VMware vCloud Director rises from the shadows of project Redwood

Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Cloud, vCloud, VMworld, vSphere | 2 comments

You can now hear the sigh of relief as many bound by NDA to keep silent about Project Redwood. This morning brings the news of the official announcement from VMware about vCloud Director or vCD. This is the new VMware Cloud Infrastructure solution that will allow Corporations and Service Providers to build clouds and ITaaS ( IT as a Service ) consumption models. Below is a quote from the VMware press release about vCloud Director.

VMware vCloud(TM) Director: A new model for delivering and consuming
    infrastructure services
     VMware vCloud Director changes the way IT
    delivers infrastructure services and the way users access and consume
    them. By extending the resource pooling capabilities of VMware
    vSphere, VMware vCloud Director enables IT to create "virtual data
    centers" (VDCs) -- logical pools of compute, network and storage
    resources with defined management policies, SLAs and pricing. IT
    organizations can offer these VDCs -- along with catalogs of other
    infrastructure and application services such as virtual appliances,
    VMs, and OS images -- to users through fully automated self-service

So what is vCloud Director

To put it in the simplest terms it’s a layer that sits on top of vCenter server and abstracts all the resources that vCenter has under it’s control. You then combine all of these resources into large pools for your Customers or Tenants to consume.  Also vCloud Director provides the Customer a Self Service portal to use.

So what exactly are the resources that vCloud Director abstracts from vCenter server? Below is a list of the resources and the vSphere term to bring it all together.

  • Compute resources = vSphere Clusters and Resource Pools
  • Network resources = dvSwitches and portgroups
  • Storage = Datastores ( VMFS and NFS )

These resources are then presented to you via the Self Service Portal of vCD. As an administrator you can use the vCloud Director Portal to split up and assign resources to Customers, Department or some other business division. These call also be referred to as an Organization, this sounds a lot like Lab Manager. The vCloud Director product was designed to work with both Enterprise and Service Provider clouds. The resources are divided up and assigned to a Virtual Datacenter or vDC. There are two types of vDC’s available withing vCloud Director.

  • Provider Virtual Datacenter ( Provider vDC )
  • Organization Virtual Datacenter ( org vDC )

The Provider Virtual Datacenter is the base for compute resources. When creating a Provider Virtual Datacenter you will need to select a resource pool. Nex you will need to associate at least one datastore with the Provider vDC, this might be all LUNs masked to your cluster. Duncan from Yellow Bricks layed out the following theory

Some of my colleagues described the Provider vDC as the object where you specify the SLA and I guess that explains the concept a bit more. So for instance you could have a Gold Provider vDC with 15K FC disks and N+2 redundancy for HA while your Silver Provider vDC just offers N+1 redundancy and runs on SATA disk… everything is possible.

Now that a Provider vDC was created you can create an Org vDC and associate the Org vDC to a vCD Organization. Its possible that an Organization can have multiple Org vDCs associated to it. For example it’s possible to have 3 Org vDCs owned by a single Organization across two Provider vDCs. Those provider vDCs could each have a different SLA.

So in my thought vCloud Director does seem be Lab Manager on steroids which is a phrase that I’ve heard before. Many of these ideas do seem to be based off of the Organizations, configurations and networking that Lab Manager was using.

Pricing and Availability
VMware vCloud Director is currently available and is licensed per VM starting at $150 per VM.

Build Secure, Multi-Tenant Clouds – VMware vCloud Director lets administrators group users by policy, such as a business unit, division or subsidiary. Each group has isolated virtual resources, independent LDAP-authentication, specific policy controls and unique catalogs. To ensure security and compliance in a cloud environment where multiple organizations share infrastructure resources, VMware vCloud Director includes VMware vShield perimeter protection, port-level firewall, and NAT and DHCP services.

vCloud Director Links

Download link for vCloud Director

vCloud Director Install and Configuration guide

vCloud Director User Guide

vCloud Director Administrators guide

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design


  1. So the one thing I have not seen mentioned anywhere is will there be a cloud provider version of this so I can present on-premise resources and off-premise hosted resources in the same UI…

  2. Not sure if you watched the keynote or not. But I think they covered that when they spoke about running Zimbra from the Public cloud provider and sharepoint from the private cloud.

    Seems to be that if both pieces are vCloud based you can do this from the one interface.

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