VMware Solutions for Cloud Computing: IaaS


I have borrowed this diagram from VMware to show and simplify the different Cloud Offerings from VMware.

VMware’s Cloud Solutions are complete and comprehensive in the sense it covers all the three layers of Cloud: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. There is a myth generally that VMware Cloud Solution is only for IaaS. Yes, the major part of VMware Cloud or vCloud as we know has been primarily into the IaaS segment. However going forward we will see in this post what are the offerings from VMware in terms of PaaS and SaaS.

Referring to the diagram, from Bottom to Top, we see that the IaaS layer builds the core infrastructure. It is based on VMware vSphere based Virtual Datacenter along with support of other VMware products like vCloud, Chargeback etc.

The vCloud suite comprises of:

vSphere Enterprise Plus

vCloud Director (vCD)

vCloud Connector (vCC)

vCloud Networking and Security –Standard and Advanced (previously known as vShield Edge and vShield Manager)

vCenter Site Recovery Manager Enterprise (SRM)

VMware vCenter Operations (vCOps)

vCenter Chargeback Manager (vCM)

vCenter Configuration Manager for vSphere

vCenter Infrastructure Navigator

vFabric  Application Director

vCloud Automation Center (Thanks to my friend Benjamin Troch for reminding me this piece of vCloud Suite!)

The vCloud suite comes in three editions: Standard, Advanced and Enterprise Edition and it is up to the customer to choose one of them depending on the type of workload, scalability and functionality required for their Private Cloud.

The major role out of these components are: vSphere, vCloud Director, “vCloud Networking & Security” and Chargeback Manager. I will give a short introduction to all of these components now:

vSphere: This is the building block through which you will virtualize your physical DIY (Do-It-Yourself) datacenter and build a Virtual DataCenter. You will also create an aggregate pool of all the Compute (CPU), Memory and Storage resources so that going forward these can be self-provisioned and managed via a Cloud Solution. In this layer you also build the Virtual Switches and Distributed Virtual Switches (Virtual LANs), Port Groups etc. Here your  management tool is vCenter Server and Physical Servers hosting Virtual Machines (VMs) are ESXi Servers. Here you create all the virtual resources.

vCloud Director: The upper layer is vCloud Director layer which helps in self-provisioning and self management of the virtual resouces that you created in the vSphere Layer. You can call it as a Middleware or Broker or Provisioning Layer, whatever you wish to. This is typically installed either as an Virtual Appliance  (Pre-installed, you just need to do basic configuration) or manually installed on a RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Server) VM with the .bin software. After installation it will provide you with two HTTP consoles, one for Administrators and another for Users. Through this you create all the different parts of a Cloud like, Provider vDC (Virtual Data Center), Organization vDC, vApp, Org Networks, Ext. Network etc. In stead of vCenter, vCloud Director is the Management Tool here.

vCloud Network & Security:  These are nothing but vShield Edge and vShield Manager virtual appliances which provide different standard networking services like Routing, NAT, DHCP, VPN and facilities like VXLAN. Through these you can isolate your tenant’s virtual networks from external world. Here the management tool is still vCloud Director, however you can configure some basic part through the HTTP console of vShield. These are also installed as Virtual Appliances for ease of installation & configuration.

vCloud Connector: As the name suggests it helps you to connect to other VMWare Powered or vCloud API compatible Private Clouds and Public Clouds, thus facilitating a Hybrid Cloud setup. You can also connect your Private Cloud to VMware Partner vCloud and move your workloads (basically VMs) from your Private Cloud to Public Cloud. Unless you are intending to connect to any other Cloud, this is an optional component.

vCenter Chargeback Manager: Very important component of vCloud since it provides the usage report of different vSphere components and accordingly charge back model can be levied to the customer/tenant. Without this you still can run a vCloud but you will not be able to do the financial and operational measurement in terms of usage.

SRM: Site Recovery Manager is used on the vSPhere layer for BCP/DRP (Business Contunity/Disaster Recovery Process) purpose where the VMs of Primary site can automatically restart on the Secondary Site in case there is an outage or so. It can be treated as an optional component.

vCOps: vCOps helps the administrator to create dashboards on the usage, pre-determine issues, get alerts on the issues, capacity planning, optimization etc. Again, an optional component.

vCenter Configuration Manager for vSphere provides continuous configuration and compliance management.

vCenter Infrastructure Navigator  enables application discovery, dependency mapping, and management.

vFabric Application Director provides a multi-tier application service catalog publishing and publishing system.

vCloud Automation Center enables the users/administrators/developers to access pre-defined menus, catalogs, self-service options to request for IT resources and services. This HTTP console will also allow them to manage any already requested-service. To make it easier for your ease of understanding, it is something like AWS Console in Amazon Web Services.

On top of these there is something called vCloud API (Application Programming Interface). As you know, in any Cloud the API plays very important part since the API compatibility defines who can talk to the Cloud and vice versa. The vCloud API currently is limited to mostly with VMWare and it’s partners though but in future  don’t be surprised if it can talk OpenStack or Eucalyptus like Cloud as well. Still a distant dream though…

Next to PaaS (next Blog Post)… Stay tuned…

5 thoughts on “VMware Solutions for Cloud Computing: IaaS

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