Cloud management tasks that VMware vCAC can and cannot do with vCD

Meredith Courtemanche

VMware vCloud Automation Center manages multiple heterogeneous cloud resources -- a private vCloud virtual data center, Amazon public cloud environment and others -- but vCAC hasn't always had the closest relationship with vCloud Director.

When VMware acquired vCloud Automation Center (VMware vCAC) from DynamicOps, the technology somewhat overlapped with its homegrown vCloud Director (VMware vCD) cloud management tool. Both manage virtual resources according to roles and both make virtual machine and app provisioning faster and more flexible than with traditional virtualization.

VMware vCD abstracts physical compute resources into virtual data centers and grants access to these VDCs by roles. VMware includes vCD in every edition of vCloud Suite. Adding vCAC -- with a standalone license or in the top-tier vCloud Suite Enterprise edition -- enables heterogeneous hypervisor and cloud infrastructure management. Use vCAC to reserve resources, specify on what resources a service should operate and restrict what resources are available to which users and for how long.

Does VMware vCloud Automation Center work with vCloud Director?

This is not a simple yes or no question. Depending on the version of vCloud Automation Center that you use, integration with vCloud Director will vary.

VMware vCAC 4.5 came out with no vCD integration. It interfaced with vSphere to provide the cloud services storefront and management options.

With vCAC version 5.1, VMware allowed vCAC to communicate with vCD for limited tasks, such as provisioning a vApp to a virtual data center defined by vCloud Director, provisioning cloud services to private clouds managed by vCloud Director and to public vCloud Service Providers and cloning vApps from the vCloud Director catalog.

VMware vCAC 5.2 offers more integration with vCD. Existing vApps provisioned in vCloud Director can be managed by vCloud Automation Center. Users can provision virtual data center reservations via a reservation pool or allocation pool or by paying as resources are consumed from vCloud Director. Version 5.2 also allows vCAC to reserve portions of one vCD organizational virtual data center for multiple provisioning groups.

VMware gave vCAC access to vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) in version 5.2 as well. VCloud Automation Center can identify VXLAN, load balancers and other virtual network resources and specify those resources when reserving cloud services or provisioning virtual machines and vApps.

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