Wednesday, August 27, 2014

vCloud Automation Center Overview and a Glimpse into the Future

Virtualization on its own will not deliver on the software defined enterprise. Management through automation is the catalyst that empowers the software defined datacenter.

Management automation accelerates your service delivery model to your customers. It also delivers improved operational efficiency, better resource utilization and reduced complexity and standardization. vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) amalgamated vCAC, vFabric Application Director and vCenter Orchestrator under a single framework. The new name for the suite is vRealize Suite (vCAC becomes vRealize Automaton, vCOPs becomes vRealize Operations and ITBM becomes vRealize Business).

Unifying these products delivers a common service catalog of applications, infrastructure, XaaS and Desktops. vCAC allows both single and multi-tenant deployments. Services are defined through blueprints which allow you to define infrastructure and layered application provisioning (leveraging Application Director). In addition through the vCO integration you can define service blueprints allowing you to define custom processes through either standard or customized workflows.

ITBM can be plugged into vCAC to auto-populate the cost profiles using standard and reference industry costs. ITBM also allows you to compare other public clouds costs to ensure your resources are efficiently deployed.

Moving forward with vCAC, VMware is investing in comprehensive infrastructure management to ensure they can manage many platforms (hypervisor, converged infrastructure and public cloud) without compromising IT policies. VMware has also placed a strong focus on automated release management to deliver a DevOps solution using the product. The target is to deliver anything as a service and deliver on the IT as a Broker concept.

From a vendor perspective, support is coming for IBM, HDS and Fujitsu servers. NSX integration will become more seamless. VMware will build enhancements on other hypervisors and Clouds such as AWS. These orchestration plugins will be certified by VMware so it is simple to hook them in and start automating.

One area of focus is to be able to switch from on-premise to off seamlessly. This will include synchronization of blueprints between Clouds. Blueprints will also be enhanced to provide infrastructure and applications authoring that is simple and straight forward. In addition the product will monitor drift protection and auto-remediate them (very Puppet like).

Work is being done to allow multiple catalog selections by the user that consolidates them using a single approval process ("similar to a shopping cart approach"). vCOPs will be more tightly integrated to allow you to look at resources and build in reclamation and right-sizing workflows through vCAC.

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