VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0 Released

December 12, 2013


VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0 Released

VMware released vCloud Automation Center 6.0 at December 10 2013.
Release notes are here
download here
ocumentation here

What is new

  • Unified Service Catalog for Infrastructure, Desktop, and Application Services
  • In addition to its support for heterogeneous infrastructure, vCloud Automation Center now offers a single catalog for publishing and consuming application services. Users can browse the same catalog to request and provision single- or multi-node applications, just as they do for infrastructure and desktop services.
  • Catalog requests are now governed by a more flexible and powerful approval policy engine. Approval policies can be based on request criteria, support multiple levels of approvers (requiring one or all approvers at each level), and be enforced both before and after services are provisioned. Furthermore, administrators can set up policies that allow approvers to override specific request fields (for example, the lease duration).
  • Enhancements to Application Deployment and Updates (formerly “Application Director”)
    • Users can request applications from the Service Catalog and monitor their overall deployment status.
    • Application enhancements: Users can now roll back failed updates to restore the system. They can also significantly reduce the time to update an application by reusing update profiles that store frequently used update scripts and properties. This enables the promotion of changes across Deployment Environments to facilitate Release Automation, and scale-in of clustered applications to save unused resources.
    • External services: Users can reduce time to deliver workload by connecting to an external or existing service such as a load balancer, an existing database with pre-configured schema, SaaS applications such as Salesforce, an LDAP server, an SSO server and so on.
    • Policy-based provisioning: Administrators can enforce policies across different deployment environments by blacklisting application services or enforcing mandatory services. They can also facilitate policy-based provisioning by setting number of Total Instances (VMs) limits across all nodes in a deployment. Compliance View shows policy violations against currently active and effective policies on deployments and application updates.
  • Extensibility to any IT Service
    • In addition to out-of-the-box services, customers can now more easily extend vCloud Automation Center to publish any kind of IT service to the common service catalog. Whether it’s storage-as-a-service, backup-as-a-service, or something as simple as letting users add capacity to their e-mail account, the new Advanced Service Designer lets service architects design rich user forms and provisioning workflows in a matter of minutes.
    • Like out-of-the-box services, custom services leverage the same entitlement and approval policy engine, enabling organizations to enforce a consistent governance layer.
  • Integration with IT Business Management Standard Edition
  • Provides visibility into the cost and usage of on-premise virtual infrastructure and public cloud infrastructure, including benchmarking capabilities.
  • Supports “what-if” cost analysis to determine the best infrastructure type and placement options
  • Includes capacity, cost, and budget analysis capabilities for proactive planning
  • Improvements in Infrastructure as a Service
  • Support for VMware vCloud Hybrid Service: vCloud Automation Center now provides the ability to provision and perform basic administrative tasks on virtual machines deployed in vCloud Hybrid Services.
  • Support for OpenStack: In addition to vSphere, vCloud Director, Amazon Web Services, Hyper-V, Kernel-based Virtual Machine, Citrix XenServer, and various physical server management interfaces, vCloud Automation Center now provides support for provisioning and performing administrative actions on machines managed by OpenStack.
    • Supports RedHat OpenStack 3.0 (Grizzly)
    • Supports static IP and floating IP
    • Supports attach to VNC console
    • Support for Linux kickstart and WIMimage
  • Log in to vSphere machines from the service catalog: After a vSphere virtual machine is provisioned, a user can now access it via the VMware Remote Console.
  • Continued integration with vCNS: In previous versions, vCloud Automation Center provided support for placement in existing VXLANs, load balancers and security groups. This release adds support for the dynamic creation of isolated and routed networks and load balancers.
  • Support for vSAN as a datastore: vCloud Automation Center now supports storage clusters and allows the selection of a vSAN as a data store for a reservation.
  • Puppet Integration
    In this release, support for reuse of Puppet content to build application blueprints in Application Director allows application architects to accomplish the following goals:
  • Model multi-tier applications using Puppet modules.
  • Mix-and-match Puppet and non-Puppet content in application blueprints.
  • Import both Puppet Open Source and Puppet Enterprise Modules
  • Manage the application update life cycle while maintaining multi-node dependencies, property bindings, and diverse content types.
  • Leverage vCloud Automation Center Service Catalog to publish and request Puppet applications.
  • Enhanced vSphere support
  • vCloud Automation Center supports Storage DRS (SDRS): SDRS clusters and volumes are discovered as individual storage paths.
  • vCloud Automation Center supports storage clusters and recognizes a Storage DRS-enabled storage cluster as a datastore.
  • vCloud Automation Center automatically consumes the changes at the next data collection as datastores are added or removed from the storage cluster.
  • vCloud Automation Center supports Storage DRS automated mode.
  • vCloud Automation Center allows the selection of a cluster, standalone datastore, or a cluster member (datastore from a cluster) in the same reservation. All selections have the same priority and are accessed via round-robin.
  • Improved Administration Capabilities
  • Support for LDAP services: In addition to Microsoft Active Directory, vCloud Automation Center now provides support for LDAP-based directory services.
  • Improvements in multi-tenancy: vCloud Automation Center administrators can easily create multiple tenants with dedicated directory services, service catalog, and portal branding.
  • New verb-oriented RESTFUL APIs (BETA): New programmatic interfaces provide a more secure and easier way for external systems to interact with the vCloud Automation Center service catalog and cover operations such SSO authentication, submitting a service request, approving a request, listing provisioned items, and so on. These APIs are available for BETA testing and are expected to evolve in the next vCloud Automation Center release. Older vCloud Automation Center 5.x APIs are still available and have received minor updates for feature enhancements.

