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An In-Depth Look at vCloud Connector 2.0

By: Matt Sarrel

I recently started using the vSphere client to manage vCloud Connector (which according to VMware most people were doing anyway) – it’s a great alternative to the web interface I previously used for vCloud Connector.

You can still use vcloud.vmware.com to evaluate vCloud with a 90-day free trial, browse listings of service providers, and use resources like message boards, support, and instructional materials (such as documentation and tutorials).  The vCloud Connector 2.0 download is also hosted on the site.

It’s easy to use the vSphere Client to manage vCloud Connector:

  • Log into the vCloud Connector Server and then go to the Server and the vSphere Client tab.
  • From there, you’ll manage vCloud Connector through the traditional (Windows-only C#) vSphere Client’s Home page under the Solutions menu.

vCloud Connector is a great tool for linking private, public, and hybrid clouds.  I find it very powerful to be able to move applications, workloads, and templates between vClouds from a single management interface accessible via the vSphere client.  Built in and transparent features, like multi-part transfer, compression, and checkpoint restart makes transferring workloads reliable and easy.

The features that I’ve described above are part of the Core Edition of vCloud Connector.  There’s also an Advanced Edition of vCloud Connector that offers Content Sync and Datacenter Extension.  The ‘Core’ edition of VMware vCloud Connector is available to all current vSphere and vCloud Director customers as a free download – it is also included in the latest vSphere suites. To get support for the Core edition of vCloud Connector, you must have an active support contract for vSphere or vCloud Director. The ‘Advanced’ edition of vCloud Connector, which includes the Datacenter Extension and Content Sync features, is available exclusively as a part of the VMware vCloud Suites.

Content Sync lets you manage and publish a vSphere folder or a vCloud catalog and subscribe to it from another vCloud.  This is huge time saver because now you don’t have to manually copy folders and catalogs.  Any new or modified templates are automatically synchronized between subscribing catalogs.  Now an organization can have one large catalog across multiple clouds, which makes it easy to expand and move workloads between locations.

Datacenter Extension features extend private datacenter networks to public cloud networks, via a layer 2 connection over an SSL VPN tunnel.  This makes it possible to move workloads between clouds while retaining network settings (including MAC and IP addresses), so that other applications or users in the datacenter can continue to consume and use the workload.  Most importantly, other system management solutions can continue to manage the workload without any changes because network configuration remains the same.

This can all be done from within the vSphere Client, which makes managing multiple vClouds very accessible to virtualization administrators.

For future updates, be sure to follow @vCloud and @VMwareSP on Twitter!

Matthew D. Sarrel (or Matt Sarrel) is executive director of Sarrel Group, a technology product testing, editorial services, and technical marketing consulting practice based in New York City and San Francisco.  He currently writes for Enterprise Networking Planet, eWeek, PCmag.com, and GigaOM, blogs at TopTechDog, and publishes the Insights & Opportunities newsletter.  You can follow him on Twitter: @msarrel.