At VMworld 2012 VMware announced vCloud Director 5.1. vCD 5.1 is the successor to vCD 1.5. This means we’ve skipped version 2, 3 and 4 :). Anyhow vCD version numbers are in line with vSphere version numbering which is a good thing.
With the introduction of the vCloud Suite vCloud Director will become more and more important. vCD 5.1 contains some interesting enhancements which I will discuss in this article. The content is (partially) derived from VMworld 2012 session OPS-CSM2083: “What’s New with VMware vCloud Director” presented by Tom Stephens.
- First of all: vSphere storage profiles are now supported by vCD. This means you don’t have to create 3 different provider vDC’s just to offer three different storage tiers (this was the case with vCD 1.5). You can just create one provider vDC and link one or more vSphere defined storage profiles to this particular provider vDC, which is a great thing.Note: If you don’t have storage profiles available, because you don’t use them or because of licensing, there will just be one default storage profile available.
- vCloud Director supports VXLAN, this enables you to create cross cluster Provider Virtual Datacenters.
- There are some interesting enhancements regarding vShield Edge. vShield Edge is used to create logical netwerk segments within vCloud Director. In vCD 1.5 you could connect a vShield Edge device to two networks; vCD 5.1 let you connect a vShield Edge device up to 10 networks. On top of that, you can configure redundancy by deploying two Edge devices.
- A load balancer is now integrated in vCD as part of the vCD VCNS (vCloud Networking and Security Gateway Services). There’s also some improvements on the VPN, firewall, NAT and DHCP functionality
- Another interesting option is the use of metadata, which can be linked to all different vCD objects. In 5.1 you can only search through this metadata using the vCloud API.
- Snapshots are supported in vCD 5.1, so that’s great. Right now only one snapshot can be created per VM/vApp. If you create a second snapshot, the first one will be deleted. You can snapshot a single VM (which is part of a vApp), or you can snapshot the entire vApp. In the latter case the snapshot is created in parallel.
- The vCD interface is now using the vSphere Web Client layout. This is a cool thing, but if you’re using a customized vCD interface you have to rebuild the interface.
- Single Sign On is also a new feature for vCloud Director. If your logged on to vCD you can click on a vSphere object, which is shown in the vSphere Client (without logging in again).
During the session Linked Clones where not discussed unfortunately. Happily I had a short chat with Manish Lohani, Product Manager for vCD 5.1 For linked clones the maximum supported number of hosts is 32 (instead of 8 in vCD 1.5). Also Storage DRS is now supported for linked clone virtual machines using shadow VMs, so that is a great enhancement. Also VAAI can now be used to off-load linked clones to the storage solution.
vCD is becoming a more and more mature product which is better integrated with vSphere. The integration of storage profiles in vCD and the improved use of linked clones is a welcome option.