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VMware vCloud Air : Architecture and Principles

VMware announced the rebranding of VMware vCloud Hybrid Service to VMware vCloud Air. The new name represents VMware’s transformation into a cloud services provider, and our plans to extend the vCloud Air beyond Infrastructure as a Service. 

vCloud Air is a secure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud owned and operated by VMware.  It is built on vSphere and and is ideally suited for running existing Enterprise workloads as well as new applications.  
 Cloud Service Tiers
vCloud Air has two service tiers:

Dedicated Cloud and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
Dedicated Cloud
Dedicated Cloud customers are provided physically isolated pools of vCPU and vRAM.  The compute nodes for Dedicated Cloud are also air-gapped for enhanced security. Network and Storage, on the other hand, are logically isolated on a modern, high-end, multi-tenant infrastructure with appropriate resource guarantees in place for consistent and predictable performance. Lastly, VMware provisions a separate management stack for each Dedicated instance.
The Dedicated Cloud baseline offering starts with 30 GHz of Compute (vCPU) capacity, 120 GB of vRAM, and 6TB of Storage.  3 public IPs are also provided, as well as a 50 Mbps network link that is burstable to 1 Gbps.  Customers can increase the capacity of their dedicated clouds by purchasing additional blocks of storage and compute in the increments you see above.  

Virtual Private Cloud
Virtual Private Cloud customers are provided pools of vCPU, vRAM Network and Storage using the same design architecture as Dedicated Cloud customers, however, these resources are logically isolated. Tenants are provided strict guarantees to those resources and load is evenly balanced across the infrastructure,.
The Virtual Private Cloud offering includes 5 GHz of Compute (vCPU) capacity burstable to 10GHz, 20 GB of vRAM, and 2TB of Storage to start. In addition, 2 public IPs are provided, as well as a 10 Mbps network link, burstable to 50 Mbps.  As with the Dedicated Cloud, customers can increase capacity of their Virtual Private Clouds by purchasing additional resources in the block sizes 


Each cloud instance type includes utilizes the Virtual Datacenter (vDC) construct.  In a Dedicated Cloud a customer could have multiple virtual datacenters (vDC) with each vDC owning a subset of the global resources. In the case of a Virtual Private Cloud a customer only has access to 1 vDC. It is via this vDC construct that VMs are deployed and managed

Login to vCloud Air

Launch Browser from the desktop.  
1.      Enter the URL:
2.      Username:
3.      Password:
4.      Click the button labeled "Sign In" to login to vCloud Air


This is the main Dashboard view and it's what you will see when you initially logon to the service. The Dashboard is divided into several sections.
1.      These bars represent the amount of each resource - CPU, memory, and storage - that the subscriber has purchased.  The green fill is a visual representation of the resources that have been allocated to the Virtual Data Centers (vDCs) that appear below the heading Virtual Data Centers.  In this lab, all of the available resources have been assigned to the vDC called DC1-VPC1, however, in a Dedicated Cloud you have the option of creating and distributing the resources among multiple vDCs.
2.      Each box that appears in this list is a Virtual Data Center.  A vDC is a logical construct that allows you to subdivide the global resource pool into smaller pools for use inside of vDC.  It also allows you to create logically isolated environments.  vDCs can be created for the different phases of development, such as development, staging, and production.  Or you can align vDCs according to business unit, e.g. sales, marketing, etc.      
3.      These are the "global view tabs". If you wanted to see all Virtual Machines across all vDCs, or all of the Gateways across all vDCs you would select one of these tabs.
4.      By clicking on this icon, you can retrieve the list of users that have been granted access to this tenant.
5.      Displays the number of VMs that have been provisioned.
6.      Number of public IPs used and available


We are now looking at a specific Virtual Data Center. This tab shows the resources that have been allocated to this vDC as well as the amount of those resources currently being consumed by the VMs, templates, and media inside of this VDC.

Because this is a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), we do not have the ability to rename or edit the properties of this vDC.  With a VPC, all of the resources are automatically allocated to the default vDC.  If this were a Dedicated Cloud, you would have the ability to edit the properties of the vDC, including its size.


This is where you view and manage the vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) Edge gateways that are deployed inside of your vDC. These gateways can serve as a firewall, NAT router, network load balancer, DHCP server, and VPN concentrator. Because this is a VPC, we have only 1 gateway here.  In a Dedicated Cloud, you have the ability to create multiple Edge Gateways per vDC.

This is where you can configure NAT and firewall rules on the Edge Gateway


This is the Networks view. When you create a new vDC, 2 networks are automatically created for you: a default-routed network which is connected to the Edge and default-isolated network, which is not


This is the list of the users that have permission access this vDC. New users are first created "globally" 


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