VMware Cloud Director is a component that Telco Cloud Infrastructure Cloud Director Edition exposes as the interface to the VNF services. It uses vCenter Server and NSX Manager to orchestrate compute, storage, and networking from a single programmable interface.

VMware Cloud Director Overview

VMware Cloud Director is used for the cloud automation plane. It natively supports, pools, and further abstracts the virtualization platform in terms of virtual data centers. It provides multitenancy features and self-service access for tenants through a native graphical user interface or API that allows programmable access for both tenant consumption and the provider for cloud management.

The cloud architecture consists of management components that are deployed in the management cluster, and of resource groups for hosting the tenant workloads. Some of the reasons for the separation between the management and compute resources include:

  • Different SLAs such as availability, recoverability, and performance for management components and tenant workloads

  • Separation of responsibilities. For example, resource groups are managed by VMware Cloud Director.

  • Consistent management and scaling of resource groups

The management cluster runs the cloud management components and resource group management components. Resource groups are independent infrastructure domains represented by virtualized compute, networking, and storage, each managed by its vCenter Server.

Figure 1. Management Cluster Components
Management Cluster Components

Some of the most commonly-used terms in VMware Cloud Director are as follows:

Allocation Pool

A pool of allocated resources for which a certain percentage of compute resources is guaranteed.


A repository of vApp templates and media available to users for deployment. Catalogs can be published and shared between organizations in the same VMware Cloud Director environment.

External Network

External network provides Internet connectivity to organization networks and is configured for Internet accessibility.

Network Pool

A collection of isolated Layer 2 virtual networks available to VMware Cloud Director for the automated deployment of organization and vApp networks.


The unit of multitenancy representing a single logical security boundary. An organization contains users, virtual data centers, and catalogs.

Organization Administrator

Administrator for a VMware Cloud Director organization responsible for managing provided resources, network services, users, and vApp policies.

Organization VDC Network

Organization VDC networks are instantiated through network pools and bound to a single organization VDC or shared across an Organization. Organization VDC networks can be isolated, routed, or directly connected to an external network.

Organization Virtual Data Center

A subgrouping of compute, network, and storage resources allocated from a provider virtual data center and assigned to a single organization. A virtual data center is a deployment environment where vApps can be instantiated, deployed, and powered on. Organization virtual data centers cannot span multiple organizations.

Provider Virtual Data Center

A grouping of compute and storage resources from a single VMware vCenter Server. A provider virtual data center consists of one or more resource pools and one or more datastores. Provider virtual data center resources can be shared with multiple organizations.


vApp is a container for software solution in the cloud. A vApp is the standard unit of deployment for VMware Cloud Director. It contains one or more VMs, networks, network services, power-on operations. vApps can be imported or exported.

Cloud Director Cell

A cell is the runtime of VMware Cloud Director services on a physical or virtual machine. Multiple cells within one VMware Cloud Director instance can be grouped and connected to one VMware Cloud Director database for load balancing and high availability.