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From Your Workstation to the Cloud

If you’ve used VMware Workstation lately you might have noticed something a bit new since version 11 was released: native, built-in integration with VMware vCloud® Air™.

A little while back I wrote a post on how to migrate a VM built in VMware Fusion to vCloud Air.  In this post, I’ll be doing something similar, however we’ll be looking at the new vCloud Air integration with VMware Workstation.

Before I begin, I did want to point something out: to support vCloud Air OnDemand, users would need to upgrade Workstation to version 11.1.  You can download it from here. This post assumes a vCloud Air subscription service, but behaves the same way in OnDemand.

In addition to the great new features for running and managing local Virtual Machines (i.e. VM’s running on the Windows or Linux computer I’m actually sitting in front of), users are now given the ability to upload, download and manage workloads in vCloud Air. This is an exciting feature that both the Workstation team and the vCloud Air teams are proud of.

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Powered by VMware, Singtel Delivers a Scalable, Safe Solution to Singapore’s Leading Federation of Trade Unions

Today’s businesses must be able to provide their consumers with the information they need whenever and wherever they request it. That means utilizing a powerful, flexible network capable of deploying services as they’re needed. To power that on-demand capability businesses require today, service providers are offering VMware-based public and hybrid cloud services through the VMware vCloud Air Network..

When Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), the country’s largest federation of trade unions, decided to move its infrastructure to the cloud, they turned to Singtel, a VMware vCloud Air Network service provider. Powered by VMware, Singtel provided the NTUC with a secure, scalable cloud that provided the organization with a scalable solution with zero downtime.

When Singtel finished its project ahead of schedule, the NTUC was able to reduce its total computing resources by 30 percent, rapidly deploy resources on demand and enable its customers to access special deals and live streams with ease.

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Get Started with VMware vCloud Air: Extend Existing Applications to the Cloud

In our last segment in this series, we discussed how you can use VMware vCloud® Air™ for various dev/test scenarios. Now, we’ll explain how you can extend existing packaged applications to vCloud Air, to deliver applications more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Packaged applications are critical to supporting business processes and operations, but they are often not proprietary to the business, such as SharePoint and Exchange. By moving standard packaged applications to a cloud environment, you can free up valuable onsite resources, improve productivity, and lower total cost of ownership.

However, not all public clouds are created equal. Many don’t allow you to freely move applications across onsite and offsite infrastructures without requiring time-consuming rewrites and reconfigurations. This can create additional infrastructure silos with multiple platforms – your own including other cloud provider platforms.

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Quick and Easy Provisioning on vCloud Air

By: Paco Gómez

This is a repost from Paco Gómez’s personal blog.

For those minimalist DevOps engineers out there, this post describes how to provision a virtual machine on VMware vCloud® Air™ the quickest way possible. The steps include adding a public SSH key and configuring the network to make the machine SSH-Ready.

On my previous post, I described how to provision CoreOS on vCloud Air. CoreOS instances get customized through cloud-config. A user can define the IP of the machine and add the public SSH key by including all that information in a text file included in a virtual ISO mounted on the VM.

In this post I will provision an Ubuntu VM and customize it with the VMware Guest OS Customization method. The process is done in 3 simple steps:

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Active Directory and vCloud Air Disaster Recovery

A number of articles have been written in the past explaining how to setup and configure VMware vCloud® Air™ Disaster Recovery.  These range from how to deploy the vSphere Replication Appliance, through initiating a full failover test.  However some of the considerations involved in deploying a disaster recovery solution include how to protect your infrastructure virtual machines and how you can do this easily without significant cost.

Let us begin by initially looking at what vCloud Air Disaster Recovery is.

vCloud Air Disaster Recovery is a cost effective, cloud-based disaster recovery as a service for vSphere virtual machines using vSphere replication.  It provides asynchronous software replication and failover with self-service 15 minute to 24-hour Recovery Point Objectives (RPO).

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The Power of the VMware vCloud Air Network

Since the rebranding of the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) to the VMware vCloud Air Network last year, VMware has continued to deepen relationships with service providers.

VMware vCloud Air Network service providers offer customers several benefits, including:

  • A seamless transition to cloud for VMware customers
  • Multiple compliance certifications, managed and application services, and vertical market specializations that meet business requirements
  • Data sovereignty provided through local data centers
  • Plus much more!

Rackspace, one of the largest VMware vCloud Air Network service providers, has been providing single-tenant, VMware-based managed hosting services for over 9 years, using their proactive Fanatical Support® to help their customers offload the maintenance and monitoring of the infrastructure, the VMware stack and guest OS so that they can focus on higher-value projects.

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Pop Quiz: Take the DR Challenge for a Chance to Win a Pass to VMworld 2015!

DR Challenge

Have you mastered your organization’s disaster recovery plan? Think you know the answers to, “When did we last test our plan?” or “How much would an hour of downtime cost?” If so, we want to give you a chance to put your knowledge to the test.

Last year, we launched the first DR Challenge and invited our audience to test their disaster recovery know-how. The participation was so great we’ve decided to bring it back! Sign up for this year’s DR Challenge and try your hand at three quizzes designed to test your mastery of cloud-based disaster recovery facts. A perfect score enters you into a drawing for a free pass to VMworld 2015!

The challenge begins today, February 12th, and runs through March 25th.  You’ll have roughly 2 weeks to take each quiz. Register now to get started:

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Another VMware Cloud in Action – National Physician Services Saves $500,000 in Data Center Costs with vCloud Air

By migrating over to VMware vCloud® AirTM, National Physician Services (NPS) expects to save $500,000 over a three-year span in data center costs, as well as an additional cost savings of 15-20% through the adoption of VMware vCloud® AirTM Disaster Recovery.

Bryan Graven, CEO of healthcare technology company NPS, understood the importance of improving the quality of patient care, but also knew that providing best-of-breed technology to the medical community came with its own set of industry-specific challenges. Some of the challenges Graven identified included implementing technological advancements, protecting Personal Healthcare Information (PHI), and improving patient care while reducing expenses.

In addition to these challenges, Graven also recognized the technical obstacles that could hinder business success – disaster recovery shortcomings, backup downtime, physical limitations, financial burdens – and saw the cloud as an opportunity to mitigate many, if not all, of those problems. Because of this, NPS knew they needed a partner they could trust to carry them through the transition to the cloud.

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New Networking Services Open Door to the Hybrid Cloud

For many organizations, networking is the key barrier that keeps them from fully realizing the benefits of the hybrid cloud. Until now, no public cloud has offered networking capabilities that allowed organizations to seamlessly combine the agility and flexibility of the cloud with the security and manageability that they have come to expect on-premises.

VMware is taking a trailblazing step toward solving this key pain point through the upcoming release of VMware vCloud® Air™ Advanced Networking Services. By leveraging VMware NSX™ as its underlying networking platform, vCloud Air will provide enhanced security controls, routing, and network scaling capabilities in the cloud.

With these new services, customers can experience in their vCloud Air environments:

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Using CoreOS on vCloud Air OnDemand

By: Paco Gómez

This is a repost from Paco Gómez’s personal blog.

CoreOS is a popular Linux distribution for applications that use Docker Containers. The following article describes the steps to install CoreOS on VMware vCloud® Air™ OnDemand. The use of vCloud Air Command Line Interface makes the process easier to document and more convenient to follow.

The guide assumes the following pre-requisites:

We are using a vCloud Air OnDemand account, but these instructions can also be applied to subscription-based vCloud Air accounts and to vCloud Air Network (vCloud Director), with some modifications on how to login to the service. In the next blog post I will describe how to use vca-cli to login to those other types of accounts.

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