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vmproteau
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Self Service Provisioning

We are building out a new datacenter and migrating our existing ESX environment to it. The current environment is shared by several clients. Some are highly competitive and full seperation is a strict requirement. Currently, all VM build and associated vCenter tasks are completed by our engineers - clients have no direct access to vCenter. I know we could use resource pools and allow access and some separation but, I'm personally against direct vCenter access for clients and there are some limitations to the separation achievable via vCenter permissions.

I had come across vCloud director in it's early stages and was curious about its current version and how people using it would rate it? Is it ready for primetime? Also, I remember a separate piece designed to control work flow and approval chains. I don't see it now. Has that been integrated into vCloud Director?

I'm trying to determine if vCloud Director is a viable preferred portal or if I should look elsewhere for a front end. I recall the first attempt from VMware (can't remember the name) that failed and is no longer developed. Once implemented, I don't want to find myself in a similar situation forced to transition to something else.

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bparlier
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

The product you are referring to for workflow approval, etc.. (I think) is vSM (VMware Service Manager). I'm  not sure a rating would help you from me, being that I work for VMware. As objective as I can be, I think it would be a very viable solution to what you are looking for. Integrated with vShield (vShield Manager is a requirement for vCD), you can provide a level of security and boundary as you were describing. I think the task would be to architect it properly, not necessarily product in general. If you have solid requirements, and a solid design I think vCD, vSM, and vShield would be the majority (if not all) of what you are describing.

As far as the older product and no further development, you may be referring to vLM (Lab Manager) and vCD is (in my opinion), the next evolution of vLM.

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vmproteau
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I just remembered. It wasn't Lab Manager...it was called Life Cycle Manager. Also, I think we're looking for vCloud Request Manager and not Service Manager. I trust development for these products are continuing for the foreseeable future. Seems that and Lab Manager were precursors to vCD and vSM and vRM.

Regarding Lab Manager, I do see a use for this in a self service development environment. Are you hearing about Lab Manager EOL or EOD? Just making sure when I get there, I'm not considering a dead product.

I didn't know vShield Manager was a requirement for vCD. Still don't have my head around vShield. Seems like it is several products around security. To be clear, you're saying "vShield Manager" is the only requirement from the vShield suite correct? Not sure how this would alter any design but, the environment will use a Cisco 1000v DS.

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mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

Lab Manager *IS* EOD.  Its replacement is vCD

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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bparlier
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

So, if you're looking for Request Manager, then you are looking for Service Manager. This is the replacement for vRM. Lab Manager will not be developed anymore, and vCD is the replacement (or next evolution) as I said in the original reply. For lifecycle management, can you tell us what you are looking for specifically? Are you looking for deprovisioning tasks, time limits on storage consumption, etc...?

vmproteau
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Requirements aren't clear but approval chain for multi-tenant will be a likely must have. Preferrably something that could do multi-tier approvals/notifications. What I mean is approval/notification for a build. Once built, perhaps approval notification before it get powered on as well as other tasks specific notification.

Potentially the the whole package including tracking, inventory, analysis, assessment, reporting, chargeback, aging and retirement.

I'm a little confused....vRM was not even released yet at last year's VMworld. You're saying it is going away? This is really what I'm trying to avoid. I may need to look elsewhere for a self service portal if product life spans are going to be 1 year. I did look at vSM. It redirects to infra-corp. Is this a 3rd party service or will it be something end users can deploy and custimize themselves. I don't see that it is available...I can't see anything except contact VMware.

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bparlier
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hearing your requirements, you may want to dig in and do some research on the products I mentioned....they seem like a fairly good fit. The features and functionality of vRM have been rolled into vSM (my understanding), so I don't think "going away" is really what is happening. The name may have changed.

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Cumulus
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You want vcloud director and vcloud request manager. vCloud request manager uses vmware service manager in the backend but it does not have full service manager features.

vCloud director allows you to carve up your vsphere environment so that VM's get provisioned in the right place on the right clusters and the right storage. You set this with policies based on your user groups. It does this by creating virtual data centers or Org VDC's as they refer to them.

Request manager is a way to setup approvals even complex ones and then auto provisions the VM to the correct virtual data center. Even works from iPad.

vcloud is a free trial. Request manager you need to call sales but they can demo it for you very easily.

Here is a video of Request manager: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5VSml5WrdI&feature=related

http://www.vmware.com/products/vcloud-request-manager/overview.html

I am a customer of Vmware BTW.

Be sure to award points if this helped.

bparlier
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

You may want to look at the feature sets between vSM and vRM.....you may also want to look at the availability of vRM, pretty certain it was replaced by vSM.

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vmproteau
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

bparlier - Since you work for VMware and are speaking on the subject, I trust you would have the best access to that information. Looking at VMware site, it still shows vRM under the vCloud offerings http://www.vmware.com/products/vcloud/overview.html. Clicking on the vRM link brings you to the vRM page with no indication it was replaced.

I guess I can call sales but do you have anything referencing the chnage or relationship between vRM and vSM?

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bparlier
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

vSM is the replacement for vRM (that is the direction) from what I have been told. Check them both out, I would look at the feature sets and your requirements, try to make the best match; and go from there. I can tell you I have been told vSM will replace vRM though. 

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vmproteau
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

OK. Thank you. I will talk with sales further. I'll be requesting a side by side comparison (if applicable) and since this appears to be "in transition", if I were to implement vRM now, would their be a logical path to vSM or would we be talking rip and replace. I would assume the latter.

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Cumulus
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ugh, I hope this is not true. Service manager is such a tough sell because most companies like us already have similar tools from HP or BMC.

Also calling it VSM is very confusing as this is known as the virtual supervisor module in the Nexus 1000v world.

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bparlier
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I am personally not a sales rep....have installed and used both for customers, and have started to lean towards vSM because of the capabilities that come with it (very similar to vRM and a little more robust).  I have not seen a lot of information on vSM out there yet, as far as documentation but am looking forward to it.

@cummulus....vSM is confusing, especially with vShield Manager thrown into the mix...the customer I am currently working with is on Nexus, so I see your point but I don't lump that in there because of the difference in Cisco and VMware.

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