Carful cloud users, because vCloud Automation Center 6.0 is GA! Grab the bits while its hot! I believe that this version (and the next to come ) will be a major game changer for our customers, helping them drive some cloud automation within their organizations, and make their life EASY! Notice that this iteration of vCAC is a bit different, and is actually using an additional new engine. This is noticeable right from the get go of installing the product, and from the UI first glimpse.
vCAC Core Enhancements
vCAC 6.0 supports these cloud infrastructures out of the box:
Amazon AWS , vCloud Powered Clouds
And these hypervisors:
vSphere , Hyper-V , KVM, Openstack Grizzly
Check out the documentation section for further detail
Networking: The 6.0 release can now be used to create new networks for your deployments , using vCNS , or NSX for vSphere ! You can create isolated networks, routed networks and NAT networks. You are now able to set multi machine blueprint networking at the blueprint level, specifying load balancer settings, to which new multi machine services will be provisioned. With NSX, even more can be done with firewalls LB’s , and network provisioning.
Storage: SDRS is now supported as a reservation, allowing the administrator to utilize the auto-placement mechanism. This is important especially for large VM blueprints with multiple disks / variant disk sizes.
BCP/DR: vCAC 6.0 extends the support of SRM managed VMs, on several deployments scenarios such as managing both original & DR site, DR testing scenarios (ignoring test machines on test site) and much more!
Applications: vCAC 6.0 now supports Application Director to some extent, being able to publish application deployed by AppD as items in the new catalog. Using this functionality in congestion with vCAC 6.0, brings some powerfull options in deploying multi tier complex environments on demand. Something that was a bit lacking with the 5.2 release.
Action Items: The new “Resource Action” allows you to perform pretty much any action you’d like on the resource / items you have in your catalog, mainly the ability to run vCO workflows easily, also , the system supports the vCO action prompts , more on this functionality in upcoming posts.
A nice item to notice here is VMRC connection to vSphere VMs (this was limited to vCD VMs in 5.2)
Approvals: Approvals can now be set with a lot of granularity, allowing you to determine the approval phases, how many people will approve, whether only one of them needs to approve , or all of them. Also, a very useful feature here is the ability to set which fields can be edited (amount of vCPUs / Memory perhaps). This approval systems redefines governance for IT admins in the enterprise!
Advanced Catalog Management
The new vCAC catalog contains two new objects: Services, and Catalog items. “Services” is the left pane menu that represents the kind of services we’re providing for our users. Whether its Application Services, Fresh OS builds, or XaaS items. Also, what’s nice about the new catalog system is that you can actually set some items as “New and note worthy” this will in turn pop them up in the nice port-lets the users get when they login to the system.
I believe that this specific feature is insanely powerful, as it turns vCAC into an IT management and operation platform. Just imagine the following:
Storage Services :
Catalog items: Request a LUN / RDM / Storage Increase
Catalog items: Request a Firewall port change / provision a network / provision a firewall
and so on…
This feature, with the help of vCAC’s governance , will help greatly in transforming organisations and datacenters to being truly Software Defined Data Centers!
This version of vCAC we’re introducing some terminology changes, and also includes some new user roles:
vCAC Administrator – > IaaS Admin:
This role will be given to a user on a creation of a new tenant, when logging in with the “Tenant zero” account of “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Enterprise Groups – > Fabric Groups:
These are the the groups of users in charge of the cloud fabrics, meaning different types of infrastructures and compute resources.
This role enables you to:
– Create infrastructure reservations.
– Create and assign business groups / business groups managers (read below)
– Configure approvals.
Provisioning Groups – > Business Groups:
What used to be provisioning groups, groups of users who can provision IaaS to a certain fabric, is now know as a business group. This directs the user a bit more in who he should correlate these types of users with.
This role enables you to:
– Configure and publish catalog items, and their entitlements.
– Configure Blueprints.
– Create/Configure actions for blueprints
vCloud Automation Center 6.0 now features two new components , vCAC Appliance, and a vCAC SSO Appliance. At the moment, vCAC 6.0 doesn’t support vCenter SSO, but i’m hoping it will in a nearby timeframe. The appliance is using a PostgreSQL DB to store all of its data, and also contains a built in vCO appliance, to deliver the XaaS feature.
Still, the IaaS component of the system is based on the windows components used in the 5.2 version, only now the blueprints can be published in the new catalog!