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What is VMware vCloud Integration Manager?

A new tool in the vCloud line is aimed at VSPP members, but VMware admins can learn a thing or two from the product's mission.

As VMware continues on its journey to create the most powerful cloud computing solutions available, the company continues to launch more and more pieces of its vCloud product lineup. The most recent launch is vCloud Integration Manager (should I call it vIM?). Integration Manager isn't a product that would be used by the traditional IT enterprise to build a private cloud with vCloud Director, like one might do with other products in the vCloud line. Instead, vCloud Integration Manager is used strictly by cloud service providers who are part of VMware's vCloud Service Provider Partner (VSPP) program. As of February 2012, VMware stated that 90 service providers were a part of this program and more were signing up every day.

Now why would VMware release a product for just 90 companies? Well, the truth is that setting up and integrating vCloud Director, vShield, and vSphere properly and in a standardized way isn't that easy to do, the first time. Plus, when a vCloud service provider gets a new “tenant” (customer), the process of creating new organizations, organization virtual datacenters, virtual networks, and user configuration is an elaborate and manual process. The goal of vCloud Integration manager is to streamline the process for VSPPs. By streamlining operations at the vCloud providers, VMware expects to:

  • Help service providers streamline cloud administration and new customer provisioning as well a preventing potential trouble due to inconsistencies in configurations;
  • Allow customers to get online with their own infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud, faster than ever.

Integration Manager includes a full set of REST APIs and a Web GUI. The GUI provides an administrator interface to define the service building blocks that make up a full cloud service for a customer. Administrators can also configure reseller accounts, and provision and de-provision customers.

Of course, if you are a VMware vCloud Service Provider, it's likely you are “all over” this solution because it is going to make your life easier.

But what if you are the typical VMware Admin, like most of the people I talk to? To me, the story here for the VMware admin is:

  • Your options to utilize public VMware infrastructure clouds continue to grow
  • Those vCloud providers should soon be more efficient than before, thanks to the new vCloud Integration Manager
  • You should begin considering cloud computing now. You can use vCloud Connector for free, to move VMs to and from vCloud datacenters, even if you don't have vCloud Director. If you did use vCloud Director on your own private vSphere infrastructure, to create a private cloud, you could connect that to a public vCloud to create a hybrid cloud.

On a personal note, I just finished creating my new vCloud Director Essentials video training course and I plan to test more vCloud components such as Request Manager, Service Manager, Connector, and others. I'll be blogging about my results here!

Here are some links for more information:

Rethink IT Blog -- vCloud Integration Manager and more clouds in more countries.

VMware vCloud Blog -- Announcing the General Availability of vCloud Integration Manager

The VMware vCloud Website -- a directory of vCloud providers and more.

About the Author

David Davis is a well-known virtualization and cloud computing expert, author, speaker, and analyst. David’s library of popular video training courses can be found at Pluralsight.com. To contact David about his speaking schedule and his latest project, go to VirtualizationSoftware.com.

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