The vCloud Suite consists of many products; this session will only cover the major ones. The presenters start with a definition of what "vCloud Suite" is:
"It is an integrated offering based on SDDC architecture for managing a vSphere environment."
The main components are: vCAC, SRM, ITBM, and vCNS (NSX and virtual SAN can be used to extend the suite but are not a part at this time)
Karthik introduces the SDDC framework. The foundation is based around defining business and investment priorities leading to key infrastructure initiatives. It is based on certain IT outcomes such as standardized, streamlined, secure, resilient infrastructure as well as automated services. The benefit of the SDDC framework is driving savings, providing quality control and finally to deliver speed and agility.
What is new in the basic vSphere and vCenter stack is vCenter Support Assistant; it is a pluggin which alerts you before a problem, directs you to KB (knowledge base) and allows you to file a SR (support request) easily. It is targeted for administrators and managers to provide status and information on what is going on in the environment.
GS Khalsa is introduced to talk about vSphere Replication. vSphere replication is VMware's host based replication which means it does not require any special storage. The RPO is 15 minutes up to 24 hours. The configuration is very simple. It is included in essentials plus and higher licensing and is fully supported on virtual SAN. You can use it as an alternative or enhancement for backup or DR. There is no automation so a recovery is done on a VM by VM bases. Once you get beyond 10 - 15 VMs you probably want to look at SRM. In 5.5 you can replicate to a VMware Service Provider or vCloud Air. In addition with vSphere Replication you get improved reporting.
SRM is a DR orchestration solution. It will turn up and down VMs in a certain sequence and create a runbook for recovery. In addition SRM integrates with over 50 storage vendor products. Most customers use SRM to do disaster avoidance or a planned migration from one-site to another.
With SRM the test functionality you can create an exact copy that can be used for testing patching for example. In SRM 5.8 their is a vCAC\vCO workflow plugin. Allot of work has been done on scale and simplification. With the workflows in vCO, you can build SRM into a service blueprint. You can also use this outside of vCAC within the vSphere client.
In addition anything you can do with the vCO plugin you can also do with PowerCLI. SRM will protect 5000 VMs (formerly 1500) and will do concurrent recovery of 2000 VMs (from 1000). To accomplish this enhancements were done on vSphere and SRM. Batch commands are now sent for a protection group vs. one command at a time. SRM has been fully integrated into the vSphere Web Client. You can also now map entire subnets rather than individual addresses vs. mapping an IP to an individual VM or importing an excel spreadsheet. In addition SRM now has the option of an embedded vPostgres database which simplifies the installation.
VMware has also revised the documentation for the Cloud Suite so it is focused at the suite level addressing things like the order to install the products vs. treating each product individually.