vCloud Director and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC)

There has been many discussions about the future of vCloud Director and if VMware intends to deprecate it. There is not much information from VMware about its vision but recently there is a great emphasis on vCloud Automation Center for cloud management that is now embedded in vRealize Suite. It seems a great product, especially for enterprises considering that it integrates management of different infrastructures (even physical and public cloud) into a single platform; but I still have some questions when I look at both vCloud Director and vCAC in regards to service providers who offer services to completely different, critical isolated organizations. I have read this blog post by VMware that explains VMware vision of Cloud management and transition plan, but still unsatisfied!

By the way, it seems that sooner or later vCAC will be dominant solution for Cloud management and VMware will add features to satisfy different requirements rapidly. So, it’s a good time to get familiar with this product. I saw this post that is a very good practical introduction and hand out that explains and clarifies basic concepts in vCAC. There is also another simple, more detailed manual here. Of course, more information can be found in VMware documentation.

p.s – From business perspective, it’s a smart move from VMware to focus more on enterprises rather than service providers because cloud service provider market is and will be dominated by other players.

vCloud Automation Center Installation – 1

Installing VMware vCloud Automation Center is strongly recommended for the beautiful things that administrators or tenants can do. An example is deploying popular big data clusters using a very simple procedure (I will post a how-to soon for this). There is a perfect and comprehensive 7-part installation, configuration manual written by Kenny Coleman which can be found here.
So, if you didn’t deploy vCAC in your management environment yet, install and you will enjoy it!

p.s – I found Part 3 (Installing IAAS) of this guide the most difficult one. There are some hints that I would like to add:

  • To ease installation, don’t use external MS SQL server. Instead, install SQL Express 2012 on the same Windows machine (IAAS and Model Manager Server).
  • Make sure that DNS settings are correct and IAAS Server FQDN can be resolved.
  • If you don’t use Active Directory, YOU MUST specify domain name in Primary DNS suffix of System Properties to make computer full name like its FQDN. It’s very important that in Step 8, Current Server filled automatically with FQDN and not Stand-Alone Server name. Domain should be there. Or you will face with an error (in Logs) like:
    “Building Project “C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\Model Manager Data\DeployRepository.xml” (VARegistrationFinalSteps target(s)) — FAILED.
    Build FAILED.
    Authentication issue
    this error occurs when either the username or password supplied to iis is invalid