Archive for February, 2013

vCloud Automation Center (vCAC): Endpoints

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As I have pointed out before vCAC allows you to pool resources, both private and public, into a central location for your users to consume.  The product obviously also gives you the ability to choose who has access to what resources and what they can consume.  Today, I would like to talk about how to add Endpoints in vCAC.

 So what is an Endpoint?  In vCAC Endpoints are connections into management components that have sets of resources you want to make available for management or consumption by end users.  They could be a vCenter, UCS Manager, Dell iDracs, HP iLO, Hyper-V (SCVMM), vCloud, vCO, etc.  For example, a vCenter Endpoint would collect data from vCenter about its Host Clusters.   With A vCloud Endpoint it would collect data on its ORG vDCs.  Now that you know what an Endpoint is in vCAC on to how to configure one. I want to note that most Endpoint are assoicated with a Proxy Agent that actually collects the data.  The Endpoint is more of a object that has the associated credentials to connect to the resource. 

Browse to the URL of the vCAC server normally in the format of https://FQD/dcac.  This will present you with the welcome screen like below. 

vCAC Login Screen

Please not that when using vCAC with IEs default settings it does a Single Sign On. So make sure that you are logged in with a user that is a vCAC admin, run IE as another user, or reconfigure IE.

Next browse to vCAC Administrator and then Endpoints on the menu bar:

vCAC Menu Bar

In the top right corner select New Point and the type of Endpoint.  In this example I am going to add a vCenter.

vCAC New Endpoint

You will then be present with the following screen.  You will need the IP Address or DNS name for the Endpoint and credentials for it.

vCenter New Endpoint

You will need to provide a Name for the Endpoint, the Address and then click in the Credentials field.  This will bring up a screen that lists all the credentials for Endpoints that vCAC is aware of. 

vcac credentials

If the credentials needed are already available select them and click ok, if not click on New Credentials.  Let’s assume we need new credentials.  When you click on New Credentials you are asked to provide a Name, Description, Username, and Password. 

 

vcac new credentials

When finished entering in your new credentials click the green check mark and then ok.  You will notice a section below Credentials called Customer Properties.  I am not going to get into the details around their use in this post because I am not really sure of a good case for using them with Endpoints.  But I will go more detail around Custom Properties in a future posts related to Blueprints and Build Profiles.  Click the OK button at the bottom of the New Endpoint Screen.    

vCenter New Endpoint 2

Now that the Endpoint has been added vCAC will launch a Data Collection.  This will allow vCAC to gather information about the Host Cluster within the vCenter and the associated Compute resources.  To view the Compute Resources, mouse over the arrow to the right of the Endpoint name and select View Compute Resources. 

view compute resources

 

 

You will then be taken to a screen that shows all the Compute Resources available from that Endpoint, along with information as to how much compute is available from each. 

compute resource details

 

You have now created an Endpoint in vCAC and have resources available to apply Reservations and Reservation Policies too.  I will cover these in future posts.

i want to note that there is a vSphere Endpoint that is installed on the seperate box that acutally gathers the info and populates its in vCAC.  I will follow up with another post on how to install these agents and add them to vCAC.

vCloud Automation Center

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In my current role I have been spending a great deal of my time working on automating VM provisioning and IaaS. I think most organizations are facing the same issue that we are. Virtualization has enabled IT to be able to provide a virtual machine fairly quickly but all the internal business processes around the creating of a VM take it from being a 20 minute process to something that takes weeks. The solution to this is to automate as many of the those business process as you can. Honestly this is easier said then done, and the approach I am taking is automate what we currently do and then start adding in new functinality. Ultimately it boils down to the fact that we want to be able to provide a better service for our customers and make the turn around much quicker. The solution we selected to address this was the vCloud Enterprise Suite, which includes a new VMware product know as vCloud Automation Center or vCAC formally know as Dynamic Ops Cloud Autmation Center. The product allows you to broker services/resources to your end users from local resources i.e. vSphere/vCloud and public resources i.e. AWS, vCloud Public offerings via a central portal. The product has its own built in orchestration engine and also has the ablility to to leverage vCenter Orchestrator. The user interface makes provsioning of services fairly seamless for end users and your end users dont’t have to worry about the technology. All they have to worry about are what are the requirements and whats its going to cost them. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the out of the box intergration with vCloud in the first version of the product under VMWare. I been told that this will improve in furture versions and looking forward to seeing this piece evolve. In the coming weeks I will be posting several more in-depth posts around the product. If your interested in anything in particular let me know and I will see what I can come up with around the subject.

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