with all the recent product announcement from both VMware & EMC, i thought it would be a good opportunity to document and record what we demonstrated to a customer RFI:


the requirement was to show a full end to end orchestration and monitoring of Oracle RAC nodes, this included the provisioning of physical storage (both VMFs and RDM), the installation of linux redhat VM’s, IP’ing the servers, installing oracle on both of them and then installing oracle RAC on both of them

we were also asked to show the monitoring capabilities of both VMware vC OPS and it’s upcoming EMC VNX analysis suite so let’s start..

LAB Design


the lab was composed of the following products:

1. Windows domain controller

2. EMC Integrated Storage Management (ISM)

3. VMware Cloud Automation Center (vCAC)

4. vCenter Orchestrator (vCO)

5. vCenter

6. A Cluster of two ESX Servers


8. VMware vC OPS

9. EMC VNX Analysis Suite

let’s me give you an overview on the actual ingredients:


vCloud Automation Center provides full life cycle management for machines both physical, virtual, and those located in cloud service providers for the vCloud Suite. The vCloud Suite consists of our cloud infrastructure products, vSphere software defined services as well as vCloud Director. vCloud Automation Center completes this Suite by providing full life cycle management of machines inside vCloud Director and inside vSphere. vCloud Automation Center is designed to further enhance the Suite by providing full service catalog functionality for infrastructure as a service, desktop as a service, and platform as a service. And eventually, anything as a service under the data center infrastructure services. So let’s take a look at vCloud Automation Center in more detail and how it performs these for not only vSphere and the vCloud environment, but also for a full heterogeneous private cloud and public cloud services.

, vCloud Automation Center provides the ability to take a shared set of infrastructure and carve it up into logical units and logical capacities that you can hand over to different business units. It does this through the notion of a cloud blueprint. So the cloud blueprint takes all of the information that usually sits inside the head of a system administrator who defines the policies of where applications and machines should be deployed to. And it takes that information along with the business policies that surround the provisioning process, the life cycle management of that machine, through retirement and archival and puts it into a single place called the cloud blueprint. This cloud blueprint is what defines how users get access to different parts of their infrastructure. So in the instance we have here, we have a set of development users who, as part of the cloud blueprint, have a set of services that they can deploy on their private cloud infrastructure as virtual machines and have some services that they can deploy on physical machines as well. And their life cycle management allows them to deploy these machines automatically without user intervention. We may have another set of users whose job is then to also go through this life cycle management for provisioning operations and can have services on both physical and virtual machines on the shared infrastructure, but as a part of their request process must obtain approvals for the life cycle management, or the provisioning of that machine. And third, we may have a set of users for production purposes to get access to not only services inside their private cloud on virtual machines, not only physical machines, but also have the ability to burst out and use capacity on a service provider. And as per the governance policies defined in the cloud blueprint are able to do so by the policies set by a system administrator. So this allows a system administrator to define the policies by which a user gets access to specific parts of their infrastructure and defines the workflow approval and build process for those machines. So one thing to note is that vCloud Automation Center is completely agnostic to not only the business process surrounding that machine, but also how you build a machine. So if you want to take a server and build it from scratch using an ISO image and automate that process using a script, vCloud Automation Center can provide that functionality as well as being able to clone a machine from a template. So either operation is just fine or if you want, the vCloud Automation Center can also hand off that functionality to a third party provisioning system whether that be Microsoft SCCM, or BladeLogic, or a third party system that may be existing in house already. All of these are encapsulated in the cloud blueprint and that allows a user to then using that cloud blueprint, fully automate the end to end life cycle management of the machines they’ve provisioned

So let’s take a look at the architecture. Inside the architecture you’ve got three basic components. The first layer on top is the self-service portal and this is provided out of the box and is fully customizable, brandable, as well as the fields on the forms can be fully customized for each individual user or group inside the organization. That is using the vCloud Automation Center REST API’s to communicate with the main server instance. So the main server instance is where all the policies and modules are located. And this is really where all the validation and security is done to ensure that a user requesting a machine on a piece of infrastructure is validated to do so through the security policies written by a system administrator. So inside vCloud Automation Center, inside the main server instance, you’ve got all the validation checking to ensure that the right resources are being accessed by the right users. And then on the southbound side of the server you’ve also got a RESTful API that communicates with what’s called the Distributed Execution Management layer. The DEM, as we like to call it, is really a simple black box that takes the requests provided by users that have been validated and then executes on them. So these requests are then turn into a set of workflows and a set of call outs to the fabric that the DEM can then execute. And you can have as many DEMs as you need to provide both skill, ability and performance, or security isolation for instance, or availability reasons. So the DEM layer is really what allows vCloud Automation Center to scale widely and to allow it to address large numbers of data centers with a single instance. So we have a number of customers who have deployed this across geographies and across their data center with just a single instance of vCloud Automation Center, but many instances of the DEMs which each can perform the action that is relevant to the part of the infrastructure that they communicate with. So you can have DEMs that communicate very specifically to specific geolocations or you can have DEMs that communicate very specifically to say, outside services like Amazon. Now custom developed modules, so using the CDK, you can develop your custom models that can then be injected into the vCloud Automation Center as well as into the DEMs. So there’s no need to upgrade, or patch, or change out your DEMs when you’ve created a new module using the CDK. Once you’ve injected those modules into the cloud automation center, the DEMs, it’s fully available to the DEMs and they can fully acknowledge and address all the capabilities that you’ve created inside using the CDK.

The way in which we integrate these two products in this first release is to provide a generic activity that calls out to any VCO workflow. And what this does is allows you to then select any VCO workflow inside the capabilities of vCenter Orchestrator that you’ve integrated with. You can then define the input and output parameters for that workflow and then execute that workflow as a part of, as an activity inside a vCloud Automation Center workflow.

EMC Integrated Storage Manager (ISM)

ISM allow you to provide storage as a service to you users, it does it with all the things you probably require such as user roles, chargeback, different storage tearing etc.

here’s a screenshot that shows what the product can do today, it can create luns, mask and zone them to both physical and virtual hosts, it can also extend and remove the luns if needed.

it means that you dont need to do all of these repetative tasks again and again..

in our demo we actually used the SDK call from vCenter Orchestrator to create the RDM Luns

monitoring the CSDP

we were using VMware vCenter Operations and the upcoming VNX Analysis Suite to monitor the health of the Oracle RAC VM’s and their storage

here’s how it looks when it’s fully automating and monitoring the process:


CDSP 2.0 from itzikr on Vimeo.

this video will show Oracle RAC Provisioning using VMware Cloud Automation Center (vCAC) , vCenter Orchestrator, EMC ISM, vCenter Operations and EMC VNX Analysis Suite


I really wanted to thank Aviv waiis and Ben Hagai from VMware and Juliuis Clayton from iWAVE (now EMC) for their hard work on this

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