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vSphere 5 Top 10 Countdown: vCloud Director 1.5 at #4

We are getting down to the wire with our Top 10 countdown, with three features left in the spotlight. In this spot I've chosen vCloud Director 1.5. While this is not necessarily a feature of vSphere 5, it relies heavily on some of the new vSphere 5, not to mention that VMware made it part of the announcement a few weeks ago.

vCD has three features that I like a lot. First off is, of course, Linked Clones. Virtualization introduced us to fast provisioning of VMs, but it was at the expense of cloning the entire disk, resulting in the unnecessary duplication of hundreds of Windows operating systems. Linked Clones, as with VMware Workstation and VMware View, allow you to provision VMs faster by not necessarily performing a full clone, but rather what's called a "fast clone." This means you still have reliance on the master image, but you commit your changes to a difference file. This saves significantly on storage costs, de-duplication software and more. Something tells me that in the next update of vSphere 5, maybe update 1, we will see Linked Clones in vSphere as well, as vSphere seems to be the only tool that lacks this Linked Clones functionality.

I also really like is vCD Messages. In all of my deployments, executive IT always wants some type of visibility into the environment. They want to know by simply looking at a console or a mintor that something is going on in the system, and they want to know when it is fixed. vCD Messages is a perfect companion in this scenario. It will tie into your existing CMDB or ticketing system and can display notifications and messages. vCD comes bundled with up to 100 tasks out of the box -- pretty cool!

And finally, I also like that vCD has good integration with vShield. It's a major enhancement and now supports:

  • Five-Tuple Firewall services, which means you can now build your firewalls based on destination IP, destination port, protocol, source IP and source port
  • IPSec VPN Services allow the user to establish site-to-site VPN tunnels. This is pretty powerful and unique to vCD in that as a customer or user of vCD you can create this site-to-site yourself. It's completely self-service and pretty cool.

To wrap it all up, vCD 1.5 now has support for Microsoft SQL Sserver, which means you don't need an Oracle license anymore to deploy this. SQL Server support is a major enhancement, as most of my customers were hesitant about vCD because they did not want to introduce Oracle and Oracle licensing into the environment.

What do you think of vCD 1.5 and does it deserve such a high ranking in my Top 10 list? Post your comments here.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 08/16/2011 at 12:49 PM


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