In the educational environment, as in all large enterprises, there is a need for both virtualization and for tools to manage and deploy VMs across multiple silos, whether in the data center or in the cloud. With dozens of classes and anywhere from dozens to hundreds of students per class, giving each student his or her own virtual environment becomes extremely complicated.
Enter VMware vCloud Suite Enterprise (v. 7), a combination of VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus and VMware vRealize Suite management platform. This is a complete set of tools that enables DevOps and all the capabilities needed to run an enterprise-class, software-defined data center, with VMs running anywhere they need to.
Installation is fairly straightforward, or as straightforward as the environment into which IT is installing the suite. VMware vCloud supports a single vSphere server, and IT can install everything on one hardware server in the local data center.
Alternatively, IT can install the suite in a local, hybrid or public cloud environment, using resources in the data center and remote locations, and moving VMs from one location to the other.
The vRealize suite augments vSphere with a host of management capabilities. Administrators can automatically configure and deploy VMs, add new VMs for new classes and take old ones offline once a class ends, add operating systems or applications to VMs, and monitor configurations for errors, availability and other issues. The tools are sufficient to allow one administrator to run many times more VMs than an institution could support without the vRealize Suite.
The entire system can be set up to use local resources when possible and to expand into the cloud as loads increase, moving solely to the data center when loads decrease again. This kind of flexibility means great performance for each user — whether 10 or 10,000 students are logged in — without a continuous need to support the highest number onsite.
In addition to providing VMs to students, the vRealize suite can also present a complete application stack to developers in order to create custom applications. It can maintain a complete approval process, letting administrators manage rights, entitlements, provisioning, licenses and approvals through a single interface. IT can then deploy finished applications throughout the institution, shared with partners and managed across multiple clouds.
VMware vCloud Suite Enterprise (v.7)
Licensing: Portable Licensing Unit offers unlimited cores and unlimited VMs on one CPU, or up to 15 instances in a cloud
Components: VMware vSphere 6.0 and vRealize Suite Enterprise 7.0
vRealize Suite: vRealize Operations Advanced; Log Insight; Business for Cloud Advanced; Automation Enterprise; and Operations