vCloud Automation Center provides a flexible platform that allows IT to design and automate the delivery of application and IT services.

Advanced Service Designer for XaaS

The “Advanced Service Designer” helps IT to create any new service and publish “X as-a-service “ to the catalog for on-demand self – service access. New services can include infrastructure, application or storage services, mailbox provisioning, employee onboarding services or any workflow. Service creation is facilitated using layout and style editors to customize existing forms or by easily creating new ones. Delivery of the services is accomplished using vCenter Orchestrator’s automated workflows. This new service authoring capability empowers administrators to rapidly deliver self-service access to new IT services with the proper governance needed to assure the appropriate checks and balances. Administrators can design their own services or download VMware or partner provided service plug-ins from the VMware Solutions Exchange.

Application Blueprints

Application services are provisioned using Application Blueprints, which describe the deployment topology of applications. Using a visual canvas with a drag-and-drop interface standardized components are assembled to create the application model. It is possible to model any integrated multi-tier application, whether custom or packaged, or to “roll your own PaaS”. The entire service authoring and deployment process is greatly streamlined since only the application architect, rather than dozens of people or teams, is needed to create the application models. Re-usable application components and application blueprints eliminate duplication of work. As a result, application and PaaS deployment and updates are greatly accelerated.

Application Components

Application blueprints consist of logical templates, services and application components. Logical templates typically contain an operating system, and map to new or existing VMware virtual machines or Amazon Machine Image (AMI) templates. Middleware services and application components are based on scripts, that cover the life cycle for installation, configuration, startup, and updates. Scripts are parameterized to declare component properties, which also render the scripts generic. VMware provides a rich library of out – of - the box components, ready to run partner solutions available on the Cloud Applications Marketplace and the ability to leverage modules available on the Puppet Forge marketplace. In addition application blueprints can link to pre-configured or customized “external services”, e.g. central load balancers / ADC’s or database services. Re-using pre-built components reduces complexity by ensuring that all components contain the exact same configuration, and they improve the quality of services by capturing best practices. In addition an extensibility framework allows to easily creating any custom components.

Database Services

By deploying application blueprints, which contain a Database Management System, it is possible to provision databases or to “Roll your own Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS)”. The database services capability provides control over I/O, which is often the performance bottleneck of databases. DB – storage can be distributed over multiple disks with flexibility, control, and granularity to automate the provisioning process for high performance databases.

Infrastructure Blueprints

Infrastructure Blueprints contain the policies that govern how a compute resource will be provisioned and managed throughout its life. These policies include workflows, resource thresholds, service levels and what management functions the user is allowed to perform during the life of a machine. Infrastructure blueprints can be common across multiple groups or specific to individual users. The granularity of a blueprints policies allow administrators to define personalized business relevant services which meet the specific needs of each business they need to service.