The VMware Cloud (also called vCloud) mainly provides PaaS and can be used to create private, public, and hybrid clouds (NIST definition). If you are wondering about the small “v” in front of most VMware products, it stands for VMware, or more recently, just for virtual. It’s similar to the small “i’ in front of Apple products.
The VMware Cloud’s basic core is a product named VMware vCloud Director. It is an interface based on HTTPS (secure HTTP) that abstracts and presents the underlying virtualization for consumption to the end user. Basically, when we talk about the vCloud we are talking about VMware vCloud Director. It is the product that provides and manages the vCloud.
When we start talking about the vCloud, we need to understand that it actually describes a whole set of products that work together.
VMware vCloud Suite consists of the following base products working together; without all these components, the vCloud cannot exist:
This describes the virtual infrastructure created by VMware products. It consists of the following products:
• ESXi Servers: They provide the base virtualization and make it possible for virtual machines (VMs) to exist. It presents resources (CPU, RAM networks, and storage) to the VMs for consumption.
• VMware vCenter: This manages ESXi Servers and their VMs. It is responsible for all the features such as clustering, vMotion, and VM templates.
vCloud Networking and Security:
This (formally known as vShield) provides firewall, NAT, and isolated networks to the virtual infrastructure.
• VMware vCloud Director: This glues all the previously mentioned products together to form the cloud.
These are the basic products that build the vCloud: however, VMware has some additional products that enrich the vCloud. These products are not essential but provide a lot of additional benefits.
vCenter Operations Management
This is an interface that lets you monitor your virtual environment and vCloud for performance and faults and also enables capacity planning
- vCloud Connector: This provides methods to move VMs between vClouds
- VMware Chargeback: This provides a method to measure the usage of virtual resources, create reports, and bills.
People choose the VMware vCloud because VMware has a solid base (vSphere) on which the vCloud is built. Another reason is that there are a lot of extra products that support and enhance the vCloud. Enterprises choose VMware because of market saturation, support, and especially because it utilizes the already existing VMware investments.
However, there are a lot of other products out there that use the underlying VMware vSphere to build a cloud without using VMware vCloud Director.