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.…

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.…

vCloud Suite 5.1 Solution Upgrade Guide

By now you’ve probably heard all the hype around the 5.1 releases of VMware’s vSphere and vCloud platforms – and the vCloud 5.1 Suite, which bundles the latest versions of several VMware key IaaS-focused technologies and delivers a comprehensive cloud solution. The suite comes in 3 flavors – Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise.

 

If you’re an existing (active) customer of any of these products, there’s an upgrade and/or entitlement path to the suite for you – and it’s highly recommended that you take advantage of it. Or, at the very least, you can upgrade your individual products to 5.1 as you ponder the suite. Whether or not you choose to upgrade and take advantage of the latest and greatest features is up to you. But if you’re looking for increased scale, performance, efficiency, and capability while taking advantage of end-to-end advancements in VMware’s leading cloud technologies, then I would place upgrade at the top of your to-do list. (some of my peers suggest I’m drinking the Kool-Aid via fire hose….really?). Learn more about the suite here: http://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vcloud-suite/overview.html.
The attached guide will walk you through, in detail, the upgrade steps and procedures for moving to vCloud Suite 5.1.
Upgrade Overview
Speaking of upgrade – and to get back on topic – I thought it would be beneficial to publish a how-to guide of sorts to help with upgrading from previous versions of the core infrastructure stack to version 5.1, taking in consideration the many co-dependencies of an active cloud deployment (VMware’s pubs and guides cover the process for individual products with plenty of detail, but not so much as a whole solution…yet).…