Last week at VMworld 2013 VMware introduced a new product strategy and direction for vCloud Director (vCD). This announcement was made during the breakout session update for the vSphere 5.5 product release.

vCD has been widely adopted by service providers and enterprises. It has also proven to be a foundational component of service providers offering including the VMware hybrid cloud service know as vCHS. Moving forward, vCD will be even more oriented towards service provider requirements.  VMware’s enterprise customers, on the other hand, have expressed a strong requirement for a more simplified cloud stack.  As a result, VMware will move forward with a plan to converge vCD functionality into the vSphere and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) product lines. vCAC, in particular, has proven to be particularly well suited at meeting customer’s needs for governance and policy combined with self-service and ease of use. This combination of products will provide a simpler solution to enterprises.

This is a directional statement. Over the course of the next several release cycles for vCAC and vSphere product lines VMware expects all the use cases of vCD in the enterprise to be fully accommodated. vCD 5.5 will also ship with the vCloud Suite release in 2013 as part of this strategy.

Overall VMware believes there are significant customer benefits as a result of this new direction. This new direction will deliver simplicity, choice, and ultimately more robust functionality when it comes to running applications in the cloud.


1. Is vCloud Director going to have a release in 2013?

Yes, it is important to announce that vCD will have a 5.5 release in 2013 that will be delivered as part of the vCloud Suite 5.5 and in the VSPP vCloud bundle. It will no longer be available as a standalone or a la carte perpetual SKU as of 5.5.

2. Where is specific functionality being moved as part of this plan?

VMware will move functionality that is today part of vCD into its virtualization platform (vSphere and vCenter Server). In addition, some functionality will be pushed into the vCAC product line.  The graphic below discusses the specific functionality that VMware is considering to push into either the virtualization platform or vCAC. Please note that this graphic and plan is subject to change.

As the graphic indicates, the virtualization platform thus becomes VMware’s Cloud Infrastructure Platform to produce an entire virtual datacenter (VDC) that harnesses the software-defined infrastructure to deliver the most agile, cost-efficient cloud. The functionality listed in this section has been determined to be important for most enterprise class customers running the virtualization platform.

vCAC becomes a cloud automation engine to provide personalized, self-service delivery of application, infrastructure, and desktop services by fully automating the end-to-end service lifecycle across heterogeneous and hybrid clouds.

3. Any details on licensing or how a customer would get to this state?

From a license perspective the transition will depend on how a customer acquired vCD:

-For standalone vCD  customers – VMware will use the fair value conversion program to move customers to the vCloud Suite.

-vCloud Suite vCD customers – For customers that acquired vCD through the Suite an upgrade entitlement to the latest suite version (in this case 5.5) will now include the vCAC product at all levels of the Suite.

4. Will any migration tools be available?

Yes, VMware will offer a product migration path that enables customers and partners to move from vCD to VCAC and obviously incorporate some functionality into their environment by upgrading to the latest version of the virtualization platform.

5. What if I have a vCenter Lab Manager customer?

This convergence plan also includes the extension of VMware vCenter Lab Manager support out to May 21, 2014. VMware partners and customers have already been notified of this extension. Lab Manager customers already in-flight with a transition to vCD today should remain in-flight and those that have not made a move to vCD Director should not.

6. What is the timeline for this convergence plan?

The timing for this plan is over the next few release cycles.

7. What about the vCloud APIs?

The vCloud API will continue to be developed and improved as part of VMware’s API offerings for Service Providers and Enterprises.


As a result of this announcement, VMware is making the following recommendations:

ENTERPRISE CUSTOMERS –  VMware recommends that customers use the combination of vCloud Automation Center and the vSphere platform to support their private cloud architectures and use cases. vCD 5.5 is available starting in Q3 if required to support use cases not currently covered by vCAC. Projects already in-flight with vCD should also remain in place as vCD 5.5 support will be extended beyond its normally 2-year window (out to 2017).

SERVICE PROVIDERS – vCD will continue to be available through the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) in the cloud bundle and is still the recommended solution for service providers. VMware will continue on-going  development for vCD to meet the specific needs of service providers and will provide further details at a later date.