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Integrating vCloud Hybrid Service with Your Existing VMware Environment

By Josh Gwyther, Senior Cloud Strategist at VMware

Everyday more of the customers I speak with are planning to migrate workloads to the cloud. I’m continually asked how vCloud Hybrid Service ranks among other cloud providers. It seems like almost weekly another vendor enters the cloud arena, making the right choice more and more foggy.

As a stand-alone cloud service, vCloud Hybrid Service is extremely powerful. vCHS has been built from the ground up as a SDDC (Software Defined Data Center). If you’re not familiar with the term SDDC, at a very high-level it can be defined as an architecture methodology that abstracts all of the functionality of your compute, network and storage infrastructure from the hardware and provides it as a service in software.

The result of vCloud Hybrid Service being architected as an SDDC means as a customer you’re going to see incredible agility in provisioning resources, enhanced security, stability, and amazing performance for even the most critical of workloads. Don’t just take my word for it. I encourage anyone interested to contact your local VMware Sales Representative to give vCloud Hybrid Service a spin.

But what truly sets vCloud Hybrid Service apart from the pack is the power you gain when integrating it with your existing VMware environment.

vCloud Hybrid Service is built on the same vSphere technology found in almost every data center today. This provides customers of vCloud Hybrid Service two distinct advantages over other cloud providers:

1. It means that any application supported by vSphere can be seamlessly migrated to vCloud Hybrid Service. No conversion, no compromises.

VMware makes it extremely easy to migrate VMs from your datacenter to vCloud Hybrid Service by providing the free vCloud Connector tool. It plugs right into vCenter allowing you to migrate VMs from vCenter to vCloud Hybrid Service within a few clicks.

2. It also means that the powerful management tools VMware provides for your private cloud can be extended to vCloud Hybrid Service.

Popular vCloud software like vCloud Automation Center can be seamlessly extended to provide a self-service provisioning mechanism into both your private cloud and your vCloud Hybrid Service instance.

All this adds up to vCloud Hybrid Service being a hybrid cloud resource that’s a true extension of your data center from an application and operational perspective.

Watch me demonstrate vCloud Hybrid Service and its integration with vSphere below.

For more information about VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, visit vCloud.VMware.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud for future hybrid cloud updates and resources.

Josh Gwyther serves as a Senior Cloud Strategist for VMware Inc., focusing on Cloud technology (vCloud Hybrid Services). His role includes relationships with key clients to drive adoption of VMware’s Cloud products, public speaking, strategy and roadmap, and driving innovation inside the company. Josh has a technical background in Computer Science, experience as an entrepreneur, and has worked in the industry for 17+ years, focusing on Virtualization and Cloud since 2006. Josh has multiple technical certifications from VMware, EMC and Cisco, with an undergraduate in Computer Science.

Optimizing VMware vCloud Automation Center Integration with vCloud Hybrid Service

The recently released vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) version 6 is a leap forward in the area of heterogeneous cloud provisioning.  In addition to cross-platform cloud provisioning, vCAC also enables a true Hybrid Cloud approach by integrating off-premises infrastructure back into the data center and allowing users to provision workloads to the cloud in exactly the same way they provision to their existing private data center.

When your off premises and on-premises infrastructure platform both support the exact same workloads without the need for porting, re-building or conversion, you can realize the benefits of a true hybrid cloud infrastructure.  For VMware vSphere® customers, there is no better extension of your data center to the cloud than vCloud Hybrid Service.

Because the templates and underlying components used to stamp blueprints are the same with vCloud Hybrid Service as they are in your private data center, users experience a seamless hybrid approach to modern cloud infrastructure.

Achieving tight integration between vCloud Hybrid Service and vCAC during the early stages of this hybrid cloud journey requires some understanding and careful planning to achieve maximum ROI and minimize the time to realize the benefits of hybrid cloud.

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some important points to consider when integrating vCAC to vCloud Hybrid Service: vCloud Hybrid Service

