Building vCloud Suite POC – Part 1: Introduction

A few months ago I attended the VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage the VMware Cloud v1.5 course but after the training I didn’t have any chance to put my knowledge into action until now. Recently I’ve got a question from one of our customers about vCloud Director features and possibilities so we have decided to create a proof of concept (POC) environment and let them explore this product to see if it offered the solution they were looking for.

In the upcoming blog series I will walk you through building a small POC for a VMware vCloud Suite implementation. But first, let’s summarize what vCloud Suite actually is.

What is vCloud Suite

As per VMware:

The VMware vCloud Suite is a complete, integrated cloud solution that accelerates service provisioning while simplifying IT operations and delivering the best SLAs for all applications. This integrated product offering includes all the elements to build a complete cloud solution and to operationalize customers’ VMware vSphere virtualized environments.

Source: VMware vCloud Suite Datasheet

VMware vCloud Suite consist of the following Components:

  • vSphere: Virtualized infrastructure with policy-based automation
  • vCloud Director: Virtualized datacenters with multi-tenancy and public cloud extensibility
  • vCloud Connector: Integrated viewing and dynamic transfer of workloads between private and public clouds
  • vCloud Networking and Security: Software defined networking, security, and ecosystem integration
  • vCenter Site Recovery Manager: Automated disaster recovery planning, testing, and execution
  • vCenter Operations Management Suite (vCenter Operations Manager, vCenter Configuration Manager, vFabric Hyperic, vCenter Infrastructure Navigator, vCenter Chargeback Manager): Integrated, proactive performance, capacity, and configuration management for dynamic cloud environments
  • vFabric Application Director: Multi-tier application service catalog publishing and provisioning
  • vCloud Automation Center: Self-service and policy-enabled cloud service provisioning

Lab Setup

I have created a small infrastructure with all components running as virtual machines for the POC.vCloud Suite 5.1 lab infrastructure

As you can see on the drawing, the lab consists of the following VMs:

  • Domain Controller (also DNS and SMTP)
  • SQL Server
  • vCenter Server
  • 3 ESXi hosts
  • vCloud Director Cell
  • OpenFiler storage

I’m not going to explain how to create a basic HA/DRS cluster because it is out of scope of this article and it is really basic stuff except the use of a distributed virtual switch, which is recommended for a vCloud Director deployment. I also configured a Storage DRS cluster with 3 datastores and assigned a user defined storage capability. Also, make sure SSL certificate checking is enabled in the vCenter Server.

So, let’s get started and create the first vCloud Director Cell. Click here to continue to part 2.


– Marek.Z


  1. I really like your writeup, and trying to replicate in my home lab.
    I am unsure how to config the networking part of the nested virtual ESXi.
    Could you post a picture of the distributed virtual switch of the nested ESXi server.

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