Hybrid Cloud: Moving workloads into vCloud using vCloud Connector
Hybrid Cloud computing is being touted by many experts as the next big thing apart from businesses building their own private clouds internally or with a service provider using a plugin call vCloud Connector.
VMware has been hard at work over the last year building their ecosystem of vCloud service providers to help their existing customer base take advantage of on-demand public cloud resources.
vCloud Connector is free plugin that can you can download from VMware’s website which essentially allows system administrators to use vSphere as single pane of glass to both manage their VMware private cloud and their vCloud public cloud infrastructure hosted by a vCloud service provider.
VMware released vCloud Connector in February 2011 and since then VMware have released many compelling hybrid cloud case studies such as Consona (a Global CRM, ERP Software Company) & Columbia Sportswear Company.
In Consona’s case study they describe how the IT department were receiving 10 – 37 virtual machine requests per week from their R&D teams across all the departments. Even though Consona owns three data centre’s they found themselves running out of capacity and decided to pursue a cloud solution. Consona had previous dealings with Amazon’s EC2 platform but quickly found that it could not support its complex applications.
One of the main things that the Columbia Sportswear Company was able to achieve was rapid scalability while reducing their own internal infrastructure cost. I find this to be a great point as many businesses don’t take the time to quantify their internal savings when justifying the cost for a cloud solution.
According to Columbia Sportswear the top three advantages of building their hybrid cloud using vCloud were:
- Ability to provide zero downtime to users
- Significant disaster recovery solutions
- Power to spin up environments quickly
Test driving vCloud Connector
Setting up vCloud Connector in your own vSphere environment is pretty straight forward and follows the below steps.
- Download the software from the VMware Web site
- Configure the vCloud Connector Server
- Install the vCloud Connector Nodes
- Register nodes and user interface so they appear in the vSphere Client
To get started I would recommend reading the installation and configuration guide for vCloud connector 1.5
In order to complete a VM migration from your vSphere environment we will need to deploy the vCloud Connector node from our public catalog within a trial instance of vCloud Director.
To setup up a 7 day trial account of vCloud Director please email: vCloud@netplan.co.uk