The VMware vCloud Director is the browser interface to the VMware vSphere cloud. You use it to manage your applications and virtual machines plus networking, organizations, and storage. vCloud Director is also the console for the virtual machines themselves, meaning you can use that instead of ssh or Windows Remote Desktop.
Here I present some of the features of vCloud Director by showing you how to set up a simple Ubuntu virtual machine.
The vCloud Director requires a plugin to Firefox. VMware says that plugin works with Firefox and 32-bit versions of IE. Since not many people are using 32-bit versions of IE, I use it with Firefox. I have tried it with Chrome, but the plugin crashes there at times as well as 64-bit IE. So use Firefox, since that is where it is supported.
When you open vCloud for the first time, the browser will download and install the plugin shown below:
How Create a new vApp and Virtual Machine with vCloud Director
A vApp is a collection of one or more virtual machines. You create a new vApp from either your company’s or the public catalog of templates. These templates are a collection of standard or customized Linux and Windows machines. You can save them as templates to create additional virtual machines with similar storage profiles and hardware characteristics.
The set up screen is shown below. As you can see, from here you can pick different versions of Linux. Windows is available in another catalogue.
When you set up a vApp you indicate:
- Memory in GB
- Number of cpus
- Number of cores
- Direct network connection or connection to your VLAN or other network
You can use LDAP or specify a local root password here:
The virtual machines are listed in the screen below. Here is where you power them on and off, make changes to the configuration, and login to the machine.
Click on the small square that represents the virtual machine to open up the console, where you log in as root, and not the user id that you used to log into vCloud Director.
The mouse will be captured in the windows, so press (-ctl-)(-alt-) to release the mouse pointer back to your desktop or laptop PC. (People always get stuck on that; it could be one of Google’s top VMware questions.)
From the vApps screen, you can create new virtual apps, which as I said before are a collection of one or more virtual machines. For there you can also download vApps in OVF (Open Virtualization Format) files, in order to port them to another environment and deploy them with vCloud Director or the OVF command line tool. You can also import a virtual machine from vSphere and make a point-in-time snapshot or revert to an existing snapshot. If the snapshot checkbox is marked at the vApp level, that indicates that at least one of the machines in the vApp has a snapshot.
The Edge Gateway is a software-defined network function that lets you handle multiple external networks. There are 10 interfaces available. Here you can configure DHCP, NAT, firewall rules, VPN, and static routing. You can also configure the ports and URLs for health check monitoring and configure load balancing. In the Edge Gateway, you add virtual servers and select the services the virtual server will provide (e.g., http, https, tcp).
In vCloud Director, you configure storage pools with different storage characteristics and then assign them to virtual machines and template for virtual machines. Storage Profiles are defined by storage costs, replication support, and performance (latency).
VMware makes looking for available storage easier with VMware vSphere Storage DRS, which aggregates data storage into pools. It assigns storage to the pool based on available disk space and storage latency.
StratoGen provides you with vCloud Director to manage your vSphere environment to deliver a software defined datacenter, so that you can migrate toward your ultimate goal of having 100% of you x86 applications running on the VMware cloud. Stratogen’s offering grows with the product, as VMware is continually adding new features, like multi-core fault tolerance to deliver additional application protection. The vCloud Director console brings the administration function under one-web based interface to let you define Storage Profiles, vApps, Edge Networks, and virtual machines from one location.