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by Tom Stephens, Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

Evaluating software to make sure that it is fit for purpose in your environment can be a time consuming task.  One has to acquire the hardware, get the software, and configure the environment.  Only then can they get to the business of performing the evaluation.  Of course, virtualization helps here.  Just a quick look at the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace and you’ll see hundreds of pre-packaged solutions ready for you to download and play with.

Of course, VMware provides virtual appliances of its software as well.  By going to VMware.com, you can download virtual appliances for vCenter Server, vCenter Orchestrator, and even vCloud Director

By using the vCloud Director Appliance, you can have a fully functional vCD environment ready in minutes.  In the current version, the vCD Appliance even contains an embedded Oracle 11g R2 Express Edition (XE) database that eliminates the need to configure an external database.

Now the vCloud Director Appliance does have some limitations.  As it’s only intended for use with evaluations of vCloud Director, the scale of the deployment is limited to:

  • One vCloud Director cell
  • Two vCenter Servers
  • 10 organization vDCs
  • 100 virtual machines
  • Up to 11GB of information stored in the embedded database

As you can see, these limitations are generous enough to let you build out quite a large environment for your evaluation.

After you sign in to evaluate vCloud Director, you will be presented with the option to download the vCloud Director Appliance as an .ova file.  This .ova file can then be deployed through an existing vSphere environment as normal.  Once done, you’ll see you have a CentOS 5.6 based VM that serves as the vCloud Director Appliance. 

Complete step-by-step instructions for configuring the vCloud Director Appliance can be found in the vCloud Director 1.5 Evaluation Guide.

The appliance is intended to be a plug-and-play solution for evaluation environments.  Due to this, there shouldn’t be any maintenance required on your part.  However, if you need to, here is the login information for the vCloud Director Appliance:

Username = root

Password = Default0

Additionally, the account information to access the embedded Oracle XE database is:

Username = vcloud

Password = VCloud

The vCloud Director Appliance is a fairly recent release, having just been released in Nov 2011.  As such, there are not too many known issues.  In fact, off the top of my head, I can only name one:

  1. Ability to use the vCloud Director Appliance with VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager.  Currently, there are some issues trying to integrate Chargeback with a instance of the vCloud Director Appliance.  VMware is aware of this and we are testing a fix to the issue now.  Expect to see a KB article out soon on this.

 Performing an evaluation of vCloud Director using the appliance is certainly something you should consider.  It will no doubt save you a lot of time!