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Archive for the ‘VMware vCloud Director’ Category

Before we know about VMware vCloud Director, let us quickly see what Cloud Computing is. So, what is cloud computing? That’s the new buzz word in the market, right? Well, does it really mean anything to us? Some say that it is a new way of saying what we have been offering as a Virtualization service, is that right? When somebody asks me the same question I just reply with a face and say “You talkin’ to me?”, no I am just kidding. Here is how “I” see at it:

Let us break the cloud computing into two different words, define them, combine them and then see what they mean together: We have always used “cloud” as somekind of network such as Internet or WAN or VPN that is out there. And we all know that computing is some kind of hardware and/or software that can be used to access, process or manage information. Now, if we combine them together we are really talking about accessing, processing and managing information over some kind of private or public network. There are several other names in the market that revolve around cloud computing. For instance, when cloud computing is used for delivering Application services, it can be called as “Software as a Service (SaaS)”, when is it used for delivering Platform services, it can be called as “Platform as a Service (PaaS)” and when used for delivering Infrastructure services, it can be called as “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)”.

VMware vCloud Director is an “Infrastructure as a Service” solution that can pool the VMware vSphere resources in your existing datacenter and deliver them on a catalog basis without the end-users knowing the complexities of the Infrastructure behind it. It is elastic in nature and provides consumption based pricing and can be accessed over the Internet using standard protocols. Now, think of it as a layer sitting above the VMware vSphere layer to transparently provide resources to the end-users just as shown below:

As you can see from the bottom up, historically VMware vSphere Components abstracted the Physical resources into virtual resources and now VMware vCloud Director Components will abstract the VMware vSphere virtual resources into “Pure Virtual” resources. When I say pure virtual resources, I am referring to the Virtual Computing, networking and storage resources to be more specific. With that said, let us see what are the various VMware vCloud Director Components that are making this happen:

  1. VMware vCloud Director Cells: These are multiple VMware vCloud Director software components installed on RedHat Enterprise Linux and are stateless peers that use a single VMware vCloud Director database but can scale horizontally. Multiple cells provide redundandy and load balancing when used with an external load balancer. Every cell has several roles such as UI, vCloud API, Console Proxy, VMware Remote Console (VMRC), Image Transfer and so on, however Console Proxy and VMRC are the configurable and critical components where Console proxy provides self-service VMware vCloud Director portal access to the administrators and end-users and the VMRC provides Virtual Machine Remote Console access to both administrators and end-users.
  2. VMware vCloud Director Database: This is an Oracle database that stores all the VMware vCloud Director information. Care should be taken to design the database with redundancy and high availability. Currently, Oracle 10g Enterprise Server and above is the only database type that is supported.
  3. VMware vShield Manager and Edge Components: VMware vShield Manager is used to manage all the vShield service VMs such as vShield Edges that will be created on the fly whenever fencing, NATing and other services are used within the VMware vCloud Director environment.
  4. VMware vCenter Chargeback: vCenter Chargeback provides the software metering to the VMware vCloud Director environment that can be used to bill the end-users. It runs on an Apache Tomcat server instance and provide built-in load balancing when used with multiple vCenter Chargeback Servers. Chargeback also contain Data collectors including one for vCloud Director and one for vShield components that are responsible for collecting the information specific to the multi-tenant VMware vCloud Director environment.
  5. And of course VMware vSphere Components: VMware vCloud Director is sitting on top of VMware vSphere layer and works with vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi Hosts to provide private and public computing resources.

 

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