By Lisa Gecko
For businesses looking to have more autonomy and control over their virtual infrastructure without relying on the cloud service provider (CSP) to perform the majority of the tasks, VMware’s vCloud Director (vCD) is the right platform management tool for a variety of operations. With the ability to self-manage virtual applications (vApps) which are simply a collection of one or more virtual servers, organizations can build and modify their own virtual environments, as well as a number of other previously labor-intensive projects, without the assistance of the CSP. For corporations looking for CSPs that can offer a self-service cloud experience, it is important to consider working with a CSP that offers vCD as a solution.
Taking a look at some of the features of vCD and their benefits, building your own hosting environment is a good place to start. With vCD end-users can upload their own vApps into a catalog, which they can then use at a later date, to modify or clone. This task can be performed repetitively with ease, without involving the CSP whatsoever. Why is this important? For one, even the best service providers require time to make changes within a company’s virtual infrastructure, so in a sense what vCD is accomplishing here is removing the middle man. These self-service features allow your IT department to work more freely and on much shorter notice to accommodate fluctuating business needs.
With vCD companies can also create their own vApps when building a hosting environment either from scratch or they can deploy vApps from predefined templates from the CSP. Providers that offer vCD as part of the solution have catalogs of pre-created virtual machines that businesses can choose from when purchasing a plan. The advantage here is that organizations can take these pre-created vApps and modify them as they see fit, uploading to their catalog or hosting environment, once again, without relying on the CSP to take any action. For businesses that need to accomplish these kinds of tasks with a rigorous time schedule involved, the ability to manage an autonomous hosting environment is extremely advantageous.
Another nifty attribute is that vCD allows users to upload ISO images, or disc images right into the virtual environment. The benefit here is once again time-oriented. All applications can now be introduced into the company’s hosted environment without outside assistance from the CSP. This will save countless man-hours for businesses that need to move software from one virtual machine to another quickly and effortlessly. Also, this frees up time for “what if” virtual scenarios that would not be possible to explore without the self-service aspect of vCD.
Another feature that vCD offers allowing a more self-managed virtual cloud-computing experience, is the ability to power up and power down at will. There are a number or reasons organizations will need to power up and down regularly, so accomplishing this without the need to contact the CSP every time grants the IT department the ability to work on projects without fear of a system reset required from the provider. This may not sound important at first, but this feature is included to allow companies the freedom to work within their hosted environment as autonomously as possible, which is the crux of the innovation that vCD offers to cloud end-users.
Put simply, vCloud Director changes the way businesses can access virtual resources, providing a number of advantages in the process. The self-service aspect of vCD eliminates the need to wait on the CSP to create or manage resources, instead offering catalog-based services accessed through a Web portal. This increased accessibility improves business agility, reduces costs, and empowers companies with a self-managed virtual environment that offers a number of features as well as pre-configured infrastructure and services at the click of a button.