Today VMware announces vCloud Director (vCD), previously known as project Redwoord. It brings a new layer of abstraction and immense complexity into VMware, as can be seen in Figure 1.
It aims to break the virtual world completely from the physical world. With vCloud Director you can take up to 25 (current limit of testing) vCenters and make them into a logical pool of processors, resources, data store resources and network (port group) resources. Linked to vCD, VMware also announced vShield for network security, and integration with the vCenter Chargeback module.
Within the vCD there or two constructs, “Provider” and “Organization”. Providers provide the processor, data store and port group resources. Organizations consume them though running appliances and vApps.
Underlying the vCD is a security framework that provides a role-based access control (RBAC). vCD ships with rules, custom roles can be created. vCloud operators (root) set up Organizations and allocate them access methods, users and a virtual resources catalog, in a similar way to vSphere administrators. Organizational administrators can add users to the organization directly or through LDAP groups. vApp owners have full control over applications. Over everything is the SysAdmin (god) role which cannot be split.
As part of the announcement, VMware announced yet another API that provides the same capabilities as the GUI interface portal. Developers now have yet another (!) API, the vCloud API to communicate with. The API is expected to be developed significantly over the next 18 months.
The vCloud Director is an example of VMware is becoming a Cadillac, with a lot of good but expensive function. The vCloud Service Director will be evaluated by large Enterprise Organizations with requirements for multi-departmental control. Most service providers have already built front-ends either using software from vendors like NewScale or by developing their own. Unless VMware starts to offer huge discounts for service providers, Wikibon does not expect many cloud service providers to embrace the vCloud Director or constrain themselves to providing just VMware virtualization. Their main use of the vCloud API will probably be to assist migration.
Action Item: The vCloud Service Director has strong and rich functionality, and should be evaluated by large Enterprise it should regarded as a closed system, and should not expect many service providers to embrace it. It is hard to see how the ISV ecosystem can start to significantly develop added function until the dust settles.