Deep Dive in to Virtualization & Cloud

What is VMware vCloud Director

VMware vCloud Director (vCD) is deployment, automation and management software for virtual infrastructure resources in multi-tenant cloud environments. VMware vCloud Director provides role-based access to a Web console that allows the members of an organization to interact with the organization’s resources to create and work with vApps and virtual machines.

Below video will help you to understand more about VMware vCloud Director, its components and how it works.


Elastic Virtual Datacenters – Easily create virtual data centers from common infrastructure to cater to heterogeneous enterprise needs. A policy-driven approach helps ensure enterprises have isolated virtual resources, independent role-based authentication, and fine-grained control.

Multi-Site Management – Stretch data centers across sites and geographies; monitor resources from an intuitive single-pane of glass with multi-site aggregate views.

Automation – With deep integration with leading automation tools such as vRealize Orchestrator, Terraform, and Cloud Provider Pod, Cloud Director enables cloud Provider to automate complex workflows and deploy a variety of services, all while maintaining access control and visibility.

Cloud-Native Applications and Development – vCloud Director natively supports K8S and PKS, providing an easy platform for developers to sandbox or deploy apps. More coming soon with Bitnami catalog integration.

Data Center Extension and Cloud Migration – Enable simple, secure VM migration and data center extension with vCloud Availability. Allows for true hybridity, enterprise-driven workflows, seamless connectivity, and cold or warm migration options.

vCloud Director Architecture

A vCloud Director server group consists of one or more vCloud Director servers installed on Linux or deployments of the vCloud Director appliance. Each server in the group runs a collection of services called a vCloud Director cell. All cells share a single vCloud Director database and a transfer server storage and connect to the vSphere and network resources.

To ensure vCloud Director high availability, you must install at least two vCloud Director cells in a server group. When you use a third-party load balancer, you can ensure an automatic failover without downtime. You can connect a vCloud Director installation to multiple VMware vCenter Server systems and the VMware ESXi hosts that they manage. For network services, vCloud Director can use NSX Data Center for vSphere associated with vCenter Server or you can register NSX-T Data Center with vCloud Director. Mixed NSX Data Center for vSphere and NSX-T Data Center are also supported.

For more details on the design please refer this VMware Document

Components in vCloud Director

The essential components of VMware vCloud Director are:

  • The vCloud substrate – This is the aggregate physical computer, storage, and network resource, and this is where virtual machines live.
  • The vCloud platform – This component exposes the provider’s virtual capacity while at the same time hides all details of the underlying virtual and physical infrastructure.
  • Substrate management – This is the caretaker component of the vCloud substrate. Decisions of what to do when an ESX host becomes overloaded or fails happen here. In addition, this component also handles procedures for adding new hardware to the substrate or retiring old hardware, as well as any other virtual infrastructure administration procedures.
  • VMware Cloud Director Client – This component is used to interact with vCloud providers.

Resource Management Layers

VMware vCloud Director divides Resource Management into two layers:

  • Resource Creation Layer (RCL)
  • RCL is the mapping of physical resources to virtual resources (such as resource pools, hosts, and datastores).
  • The resources are managed via the vSphere Client by a Sys admin/Administrator role.

  • Resource Distribution Layer (RDL)
  • RDL is the mapping of virtual resources from RCL to Cloud Director Pure Virtual Resources (Org vDC, vApps) using a Provider vDC.
  • Resources are handed to the Cloud Director Organizations using Organization vDCs.
  • These resources are managed via the Cloud Director web interface by a Cloud Director Administrator role.
  • Org Admins and End Users only control Org and vApp settings.

Terminologies in vCloud Director

There are multiple terms in vCloud Director and below are some of them.

Key Features of VMware Cloud Director

While VMware Cloud Director is a large and extremely complex offering, below we summarize some of its main capabilities.

In upcoming blogs, we will discuss more on VMware vCloud Director. To make this vCD series more understandable, I am splitting this into multiple blogs

Part 1 – What is VMware vCloud Director

Part 2 – VMware vCloud Director Standalone Installation

Part 3 – VMware vCloud Director Installation with High Availability

Part 4 – VMware vCloud Director – Install and Configure RabbitMQ Cluster

Part 5 – VMware vCloud Director Cell Certificates & Load Balancing

Part 6 – VMware vCloud Director Cell Role Switchover

Part 7 – VMware vCloud Director Basic Configuration

Part 8 – VMware vCloud Director Virtual Data Center

Part 9 – VMware vCloud Director Org vDC Configuration


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