VMware vCloud Director is a solution for creating software-defined data centers by converting physical data centers into elastic pools of computing resources. vCD includes a custom administration panel, which makes it easy to work with the virtual infrastructure.
All physical data center resources, such as computing capacities, disks, and networks, are combined into large pools of virtual resources. Parts of these resources are available as aggregated vDCs, which are allocated to tenants.
The simple interface of the vCloud Director Administration panel hides enormous capabilities. Users have access to the following features:
- Configuring virtual machines (VMs).
- Combining VMs into groups and managing them.
- Deploying new machines based on templates.
- Regulating access rights to resources in the data center.
- Setting up public and private networks.
- Regulating VPN and firewall.
- Load balancing between virtual machines within the same cluster.
vCloud Director is aimed not only at large businesses and enterprises but also at SMBs that are moving their infrastructure to the cloud
How VMware vCloud Director Works
vCloud Director is a control panel for managing virtual infrastructure resources. The user creates virtual machines from previously prepared or downloaded .iso, .ova/.ovf-templates through the web panel, deploys the necessary services on them, and uses them at his discretion. Monthly fees are charged for the resources used or allocated to the virtual machines (CPU, RAM, and Storage).
After logging in, the user enters the vDC dashboard, where all other submenus are available: Datacenters, Libraries, Administration, Tasks, and Events.
The Datacenters section displays available vDCs and their resources, and a brief list of actions performed (system log). This page also provides information about deployed vApps and VMs.
Libraries – the directory of available virtual machine templates (prepared in advance by the cloud provider). Also in this section, you can create a Catalog, where then download the necessary .iso images or convert them into templates for virtual machines.
In the Administration section, you can create additional users, and groups and assign appropriate rights to them.
In addition, in the Settings - General menu you can change the name of the organization, and specify contact information and email for notifications.
The next two sections are informative:
Tasks – here you can see the name of the task (action), the user who started the task, and the start and end time. This is useful information for diagnosing various problems, e.g. the reason for VM reboot, its unavailability, etc.
Events – stores a log of the actions performed. It also contains useful information for troubleshooting virtual infrastructure problems.
What are the Benefits of vCloud Director?
vCloud Director is a fault-tolerant system that helps manage cloud servers and has an intuitive control panel. The key advantages of this solution include:
- Technical support from VMWare.
- Regular updates with maintaining compatibility between versions.
- Stable operation.
- Platform independence.
- High security standards.
Virtual Infrastructure vs. Physical Infrastructure
The traditional infrastructure consists of physical servers, networking equipment, and other components combined into a single system, controlled by administrators.
One of the most important features and advantages of physical infrastructure is the ability to fine-tune each of its components. However, since the infrastructure is designed for specific business tasks, there are a number of significant disadvantages:
- Time-consuming administration – a multi-component infrastructure requires the administrator to have in-depth knowledge of each component.
- Equipment failure – physical infrastructure components can fail, and their repair requires time and money.
- Challenging infrastructure scaling – buying servers, network equipment, and assembling new infrastructure nodes requires time and significant investments.
- Expensive backups and disaster recovery – storing copies of data on separate physical media for further recovery impose additional costs, and the recovery process sometimes lasts long.
Cloud infrastructure features a consistent set of components, a single point of entry, and is easily scalable and migrated between IaaS providers. In addition, the customers pay only for the resources consumed.
With Cloud Director, one network engineer can administer a vCD with multiple VMs, networks, and other infrastructure components. This makes Cloud Director advantageous for companies of all sizes.