vCloud Director 9 has been released. New tenant Enhanced User Interface, multisite, NSX DLR, PostgreSQL VCD DB and other features.
Below, I wrote down some highlights of the new features which I like the most.
Enhanced User Interface
The look and feel of the new Tenant facing UI is simplified as well, some of the enhancements Tenants will see in the new UI are but not limited to:
- Virtual Machines in ‘My Cloud’ will now appear in the ‘Compute’ section of the new UI
- Virtual Machines can now be viewed like cards. Each card has ability to click through actions like, Power, Properties, taking snapshots etc.
- Org vDC Networks can now be viewed under the ‘Network’ tab, this allows to create/edit org vDC Networks
- Standalone Virtual machines can be instantiated and viewed along with virtual machines that part of a vApp container. A filter button creates a list based on Virtual machines, virtual appliances or both.
The Multi-site feature lets service providers offer a single port of entry to Tenants having multiple Virtual Data Centers (Org vDC’s) in different instances of vCD. A Tenant can access and manage multiple Org vDC’s that are managed by different vCloud Director instances using the same pair of credentials in a single session. Service Providers managing two or more instances of vCD will have to associate/map one site to the other, this establishes a site-site association. A Site can have multiple association but an association between sites can only have two entities.
Distributed Logical Router
vCD 9.0 gives the ability to deploy distributed Logical Router to manage routing needs between two or more Org vDC Networks. The Distributed Logical Router (DLR) provides a faster method to resolving routing tables between org vDC networks. It allows for workloads to route traffic without needing to route traffic via the Edge Gateway. Up until vCD 9.0, a Tenant can have multiple org vDC networks, routing between these networks was always done by the Edge Gateway that sat in between these networks and the external service provider network.
vCloud Director 9.0 supports PostgreSQL database as an External Database. PostgreSQL is supported as external database apart from Microsoft SQL and Oracle. This release support PostgreSQL version 9.5 and clustered database support. vCD also supports PostgreSQL database with SSL connectivity.
For customers having existing MSSQL or Oracle databases, the Cell Management Tool (CMT) will help migrate existing databases to a pre-installed PostgreSQL database instance. The ‘dbmigrate’ option in CMT will help migrate an existing database to a new PostgreSQL instance.
vCloud Director 8.20 introduced Distributed Firewall (DFW) capabilities of NSX to
be self-serviced by individual Tenants. Tenants could define DFW policies by creating individual rules per virtual machine or vApp. At the same time, they could also apply these policies in a blanket fashion to a set of IP addresses MAC address or Objects like Virtual Machines, Org vDC Networks, etc. However, to efficiently apply DFW policies Tenant admins would have to know exactly what IP/MAC sets/Objects to apply these policies to.
vCloud Director 9.0 introduces Security Groups that help define security policies dynamically. A Tenant Admin can define a criterion to match individual Virtual machines via Security Groups and DFW policies can be applied to these Security Groups.
Migrate Tenants between Storage Arrays
Service Providers may need to migrate/offload data from one datastore to other. They may need to migrate data to manage a storage subsystem maintenance or if they want to change the service level of Tenants from once storage tier to another.
With vCloud Director 9.0 Service Providers will be able to live migrate storage of individual Tenants from one datastore to another. All the objects that are specific to an Organization including Virtual Machines, Catalogs, Images etc. will be migrated to another datastore. This operation can only be done by a Service Provider Admin or a custom role that has access.
Support for Virtual Volumes(vVols)
vCloud Director 9.0 adds support to datastores that are created in vCenter using Virtual Volumes. While creating provider vDC, vCD lets you add datastores that are being backed by vVols.
vCloud Director 9.0 completely refreshes the way day-to-day operations are handled by both service providers and Tenants. This release focuses on making service provider operations simpler by adding support for multi-site management, adding support for PostgreSQL, at the same time making Tenant operations simpler and efficient with the new Tenant User interface.
About VMware vCloud Director(vCD) for Service Providers delivers Multi-Tenant Infrastructure- as-a-service (IaaS).
vCloud Director offers service providers turn key solutions to enabling Hybrid Cloud offerings on vSphere managed infrastructure. vCloud Director 9.0 extends the Tenant portal to add simplified Tenant Operations. Further, Tenants with multiple Organization Virtual Data Centers (Org vDC’s) spread across multiple sites can manage their Virtual Data Centers (vDC’s) from a single Pane of glass.
More info here
Sources: VMware Technical White Paper What’s New in vCloud Director 9.0 by Boskey Savla