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What are some vCloud Director features for cloud management?

In virtualization's evolution from servers to the cloud, VMware has several offerings for managing resources in virtual data centers.

In addition to vCloud Automation Center, VMware users can manage and provision the software-defined data center with vCloud Director.

To get a look inside these virtual data centers, vCloud Director provides insight into a variety of activities through the Manage & Monitor tab. For example, administrators can view system or organizational tasks in-progress, view failed tasks, and view tasks by owner. Administrators can also view system or organizational events. Keep in mind that tasks are usually classified as long-term or recurring processes, while events are significant one-time -- or infrequent -- occurrences. Since some tasks may be blocked, administrators have the ability to work with these tasks, resuming, aborting or failing  them as desired.

One key feature in vCloud Director is its comprehensive reporting on compute, memory and storage resource usage for both provider and organizational virtual data centers. This data is valuable when determining which business entities use the most resources. This data can also be processed through a chargeback engine -- such as VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager or VMware IT Business Management Suite -- to create cost reports for business leaders.

Each cloud can have its own series of log files generated by vCloud Director. Separate log files are used to contain console output, debug messages, informational messages, diagnostic messages and HTTP requests. Administrators can refer to logs for troubleshooting assistance or can correlate events across different log sources to determine cause-and-effect relationships that might otherwise be undetected.

The idea of "cloud resources" is broken into a variety of broad categories by vCloud Director. First, vCloud Director supports both provider and organizational virtual data centers. Once a virtual data center is created, vCloud Director can change its properties, disable it, delete it, merge multiple virtual data centers, handle the underlying ESXi hosts and data stores, and perform a range of other management tasks. VCloud Director can add, delete or toggle cloud cells.

VCloud Director can support network deployments in external networks, edge gateways, virtual data center networks and network pools. Once an external network is created, vCloud Director can change descriptive information about the network, add IP addresses to the external network IP pool or delete the external network. An edge gateway allows organizational virtual data centers to connect with external networks for tasks like load balancing; network address translation, or NAT; and firewall support. Administrators can add, configure, change or delete edge gateways through vCloud Director. Administrators can add networks, configure services, work with vApps or vApp templates, check IP use, change or delete any organizational virtual data center. VCloud Director allows administrators to create, change, add to or delete network pools.

Finally, vCloud Director allows certain VMware products -- such as VMware vFabric Data Director and Cloud Foundry -- to be provided as virtual data center services. Administrators can add, delete or change extensions, and associate or disassociate services with VDCs.

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