Today, VMware is announcing new software designed specifically for our service provider partners called vCloud Integration Manager. We developed Integration Manager to provide a simple and standardized way for service providers to provision vCloud Director, vShield and vSphere in order to more quickly get new customers up and running on a cloud service. Until now, service providers either had to do these tasks manually, or redirect valuable software development resources to writing undifferentiated "glue code" and/or automation scripts.
Integration Manager reduces operational costs by automatically stepping through the configuration process for vCloud Director to set up Virtual Data Centers, virtual networks, administrator accounts and other cloud resources that the customer has ordered. By completing this in a matter of minutes, it decreases time to revenue (the time between receiving an order for service and fulfilling it, and therefore being able to bill for service).
Integration Manager includes a full set of REST APIs and a web GUI. The GUI provides an administrator interface to define the service building blocks that make up a full cloud service for a customer. Administrators can also configure reseller accounts, and provision and de-provision customers.
The web GUI invokes the Integration Manager API to accomplish these tasks. In production at service providers, Integration Manager will mostly be driven through API calls from the service provider’s customer portal or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. These are typically the “systems of record” for customer data and product orders, with Integration Manager doing the detailed provisioning work.
Integration Manager is also important for VMware's reseller partners, many of whom are looking to add cloud services to their portfolios in order to be able to sell complete hybrid clouds (combinations of public and private clouds). To make it simple for resellers to package, price and sell vCloud Powered or vCloud Datacenter services, Integration Manager includes the notion of a cloud reseller. This capability allows a service provider to securely delegate provisioning to resellers. In turn, the resellers can directly and immediately provision and de-provision their own customers (via the API or web GUI), without having to open tickets, send emails or make phone calls.
We developed Integration Manager in response to demand from our growing vCloud service provider ecosystem. There are now 94 clouds in 19 countries world-wide that qualify for the vCloud Datacenter or vCloud Powered status. vCloud Datacenter is a globally consistent IaaS service that's audited and certified by VMware; vCloud Powered providers offer a basic level of workload and data compatibility by using vCloud Director, the vCloud API and the OVF file format.
VMware's service provider business grew more than 200% in 2011, a testament to the momentum and rapid growth those service providers are seeing in their VMware-based clouds. With vCloud Integration Manager, we hope to further accelerate their growth and profitability by reducing operational costs and opening up new routes to market.