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Category Archives: What is vCAT

Introducing VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit for Service Providers

Just in time for VMworld Europe, we are pleased to announce the first release of the VMware vCloud® Architecture Toolkit for Service Providers (vCAT-SP). vCAT-SP is a set of reference documents and architectural notes designed to help VMware vCloud® Air™ Network Partners construct cloud platforms and service offerings leveraging current technologies, recommended practices and innovative tools that have been provisioned in real-world cloud service provider environments. Written by the vCloud Air Network Global Cloud Practice Architecture team and experts across VMware, vCAT-SP provides cloud service provider IT managers and architects recommended design and support solutions attested, validated and optimized – they represent the most efficient examples to help you make the right choices for your business.

Solution Stacks

VMware vCAT-SP is supported by the ‘VMware Cloud Service Provider Solution Stacks’, these are recommended solution stacks aligned to common service provider delivery models; Hosting, Managed Private Cloud and Public Cloud. The solution stacks provide recommendations in terms of which VMware products should be included as part of a VMware powered Hosting, Managed Private Cloud or Public Cloud platform.

You can download the vCAT-SP – Public Cloud Solution Stack

The Hosting and Private Cloud Solution Stacks will be released shortly.

Service Definitions

The service definition documents will help vCloud Air Network service providers define their cloud service requirements across compliance, SLA and OLA’s, recoverability business continuity, integration requirements for OSS and BSS systems, and service offerings use cases. The documents will provide example service definitions that can be leveraged as a starting point.

The initial release of vCAT-SP will provide a service definition example document for Public Cloud. Additional service definition example documents for Hosting and Managed Private Cloud will be provided at a later date.

Architecture Domains

vCAT-SP has been broken down in to seven architecture domains:

  • Virtualization Compute – Documents that detail specific design considerations for the virtualization platform across cloud service offerings for service providers.
  • Network and Security – Documents that detail network and security specific use-cases and design considerations for service providers.
  • Storage and Availability – Documents detailing design considerations for storage platforms and availability solutions for service providers.
  • Cloud Operations and Management – Documents detailing the design considerations and use-cases around opertions management of cloud platforms and services.
  • Cloud Automation and Orchestration – Documents detailing the design considerations and use-cases for automation and orchestration within cloud platforms.
  • Unified Presentation – Documents detailing design considerations and use-cases around presentation of cloud services through UI’s and API’s and the available options to service providers.
  • Hybridity – Documents detailing design considerations and use-cases for hybridity ranging from hybrid applicaton architectures to hybrid network design considerations.

Each domain contains architecture documents that cover off the core platform architecture design considerations, key service provider use cases and operational considerations.

Solution Architecture Examples

Solution Architecture Examples are reference solution designs that have taken the architecture domains in to consideration to formulate a holistic cloud solution. This will include design decisions that have been driven by key requirements and constraints specific to a particular deployment scenario. We are aiming to provide solution architecture examples for Hosting, Managed Private Cloud and Public Cloud platforms initially.

Solutions and Services Examples

Solutions and Services Examples are reference architecture blueprints detailing how to implement a particular cross functional service offering such as DR as a Service which requires a core cloud platform solution and configuration across network and security, storage and availability and compute virtualization domains. This area is where we will publish additional value-add service offerings that the cloud service providers can plug in to their core architectures.

More Information

The initial release of vCAT-SP zip file will be available for download during VMworld Barcelona from: https://www.vmware.com/go/vcat

For any feedback or requests for additional materials, please contact the team at: vcat-sp@vmware.com



VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) is back!

Introducing VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit for Service Providers (vCAT-SP)

The current VMware vCloud® Architecture Toolkit (3.1.2) is a set of reference documents that help our service provider partners and enterprises architect, operate and consume cloud services based on the VMware vCloud Suite® of products.

As the VMware product portfolio has diversified over the past few years with the introduction of new cloud automation, cloud operations and cloud business products plus the launch of our VMware’s own hybrid cloud service; VMware vCloud Air™, VMware service provider partners now have many more options for designing and building their VMware powered cloud services.

