An Early Christmas Gift From VMware: vCloud UI Announcements

This is a special post…apart from being this blog’s 200th it’s a great week for all those who have dedicated time and effort into VMware’s vCloud Director…During a night of restless sleep on Monday I checked my phone and my Twitter feed to find that VMware and the vCloud Team had given us an early Christmas present:

Since we stopped development of vCD UI beyond vCD 5.5 and moved towards an API only strategy, we have received many requests from our service provider partners to return to a fully functional VCD UI. In addition to these requests, we have had other requests for a single front-end to all VMware managed cloud environments including not only VCD-SP but also those vCloud Air services managed by partners in the vCloud Air Network Managed Service Provider model as well as managed hosted environments.

 

As detailed in the blog post there are 2 announcements:

  1. As part of VMware’s ongoing commitment to VCD-SP, we plan to restart the VCD UI development and release a limited number of VCD UI features in the next release of VCD-SP scheduled later in 2016. VCD-SP API and UI development will continue with a goal to ensure UI and API parity.
  2. After completing an extensive evaluation process this year, we have entered into partnerships with both AirVM and OnApp who bring cloud management platforms for managing all VMware-based cloud environments. Both companies bring products to market to manage VCD-SP, managed vCenter and MSP (vCloud Air) cloud environments in a customizable manner.

I must admit…this feels like a massive win for the vCloud Air Network Community and the need for UI improvement for vCD has been something close to my heart over the past couple of years and in recent times (since the vCD SP 8.0 release) I’ve written a couple of posts and had follow up support from a number of vCAN Service Provider partners backing up the need for something to be done to keep vCloud Director as a strong platform choice for IaaS Providers.

Not withstanding the partnership with AirVM and OnApp the key wording for me in the blog post from the vCloud Team was that “VCD-SP API and UI development will continue with a goal to ensure UI and API parity” This is great for a number of reasons but for me the biggest benefit of that statement is the fact that while the partnerships are great a lot of partners where still venting frustration at that option from a pricing point of view…for the vCloud Air Network to be competitive at the lower levels (smaller IaaS/MSPs) all the new features and benefits of the platform need to be easily accessible via the UI. This won’t give those smaller providers automated provisioning or billing but at the very least it keeps them competitive when potential clients are looking at core Virtual Datacenter and VM management.

Again, this is great news for all vCAN Service Providers running vCloud Director and hopefully this time around VMware are well and truly committed to bettering this already solid Cloud Management Platform.

Well done vCloud Team!

#LongLivevCD

4 comments

  • Michael Munk Larsen

    Then we only need to figure out whether they will just add features to the rather complex (and somewhat useless) old UI or if they will create an entirely new UI.

    • That’s something that will come out in time. I look at other UI examples within VMware (EVO:Rail and Photon Controller) and you can see that there is the capability around…weather the vCloud Team has the time I think would be more the question.

      The current UI isn’t that bad…apart from the obvious Flash/old school design it’s functional and really after taking some time to adjust to it there isn’t anything you can’t do.

  • Welcome news indeed. I notice in the comments that a move to HTML5 is on the roadmap, could be a long road mind but still this is great to hear #LongLivevCD

  • A real risk as VMware concentrated on vCloud Air functionality that as Service Providers became the poor cousin. Its was never viable to develop code for basic functionality, perform sufficient testing and implement. Coding and testing is not Service Provider core business, nor would the client base or test platform match VMware’s. Fantastic news that this has finally been realised.

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