Cloud Automation vCloud Automation Center vRealize Automation

vCenter Orchestrator – The Preferred Approach for Adapting and Extending vCloud Automation Center

by Rich Bourdeau

vCAC-VCO ExtensibilityA 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.

Integration Examples
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.

Customizing vCAC Workflow

  • 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

Custom vCAC Service

  • 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.

Need help deploying your private cloud infrastructure or developing your business justification? Contact us and our experts can help your team build the business case and the solution that will maximize your IT productivity.

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