VMware has released a series of new blogs highlighting various procedures to manipulate virtual machines in a vCloud environment. These blogs are useful for IT administrators looking to understand how to properly operate a vCloud solution. To support Dell customers, I am taking some of that content for a look at how to move workloads from a private vCloud to a hybrid vCloud.

Step 1: Download and Install the vCloud Connector

The application is available as a download on the vCloud Connector page with installation instructions for server and node deployments.  The diagram below from the VMware Installation and Configuration Guide details the architecture of vCloud Connector.

  • The vCloud Connector UI appears in either the vSphere client or at vcloud.vmware.com for the administrator to move workloads between the private and hybrid cloud.
  • The vCloud Connection Server is an appliance running in its own virtual machine managing the entire process and UI for virtual machine movements.
  • The vCloud Connector Node(s) is an appliance that transfers the virtual machines from one cloud to another. 
  • Browser administration is also available at vcloud.vmare.com as well as the vSphere client.

Step 2:  Add the Hybrid vCloud & Authenticate

Once you have installed the vCloud Connector appliances, you will need to configure your external hybrid cloud to allow workload transfer. The diagram below from the VMware blog shows the information necessary to authenticate to your hybrid cloud for workload transfer.

Step 3: Move Virtual Machine Workloads b/w Clouds

Now that you have the hybrid cloud connected to your private cloud, you can simply select the workloads to move from or to the hybrid cloud. All virtual machines must be stopped when moving between clouds.

In the diagram below, I show the data transfer process as detailed in the VMware Installation and Configuration Guide.

  1. VM transfer request sent from UI to server appliance
  2. Server appliance sends information to node appliance
  3. Node appliance sends “export” request to vCenter server
  4. Content is copied from datastore to node appliance cache
  5. Content is transferred from node appliance to other cloud node appliance
  6. New cloud node appliance tells vCloud director to import virtual machine(s)
  7. Content transferred from new cloud node appliance to vCloud director storage
  8. vCloud director notifies the vCenter serve to import the virtual machine(s)
  9. Content transferred to datastore for cloud usage