VMware has decided to create a new version of vCAT specifically focused on helping guide our partners in defining, designing, implementing and operating VMware based cloud solutions across the breadth of our product suites. This new version of vCAT is called VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit – Service Providers (or vCAT-SP).

What are we attempting to achieve?

What VMware intends to do through the new vCAT-SP is provide prescriptive guidance to our partners on what is required to define, design, build and operate a VMware based cloud service… aligned to the common service models that are typically deployed by our partners. This will include core architectures and value-add products and add-ons.

VMware vCAT-SP will be developed using the architecture methodology shown in the following graphic. This methodology takes real-world service models, use cases, functional, non-functional requirements and implementation examples that have been validated in the real world.

Architecture Methodology


Which implementation models will be covered?

The new vCAT-SP initially focuses on two implementation models: Hybrid Cloud Powered and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Powered. These in turn align to common cloud service models, such as Hosting, Managed Private Cloud, and Public/Hybrid Cloud.

Hybrid Cloud Powered

To become hybrid cloud powered, the service provider’s cloud infrastructure must meet the following criteria:

  • The cloud service must be built with VMware vSphere® and VMware vCloud Director for Service Providers.
  • The vCloud APIs must be exposed to the cloud tenants.
  • Cloud tenants must be able to upload and download virtual workloads packaged with Open Virtualization Format (OVF) version 1.0.
  • The cloud provider must have an active rental contract of 3600 points of more with an aggregator.

This implementation model is typically used to build large scale multi-tenant public or hybrid cloud solutions offering a range is IaaS, PaaS or SaaS services to the end-customers.

Infrastructure as a Service Powered

To design an Infrastructure as a Service powered cloud infrastructure, the solution must meet the following criteria:

  • The cloud service must be built with vSphere.
  • The cloud provider must have an active rental subscription with an aggregator.

This implementation model is typically used to build managed hosting and managed private cloud solutions with varying levels of dedication through compute, storage and networking layers, again offering a range of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services to the end customers.

The vCloud Architecture Toolkit provides all the required information to design and implement a hybrid powered or IaaS powered cloud service, and to implement value-added functionality for policy based operations management, software-defined network and security, hybridity, unified presentation, cloud business management, cloud automation and orchestration, software-defined storage, developer services integration etc.

For more information please visit: vcloudairnetwork.com

Modular and iterative development framework

Modularity is one of the key principles when starting to develop the new vCAT-SP architecture framework. Our modular approach makes it easier to iterate upon, by having smaller building blocks that can be checked out of the architecture, have the impact assessed against other components, updated, then re-inserted in to the architecture with minimal impact to the larger solution landscape.

What will vCAT-SP contain?

VMware vCAT-SP provides the following core documents:

Introductory Documents

Within this section there will be a document map, which details all the available documents and document types that are contained within vCAT-SP. There will also be an introduction document that provides the partners with guidance on how to get the most out of vCAT-SP as a consumer.

Service Definitions

The service definition document(s) provide the information needed to create an effective service definition document. They contain use cases, SLAs, OLAs, business drivers, and the like, that are required to build a hybrid cloud powered or IaaS powered cloud service. The initial vCAT-SP efforts will focus on the hybrid cloud powered service definition, with IaaS Powered following shortly after.

Architecture Documents

The vCAT-SP architecture documents detail the logical design specifics, architecture options available to the designing architect, design considerations for availability, manageability, performance, scalability, recoverability, security, and cost.

Implementation Examples

The implementation example documents detail an end-to-end specific implementation of a solution aligned to an implementation model and service definition. These documents highlight which design decisions were taken and how the solution meets the use cases and requirements identified in a service definition.

Additionally, there will be implementation examples for pluggable value-added services that are developed through the VMware vCloud Air Network. For example, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), these components can be plugged in to the core architecture.

Emerging Tools, Solutions and Add-Ons

This area is not just for documentation, but also allows for the team to capture and store Useful software tools and utilities, such as, scripts, plugins, workflows, etc. and which can be used to enhance a particular implementation model. For example, how my cloud platform can present cloud-native applications, such as Project Photon. The development of these documents / add-ons will be iterative and not aligned to the core documentation releases.

