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vCloud Director Convergence and Transition Plan – What’s the Scoop?

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.


28 thoughts on “vCloud Director Convergence and Transition Plan – What’s the Scoop?

  1. angus

    thanks for the clarification but i think that what most SPs want to know is :
    Is vCloud Director going to have a release in 2014? <– 14 not 13!
    and not a minor release as the 5.5 (very few new features…).


  2. Pingback: Reports of vCloud Director’s death exaggerated | Rethink IT - VMware Blogs

  3. Anthony Spiteri

    Source is unknown – sent to me via email

    Borrowing from Mark Twain’s retort to newspaper stories of his death, reports of the death of vCloud Director are exaggerated. vCloud Director (vCD) is alive and well and now 100% focused on the needs of the service provider market, where it powers more than 250 public clouds in the vCloud Powered and vCloud Datacenter programs in addition to VMware’s own vCloud Hybrid Service.

    We’ll continue to integrate vCD functions into vCenter and vCloud Automation Center, as previously announced. With this strategy, we can focus vCloud Director development on the service provider market and public cloud, and vCloud Automation Center on the needs of enterprises and private cloud. The product management and engineering teams for vCloud Director are part of VMware’s Cloud Services business unit, and we’re working hard on the next release.

    So, here are the key facts:

    1) Development of vCloud Director continues at VMware, now 100% focused on the cloud service provider market.

    2) vCloud Director will continue to be available in the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) and also continues to be a foundational component of vCloud Hybrid Service, VMware’s IaaS offering.

    3) The next release of vCloud Director will be version 5.6, in the first half of 2014, available through VSPP to cloud service providers.

    4) VMware continues to develop and enhance the vCloud API, to provide API access to new capabilities, and to make the API faster and easier to use.

    The product team is finalizing the content for the vCloud Director 5.6 release, building on the current vCloud Director 5.5 functionality with new capabilities requested by our service provider customers, as well as new functionality developed for vCloud Hybrid Service. We met with many service providers at VMworld in San Francisco last week to gather feature requests and roadmap feedback, and the product management team will also be in Barcelona for VMworld EMEA, and in Australia for vForum Sydney. Let your VSPP account manager know if you’d like to meet and help shape the roadmap.

    Roadmap themes include serviceability (ease of deployment, upgrades and updates), disaster recovery integration and other revenue-generating services, networking (further exploiting virtual networking and NSX), storage and security.

    Thank you to our customers and partners for helping us build a better vCloud Director for public clouds, and I hope this post provided useful clarity.

      1. Michael Adams

        No, this is not necessarily the case. Those products can release independently. This is a a future and has not been determined as of yet.

    1. ben

      “VMware continues to develop and enhance the vCloud API, to provide API access to new capabilities, and to make the API faster and easier to use.”

      Q: What minimal products do I need to install to get vCloud API availability?.
      vSphere? vCD? vXXXX? Which product the vCloud API lives in???


  4. Mazin Salim

    I get the vCAC message now, after attending VMWorld 2013, but still find it hard to believe how quickly VMWare is pulling the plug on the young vCD! Hope the future migration tool does a good job! Thanks

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  7. Alfredo Mena

    This announcement includes the extension of VMware vCenter Lab Manager support out to May 21, 2014, but the license upgrade path, will it be extended?

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  9. ModernSolutionz

    Need a few consultants with the following expertise. please email me at Resumes@ModernSolutionz.com if you or anyone you know has the expertise.

    If this is the wrong place to post do you know any other groups or portals i can get on to try and get candidates to fill these positions
    Below is the list of expertise needed
    Installation and configuration of VMware vCloud Automation Center in Customer’s pre-production environment.
    Verify that the VMware vCloud Automation Center is working according to the documented design.
    Work Products and Deliverables
    Installed and configured VMware vCloud Automation Center system, to include vSphere or vCloud Director Agent as specified
    VMware vCloud Automation Center Accelerator Installation and Configuration Procedures – A Microsoft Word document that describes the steps to install VMware vCloud Automation Center
    VMware vCloud Automation Center Accelerator Validation Workbook – A Microsoft Excel document describing Customer-specific vCloud Automation Center validation procedures
    vCloud Architect:
    Identification of Customer cross-organizational issues, risks and dependencies
    Identification of the integration points between VMware vCloud Automation Center (“vCAC”) and external systems (e.g., Amazon and Savvis)
    Facilitation of Technical Architecture Design and Application Integration sessions with key Customer and project team stakeholders
    Technical supervision and oversight of the build-out of the desired Cloud Technical Architecture
    Technical supervision and oversight of the testing and validation of the desired Cloud
    Technical Architecture and production workload capability
    vCloud Senior ConsultantsReview the installed hardware infrastructure provided by Customer
    Review the vCloud Automation Center Solution Overview presentation(s)
    Review and capture system requirements
    Document system architecture and configuration
    Document Customer-specific security and permission guidelines
    Installation and configuration of VMware vCloud Automation Center and VMware vCenter Orchestrator (“vCO”) in Customer’s pre-production environment.
    Identify use cases and primary vCO workflows to be used for Phase 1 of the Consumer Cloud
    Leverage out-of-the-box VMware vCO workflows and/or create custom vCO workflows as related to the use cases identified by the Customer, e.g.:
    vCO implementation design(s) for Amazon Cloud Formation Template (“CFT”)
    vCO development and implementation for Amazon CFT
    Congifuration of vCAC v.5.2 Blueprint for Amazon CFT
    Creation of an AppD for Savvis Reference Implementation


  10. ben

    Q: What products do I need in order to be able to do provisioning (vApps) thru vCloud API?
    I’m only cared about the vCloud API; so specifically what latest product do i need to guaranteed
    it availability?

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  12. David

    Any plans to make improvements to vCD’s OVF support such that it’s on part with vSphere ? vCloud Director doesn’t currently (at least I’m on 5.1) support the following OVF options:
    • AnnotationSection
    • DeploymentOptionSection
    • InstallSection
    • ProductSection
    • ResourceAllocationSection
    as noted here, http://download3.vmware.com/vcat/vcat31_documentation_center/index.html#page/Architecting%20a%20vCloud/3a%20Architecting%20a%20VMware%20vCloud.2.073.html

    Without that, OVFs that full advantage of OVF have to be modified in order to work on vCD. That’s not a good thing from an app developer’s/ISV perspective.

  13. Dorla Coulter

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  16. Adalberto Nascimento

    This document was available on 2013 since that time we have been listening that this will change again and again. So what the real way for VSP? vCAC or vRA?


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