Voonami Cloud Core Concepts
The Voonami Cloud is a very rich environment, and different from many of the existing cloud solutions on the market today. Based on the VMWare vCloud Director, the Voonami Cloud allows you to take complete control of all your resources, freeing you to build the environment you need to solve your unique problems.
Because it is such a complete environment, there are a number of concepts that may be unfamiliar to first time vCloud users. In this article, I’ll highlight a few of the more salient concepts, which may help get your creative juices flowing.
You can think of a vDC as a resource pool from which you can create vApps. It contains the building blocks of your virtual infrastructure. Think of it as a warehouse that contains CPU’s, RAM, Hard drives and Routers that you can use to create your virtual environment.
When your Organization is created in the Voonami Cloud, different resource pools will be assigned. Your organization will always have at least one vDC associated with it. If you are deploying vApps in both the Dedicated Cloud and Sandbox Cloud, you will have separate vDC’s for each.
vApps allow you to organize your virtual environment so that it matches the way you really think about it.
Let’s take, for example, the next blockbuster Web Hit, FaceSpace™, created by XYZ Corp.
Because of the high demand for this amazing app, the DevOps team has determined that the following resources will be needed:
- 3 Web Servers
- A MySQL cluster, consisting of 2 MySQL servers
- A Media Server that will be used to store uploaded Videos
Normally, the DevOps team would create, config, install, tweak and deploy 5 different VM’s. Each VM would be managed separately, even though they are really parts of the overall app.
vApp’s allow you to group all the VM’s and Networks for an application into a single location. These vApps can then be started, stopped and managed as an “application”, rather than a collection of VM’s.
Instead of thinking about 3 web servers, a MySQL cluster and a Media Server, the DevOps team from XYZ Corp can think about, and manage the FaceSpace™ app.
Computing hardware without software is nothing more than an expensive heater. Catalogs are where the software building block components of your architecture are stored. There are two types of software stored in catalogs.
The most basic are ISO’s. Voonami provides ISO images of many of the most popular Linux distro’s as well as Windows Server distros. These are all available to you to use as raw material. You would use these as you would any ISO. As you create VM’s, you can use any of these ISO’s to install the base operating system. Using these ISO’s and the VM console, you can use any install method supported by the operating system, including interactive, kickstart or SysPrep.
If you need an OS that is not included in the Voonami Public Catalog, adding your own ISO is as simple as uploading the ISO to your Organization catalog. You can then choose to make that ISO public to all your Organization users, or keep it to yourself. Once the ISO is added to your catalog, you can use it just as you would any other ISO.
While ISO’s are necessary many times, vApp templates are even more powerful. vApp templates are composed of fully installed VM’s that you can essentially “clone” into your vApps. They contain VM’s installed with specific Compute and Storage characteristics, as well as a configured OS and applications. For example, there may be a template that has the following characteristics:
- 2 CPU’s
- 8 GB RAM
- 200 GB Storage
- Centos 6.3 x86_64
- Apache 2.4
Using this template, you could immediately create a VM in your environment, with exactly those characteristics. No need to create a virtual machine. No ISO install. No ‘yum install’. Just install from the template, and boot it up.
Even more powerful, is the ability you have to create your own templates. Start with an existing template or ISO install. Tweak it to match your requirements. Add it to your Catalog of Templates. Next time you need to install one like it, install from your template, with your requirements already satisfied.
Software Defined Networking (SDN)
Generally, in public cloud environments, network is managed by the cloud provider. This is both convenient and restrictive. In simple cases, it frees you from worrying about the network. However, as your needs grow, you may start bumping into the limits of what you are allowed to do.
With SDN, you control significantly more of your network architecture. Each organization is has a Public and Private network, but, for each vApp, you are able to create any additional networks you need. You also have a firewall and load balancer at your disposal, if you need them. Each of these can be controlled and configured by you.
When you need them.
How you need them.
We’ll talk more about this in a future blog post, but for now, if you are ready to take advantage of this, let us know, and we’ll help you get started!