VMware vCloud Director 101: Navigation and User Management

August 8, 2014
Applications, Cloud

vCloud Director is VMware Inc.’s cloud computing management tool. Using vCloud Director’s web interface you can create and manage Virtual Machines, individually or in groups; you can also manipulate their networks and control the resources of multiple virtual data centers. US Signal Resource Pools are powered by VMware vCloud Director to provide you with pools of dedicated or flexible virtual compute resources backed by a carrier grade highly available compute and network infrastructure.

US Signal has created a VMware vCloud Director 101 series to help customers navigate their way through the tool and to provide prospective cloud customers an inside look. This post is the first in its series that gives a basic overview of the management panels and shows you how to add more users.

Navigating through vCloud Director

vCloud Director has four major management panels: Home, My Cloud, Catalogs, and Administration. You can navigate to these panels using the navigation bar located in the upper left-hand corner of the vCloud Director Web Console.


Selecting the Home panel will display a simple inventory of your vApps and a selection of thumbnail previews of the virtual machines they contain.

In addition to this abbreviated inventory view, there are a number of links to help you quickly perform tasks such as creating new vApps in a variety of ways, quickly navigating to your settings or content and easily managing your users and groups of users.

By navigating to the My Cloud panel, you’ll get a more detailed and granular view of your working environment. In this panel, you can view your entire inventory of virtual machines and vApps and you can sort the lists by groups, such as Name, Status, Operating System, or Virtual Data Center.

The Catalogs panel is where you will upload and manage any templates or removable media files (such as ISOs). There are private catalogs available only to your users, as well as Public Catalogs that US Signal publishes and maintains. In the Public Catalogs offering you will also find the US Signal Gold Master templates for our Microsoft OS Licensed customers.

The Administration panel allows you to view your virtual data centers and look at their resource utilization and storage consumption. In this panel view, you will also be able to manage your Users and Groups.

Watch US Signal's video version of the vCloud Director demonstration.

How To Create and Manage Users in vCloud Director

From the Administration panel, you can now navigate to Users found in the menu on the left side of the screen. From this panel page, you can add more users to your vCloud Director and manage their permissions. Click the plus sign in the upper left corner, underneath the title "Users."  Create a username and password for our team member and select their Role that define what rights the user has. User role options include:

  • Organization Administrator - This role is for your top-level users. They can add, edit, or remove other users. As an admin, this user can publish catalogs, upload media, deploy Virtual Machines from templates or create new ones. They also have capabilities to do the same functions as the user roles listed below it.
  • Catalog Author - This role can create and publish new catalogs.
  • vApp Author - This role has the ability to create new vApps.
  • vApp User - This role allows a user to access a vApp, but they cannot create, edit, or delete any.
  • Console Access Only - This role allows users to view Virtual Machines, but are pretty limited beyond that.

From there, fill in the contact information fields. The rest of the window is not necessary to fill in order to create the user, and you may click "OK" to complete the process. In the event that a user must be removed, right-click the user's name and select "Disable Account." This step must be done before completely removing the user by right-clicking again and selecting "Delete."

Tip: You can Enable and Disable user from accessing their account without needing to remove them. You can also choose instead to limit the user's capabilities at a later time by changing their role in Properties settings.

See the video demonstration on creating and managing users in vCloud Director for more direction.

The next sections in the VMware vCloud Director 101 Series will introduce you to vApps.

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