What Is VMware Cloud Automation, and What’s in It for You?
The VMware Cloud Automation Services is a suite of SaaS tools that makes it easier for IT departments to build and deploy cloud applications. It’s currently composed of three products — VMware Code Stream, VMware Service Broker, and VMware Cloud Assembly. These products work together to help organizations to streamline application delivery, control cost, and enable cloud flexibility and choice. In addition, they facilitate collaboration and increase the agility between traditionally siloed departments. As a consequence, the organization can accelerate innovation.
Let’s go over each of these tools to understand what it is and what it does.\
VMware Cloud Automation Components
- VMware Cloud Assembly
VMware Cloud Assembly is a multi-cloud provisioning service that connects your organization’s private and public clouds. It allows you to deploy applications, machines, and services seamlessly.
What does Cloud Assembly Do?
It provides an automation service that allows development teams to interactively design blueprints and deploy them to designated cloud vendors. As an IT admin, you’re supposed to configure the infrastructure in a bid to support the development and deployment of blueprints.
The infrastructure begins with cloud service providers, followed by users of Cloud Assembly as project members. Finally, link the members to the cloud account regions as projects. Now you can continue to develop blueprints or hand over development to project members and administrators.
As a project member, you should use Cloud Assembly as you develop and deploy blueprints iteratively. Have your cloud administrator configure the deployment locations as part of your cloud infrastructure. They are best suited to understand the budget and resource constraints of your organization.
Functions of Cloud Assembly
- On the Infrastructure tab, you’ll add and organize the users and resources of your cloud provider. The tab also contains information about the blueprints you’ve deployed.
- On the Marketplace tab, you’ll find VMware Solution Exchange blueprints and images. They’ll help you build a blueprint library and access the supporting OCFs and OVAs.
- The Design tab is the development home. You can use the YAML editor and canvas to build and deploy your applications and machines.
- On the Deployments tab, you’ll find the current status of all your provisioned resources. You can access the history and details that you use to manage deployments.
- VMware Service Broker
VMware Service Broker is a core service of VMware Cloud Automation Services. This is where you manage and request catalog items. As the IT admin, you can create these items by importing the released Cloud Assembly blueprints and Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudFormation templates. Your users can then deploy them to your data stores and vendor regions.
For users, they can make requests and monitor the provisioning process. It’s only after a deployment that they can manage the catalog items during the deployment life cycle.
What Does Service Broker Do?
The Service Broker gives organizations a simple and efficient catalog to provide for users. The catalog comes in handy when you’re managing the available catalog items in terms of where and how you deployed them.
As the administrator, Service Broker gives you a streamlined user interface to use for development. Other teams can also use it. Start by importing the application and machine templates and blueprints that you need. You can then add governance in the form of projects. Doing this allows you to control who deploys what resources where.
- VMware Code Stream
Code Stream is the third service in the VMware Cloud Automation Suite. It’s a continuous integration and delivery tool. You can use it to build pipelines that mimic the software release process in the DevOps cycle. These pipelines help build the code infrastructure you use to deliver software fast and continuously.
Using Code Stream to deliver software allows you to integrate your developer tools and your release process. These are the two most critical parts of the DevOps life cycle. The initial setup integrates Code Stream with your development tools. After that, the pipelines automate the entire DevOps life cycle.
In short, you create a pipeline that builds, tests, and releases your software. VMware Code Stream uses this pipeline to push your software from the source code repository to testing and production.
Benefits of Using Code Stream
- Plug-ins that work out of the box
- Easy automation
- Simple integration with VMware Cloud PKS
- Insights and reporting
- Detailed dashboards that give you end-to-end visibility
- Customizable dashboards
- DevOps insights and metrics
- Role-based access control
- Restricted and secret variables and approvals
If you’re familiar with VMware’s vRealize Automation (vRA), you’ll notice VMware Cloud Automation is a logical progression from the technology vRA offers. There’s a marked improvement in the onboarding process, and the company has developed new integrations with third-party platforms and tools. The company has taken customer feedback and used it to improve its product.