by Rich Bourdeau
A cloud automation solution is not a standalone application it needs to interact with existing infrastructure tools and processes. vCloud Automation Center delivers the quickest time to value, because it is a purpose built cloud automation solution with broad multi-vendor support and comprehensive capabilities built in. However vCAC is also designed to be extensible to allow it to be rapidly integrated with your existing multi-vendor systems.
vCloud Automation Center empowers IT Administrators to rapidly adapt or extend our out-of-the-box capabilities to either integrate with existing tools and infrastructure or add new IT services by leveraging vCenter Orchestrator’s library workflows and partner provided plug-ins.
Lets look at three common examples of how to vCenter Orchestrator can be used to adapt and extend vCloud Automation Center’s purpose built functionality.
- Calling VCO Workflows from various points in the lifecycle
Using the vCAC Designer and vCenter Orchestrator Admins can insert VCO Workflows at specified points in the automated delivery process. Common integration examples include: generating a work order ticket, running an OS customization script, updating a CMDB or internal database, or calling an IP address management system.
- Creating New Custom IT Services
The vCAC Advanced Service Designer allows administrators to rapidly deploy new IT services leveraging VMware and partner supplied VCO workflows and plugins. It is a wizard driven approach to designing the end to end process associated with delivering the service from the request through automated delivery. These custom services can be published in the vCloud Automation Center catalog along with other application and infrastructure services
- Adding new Day 2 Actions to Existing Services
The Advanced Service Designer can also be used to add day-2 action commands to existing machine or application resources. vCloud Automation Center’s Governance policies also control who has access to these new commands. Common use cases include adding backup and restore actions.
Where do you get started?
Before you start to build a VCO workflows see if one already exists. The best place to do that is the Cloud Management Marketplace on the VMware Solutions Exchange.
If you can’t find what you are looking for there, check out the vCenter Orchestrator Community site. A number of cloud automation experts post VCO workflows examples there that you can leverage and customize.
If you still can’t find what you are looking for it may be time to build it yourself of have VMware or one of our management partners build it for you. Here are some resources to help you get started.
- vCenter Orchestrator Software
Most VMware customers already have access to the vCenter Orchestrator software, because it is included with many vSphere packages.
- Free Access to the vCO Plug-in SDK
The SDK has samples and documentation to facilitate development
- vCenter Orchestrator Documentation:
- Training Videos: http://vmwarelearning.com/orchestrator/
- Hands-on-Labs: http://docs.hol.vmware.com/HOL-2013/hol-sdc-1307_html_en/
- VMware Education: http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=38842
- Community Support: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vcenter/orchestrator
- Distribute your VCO plug-in on the VMware Solutions Exchange
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