VMware Cloud Provider

VMware Cloud Director 10.5 – What’s in it for Cloud Service Providers

Given that it’s been nearly a month since the general availability of VMware Cloud Director 10.5, let’s delve into the ways this release, will prove advantageous for Cloud Service Providers.

Enhanced Security

Infrastructure holds little value to a business without active and secured applications in operation.

As businesses increasingly rely on applications to perform critical functions, security becomes paramount. The interconnectedness of applications and infrastructure introduces potential vulnerabilities that malicious actors could exploit.  Without proper security protocols, even the most advanced infrastructure can become a liability, as it exposes the business and potential customer privacy to cyber threats, data breaches, and potential loss of trust. According to the findings from the research, a significant 57% of users or customers consider security to remain a prominent concern, particularly in the context of multi-cloud environments. This is precisely where VMware Cloud Director steps in, providing and guaranteeing security measures across multiple cloud platforms.

Q: Which of the following are the most significant challenges related to your organization’s hybrid and multicloud strategy?
Source: 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud, Hosting & Managed Services, Cloud Skills 2022

vApp Network (routed) Enhanced Network Security and HA

Reflexive NAT provides additional security benefits by obscuring the actual internal IP addresses of devices from external networks, effectively, it allows traffic from the server to the source specified in the destination NAT rule. This helps protect internal devices from direct access by external entities, enhancing network security.

Reflexive NAT is commonly used in firewalls and other security devices to allow outbound communication while still providing some level of protection against unsolicited incoming traffic.

With Standby relocation, if the Edge node where the active or standby logical router is running fails, a new standby logical router is created on another Edge node to maintain high availability.

NSX Federation with VDC Groups for Consistent Networking & Security

Consistent network configuration is a fundamental principle in modern IT infrastructure management. It refers to maintaining uniformity and standardization across network settings, protocols, and devices within an organization’s network environment. This approach ensures stability, security, and efficient operations by eliminating configuration discrepancies that could lead to errors, downtime, and vulnerabilities.

Roughly 30% of customers believe that maintaining a uniform network configuration is fundamental to establishing efficient, secure, and easily manageable network infrastructures. By adopting standardized configurations and utilizing automation, businesses can uphold a resilient network environment that caters to their changing operational requirements, all the while reducing potential risks and enhancing overall network performance.

Q. Which of the following cloud management functionality is currently lacking in your organization’s cloud environment?
Source: VotE: Cloud, Hosting and Managed Services, Organizational Dynamics 2021

In VMware Cloud Director NSX-T Federation enables the extension of Tier 0 and Tier 1 Gateways across interconnected sites.

NSX-T Federation facilitates:

  • Consistency across multiple sites, leading to substantially reduced operational processes and consistency security deployment and operations.
  • This enhancement stems from consistently applying security policies at every interconnected site.
  • Allows VDC groups to span multiple NSX Managers​, delivering multi-cloud networking over differing sites.
  • Leverages NSX-T Global Transport Zones to provide high networking fault tolerance​ and ensure applications remain reachable.

Accelerated Route to Market

The pace at which a business can conceive, develop, and deploy applications directly influences its competitive edge. Rapid deployment of applications to meet market demands ensures that a company can seize opportunities swiftly, adapt to changing trends, and address customer needs promptly. The synergy between a well-established infrastructure and efficient application deployment shortens the time to market, enabling businesses to stay ahead of the curve. VMware Cloud Director offers a range of self-service capabilities to customers (tenants), enabling them to reduce the time spent on their day-to-day tasks significantly.

By combining the ability for customers to do things on their own (self-service) and adding automatic setup features, VMware Cloud Director stands out amoungst the competition. The upgrades in version 10.5 mean there’s less need to set things up manually, so IT experts can focus on creating new ideas and important plans.

In simple terms, when VMware Cloud Director includes options for customers to automate their cloud infrastructure setup choices, it’s making a big step forward to quickly deliver cloud services to the market. Customers see the delivery of new products and services as a competitive edge when selecting a cloud vendor, with 68% stating that this advantage is increasingly important for their cloud selection.

Q: Increased speed of innovation and increase in competitive advantage rise in importance compared to last year.
Source: Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report

NSX Advanced Load Balancer HTTP Policy Controls

The tenant self-service UI for configuring NSX Advanced Load Balancer HTTP policies empowers customers with control, flexibility, and real-time visibility, streamlining the load balancing process and enhancing their applications’ overall performance and security.

It empowers tenants (customer users or organizations) to manage their load-balancing requirements efficiently and independently. Offering business benefits such as reduced downtime, scalable, redundancy, flexibility and efficiency for your application availability and performance.

Firewall Rule Management – Improving Security with Optimized UI

The enhanced user interface for firewall rule expressions offers a more user-friendly and efficient experience for managing firewall rules. The convenience in rule creation and positioning, along with efficient rule reordering and simplified addition of IP ranges and addresses, enhances the overall usability and productivity for administrators by improving the firewall effective performance and mitigating rule overlap or negating rules for network security.The new ‘loggingId’ element provides improved visibility and correlation with NSX rules, facilitating easier troubleshooting and ensuring a more streamlined firewall rule management process.

Network Topology Configuration with Autoconfigured Default NAT and Firewall Rules

The use of IP spaces in VMware Cloud Director streamlines and automates configuring default SNAT, NO SNAT, and firewall rules on edge gateways and provider gateways. This automation saves time, ensures correct rule application based on topology and scopes, promotes consistency, and simplifies network management, ultimately leading to a more efficient and reliable network infrastructure.

Upgrade Solution Add-Ons and Publish Solution Add-Ons to Tenants allowing solution customization for every tenant

The feature empowers you to effectively manage and upgrade solution add-ons effectively, allowing you to keep your cloud environment current, tailor add-ons and their resulting service capabilities for specific tenants, and enhance the overall tenant experience. This enables you to provide a more dynamic and responsive cloud infrastructure tailored to the unique needs of your organization and tenants.

