VMware vCloud Director 5.5 new features

With the announcement of VMware vCloud Director 5.5 I thought it would be a good idea to list the new features that are included in vCloud Director 5.5.  I would like to thank my colleague Ananda Kammampati for producing this extensive list.

vCloud Director 5.5 new features

  1. Official support for Virtual Appliance form factor (but still not in production)
  2. Catalog Sharing and Synchronizing
  3. Versioning support
  4. vApp Provisioning and Lifecycle
  5. Support for cloning of running vApps with memory state
  6. Added OVF import/export features

VCD 5.5 Virtual Appliance

The Virtual appliance form factor of VCD 5.5 is now officially supported, however full support does not mean it is available for deployment in Production environments.

Catalog Sharing and Synchronizing

  • VCD 5.5 Administrator has the ability to limit the organizations with which one can share the catalogs.  It can share the catalogs between VCD instances. This works in a Publisher/Subscriber model
  • Catalogs can be published with a unique password. Publishing is done in read-only mode.
  • Subscriber can then access the catalog by providing the published catalog URL as well as the password
  • Synchronization between Subscriber and the Publisher can be done on per catalog basis
  • Both manual synchronization and scheduled synchronization is supported
  • VCD 5.5 has the ability in using remote catalogs running on an external storage. Files “lib.json” and “items.json”  are created in a webserver and exposed as a remote catalog. This feature can also be password protected  (Refer documentation for details and setup)
  • Catalogs in VCD 5.5 can hold any kind of files. Not just vApps, iso and templates

Versioning

With simple versioning you’ll be able to attach a version number to the item in the catalog.  As changes were made to the items, the versions will increase that helps tracking different versions of the templates

vApp Provisiong and Lifecycle

  • vCD 5.5 has the ability to configure number of cpus, number of cores per socket and number of sockets. The virtual machines should be powered off and it should be a minimum of hardware version 8 or later.
  • Editing  of virtual hardware and guest OS settings is possible when deploying from template.
  • CPU, memory and hard disk settings can be modified when deploying vApp from template.
  • Guest customization for the template is also enabled in vCD5.5
  • Hot adding of disks is new feature added in vCD5.5 But only SATA is supported. Once the disks are manually hot added, they still need to be configured from the guest OS.
  • A existing disk can also be grown in size while the VM is running. But linked clones, VMs with snapshots and/or fast provisioned disks cannot be extended this way. Same rule applies i.e. the extended portion of the disk needs to be configured inside the guest OS.
  • Hot adding of NICs is also supported in vCD5.5 but, must be manually configured from inside the guest OS once added.
  • The primary NIC cannot be modified while the VM is running. Hot reconnect of the NICs are possible only for secondary NICs (not the primary NIC)
  • USB devices can now be connected from the VMRC (remote console)
  • Virtual hardware version 10 support which supports SATA disk controllers

Clone of running vApps with memory state

  • vCD 5.5 is capable of cloning a vApp with it’s Memory state. This feature is similar to Lab Manager
  • It is possible to add a suspended vApp to the Catalog.  It can then be exported in a OVF format. But if exported, the memory state will not be captured as part of the OVF.

Additional OVF Import / Export features

  • vCD 5.5 supports the ability of importing and exporting OVF files directly into (and out of) Virtual Data Centers (VDCs) without going through the catalogs
  • OVF transfers can now automatically resume even if interrupted
vcloud director 5.5 new features

Picture by Steve Kaplan (I couldn’t resist adding this picture, its an awesome illustration of vCD) http://bythebell.com/2011/03/a-40000-foot-view-of-vmware-vcloud-director.html

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