By Andrea Siviero, VMware Senior Solutions Architect
The concept of a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) has impressed me since the first time I deployed it.
vRealize Automation’s purpose-built infrastructure and application service delivery capabilities combined with its Advanced Service Designer and library of vCenter Orchestrator plugins and workflows make automating almost anything as a service relatively easy.
During my work consulting for enterprise-level customers, I’m frequently exposed to new challenges. One customer engagement inspired my fantasy: how to automate the management of the management portal. This looks like a tongue-twister joke, but actually is an interesting question.
As soon as you start exploring this sweet idea you find yourself with a REST client opened to interact with your SDDC using APIs, and you can do almost anything!
However, there is some downside to this approach, which I would like to simplify with a simple phrase: IT Admins don’t “naturally” talk API. 🙂
Not long ago, I was sitting in a VMware CTO Ambassador session, and suddenly a bright light appeared in front of my eyes: The CloudClient.
CloudClient is a plugin based architecture with a “command line interface” for traditional provisioning and day two operation support, eliminating the challenges of dealing with SSO / CAFE API and no need to speak JSON (unless you want to).
Providing higher-level “verbs” instead of dealing with myriad of JSON / URIs, makes my job supporting customers a little easier and allows a centralized point to talk not only with vRealize Automation but with the other SDDC components like vCenter Orchestrator/Site Recovery Manager and Application Director.
Moreover, CloudClient provides a Java SDK so it can be easily integrated within a third-party solution, without slowing down the SDDC adoption in the stellar complexity of an enterprise customer.
For instance, you can browse catalog items like in the picture below and request them by simply saying “vcac catalog list.” More interestingly, with the admin account, you can create a new tenant — and adding items to the catalog as easy as chatting with your SDDC.
A Fool With a Tool is Still a Fool
Getting a tool for doing a project is the beginning, not the end, of your journey. Any time a discussion goes toward tools, any tools really, it’s a good idea to challenge the tool itself.
What I mean is that solutions, not tools, help you achieve your business needs,. It’s important to have the right team in place to develop solutions, which will ensure you implement the right tools for your needs.
Andrea Siviero is an eight-year veteran of VMware and a senior solutions architect member of Professional Services Engineering (PSE) for the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC), a part of the Global Technical Solutions (GTS) team. Prior to PSE, Andrea spent three years as pre-sales system engineer and three years as a post-sales consultant architect for cloud computing and desktop virtualization solutions focusing on very large and complex deployments, especially for service providers in the finance and telco sectors.