I will start off by saying that I am no vCloud Director expert. I am a log time fan of the Trainsignal training series. I wish I had time to absorb everything in the training catalog in one week. For me, what peeked my interest is the vCloud Director 5.1 Essentials course. Chris Whal does an excellent job of walking through the basics from start to finish. The course starts off by going over the basic principles you will need to understand what you are deploying. When you get into lesson 4, you get right to the installation of the product.
As I went through the course, I followed along in my lab. As long as you have some basic resources set up, you will have no problem keeping up. I had two PCs with 16GB of RAM each, a single quad processor, two 7200 RPM drives and an SSD in each host. You will want to have vCenter already set up along with a RHEL 6.x template and some Windows templates. Before you get into the deployment, Chris walks you through where to get temp license keys and where to get a RHEL operating system.
The remaining lessons in 5 – 12 are really step by step instructions on how to deploy and configure everything for a basic vCloud. The product can really look like a Pandora’s box from the outside. All these terms like connectors, vCloud networking options, organizations, access control or managing vApps all seem overwhelming when you first look at the product. Chris does an excellent job of putting the pieces together and making sense of things. As you follow along you will be saying “ahh, that’s what that thing does!”.
After you finish this course you will have a better understanding of how things work and what will work best for your environment. I would not use this course as a template to deploy an environment, but as groundwork to understand what will work for you. There are a few VMware books that go over vCloud director, but nothing that will give you step by step deployment guides like this course will give you. You can also find deployment guides that say “deploy vCloud Director in 10 minutes”, but they really don’t give you the understanding that this course will give you. After you run through the deployment once (or a few times), I highly recommend deploying the vCD vApp. This will give you something a little more light weight to play around with. The vCD vApp is not meant for production, it is more of a test platform to get use to the concepts in vCD.
I would highly recommend this course for anyone looking into learning more about vCD.