Catalog Publish & Subscribe Performance Improvements

The advantage of the described improvement in catalog publish-subscribe across VMware Cloud Director instances is the significant reduction in time required for content synchronization.

The improvement in catalog publish-subscribe for content synchronization in VMware Cloud Director offers significant advantages, including faster content propagation, improved workflow efficiency, reduced downtime, and enhanced collaboration. This enhancement is especially valuable in dynamic cloud environments where agility and responsiveness are paramount.

Effective Management

Effective management of cloud provider administrative tasks demands a strategic methodology for proficiently governing cloud resources, aligning them with organizational objectives, and upholding optimal security and compliance standards. The skillful execution of these responsibilities empowers customers to unlock the complete potential of their cloud services while minimizing potential risks and elevating operational proficiency. Improved management practices enable users to enhance their troubleshooting techniques, resulting in more effective and efficient resolution of issues.

Approximately 30% of users believe that an improved approach to asset and resource management, coupled with a robust user interface experience, contributes significantly to their enhanced governance capabilities.

Q. In which of the following cloud-related skills categories is your organization making the most significant investments
Source: 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud, Hosting & Managed Services, Cloud Skills 2022

IP Spaces Migration UI Wizard – For Best IP Management and Networking Features Compatibility

IP addresses play a crucial role in every business network,  and an increasing number of applications and devices means they are getting consumed faster. Neglecting the significance of effectively managing IP addresses can lead to increased costs and poor optimization.

So how can you achieve this with VMware Cloud Director?

You can use the IP Spaces Migration UI wizard to migrate any provider gateway in your environment to IP spaces from the legacy IP blocks.

The new IP Spaces feature in VMware Cloud Director offers essential network management capabilities that streamline operations, enhance security, and contribute to the overall efficiency of cloud environments.

An IP space consists of a set of defined non-overlapping IP ranges and small CIDR blocks that are reserved and used during the consumption aspect of the IP space life cycle. An IP space can be either IPv4 or IPv6, but not both.

Please be aware that utilizing the latest networking features introduced in VMware Cloud Director will be associated with and centered around IP Space exclusively.

Content Hub – Enhanced Catalog and Content Management

Handling content, including virtual machine templates, ISO images, OVF/OVA files, and containerized applications, has become more manageable on VMware Cloud Director 10.5. The new Content Hub enables the direct import of K8S applications and VM applications from the Marketplace and/or Helm charts into VMware Cloud Director, eliminating the necessity of App Launch Pad and improving the user experience for applications as a service.

Content Hub in VMware Cloud Director provides essential content management capabilities, including centralization, sharing, version control, automation, and customization. These advantages contribute to improved operational efficiency, resource optimization, and streamlined content deployment for both administrators and tenants.

Support Shortcuts – Reduce your CLI Errors and Increased Efficiency

Using shortcuts while troubleshooting enhances efficiency, saves time, and reduces errors. By simplifying navigation and command execution, shortcuts enable you to focus on identifying and resolving issues more effectively. Familiarizing yourself with common shortcuts can significantly boost your productivity as a system administrator.

VM Discovery Configuration (API Only)

The ability to control VM discovery settings globally and selectively at different levels in VMware Cloud Director offers enhanced customization, resource optimization, security, and scalability, contributing to more efficient cloud management and improved overall performance.

vCenter Server Backing Both a Provider VDC and a Dedicated vCenter Server Instance

The benefit of activating the two advanced settings in VMware Cloud Director 10.5 and onwards is that it allows provider administrators to enable a vCenter Server instance to support both a provider VDC and a dedicated vCenter Server instance. This configuration provides greater flexibility and resource utilization for the provider’s infrastructure.

Storage Resource Optimization

Storage optimization involves a range of strategies that enable organizations to maximize the efficiency of their storage resources. It is a comprehensive approach focused on striking the ideal equilibrium between performance, capacity, and expense. As the volume of cloud data expands rapidly, gaining proficiency in storage optimization methods becomes progressively crucial for businesses aiming to streamline their activities, improve data availability, and sustain competitiveness in our data-centric realm.

Around 40-50% of users believe that effective storage and optimization of indirect resources such as CPU and RAM, which result in reduced cycles, are essential not only for their day-to-day activities but also for attaining significant cost savings across the board. For you to present the AI/ML service to offer your customers, having optimal storage and resource optimization becomes essential.

Q. What are the primary reasons for adopting AIOps tool(s) in your organization?
Source: 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: DevOps, AIOps 2022

Shared Datastores Across Multiple vCenter Servers – Increase Storage Utilization and Resource Efficiency

We’re enhancing resource utilization, conserving CPU cycles, and streamlining the time required for virtual machine (VM) migration between vCenter instances. Additionally, we’re reducing time consumption by eliminating the need for exporting and importing OVF files. This efficiency is realized by utilizing a shared datastore across vCenter Servers and circumventing the OVA Export (from the Source VC Storage Policy) and Import operation (to the Destination VC Storage Policy).

Tenant Migration – Simplified Relocation of the Entire VM

The advantage of this feature in VMware Cloud Director 10.5 is that it revolutionizes VM relocation during tenant migrations. By enabling the “Migrate Entire Virtual Machine” option, all VMs with components on the chosen datastores are migrated as a complete unit, ensuring comprehensive migration. Conversely, deactivating this option allows for more selective migration, focusing solely on the components located on the selected datastore. This flexibility in the migration approach enhances control over the process and optimizes the migration strategy according to specific needs.

Other Useful Resources

VMware Cloud Director 10.5 release technical blog: https://bit.ly/3pFnmRx

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