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End of May 2013 VMware released vCloud Automation Center(vCAC) 5.2.
The foundation of vCAC is based on DynamicOps Cloud Automation Center 4.5 software. DynamicOPS was acquired by VMware in July 2012.

vCAC enables automated provisioning of both virtual machines and physical servers (including the guest operating system). Provisioning of both on-premises and cloud infrastructures is supported. vCAC enables authorized end-users to quickly have access to servers without IT having to perform the provisioning. Provisioning is so reduced from days to minutes.
vCAC can be seen as the big brother of vCloud Director able to perform Heterogeneous Cloud Management.

More information on what vCAC offers can be read in my post here.
The release notes can be downloaded here.
Documentation is here.
Download here

There is a great icon pack available for free here. vCAC comes with some out of the box icons for your system, but if truth be told, it’s limited and doesn’t include any icons that you would want to use. Scott Sauer over at www.virtualinsanity.com has built a package that includes a lot of really great, industry related icons that can be loaded into vCAC

What’s New in vCAC 5.2

Expanded Infrastructure Support
• Enhanced vCloud Director Integration. Machine owners can provision a vApp as a single
entity, but manage the component VMs individually. The vApp blueprint specifies governance
policies for the vApp as a whole (such as how many machines of each type it contains), while
the vApp component blueprint specifies policies that control how the machine is provisioned, the
resources it can consume, and what management functions users are allowed to perform. Users
can connect to virtual machines in provisioned vApps using VMRC and reconfigure vApp component
machines. Administrators can also bring existing vApps provisioned in vCloud Director
under vCAC management by importing the vApps and assigning blueprints to them.
• Support for vCloud Director Pay-As-You-Go Allocation Model. Enterprise administrators
can create reservations on VDCs using Pay-As-You-Go, Reservation Pool, or Allocation Pool.
Additionally, portions of an organization VDC can now be reserved for multiple provisioning
groups rather than each VDC being restricted to a single provisioning group.
• Support for vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS). Enterprise administrators can specify a
vCNS Manager as part of a vSphere endpoint, enabling vCAC to discover network resources
like VXLAN, load balancers, and security groups. They can also specify VXLAN as network
paths on reservations. Enterprise administrators or provisioning group managers can specify a
load balancer or security groups on blueprints to assign those pools and groups to virtual
machines during provisioning.
• Support for KVM (RHEV) Hypervisor. vCAC 5.2 introduces support for the KVM hypervisor
through Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager 3.1.
Improved Resource Reclamation
• Improved Workflow Customization. Enterprise administrators can specify how many days to
wait before setting a lease on a machine and the new lease period when sending reclamation
requests. Additionally, the provisioning group manager can receive email notifications and
respond to reclamation requests in addition to the machine owner.
VMware Documentation 2 Release 5.2
vCloud Automation Center
• Performance Metrics for vSphere. Performance data collection gathers information about
resource utilization including CPU, memory, disk, and network utilization to assist in identifying
reclamation candidates.
• Additional Platform Support. vCAC 5.2 introduces support for reclamation of Amazon Web
Service (EC2) machines.
Site Recovery Manager Compatibility
• Enhanced Integration with vCenter Site Recovery Manager. In release 5.2, vCAC correctly
discovers the relationship between the primary and recovery VM.
• Globalization L0/L1 support. vCAC 5.2 supports installation on foreign language operating
systems as well as input and display of non-ASCII characters for French, German, Japanese,
and Simplified Chinese installations.
• Support for VMware V8 licensing. vCAC 5.2 supports standard VMware license keys that you
can obtain and manage using the VMware License Portal.
• Additional Guest Operating System Support. vCAC 5.2 adds support for the following guest
operating systems:
• CentOS 5.9 (32- and 64-bit)
• CentOS 6.3 (32- and 64-bit)
• Windows 8
• Windows Server 2012
• Information about the vCloud Automation Center Self-Service Portal is now included in the
vCloud Automation Center Installation Guide.
• Information about the vCAC integration with KVM (RHEV) is in the new vCloud Automation
Center KVM (RHEV) Integration Guide.
• Information about vCAC multi-machine services and integration with vCloud Director,
including information formerly included in the vCloud Automation Center What’s New Guide is in
the new vCloud Automation Center Multi-Machine Guide.
• Information about Managing Skills with vCAC Designer, formerly included in the vCloud Automation
Center What’s New Guide is now included in the vCloud Automation Center Extensibility
• All other information formerly included in the vCloud Automation Center What’s New Guide is
now included in the vCloud Automation Center Operating Guide.

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