for deploying and managing the lifecycle of machines and

The distributed deployment architecture.
This option uses multiple load balancers to balance parts of the vCloud Automation Center
deployment. This type of scaled-out design requires more infrastructure resources than a minimal
deployment design. The added expense and complexity of this design results in a more scalable,
potentially higher performing, and more highly available cloud infrastructure. You can also use
vSphere to protect against hardware failure

VMware NSX provides dynamic networking for machines provisioned by using vCloud
Automation Center. vCloud Automation Center integrated with VMware NSX can dynamically
provision NSX logical services customized to the specific needs of each applications


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