The following figure shows the map of documentation currently planned. This is subject to change.

Document Map

When can I get a copy of vCAT-SP?

We are planning to launch the first pdf-based release of vCAT-SP on www.vmware.com/go/vcat around the VMworld EMEA time-frame, we will be publishing in to web format shortly afterwards… so watch this space!

VMware vCAT-SP will be developed iteratively, with a published road-map. This will be in-line with our major software releases where possible, to ensure there is effective service and solution focused architectural guidance available to VMware service provider partners as close to GA dates as possible.

Who is the vCAT-SP development team?

The Global Cloud Practice – vCloud Air Network team, led by Dan Gallivan, is a team of specialist service provider-focused cloud architects that work throughout the vCloud Air Network within the VMware Cloud Services Business Unit.

The team is a global team with many years experience helping our service provider partners build world-class cloud products based on VMware software. The team also contains five certified VCDX architects and three members of the VMware CTO Ambassadors program.

Over the next couple of months we will be releasing frequent technical preview blogs across the technology domains as we approach VMworld EMEA.


Be sure to subscribe to the vCAT blog, vCloud blog, follow @VMwareSP on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook for future updates.


Related VMware vFabric Reference Architecture released

Now available, the highly anticipated vFabric Reference Architecture!!!

Customers, partners and VMware field can leverage the practical templates, examples and guiding principles authored by VMware’s vFabric experts to design, implement and run their own integrated vFabric middleware technology suite.

Download the vFabric Reference Architecture at www.vmware.com/go/vFabric-Ref-Arch.

vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) 3.0 now available for download

VMware is pleased to announce the release of the vCAT 3.0 material.

The VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit provides technical and operational guidance for cloud success. It includes the tools and guidance to build, operate, and consume an industry-leading cloud computing infrastructure solution. Unlike a Reference Architecture which focuses on one use case, this architecture toolkit includes support for multiple use cases and combinations of use cases. It is based on field experience with hundreds of customers and partners. It is validated by internal and external individuals and is supported by VMware as the de-facto reference for vCloud deployments. This is offered free of charge.

It is available for download at http://www.vmware.com/go/vcat under the registration section. Look for the ‘Register’ link.


This release has expanded content for architects, administrators, and consumers of a vCloud infrastructure. It supports enterprise customers and service providers.

VMware Validated Architecture Toolkit

This material has been created and validated by multiple organizations within VMware including Global Solutions and Enablement (GSE), Engineering and QA, Global Support Services (GSS), Tech Marketing, Product Management, Alliances, members of the Partner Technical Advisory Board, vendors, and others. Our Continuous Product Development (CPD) organization is currently reviewing this material to also provide validation. Part of this validation includes successful use for internal VMware vCloud projects including the VMworld lab environment.

Value Proposition

– Created by experts to HELP YOU BECOME AN EXPERT.
– Demonstrates REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE, not just theoretical gluing together of products.
– Creates a BASELINE to form a common knowledge base, or starting point, for cloud architectures.
– It is a DE-FACTO REFERENCE POINT for many questions that arise around both VMware vCloud and Cloud Computing environments.


We focus on Infrastructure as a Service for private, public, and community clouds. This material can be expanded to support other cloud models such as community and government clouds.

We include information on people, process, and technology. We have added several new sections that include workflow examples (vCenter Orchestrator), software tools, and cloud bursting theory.

This material is designed as an engineering document. It is written to provide flexibility in support of third party technologies integrated with VMware technologies. Vendors can provide their integration guidance at www.solutionexchange.vmware.com

This is a large body of material at over 700 pages across multiple documents. We have included reading guidance in the Introduction for the three audience categories. The documents include:

* Core Documents
– Introduction
– Service Definitions
– Architecting a VMware vCloud
– Operating a VMware vCloud
– Consuming a VMware vCloud
– Implementation Examples

* Tools and Advanced Topics
– Workflow Examples
– Software Tools
– Cloud Bursting

* Additional supporting documents such as Document Map, Release Notes, and Errata.

