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Can vCloud Connector manage vCloud Air?

VMware touts its hybrid cloud offering, vCloud Air, as a seamless way for administrators to move workloads from their vSphere infrastructure to the cloud when demand exceeds capacity.

Management and monitoring are important issues for cloud environments -- especially in hybrid cloud environments where workloads can migrate outside of the business and computing demands can scale significantly. Successful hybrid cloud management equates to good cost control and workload optimization.

The first means of controlling VMware's vCloud Air -- formerly vCloud Hybrid Service -- is through VMware's Web portal for control of the virtual data center instances, network services and virtual machine (VM) lifecycles. Portal access is typical when there are no other compatible management tools in the client business. VMware also provides a plug-in that allows management of vCloud Air with vCloud Connector using vSphere. A virtual appliance, vCloud Connector is a free product that allows an administrator to move VMs between servers and public cloud providers. Other VMware tools such as vCloud Director can be used to handle various tasks, such as importing or exporting OVF images or other media.

Like most public cloud providers, VMware does not allow direct access to the provider's cloud infrastructure, but the vCloud API is available to compatible tools such as vRealize Automation -- formerly vCloud Automation Center -- HypericHQ, CloudFoundry and other tools to gather and report information about the performance characteristics of workloads in vCloud.

Regardless of the preferred management tools and interface methods, it's important to test each tool's behavior carefully and ensure that the resulting management data is correct and consistent. Also remember that any changes or updates to the vCloud service, API, tool or agent versions might affect the way each tool communicates, gathers and reports information. Ongoing proof-of-principle testing for management tools is vital before using service like vCloud with production workloads.

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