Our long-term support for vCloud Director

When it comes to protecting workloads running on VMware’s vCloud Director, Veeam has a long history of supportability. Starting way back in 2013 with version 7 of Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam has offered native support to our Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) partners to back up tenant workloads on vCloud Director. Veeam was one of the first to embrace vCloud Director and through the years has continued to support each release as the platform accelerated their release cycles and gained momentum as the default Cloud Data Management platform for VMware-based service provider offerings.

Existing self-service portal for vCloud Director

With version 9.5 of Veeam Backup & Replication (released in November 2016), the vCloud Director Self-Service Portal was released. This feature was built upon the self-service capabilities of Veeam Enterprise Manager and taps into vCloud Director for tenant authentication. This portal uses Veeam Enterprise Manager and allows service providers to grant their tenants self-service management of their vCloud Director workloads. This enhances the VCSP’s ability to offer Backup as a Service (BaaS) for vCloud Director.

vCloud Director integration lets you back up and restore single virtual machines (VMs), vApps, organization vCloud Director and the whole organization. This is done via a web UI based on Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager. Tenants have access to a self-service web portal where they can manage their vCloud Director jobs as well as restore VMs, files and application items within their vCloud Director organization.

While this remains a strong feature for our VCSPs to use, the revamp of the vCloud Director user interface also brought the ability for vendors to write plugins that can be directly integrated into the vCloud Director UI. Something that is generally desirable is to give tenants a single point from which to manage all aspects of their hosted infrastructure.

Veeam Community Plugin for vCloud Director

In recent years, the vCloud Director user interface has been undergoing a massive overhaul as VMware migrates away from Flex UI toward the HTML5-based Clarity UI. Part of that overhaul was to change the mindset of what it was to consume vCloud Director and offer other services through the UI. Extensibility has been a major focus of recent releases and was first introduced as the vCloud Director extensibility framework in vCloud Director 9.1.

While we wait to release an official native Veeam Plugin for vCloud Director, we have listened to the VCSP community and through the great work of our Solutions Architect, Chris Arceneaux, we have made available on Veeam’s GitHub page (i.e., VeeamHub) the Veeam Community Plugin for vCloud Director. This plugin uses the existing self-service portal for vCloud Director and presents it to tenants via the extensibility plugin framework.

Video demonstration of the plugin below:

This plugin can be used by VCSPs to allow their vCloud Director tenants access to the self-service portal for vCloud Director without leaving the vCloud Director web UI. The key component in this solution is the ease of setup for the VCSP as opposed to using the VMware seed plugin and coding the solution themselves.

Other plugin examples from our VCSPs

The release of this community plugin ensures that all VCSPs have options when it comes to integrating Veeam into vCloud Director as the native plugin is released. That said, some of our more innovative VCSPs have already worked out how to use the vCloud Director extensibility framework and developed enhanced plugins of their own.

Zettagrid is one of these VCSPs, and they have been able to develop a solution that not only integrates the Veeam self-service portal with the vCloud Director plugin, but have also done work around authentication to offer their customers a seamless experience when accessing the self-service portal from the vCloud Director UI. 

Zettagrid also did some development work to make the plugin look and feel like it was part of the vCloud Director clarity UI. With the plugin offered as an enhanced service for their tenants, they have recently seen an uptake in BaaS for their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. This is a great example of our VCSPs innovating with the tools that Veeam offers.

Conclusion

Extensibility has become a key component in the modern infrastructure. By using APIs and existing frameworks, our VCSPs can integrate their data protection platform into vCloud Director. Veeam leads the way when it comes to service provider offerings for backup and recovery solutions. This is due to our software-driven, hardware-agnostic platform. Our strength is shown with most service providers who choose Veeam to protect their tenant workloads that hosted on vCloud Director. More than just cosmetic, Veeam offers our service providers innovative features on which their backup and recovery offerings are built.

Get the plugin from VeeamHub here: 

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