For this, our third major release, we have added a Documentation Center that can be used online or offline. The Documentation Center provides the ability to navigate and search through the library of toolkit documents, with access to PDFs from the user interface, and translations via Google Translate when Documentation Center is served from a web server. This is our first release of material using this technology and hope it will provide a benefit to your team members.


The technologies used include the following including all features of each product where appropriate for a vCloud deployment.
– VMware vSphere
– VMware vCloud Director
– VMware vCloud Network and Security (App, Edge, Endpoint, Data Security)
– VMware vCenter Operations Manager
– VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager
– VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator
– VMware vCenter Configuration Manager
– VMware vCenter Orchestrator
– PowerCLI, vCloud API
– VMware IT Business Management
– VMware vFabric RabbitMQ
– VMware vFabric Applications Director
– VMware vFabric Hyperic
– VMware Site Recovery Manager

Why release this to the public?

We believe there are several reasons. It supports the customer directly. It support the sales and delivery teams of our partners. It supports third party software and hardware vendors.

– Includes design considerations, design patterns, and examples in one document that covers more than just the vCloud suite of products.
– Includes operational considerations and examples.
– Acts as a training document to educate.
– Is an all-in-one reference guide for architects, administrators, and consumers.
– Geared for VCP, VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, and VCDX level skills.
– Used VCDX approach during development.
– Provides guidance for partners (sales and delivery teams).
– Provides a competitive tool by providing details based on the experience of hundreds of VMware customers and several years of experience working with them.
Supports enterprise customers and service providers.
– Provides information on design justification, impact, risk factors, and testing considerations that can embellish a set of delivery material.
– Shortens design and delivery time.

Next Steps

We are looking for your feedback on this material.
– How useful has this been in your job role, organization, company?
– What areas do you find most valuable in your role (provide your role)?
– Is there material we should add, remove, modify, correct?
– Are you willing to provide a reference or quote on vCAT?

Updates to vCAT
– Minor update to be added shortly.
– Next release tentatively scheduled in late Q1 2013.
– Next major release schedule for Q3 2013.

Training on vCAT
We will be creating videos on the material and how to use it. These will be announced on the VMware blogs site at – http://blogs.vmware.com/vcat

Thank you
The vCAT 3.0 team

vCAT 3.0 Exposing Many New Features

When vCAT 3.0 is released you will be able to find out about the many, many NEW features that are available. One of the things that is so unique about vCAT 3.0, is that all these NEW features are exposed and accessible to you in one place. There really is no other resource quite like this available to you and that is so comprehensive.

vCAT Enablement

vCAT is a reference library of design considerations, decisions, and patterns. It includes examples and theory.

With vCAT we have taken a VCDX approach to provided justifications, impact, and success criteria. You will also find in this release an update to vCloud maximums to help with determining sizing.

To enable you we have activities at VMworld including:
– Theater Presentations (10 minute sessions at the VMware booth)
– vCAT Overview
– Architecting
– Operating
– Consuming
– Breakout Sessions
– vCAT card with details on the release and supporting breakout sessions
– Demo booth where we will
– show the contents,
– answer questions,
– demonstrate the Webworks and reverb interfaces
– online web based access
– global search across all nine documents
– translation capabilities
– PDF generation
– Related Hands On Labs that are covered in the vCAT Overview breakout session

We are also planning on VMware TV broadcasts to get you up to speed on how to use vCAT and the contents.

With the 700+ pages across nine documents, there is a lot of valuable information. With the search and translate capabilities we have extended accessibility. We have received requests to offer printed versions of this material and would like to know if you would be interested in this being offered through VMware Press.

We also look for your feedback to help us enable you and to continue to expand our audience.

Thank you
John Arrasjid, Principal Architect, VCDX-001

Feedback on the vCAT releases

The vCAT team is interested in hearing your feedback. We are here to further enable VMware vCloud planners, architects, implementors, admins, operators, and consumers.

