DRaaS dreams come true! vCloud Availability for vCloud Director (vCAV) – Introduction


“The biggest thing since vCloud Director” – This is the most suitable phase I could use to describe the VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director (vCAV). I have been working in few vCloud Director projects in these years, including vCloud Director with Metro Cluster, vCloud Director Migrations and vCloud Director with Customized Portal On top. Those projects are great and I’ve benefit a lot in cloud building thru’ out. If you know me, you would know how much I love vCloud Director. It’s simple and it’s beautiful. Thus, I love to see how it evolves. I’m looking forward to the vCloud Director 8.20 so much which should be announce soon. But today, I would like to talk about another ultimate weapon which vCloud Director can be equipped with, the vCAV. This is so awesome a value-added functionality for a public cloud and it’s also at the same time so handy for customer to gain a DR solution.

Actually, vCloud Air has been empowering with this function for a while already and you can use that. And what vCloud Availability does, it simply let vCloud Air Network service providers to be equipped with the similar DR as a Service feature. Personally, I’ve been looking into this for so long. Primarily because there are no vCloud Air Coverage at Hong Kong, many of my customers are not allowed to put their VM to AWS or vCloud Air because of regulations for data location. This is why I believe there are chances for local service providers who can offer DRaaS here locally. And this is also why I would like to demonstrate how it actually looks like here, as I believe your local service provider (not just Hong Kong ones) would also be interested in this.

What does vCAV include?

So as mentioned in the previous blogs, vCloud Director is a very handy tool for Service Provider. It helps providing both the Cloud Engine and Portal Service for delivering IaaS service on top of VMware vSphere Environment. But what’s more and what’s next?

Actually VMware is trying to help and encourage Service provider to deploy and develop value added service on top. And vCAV is one which help providing DRaaS for vCloud Director Deployments. To deploy it, you would need the following items:

  • vCloud Availability Installer Appliance
  • Cloud Proxy
  • vCloud Director (vCD)
  • vSphere Replication Cloud Service (vRCS)
  • vSphere Replication Manager (vRMS)
  • vSphere Replication Server (vRS)
  • vCloud Availability for vCloud Director Portal (vCAV UI)
  • Cassandra
  • RabbitMQ

From the diagram below, you could found the basic architecture of the solution. Not all the items are being covered, but this diagram provides you the network requirements for deploying vCAV. And the beauty is, you actually only need to enable port 443 from the On Premise to the Provider Cloud.

While I would like to categorise the vCAV components as follows:

  1. Some Middleware – help integrating with existing infra (Rabbit MQ, Cassandra)
  2. Replication Engine – for copying VM data to the Cloud (vRMS, vRS)
  3. Core DRaaS Engine – for managing the VM Replications, Recovery, Drill Test (vRCS, Cloud Proxy)
  4. Separate UI – vCAC 1.0.1 provide another web UI for triggering Recovery, in 1.0 version, this can only be performed by API (vCAC UI)

Although it looks like there are a lot of components to be deployed, the vCloud Availability 1.0.1 provides you a really easy way to deploy all the components. No worry, you don’t have to deploy each of the component manually, you just need to leverage the vCloud Availability Installer Appliance. I would call it a Control Centre in deploying, scaling and reconfiguring the vCAV environment. Thus, it’s more than just an one off installer, I would recommend you NOT to delete it even after the deployment.

The official user guide actually includes step by step commands for your reference to deploy the whole vCAV infrastructure, but I would like to let you know what would be expected symptom and behaviour in each step and this is the reason why I’m writing this series of blogs. This is just a introduction post, and I will further create two blog posts, one for Service Provider and another for Tenant. Wish that would be helpful for you!






DRaaS dreams come true! vCloud Availability for vCloud Director (vCAV) – Appendix
DRaaS dreams come true! vCloud Availability for vCloud Director (vCAV) – For Service Provider

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