VMware vCAT chapter excerpt: VMware vCloud operations and management

'VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT): Technical and Operational Guidance for Cloud Success' teaches admins how to build a cloud infrastructure.

In the book VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT): Technical and Operational Guidance for Cloud Success, VMware Press gives a detailed overview of vCloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service capabilities, from deployment to operation.

Following the release of the free, downloadable vCAT, this wide-ranging guide gathers information from VMware consultants and architects on designs, tools and best practices for every vCloud-based cloud infrastructure. The book covers VMware vCloud service definitions, operating and consuming VMware vCloud services, implementation and workflow examples, software tools and cloud bursting theory.

Chapter 4 is available to download and read here (PDF). It offers guidelines and best practices -- according to the vCloud Operations Framework -- for the efficient pooling of on-demand, self-managed virtual infrastructures, which are consumed as services, including Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Desktop as a Service and even IT as a Service. The chapter also explains the dynamic nature of cloud resources and workloads and how this influences the scope and maturity of vCloud infrastructures.

Highlights from Chapter 4:

  • Companies adopt cloud computing to improve quality of service, business agility, and operating cost efficiency.
  • Quality of service: Standardized and automated service offerings, with associated availability levels and service management, help promote quality of service. Customers can provision a reliable vCloud service with predictable service levels to get the service they need, as they need it, within expected timeframes. To provide standardized, repeatable service, IT must introduce operational efficiencies and control the underlying infrastructure and applications.
  • Business agility: A proactive, service-driven model helps IT provide and manage services, which are added to a service catalog to facilitate end-user self-service. IT retains control of the environment (for example, by protecting against oversubscription). Providing the reliable, dynamic services expected from a vCloud requires automation of complex, time-consuming, error-prone tasks. This model reduces IT lag, improving business agility and increasing speed to market.

    Increased cost efficiency: The key to increased cost efficiency is reduction of operational expenses. The current operational cost and burden of managing IT -- approximately 70% operational expenses (OpEx) and 30% capital expenses (CapEx) -- must change, especially as IT becomes more service driven. IT operational processes for vCloud computing must be enhanced by automation and the use of tools for management, compliance, and process governance. IT organizational structures must be optimized to support vCloud operations and management.

Editor's note: The chapter excerpt from VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT): Technical and Operational Guidance for Cloud Success, is available courtesy of VMware Press, a publishing alliance between Pearson and VMware.

Download Chapter 4 now

This was first published in August 2013

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