vCloud Director Extensibility Experience Day

Today was a day with just one lab – a lab in which we tried out the vCloud Director Extensibility features leveraging vRealize Orchestrator. This was a day filling lab so there wasn’t much else happening today.

Since we haven’t worked that much with this new functionality since it was introduced in version 9.5 we thought it might be a good opportunity to gather some knowledge and see how easy it is to create our own extensions and additional functionality in vCloud director.

There are multiple use cases for this functionality which I already discussed in earlier blog posts. I’d say, think big; everything you would want to embed in a cloud automation portal is something you can embed. You just need to spend enough time on it to get it in there. Our use case would be to reduce the number of portals a customers needs to login to, to consume our services.

They mentioned that everybody can develop and publish Custom UI and Custom API extensions into vCloud Director, there is no technical partner requirement or licensing like with ESXi drivers.

Recently VMware acquired Bitnami, which was also mentioned in the way that they are probably going to try and integrate this into vCD. For example, it might be possible in the future to publish Bitnami templates into the vCD catalog, that will deploy a wordpress instance or a any other pre-packaged application template with just a few clicks.

The vCloud Director Service Library Extension is also a really nice feature in vCloud Director. With this functionality you publish vRealize Orchestrator workflows to the Service Library. This means that you can create custom workflows in vRealize Orchestrator and publish them directly into vCloud Director for your customers to use. The most powerful part of this is the fact that the vCloud Director UI will create it’s own UI form based on the parameters or input that is needed to run the workflow. Think about creating a tenant based on a flow, creating AD users or anything else like adding additional UI based functionality that is not present at the moment.

Something else to consider if you are going to use custom workflows a lot, is that you should probably create a cluster of vRealize Operation environments. You don’t want your vRO flows to fail mid-task because everybody is firing up the flows in vCloud Director. This can be done really easy on a standalone vRealize Operations instance by deploying another one, opening the control-center configuration page and configure the new instance to join a current instance. Don’t forget to configure loadbalancing to really disperse the workload over both instances.

All in all it was a very useful conference to visit. We gained new insights, new strategic visions and have a lot of new ideas which could potentially develop into new services that we can provide our customers! We loved Lisbon and Portugal, and ofcourse the views! The image below shows the view we had each day at the conference center! Can’t believe it’s already over again!

Lisbon Conference Center view.
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