VMware’s cloud strategy and vision of delivering an technology and business agility through IT transformation took a significant leap forward with the acquisition of DynamicOps in mid-2012. The following several months were crunch-time for R&D as DynamicOps Automation Center evolved into vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 5.1. Available as an a la carte product or as part of the vCloud Suite (Enterprise), vCAC 5.1 completes a comprehensive cloud solution that delivers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and VMware’s vision of a Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC).

More than just the cloud’s portal, vCloud Automation Center is a top-of-stack technology that delivers self-service, application lifecycle, governance, and policy-driven controls across hybrid clouds and heterogeneous infrastructures (virtual + physical!). It is how consumers interface with your cloud. In addition to native integration with vSphere, Hyper-V, XEN, and Amazon EC2 environments, vCAC 5.1 added native integration with vCenter Orchestrator and vCloud Director…and MUCH more to come this year. Integration with vCenter Orchestrator means that any vCO workflow can be called from vCAC’s own orchestration engine in a pre-, active-, and post-provisioning task, which opens up a tremendous amount of possibilities. Go ahead, think about that a bit. As key components of the vCloud Enterprise Suite, vCAC drives business automation, while vCloud Director (vCD) delivers multi-tenancy, dynamic networking, and the cloud abstraction layer, and vCO focuses on IT orchestration and integration.

A Holistic Cloud:

Read more on vCloud Automation Center

It didn’t take too long to fall in love with vCAC. Not only has it filled a major gap for VMware’s holistic cloud vision, but it delivers that with time-to-value in mind. It delivers its capabilities with as little effort as I’ve seen with any competing cloud technology out there. This is the difference between spending weeks and weeks (months?) in a services-lead engagement trying to deploy a subpar solution, beating on the walls, and ripping your hair out thanks to a supposedly “straight-forward” install (you know, it’s where you hear “wow, i’ve never seen that before…this usually is very straight forward!“) vs. an on-premise implementation of a technology that may take 1 or 2 days to install and perhaps a few more to build out the out-of-the-box capabilities. And when I say out of the box, i mean OOTB — I mean native workflows and point-and-click processes to deploy 90%+ of all your cloud use cases in a slick, intuitive interface. For the other 10%, there’s the Design Center and Cloud Development Kit, which will let your imagination run wild. These are for the not-so-OOTB use cases and will allow you to harness the real power of vCAC.

Rather than continue to ramble on about how great vCAC is, I’d recommend you try it for yourself. I have put together a rather detailed installation guide that will walk you through the prerequisites, installation, concepts, and configuration of vCAC 5.1. You can download the bits (eval) at vmware.com and use this guide to help install. Give it a whirl…

vCAC 5.1 Installation Process:

The vCAC 5.1 Detailed Installation Guide:

Use this guide to install vCAC in your own environment, understand the steps and concepts, or troubleshoot an existing install. I will follow up in another post with some of the gotchas that folks tend to miss — usually prerequisites, DB connectivity, etc.

Click here to download the PDF version of this guide

DISCLAIMER: This guide is intended for use in a test/dev or sandbox environment and NOT for a production build and comes with no guarantees, support, etc.

Happy Installing!
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@virtualjad
2 Comments
  1. Jon Keeter

    Hi Jad –

    I found a feature in the Self Service Portal installation. Installation requires the 'Default Web Site' name in IIS where you're installing SSP (I had created a new one named VCAC), or else the install will fail with 'Installation Prematurely Ended'. Found it by looking in the vcaclog:

    WriteIIS7ConfigChanges: Error 0x80070002: Site not found for create application
    WriteIIS7ConfigChanges: Error 0x80070002: Failed to configure IIS application.
    WriteIIS7ConfigChanges: Error 0x80070002: WriteIIS7ConfigChanges Failed.
    CustomAction WriteIIS7ConfigChanges returned actual error code 1603

    I think this should be fixed in the installer, or else documented in the install guide as a prereq to only use the Default Web Site.

    Jon

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