How have you used vCAT?
How do you plan to use vCAT?
What would you like added?
Do you agree with the scope of technologies and level of coverage?
What technologies do you use in your cloud deployment(s)?
What technologies would you like to see added future releases?
Would you be interested in providing a quote in support of vCAT?
What are the challenges and successes you have encountered in cloud or VMware vCloud design, deployment, and operations?

These are some of the areas we would like to see you, our customers and partners, help us with as we further develop this tool to support you.

John Arrasjid. Principal Architect, VCDX-001

VCAT scope

We have expanded the scope across the current 700+ pages to include the following sections:

Core Documents
– Introduction
– VMware vCloud Service Definitions
– Architecting a VMware vCloud
– Operating a VMware vCloud
– Consuming a VMware vCloud
– Implementation Examples

Add-ons and Tools
– Workflow Examples
– Software Tools
– Cloud Bursting

We have also taken a step to simplify access and use. You will continue to be able to download PDF versions of the document. We have also implemented Webworks and Reverb. These technologies allow all docs to be served up online with global search and translation. The translation technology is Google Translate. Although this is not full localization, it makes vCAT documents more accessible to our wide audience around the work.

The current release of vCAT 2.0.1 and the new vCAT 3.0 will be available at www.vmware.com/go/vCAT. Further details on when vCAT 3.0 will be available is overed in the upcoming press release on Monday.

Third party solutions that are integrated with VMware vCloud technologies and that are vCAT ready can be found on the VMware Solutions Exchange.

Thank you to internal and external contributors and reviewers of this release.
John Arrasjid, Principal Architect. VCDX-001

vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) at VMworld 2012

Continuing on its emphasis on relevance, vCAT 3.0 is VMware’s newest vCloud Architectural Toolkit, enhanced with new material to enable architects, operators, and consumers of a VMware vCloud. You will see new designs, considerations and methodologies supporting today’s hottest technologies.

Learn how vCloud Architecture Toolkit 3.0 will benefit you and your company at VMworld 2012 San Francisco:

Visit the vCAT demo station within the VMware booth at Solutions Exchange on Sunday evening, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. See first-hand what 3.0 has to offer. Leave your contact information to be among the first to receive it once made available.

Talk one on one with vCAT authors at the Expert Bar also at Solutions Exchange on Sunday evening, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. View the release with Apple iBooks on iPads.

Theater presentations in the VMware booth at Solutions Exchange will start on Sunday at 5:30pm. Joe Sarabia and I will kick off a series on vCAT with an overview. Check the schedule each day for the additional presentations on architecting, operating and consuming a VMware vCloud.

Back by popular demand, the vCAT team will deliver three 60-min break-out sessions in the infrastructure and operations tracks.

OPS-CIM 1307 – vCAT 3.0 Overview. Includes details on what’s included in vCAT 3.0 and how to use it for planning, designing, building and operating a VMware vCloud.

INF-VSP 129 – vCAT 3.0, Architecture to Implementation in 5 Easy Steps. Demonstrates why you need vCAT 3.0 to assist in architecting and implementing your VMware vCloud via a five step methodology.

OPS-CIM 1309 – vCAT 3.0, Operating a vCloud. Illustrates the new approach for IT Operations to support and operate a VMware vCloud.

Please join the fun and cheer-on VMware’s vCAT team while we play in a “v0dgeball” charity tournament to support our veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).

John Arrasjid, Principal Architect, VCDX-001

Use vCAT for Your IT Transformation to Cloud

Start your IT transformation to cloud-based services by referencing vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT), a set of documents produced by VMware containing the technical details necessary for designing, implementing and operating a cloud IT architecture.

What vCAT Can Do For You

VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) is a set of documents designed to help you construct a superior working cloud solution leveraging technologies, recommended practices and innovative tools that have been proven in real-world enterprise and service provider cloud deployments.

vCATwill help you to:

  • Build, consume and operate a cloud
  • Gain confidence and credibility with your design solutions
  • Mitigate risks from change by enabling you to pull from hundreds of proven customer architectures
  • Accelerate your competitive differentiation in the marketplace

Download vCAT and start using it today!