VMware vCloud Director is a software product that provides the ability to build secure, multi-tenant clouds by pooling virtual infrastructure resources into virtual datacenters and exposing them to users through Web-based portals and programmatic interfaces as a fully-automated, catalog-based service.

The VMware vCloud Director Administrator's Guide provides information about adding resources to the system, creating and provisioning organizations, managing resources and organizations, and monitoring the system.

vCloud Director relies on vSphere resources to provide CPU and memory to run virtual machines. In addition, vSphere datastores provide storage for virtual machine files and other files necessary for virtual machine operations. vCloud Director also utilizes vSphere distributed switches and vSphere port groups to support virtual machine networking.

You can use these underlying vSphere resources to create cloud resources.

Cloud resources are an abstraction of their underlying vSphere resources. They provide the compute and memory resources for vCloud Director virtual machines and vApps. A vApp is a virtual system that contains one or more individual virtual machines, along with parameters that define operational details. Cloud resources also provide access to storage and network connectivity.

Cloud resources include provider and organization virtual datacenters, external networks, organization vDC networks, and network pools. Before you can add cloud resources to vCloud Director, you must add vSphere resources.

A provider virtual datacenter (vDC) combines the compute and memory resources of a single vCenter Server resource pool with the storage resources of one or more datastores available to that resource pool.

You can create multiple provider vDCs for users in different geographic locations or business units, or for users with different performance requirements.

An organization virtual datacenter (vDC) provides resources to an organization and is partitioned from a provider vDC. Organization vDCs provide an environment where virtual systems can be stored, deployed, and operated. They also provide storage for virtual media, such as floppy disks and CD ROMs.

A single organization can have multiple organization vDCs.

vCloud Director supports three types of networks.

External networks

organization vDC networks

vApp networks

Some organization vDC networks and all vApp networks are backed by network pools.

An external network is a logical, differentiated network based on a vSphere port group. organization vDC networks can connect to external networks to provide Internet connectivity to virtual machines inside of a vApp.

Only system administrators create and manage external networks.

An organization vDC network is contained within a vCloud Director organization vDC and is available to all the vApps in the organization. An organization vDC network allows vApps within an organization to communicate with each other. You can connect an organization vDC network to an external network to provide external connectivity. You can also create an isolated organization vDC network that is internal to the organization. Certain types of organization vDC networks are backed by network pools.

Only system administrators can create organization vDC networks. System administrators and organization administrators can manage organization vDC networks, although there are some limits to what an organization administrator can do.

A vApp network is contained within a vApp and allows virtual machines in the vApp to communicate with each other. You can connect a vApp network to an organization vDC network to allow the vApp to communicate with other vApps in the organization and outside of the organization, if the organization vDC network is connected to an external network. vApp networks are backed by network pools.

Most users with access to a vApp can create and manage their own vApp networks. Working with vApp networks is described in the VMware vCloud Director User's Guide.

A network pool is a group of undifferentiated networks that is available for use within an organization vDC. A network pool is backed by vSphere network resources such as VLAN IDs, port groups, or Cloud isolated networks. vCloud Director uses network pools to create NAT-routed and internal organization vDC networks and all vApp networks. Network traffic on each network in a pool is isolated at layer 2 from all other networks.

Each organization vDC in vCloud Director can have one network pool. Multiple organization vDCs can share the same network pool. The network pool for an organization vDC provides the networks created to satisfy the network quota for an organization vDC.

Only system administrators can create and manage network pools.

vCloud Director supports multi-tenancy through the use of organizations. An organization is a unit of administration for a collection of users, groups, and computing resources. Users authenticate at the organization level, supplying credentials established by an organization administrator when the user was created or imported. System administrators create and provision organizations, while organization administrators manage organization users, groups, and catalogs. Organization administrator tasks are described in the VMware vCloud Director User's Guide.

An organization can contain an arbitrary number of users and groups. Users can be created by the organization administrator or imported from a directory service such as LDAP. Groups must be imported from the directory service. Permissions within an organization are controlled through the assignment of rights and roles to users and groups.

Organizations use catalogs to store vApp templates and media files. The members of an organization that have access to a catalog can use the catalog's vApp templates and media files to create their own vApps. A system administrator can allow an organization to publish a catalog to make it available to other organizations. Organizations administrators can then choose which catalog items to provide to their users.