  • Out of the box support for vCloud Hybrid Service via vCloud Director (vCD)
    • Both vCAC 5.2 and 6.0 fully support vCloud Hybrid Service vCD endpoints without any modification to the vCAC installation or underlying configuration
    • vCAC uses vCloud Hybrid Service’s vCD Organization URLs as Endpoints
    • vCD URLs can be found within the vCloud Hybrid Service Portal (click the ‘vCloud Director API URL’ button within any Virtual Data Center to expose the URL you need to enter into vCAC)
  • vCAC + vCloud Hybrid Service Extension
    • Certain user rights are required in vCloud Hybrid Service to support all operations. Supported user roles include Account Administrator, Infrastructure Administrator, Network Administrator
    • Consider using a Service Account for regional teams to reduce account management overhead and security risk footprint (although this may reduce activity visibility/accountability)
  • Not every Public Template in vCloud Hybrid Service will work as expected with vCAC
    • Some templates have unbound NICs, and they will fail to deploy properly with vCAC
    • Consider using corporate templates (which can be easily migrated using vCloud Connector) to achieve “known good” shared configurations
  • No Empty vApps
    • Virtual Appliances or vApps are logical groups of Virtual Machines (VMs) in a self-contained package that includes intra-VM networking configuration. vApps must contain at least one VM to function properly. If you receive errors during ‘Discovery’, ensure that there are no ‘empty’ vApps in the vCloud Hybrid Service Virtual Data Center you are connecting to.
  • Changes in Storage Profile
    • If vCloud Hybrid Service renames a storage profile, blueprints relying on the original profile will fail to deploy, citing a missing resource.  While this isn’t expected to happen regularly, additions or modifications to the existing platform, including storage profile labels, may occur as we add or improve existing features of the service.
  • Other issues?
    • Capacity: If you are unable to deploy / provision a VM using vCAC, verify there are sufficient resources (RAM, CPU, Storage) available in the destination cloud.
    • Latency: Consider using a vCloud Hybrid Service data center location that is closer to your on-premises data center for minimal latency.  Otherwise, vCloud Hybrid Service offers a Direct Connect option that can provide a high throughput, low latency private dedicated link between your data center and vCloud Hybrid Service.

With these suggestions in mind, the integration of vCAC with vCloud Hybrid Service shines as a new and modern way of provisioning applications across clouds.  VMware vCAC provides a self-service model that reduces the ‘time-to-live-VM’ and pain points of the procurement process, transforming traditional requests and the associated manual steps required into an automated ‘IT-as-a-Service’ workflow that keeps everyone focused on what matters most to them.  IT administrators stay in control of their cloud deployments and infrastructure requests by pre-defining policies for workload deployment, and application developers and users get infrastructure provisioned rapidly without all the red tape.

When used together, vCAC and vCloud Hybrid Service enable companies to fully realize the advantages of Hybrid Cloud while allowing them to adopt public cloud infrastructure at the right pace to meet their requirements.

Announcing General Availability of vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client Plug-in and Integration with vCloud Automation Center

The vCloud Hybrid Service team is excited to announce official support for vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) and general availability of vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client plug-in 1.0.

vCloud Hybrid Service is now certified with out-of-the-box vCloud Automation Center, so customers can start consuming vCloud Hybrid Service as another vCloud Director (vCD) end point in vCloud Automation Center 5.2 and 6.0. As mentioned in the previous blog by Mathew Lodge, vCloud Hybrid Service is already certified to work with Application Director 5.2, VMware Hyperic 5.7 and vCenter Configuration Manager 5.7.

These common management tools help to provide consistent and automated delivery of IT resources both onsite and in the vCloud Hybrid Service environment:

  • Automate critical configuration and compliance management tasks on vCloud Hybrid Service using vCenter Configuration Manager.
  • Leveraging the advanced features of the Enterprise Edition of vCloud Automation Center (formerly found in Application Director), customers can create application blueprints to describe application deployment topologies, utilize pre-built logical templates, services and application components to assemble application blueprints.
  • Monitor workloads on vCloud Hybrid Service just like any other workload in your onsite data center, using Hyperic.
  • Now with vCloud Automation Center, automate service delivery and create any new service within minutes. That means customers can use the self-service portal in vCAC to create service catalogs, reserve resources (CPU, memory, network etc.) and provide role-based rights to user groups on vCloud Hybrid Service.

Today, customers can manage their vCloud Hybrid Service virtual data centers via the web portal or programmatically via the APIs. With the addition of vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client plug-in 1.0, customers can view and administer their vCloud Hybrid Service resources from their vSphere Web Client as well!

After registering vCloud Hybrid Service account in the vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client plug-in, customers can create, edit and delete virtual data centers and VMs, and manage their applications.

We have invested in these hybrid management capabilities to ensure customers maximize on their existing investments, so they can write, deploy, and manage workloads on vCloud Hybrid Service the same way they do today in their onsite data center, without additional investment of time, skills or budget.

To learn more about our upcoming features and capabilities, follow the vCloud blog with your favorite RSS reader, or follow our social channels at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.

To get started with the vCloud Hybrid Service, visit vCloud.VMware.com.

Simplify Management Across Your Data Center and the Cloud – Register for the 12/19 Webcast!


Adding a cloud platform to your existing IT environment can often “cloud” the management of your IT resources, requiring the use of multiple management tools, which can be both confusing and labor intensive. To alleviate this, VMware enables you to leverage existing investments, processes and expertise with a hybrid cloud model that lowers your cost of ownership, while increasing productivity levels.

Are you an IT Practitioner looking to simplify the management of your resources?

Then don’t miss out on next Thursday’s webcast with VMware, where cloud experts will show you how easy it is to write, deploy, and manage applications the same way you do in your onsite data center, without having to make changes or additional investments!

We invite you to join this webcast to see how you can simplify management across your data center and the cloud using the vCloud Hybrid Service.

