vCloud Director 1.5 New Features Overview

Part of the big announcements prior to VMworld this year was the announcement of vCloud Director 1.5. If you haven’t heard of vCloud director it was popularly known in the past as VMware Lab Manager (RIP).  With version 1 under its belt VMware is releasing version 1.5 and added a few new features. Below are a few of the most important (in my humble opinion) that will have the greatest impact for people already on vCloud Director.

First, and I am really excited about this, is the addition of Fast Provisioning. This feature uses linked clones so you can provision VMs from a template rather a full copy. This will allow for provisioning of a VM in seconds vs. who knows how long and will help cut your storage cost significantly. NetApp does something similar if you haven’t seen their product, I would check it out as well.

Fast Provisioning is great for the following:

  • Cloning production and pre-production workloads
  • Demo and trial environments
  • Test and Dev
  • Support Desk
  • And much much more

Second, they increased the enhancements of the vCloud API. This helps fit vCloud into existing environments with baked IT management tools. With added messaging it will be able to provide notifications to your various systems; backup, monitoring, CMDB, IPAM, and network tools for example. There is also some new SDK’s coming and better use of query service.


Third, they added a significant increase in support for their Microsoft SQL Database. You can actually build a vCloud Director environment using a Microsoft SQL database for all of the configuration data, which will help if you are highly invested in a Microsoft SQL database. Now you can get rid of that Oracle License you been hanging on to.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on the expansion of vShield support and will be integrating with IPSec VPN and added Firewall capabilities. More details to come on this, but know that when setting up secure cloud environments that there will be secure ways to connect external-internal cloud through a secure interface. Think DR and onsite cloud sites synching.

More to come, but excited to see this product line evolve.


If you haven’t heard yet, VMware announced VMware vCloud Director (vCD) last week and it is gaining a lot of buzz around the industry.  The simplest way to think about vCD is in the terms of layers. It will sit on top of vCenter and extract all of the resources that vCenter would manage and pools them into large aggregates that can be carved up based on resource needs. A good real world example of what this could be used for would be multitenant hosting, or large use of resource pooling internally (think private cloud).  

Some basic things to keep in mind:

  • This works in conjunction with vCenter and vSphere.
  • You will want to use this with VMware vShield, vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) for full benefit.
  • There will be a self-service portal that will allow for micro level deployment of applications, virtual machines and other IT resources. Ultimately creating a vApp, more details below.
  • It can be clustered with the addition of multiple vCD servers. This will give an incredible amount of scalability.
  • Currently there are three types of resources that can be allocated by a tenant 
  1.                 Computing: Resource Pools
  2.                 Networking: vSwitches etc..
  3.                 Storage: VMFS and NFS shares

Value and Benefit:

High-level, this would be used to reduce the amount of time it would take to deploy VM’s, vApps, and templates. It would reduce the amount of IT tickets and most of all time for all the different groups to come to a consensus on how and what to carve out. Once the established policies are in place each department could log on to their portal for the prompts and have a working VM with the needed software in minutes vs. hours or days in some cases. They call this Self-Service for the cloud.

vCloud also fits in well with some of the primary hardware vendors. There is a documented relationship with Netapp, EMC, Cisco and HP. All have different flavors and benefits; however all have the same goal of allocating and pooling hardware resources on top of the virtual layers. Picking the right partnership could be challenging based on all the options and choices. But you should have comfort in knowing that some of your existing infrastructure will work with this technology, HP,EMC etc…

This is really an exciting announcement, not only because it adds another layer of resource pooling but because it is starting to fit right in line to the converged infrastructure conversation. Cisco was to first to market with their Unified Computing Servers, then HP with their Matrix options and now VMware. There is going to be a ton more of innovation with this concept and it will affect all areas of your IT infrastructure; ____as-a-service. More details to follow.