vCloud Automation Center 6.0 POC and Detailed Implementation Guide

In keeping up with my extracurricular doc-building activities, I am happy to release the latest iteration of my vCAC implementation guide for the deployment and configuration of vCAC 6.0. This unofficial Proof of Concept and Detailed Implementation guide is provided, with no guarantees (or support), to assist with the end-to-end implementation of vCloud Automation Center 6.0 in a pre-configured vSphere 5.x environment.

The guide walks through – in plenty of detail – vCAC 6.0’s deployment, concepts, technologies, and features as they would be used in a real-world implementation. This document can also double as an unofficial hands-on training guide which covers:

– New Features in vCAC 6.0
– Deployment Architecture
– Implementation on VMware platforms (vSphere)
– IaaS and XaaS Configuration
– Usage and Navigation
– Advanced Concepts and Use Cases…

vCAC 6.0 Implementation, Part 4 – Configuring vCAC IaaS Component

To continue the momentum, now we dive into installing the IaaS components of vCAC.  Part 4 of this series walks you through the vCAC IaaS Installation Wizard, which is a significant improvement from previous versions. A few configuration details and GO!

Again, the IaaS engine in vCAC 6 is the .NET-based component that is similar to previous versions of vCAC 5.x. For vCAC 6.0, IaaS is consumed through vCAC’s primary framework.  From VMware’s vCAC 6.0 Documentation:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) enables the rapid modeling and provisioning of servers and desktops across virtual and physical, private and public, or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Modeling is accomplished by creating a machine blueprint, which is a complete specification for a virtual, cloud, or physical machine. Blueprints are published as catalog items in the common service catalog. When a user requests a machine based on one of these blueprints, IaaS handles the provisioning of the machine.
IaaS also allows you to comprehensively manage the machine life cycle from a user request and administrative approval through decommissioning and resource reclamation. Built-in configuration and extensibility features also make IaaS a highly flexible means of customizing machine configurations and integrating machine provisioning and management with other enterprise-critical systems such as load balancers, configuration management databases (CMDBs), ticketing systems, IP Address management systems, or Domain Name System (DNS) servers.

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.

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.…

Connecting Clouds

For those organizations on the journey of transforming their datacenters to meet the demand of a modern IT consumption model, it’s easy to envision what cloud euphoria could/should look like.  That’s mostly because vision is quite cheap – all it takes is a little imagination (maybe), a few Google queries, several visits by your favorite vendor(s), and perhaps a top-down mandate or two.  The problem is execution can break the bank if the vision is not in line with the organization’s core objectives.  It’s easy to get carried away in the planning stages with all the options, gizmos and cloudy widgets out there – often delaying the project and creating budget shortfalls.  Cloud:Fail.  But this journey doesn’t have to be difficult (or horrendously expensive).  Finding the right solution is half the battle…just don’t go gluing several disparate products together that were never intended to comingle and burn time and money trying to integrate them.  Sure you might eventually achieve something that resembles a cloud, but you’re guaranteed to hit several unnecessary pain points on the way.

Of course I’m not suggesting putting all your eggs in one vendor’s basket guarantees success.  Nor am I suggesting that VMware’s basket is the only one that provides everything you’ll ever need for a successful cloud deployment. …