vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 3 – Configuring vCAC IaaS Prereqs

Moving right along (and behind schedule), Part 3 of this series will walk through the configuration of all the prerequisite requirements for the Windows-based IaaS component.

The IaaS engine is a .NET-based component that resembles (an uncanny resemblance) previous versions of vCAC 5.x. For vCAC 6.0, IaaS is consumed through vCAC’s primary framework (deployed via the vCAC Virtual Appliance) once it is installed and registered. The prerequisites for IaaS are identical to previous vCAC versions, which I’ve covered in detail in the vCAC 5.2 Detailed Installation Guide.

Review: VMware’s vCloud Automation Center 6.0 solution is made up of 3 core components:

  • vCAC VA – Delivered as a Virtual Appliance (.OVA), vCAC’s primary interface for administration and user self-service. Also includes an imbedded vCO server.
  • vCAC ID – Delivered as a Virtual Appliance (.OVA), vCAC’s stand-alone Single Sign-On engine, which provides multi-tenant LDAP and Active Directory authentication services for vCAC tenants.
  • vCAC IaaS – Windows Installable (.exe), vCAC’s IaaS engine for heterogeneous infrastructure as a service — setup is covered in Part 3 and 4 in the series

NOTE: this video guide was created using vCAC BETA builds and some of the steps will differ from the generally-available builds.  I will try to update all the videos pre-GA.…

vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 2 – Configuring vCAC’s VA’s

VMware’s vCloud Automation Center 6.0 solution is made up of 3 core components:

  • vCAC VA – Delivered as a Virtual Appliance (.OVA), vCAC’s primary interface for administration and user self-service. Also includes an imbedded vCO server.
  • vCAC ID – Delivered as a Virtual Appliance (.OVA), vCAC’s stand-alone Single Sign-On engine, which provides multi-tenant LDAP and Active Directory authentication services for vCAC tenants.
  • vCAC IaaS – Windows Installable (.exe), vCAC’s IaaS engine for heterogeneous infrastructure as a service (covered in detail in Parts 3 & 4).
source: vCAC 6.0 Install and Configure [beta] documentation

 

Additional components to the solution (based on licensing) include the vCAC Financial Management engine (delivered as an .OVA), and the Appication Provisioning engine (also an .OVA).  Both are covered much later.

Part 2 of this series will dive into the the configuration/integration of the vCAC VA and ID/SSO VA components.

NOTE: this video guide was created using vCAC BETA builds and some of the steps will differ from the generally-available builds.  I will try to update all the videos pre-GA.

Other videos available in this series:

 

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@virtualjad…

vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 1 – Deploying vCAC and ID (SSO) Appliances

VMware’s vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 6.0 release is just around the corner and the anticipation for what’s next is tremendous.  vCAC 6.0 introduces a brand-new interface, new concepts, new echosystem integrations, and the quickest path to realizing the benefits of the Software-Defined Datacenter.  And then there’s XaaS — the killer technology that will allow cloud shops to deliver their entire datacenter operation as a governed, entitled, life-cycled service.

To learn more about vCAC 6.0, visit VMware’s cloud management blog.

vCAC 6.0 has been in beta for a couple of months and continues to peek the interests of several early adopters.  Being the beta code that it is, there are several caveats and gotchas with the implementation that can sneak up at you.  To help mitigate those gotchas, I have created a set of videos that will help through the implementation of an end-to-end vCAC 6.0 solution.  The 10 videos in the series will cover the following topics:

I will be rolling out these videos as they get through editing…aiming for 1/week.

To get us started, here’s Part 1 – Deploying vCAC and ID (SSO) Appliances..…

VMware vCloud Automation Center 5.2 Detailed Installation Guide

VMware announced the release of vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 5.2 in April, a dot-release follow on to vCAC 5.1.  This release shipped with it several improvements, bug fixes, tighter vCloud Director integration, and so on.  Some of the highlights include, but not limited to:

  • Deeper integrations with vCloud Director – vCAC 5.1 added basic support for consuming vCD as an Endpoint to enable vApp deployments into VDC’s. Although functional, the options were limited, especially with “day 2” management of vApps. vCAC 5.2 adds greater functionality, deployment options, support for all three VDC allocation models (PAYG, Allocation Pool, Reservation Pool), and the ability to manage individual machine within the vApp independently…a much needed addition.
  • Added support for vCloud Networking & Security (vCNS) use cases – vCNS integration brings with it the ability to discover vCNS network entities, such as VXLAN and security groups. This enables the consumption of these networks as part of an application deployment model for greater control and security.
  • Support for KVM (RHEV) Hypervisor – Adding native support for KVM as a platform continues vCAC’s trend towards the “manage all infrastructures” model and adds to vCAC’s already extensive native (“out of the box”) support for heterogeneous infrastructure…with much more to come.

vCAC Property Dictionary: Customize Service Requests with Dynamic Menus

//Update// – this procedure works with vCAC 6.2 (not in 6.1). The UI will look different, but same concepts apply. The property dictionary in vCAC 6 is located at Infrastructure (tab) –> Blueprints…

In a previous post I discussed the benefits of utilizing vCloud Automation Center’s Property Dictionary to add input options during the application request process. This is one of the quickest ways to add some flare (and serious functionality) to the application request and allows users to have a little more granularity in the service selection process. The Property Dictionary – and custom properties in general – also help drive down the number of Blueprints thanks to the logic that can be baked right into the process.

Let’s review (from previous post)
In addition to creating a custom property, which can trigger external actions (workflows), you can create property definitions that utilize vCAC’s built-in reserved custom properties, which can be used take a user’s input and apply it to an existing custom property – think of it as an answer file of sorts. For example, a drop-down list that presents the networks available to a given Provisioning Group and allowing users to select a preferred network. The property dictionary can also be used to build relationships between parent and child definitions to provide a more dynamic and nested functionality – the user selects a location (“Datacenter A”, parent) and, based on that selection, only appropriate networks (“NetA”, “NetB”, “NetC”, children) dynamically become available.

Use vCloud Automation Center’s Property Dictionary to Customize ServiceRequests

As I’ve alluded to on more than one occasion, VMware’s vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) is more than just a cloud portal. It is a solution designed to take defined business policy and requirements and apply them to the underlying IT systems, providing a governance model that delivers infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) with business agility in mind. Once defined, those policies are applied to vCAC’s individual policy definitions to build a “mesh policy” that provide the governance and controls for self-service, automation, and lifecycle management. The result is a finely-tuned service deployment model that defines the applications (blueprints), where they can be deployed, who can deploy them, and under which circumstances they are (or aren’t) allowed to be deployed. More than just a cloud portal.
vCAC 5.1 provides a ton of this capability “out of the box”, but the solution can also add a tremendous amount of additional capability using built-in control concepts, custom properties, and native integration with external tools such as PowerShell, vCenter Orchestrator (vCO), and others. The possibilities are immense. Those of you who are familiar with vCO will immediately realize the power of that last statement. If you’re not familiar with vCO you should stop reading this, download/deploy the vCO appliance, and make it your best friend…then come back and finish reading.…

VMware vCloud Automation Center 5.1 Detailed Installation Guide

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.…