vCAC 6.0 series – Part 1 – Architecture

vCAC 6.0 – Architecture

vCloud Automation Center 6.0 is definitely step forward, big step forward on way of including vCloud Director functionality into vCAC and vCenter server. There are also differences in architecture, installation and deployments. In version 5.2 all components need to be installed on Windows servers whereas deployment of vCAC 6.0 is compound of deployment of 2 x Virtual Appliances and at least one Windows server.

vCloud Automation Center helps to mange, provision and take care of full life-cycle virtual machine. using vCAC one can provision and manage VM’s on various private and public cloud providers such as:

  • VMware
    • VMware vCloud Director 5.1 and Updates
    • VMware vCloud Director 5.5 and Updates
    • vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS)
  • Amazon Web Services
    • Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2)
    • Elastic IP
    • Elastic Load Balancer
    • Elastic Block Storage
    • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • OpenStack
    • RHEV 3.1 as the underlying hypervisor

There are also several deployment soulutions supported by vCloudAC 6.0:

  • Microsoft SCCM
  • Microsoft SCVMM
  • NetApp FlexClone OnTap
  • BMC BladeLogic Operations Manager
  • HP Software Server Automation
  • Citrix Provisioning Server
  • Red Hat Linux Kickstart
  • WindowsWinPE/WIM Imaging
  • SUSE AutoYaST
  • PXE Boot

For more details see vCloud Automation Center Support matrix – Link below.

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vCloud Automation Center 6.0 overview

vCloud Automation Center 6.0 overview

Minimal Installation has in total 3 VM.
  • First component is Identity Appliance – The Identity Appliance is a pre-configured virtual appliance that provides single sign-on capabilities. It is delivered as an open virtualization format (OVF) template.
  • Second component is vCloud Automation Center Appliance – The vCloud Automation Center Appliance is a pre-configured virtual appliance that deploys the vCloud Automation Center Appliance server and web console (the user portal) delivered in OVF format.
  • Third component is Windows server (or more servers depends deployment method) with installed IaaS Components :
    • Distributed Execution Managers – DEM executes the business logic of custom models, interacting with the IaaS database and external databases.
    • Proxy agents – virtualization, integration and WMI agents that communicate with infrastructure resources
    • Website – provides the infrastructure administration and service authoring capabilities to the vCloud Automation Center console. The Website component communicates with the Model Manager, which provides it with updates from the Distributed Execution Manager (DEM), proxy agents and database
    • Manager Service – the Manager Service coordinates communication between agents, the database, Active Directory (or LDAP), and SMTP. The Manager Service communicates with the console web site through the Model Manager.
    • Model Manager – the Model Manager communicates with the database, the DEMs, and the portal website

 

Minimal vCAC6 installation

Minimal vCAC6 installation

Distributed Installation

In distributed installation there will be more than 3 instances, you can include Load balancers, databases clusters, distribute IaaS components between several servers and more. For more information see VMware vCAC 6.0 documentation.

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  1. vCloud Automation Center Appliance Load Balancer – Only necessary if you are deploying more than one vCloud Automation Center Appliance.
  2. PostgreSQL Database Cluster – External PostgreSQL database. Created on every vCloud Automation Center Appliance when the appliance is deployed. For high availability and failover, install the database on and external server and configure the database as a cluster.
  3. Identity Appliance – One instance required. Multiple instances possible for high availability and failover recovery.
  4. vCloud Automation Center Appliance 1 –One instance required. Multiple instances possible for high availability and failover recovery must be deployed with vSphere High Availability.
  5. vCloud Automation Center Appliance 2, 3, … – Deploy multiple instances under the vCloud Automation Center Appliance Load Balancer.
  6. IaaS Web Load Balancer – Only necessary if you are installing more than one Website Component. Install Website Component 1 and Model Manager Data on one machine under this load balancer.
  7. SQL Database Cluster – Install one instance during IaaS installation. Database administrator handles redundancy outside of IaaS context. See Choosing an IaaS Database Scenario.
  8. Website Component 1 and Model Manager Data –Required. Install together on one machine under the IaaS Web Load Balancer. Only one instance of Model Manager Data is allowed.
  9. Website Component 2, 3, … -Optional. Install multiple instances under the IaaS Web Load Balancer for high availability and failover recovery.
  10. IaaS Manager Service Load Balancer – Install the first instance of the Manager Service and the first instance of the DEM Orchestrator together on one machine under this load balancer.
  11. Manager Service 1 and DEM Orchestrator 1 -Install the first instance of the Manager Service and the first instance of the DEM Orchestrator together on one machine under the IaaS Manager Service Load Balancer. The first Manager Service instance is active. Only one can be active at any given time.
  12. Manager Service 2, 3, … – Passive instances for backup only. If the Active Manager Service fails, start the service on the passive node.
  13. Agents and DEMs – Install the first DEM Orchestrator on the active Manager Service machine. Install Agents, DEM Orchestrators, and DEM Workers together or on separate machines.

 

Distributed Installation - Architecture

Distributed Installation – Architecture

vCloud Automation Center 6.0 series

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

  • heinoskov

    Nice write-up… You now have the choice to use vSphere SSO instead of the identity appliance. However it does require vCenter version 5.5.0b.

  • Steve

    Any tips / tricks on hooking vcac 6.0 to sccm? Documentation is scarce 🙂

    • It is on my “road map” currently I’m waiting for SCCM to be configured in my test environment

      • Michael Patton

        Ping me when so as to talk further about SCCM and vCAC. Downloaded the vHD from MS and converted to VMDK – have contoso.com domain with SCCM up, working through lab to validate configuration items and integration.

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