During the webcast, you’ll learn how to:

  • Manage your cloud resources with your choice of VMware management tools (including vCloud Automation Center, vCloud Application Director, VMware vCenter Hyperic, and vCloud Configuration Manager);
  • Administer vCloud Hybrid Service resources using the VMware vSphere Web Client;
  • Streamline the administration and consumption of resources across vSphere and vCloud Hybrid Service;

To those looking to simplify their IT resources across the data center and cloud, register for the webcast today!

For future updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.

For more information about the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, visit vCloud.VMware.com.

The vCloud Team is off to AWS re:Invent!

We’re heading to AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas from November 12th-November 15! Visit the VMware booth to say hello and to see how we can help you manage your cloud with some of our great solutions:

vCloud Automation Center


Cloud sprawl got you down? vCloud Automation Center can help you address that! As part of the VMware vCloud Suite, the vCloud Automation Center provides your business with a flexible solution that gives IT the power to automate the delivery of IT services, making your business much more agile.

Offering everything from Policy-Based Governance to Automated Service Delivery, vCloud Automation Center offers a unified cloud management tool to help you seamlessly span multi-vendor private, public and hybrid clouds and gives your organization the fastest time to value.

Cloud Foundry


Need a kick in the PaaS? Take your PaaS up a notch with Cloud Foundry, the industry’s first open PaaS implementation. Cloud Foundry provides a PaaS implementation that offers developers exactly what they need: choice. Cloud foundry offers open architecture in three dimensions:

  • Developer frameworks,
  • Application infrastructure services,
  • And a choice of clouds to deploy your applications.

Open architecture allows Cloud Foundry to overcome major limitations found in many of today’s solutions. By leveraging Cloud Foundry, developers are able to minimize the obstacles of updating machines and configuring middleware, resulting in faster delivery of applications.

Do You Heart VMware?


When you stop by our booth, don’t forget to grab an “I HeartVMware” button and wear it proudly: Each day of the conference, one lucky attendee wearing our button will be chosen as the winner of a Kindle , so don’t get caught without yours on!

If you’re attending AWS re:Invent to discover how to best manage your cloud operations or if you just want to learn more about our cloud management tools, visit our booth on the show floor. Make sure to also stop by booth #527 to visit our partner, Puppet Labs, to see how you can simplify your cloud operations using both vCloud Automation Center and Puppet Enterprise.

See you in Vegas!

For more updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.

Updates to vCloud Suite Cloud Management Capabilities Announced at VMworld Barcelona

Photo via @teeglasgow

VMworld Barcelona kicked off today with a bang, with more than 8,000 attendees taking part in more than 250 unique breakout sessions and labs. During today’s keynote, Pat Gelsinger and Steve Herrod announced significant enhancements to VMware’s Cloud Management solutions – addressing cloud service provisioning, cloud operations management, and cloud business management.

Here’s a roundup of all the new cloud management capabilities that users can look forward to in the coming year:

vCloud Automation Center 5.1 – Multi-Cloud Infrastructure Provisioning 

Based on DynamicOps, VMware vCloud Automation Center 5.1 acts as a service governor, enabling policy-based provisioning across VMware-based private and public clouds, physical infrastructure, multiple hypervisors and Amazon Web Services. vCloud Automation Center 5.1 is integrated with vCloud Director to allow customers to leverage virtual datacenters comprised of the vCloud Suite’s software-defined services.

vFabric Application Director 5.0 – Provision Applications on Any Cloud

vFabric Application Director standardizes and accelerates how customers model and deploy multi-tier applications to any cloud – making it possible for customers to use the same blueprints to deploy packaged and custom applications across multiple virtual and hybrid cloud infrastructures (including Amazon EC2!).

vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6 – Embedded, Integrated Cloud Operations Management

The vCenter Operations Management Suite applies patented analytics to integrated performance, capacity and configuration management – allowing customers to proactively enable service levels in hybrid cloud environments. vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6 will also include vFabric Hyperic application-level monitoring to help customers proactively manage the health of business-critical applications like Microsoft SQL Server, Windows OS and more.

vCloud Connector 2.0 – Hybrid Cloud Portability

Significant enhancements to vCloud Connector will help make it possible to extend both networks and workload catalogs across hybrid cloud environments without the need for reconfiguring networks or settings when moving workloads. Check out more details from Mathew Lodge.

VMware IT Business Management Suite 7.5 – Enables Cloud Business Management

With a new IT benchmarking module that includes more than 3,500 metrics across 18 domains, IT organizations can compare their performance with industry and functional peers. The VMware IT Business Management Suite 7.5 also includes enhancements to its IT Finance Manager capabilities that will further automate and streamline the budgeting process.

In sum, according to Raghu Raghuram, executive VP of Cloud Infrastructure and Management at VMware, “VMware’s cloud management offerings fundamentally recast management for the cloud era, allowing customers to operate at cloud scale and begin to act as brokers of IT services to the business.”

For more updates from VMworld Barcelona, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @vCloud and @VMwareSP!