VMware vCloud Director is approaching End of Life for Enterprises but remains for service providers

Today Techtarget.com reported in this article that functionality of VMware vCloud Director will be split into vSphere and vCloud Automation Center.
What many insiders already suspected is now confirmed; vCloud Director has had its day.

Enterprise customers are recommended to use vCAC for future projects. If they are on vCD or vCAC does not cover requirements, the support of vCD 5.5 has been extended.

Indications of the approaching end of life are:

  • the support for VMware LabManager has been extended by an additional year. Support now ends in May 2014 instead of May 2013.
  • vCloud Director 5.5 cannot be purchased individually  (no SKU). It is only available as part of the vCloud Suite
  • no mentioning of vCD in both keynotes at VMworld 2013. Instead lots of attention for vCAC during the Tuesday keynote.
  • the lack of new features in vCD 5.5 released in August 2013. Site Recovery Manager still is not able to protect VM’s running inside tenant environments. See this article for more information
  • vCAC being available now in three editions of vCloud Suite, previously only in 1 edition. Every edition of the vCloud Suite now has a vCAC edition.

At September 3 VMware published this article which made a lot more clear on the direction VMware is going with vCD:

vCD has been widely adopted by service providers and enterprises. It has also proven to be a foundational component of service providers offering including the VMware hybrid cloud service know as vCHS. Moving forward, vCD will be even more oriented towards service provider requirements.  VMware’s enterprise customers, on the other hand, have expressed a strong requirement for a more simplified cloud stack.  As a result, VMware will move forward with a plan to converge vCD functionality into the vSphere and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) product lines. vCAC, in particular, has proven to be particularly well suited at meeting customer’s needs for governance and policy combined with self-service and ease of use. This combination of products will provide a simpler solution to enterprises.

At September 4, Matthew Lodge of VMware wrote the lines below in this post

1) Development of vCloud Director continues at VMware, now 100% focused on the cloud service provider market.
2) vCloud Director will continue to be available in the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) and also continues to be a foundational component of vCloud Hybrid Service, VMware’s IaaS offering.
3) The next release of vCloud Director will be version 5.6, in the first half of 2014, available through VSPP to cloud service providers.
4) VMware continues to develop and enhance the vCloud API, to provide API access to new capabilities, and to make the API faster and easier to use.

Troubles for vCD started with the acquisition of DynamicOps Cloud Automation Center 4.5 by VMware in 2012. Untill then vCD and Cloud Automation Center were competing solutions with quite some overlap in features.

VMware later renamed the product vCloud Automation Center and added it to the vCloud Suite.

Some customers ran into limitations of vCD and are looking for alternatives. vCD is not an easy to use solution and is suited for vSphere and public clouds running VMware software only. The infrastructures of service providers and large enterprises is sometimes multi-hypervisor so vCD is not always the right match.

VMware is probably working hard making sure components required in a cloud management platform are compatible with vCAC. For example currently vCenter Chargeback is not compatible with vCAC.

In this VMware KB article the end of availability of vCD 5.1 is published.

VMware is moving toward more simplified packaging and unified licensing of our cloud stack. Driven by this commitment, we’re implementing an integrated approach to the packaging of all of the essential capabilities for building a software-defined data center.
As part of this key initiative, VMware is making these packaging changes to make this technology more easily accessible:
  • vCloud Director 5.5 will be available only as part of vCloud Suite 5.5.
  • VMware has announced the End of Availability (“EOA”) of the VMware vCloud Director 5.1 for sale as a standalone product effective September 19, 2013.
  • Existing customers can maintain their vCloud Director through either the entitlement program or while converting to vCloud Suite with the Fair Value Conversion Program.

VMware will be extending the Support for vCloud Director 5.5. Generally, as per the VMware Enterprise Application Support Policy, VMware will support the current release of software for 2 years from the general availability of the Major Release, or the latest released version for 12 months. However, VMware will provide extended support for vCloud Director 5.5 with support available for 4 years from general availability. Customers will be able to get telephone and Internet support for vCloud Director 5.5 until their current contract expires or until Q3, 2017, whichever is earlier.

The End of Support date for vCloud Director 5.1 remains as September 10, 2014.

Functionality of vCD will be moved to vCAC and to vSphere.

This VMware slide shows which functions will move to which solution.

VMware will provide tools to migrate and a transition plan.

Jason Nash has written an interesting blog on vCD. Many customers are wondering how VMware will support the transition from vCD to vCAC/vSphere. Many remember the migration from Lab Manager to vCD. VMware customers are also considering non VMware solutions to manage their cloud platform.

The slide below shows the feature overlap of vCAC and vCD. The slide was shown at a recent Gartner presentation by Alessandro Perilli. In this presentation Cloud Management Platforms of VMware and Microsoft are compared. For a report on this presentation see my post here.

Kendrick Coleman posted his thoughts on vCD in a post vCD To Die A Slow and Painful Death after 5.5

More details taken from the VMware blogpost.

As a result of this announcement, VMware is making the following recommendations:

ENTERPRISE CUSTOMERS –  VMware recommends that customers use the combination of vCloud Automation Center and the vSphere platform to support their private cloud architectures and use cases. vCD 5.5 is available starting in Q3 if required to support use cases not currently covered by vCAC. Projects already in-flight with vCD should also remain in place as vCD 5.5 support will be extended beyond its normally 2-year window (out to 2017).

SERVICE PROVIDERS – vCD will continue to be available through the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) in the cloud bundle and is still the recommended solution for service providers. VMware will continue on-going  development for vCD to meet the specific needs of service providers and will provide further details at a later date.

Update: Mathew Lodge (Vice President Cloud Services of VMware) sent out a couple of Tweets. vCD will continue to be available for Service Providers. About 250 public clouds use vCD at the moment.


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