Installing vCloud Director 1.x – Prerequisites

There’s a right way and a wrong way to install VMware’s vCloud Director (vCD). Identifying the wrong way is quite simple — it just won’t work. There’s actually a lot more to that — caveats, best practices, redundancy, add-ons — which I will cover in the next post. For now, we’ll focus on what you need before the install.

Installing vCD can be a daunting task if you don’t have all the prerequisites in place prior to rolling out the goods. Below is a quick list of to-do’s and links to the associated resources. The actual install of vCD is the quickest part of this entire process assuming all these pieces are in place.…

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0 to Cloud in 6 Posts, Part 5: Delivering ITaaS with vCloud Director

Post 5 of 6: Delivering IT as a Service with vCloud Director

Building your cloud infrastructure is only half the battle. Let’s just assume the notion of ‘cloud’ is now defined and well aligned with your business requirements, infrastructure is in place, best practices followed, and you’re ready to power this sucker up. Then what? The presence of the hypervisor has been assumed throughout this series — much is gained with vSphere adding that prerequisite abstraction of bare-metal resources. But virtualization is only half the battle when the end goal is delivering a cloud — or IT as a Service (ITaaS).…
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0 to Cloud in 6 Posts, Part 4: xBlock- Designing a Repeatable Architecture

Post 4 of 6: xBlock- Designing a Repeatable Architecture

I have lost count of how many pre-integrated infrastructure offerings are now available through the various software, network, storage, and compute partnerships out there – all competing for their stake as your cloud’s foundation (for those who still think ‘the cloud’ is a hardware offering with some antiquated management slapped on top, please reexamine the definition of cloud). A well-designed infrastructure is a great (and required) start, but software is where the magic happens…but I digress. Whether it’s a vBlock (EMC, Cisco, VMware), FlexPod (NetApp, Cisco VMware), Dell’s vStart, or any of the dozens of combinations out there worth mentioning, one thing holds true…all (well, most) are examples of what a robust reference architecture can do for your cloud.…
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0 to Cloud in 6 Posts, Part 3: Hardware – choosing your infrastructure

Post 3 of 6: Hardware – choosing your infrastructure

Okay, let’s talk hardware. Choosing the right hardware and technologies are essential for the success of your cloud. This post covers the fundamentals of hardware selection for your cloud – pointers to get your brain cells focused on specs vs. brands, compute resources vs. servers…you get the idea. With all this hardware you will eventually have the means of building your reference architecture – but that’s the next post in this series. For the sake of delivering workloads to anyone from anywhere based on expected levels of service, your focus should be on raw performance, efficiency (to include total operating cost, overhead, and management), integration, and scalability.…
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0 to Cloud in 6 Posts, Part 2: Getting Started – defining a success criteria

Post 2 of 6: Getting Started – defining a success criteria

Next topic in this series is one that can make or break your journey to the cloud — defining what you will consider a “great success!” when all is said and done it is essential to keep things on track throughout the journey. You’ll need to set some realistic goals and objectives, get management buy-in, line up some IT/engineering resources, and maybe even get financial commitment (especially if this is usually a challenge) ahead of time. Determining where you are today vs. where you need to be ahead of time can not only accelerate the process, but will set some ground rules for everyone involved.…
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Caching In – the magic behind vSphere’s CPU scheduler

One of the most important objectives of virtualizing a new or existing infrastructure is efficiency…both operational and financial. Virtualization wouldn’t be where it is today without a means of getting the most bang for the buck and clearly demonstrating the value-add of system consolidation — whether within your labs, server rooms, datacenters, or across the entire enterprise. To justify virtualization projects of any significance you have to hit your leadership where it hurts (tickles)…the corporate wallet. What better way to do that than consistently reducing acquisition and operational costs to your project?

Of course I’m not suggesting you’ll be swimming in cash (or a nice bonus) the moment you deploy your first hypervisor, although this is a first step in the right direction.…
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0 to Cloud in 6 Posts, Part 1: defining the cloud

Post 1 of 6:  insert definition here – defining the cloud

If I had a dime for every time I found myself defining the “Cloud” I would have collected myself a small fortune. Okay, maybe not a fortune, but somewhere in the area of $70 (after taxes). But if I was required to use an identical definition each time…well, I’d be broke. This is because the Cloud has many different meanings, often depending on who’s asking. It is fairly understood what the ultimate goal of cloud computing is and it looks something like this: providing infrastructure as a service — from somewhere…anywhere…it doesn’t matter where — and delivering it seamlessly, using proven industry standards, across the ether to some (any) end node.…
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