The RCA-V is a stateless web service that presents a compute cloud API on top of of VMware vSphere environment. Its purpose is to enable the RightScale Cloud Management Platform to manage a vSphere installation (or designated sub-portion) as if it were an on-premise cloud environment (resource pool) similar to public cloud IaaS offerings such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform, or private clouds such as OpenStack and CloudStack.
The appliance is a minimal layer on top of vSphere that serves three main purposes:
- Provides a simple REST-based cloud API
- Enforces a set of policies, most of which are actually implemented by vSphere
- Creates a multi-tenant environment where a tenant can only be associated with a single RightScale account.
Because RCA-V is designed to be stateless, you can run multiple appliances in parallel for fault tolerance. In such cases, both appliances must be able to communicate with each other.