Home > Blogs > VMware vCloud Blog > Monthly Archives: January 2010

Monthly Archives: January 2010

No Perfect Unit of Commerce in the Cloud…Yet

We
recently came across this blog
http://bit.ly/6EypCv by David Mok and it
reminded us of the truth that in cloud computing just because it’s abstracted
doesn’t make it inconsequential.

It’s
early days in the public cloud and so the major players are still sorting out
the basics of their business models, including pricing. Customers today think
they’re buying performance per dollar when in fact they’re really purchasing a
description of services per dollar. People think of public clouds as
commodities – that the CPU, storage, memory, VM software, I/O and the rest are
all the same. But they’re wrong. In mature markets, commodities are well
described. With public clouds, customers frequently have no insight into the
underlying IT architecture that can make a big difference in the quality of
service they experience running their workloads.

Security and Performance

As
an example, let’s look at two things that matter in any computing environment:
security and performance. How well described are these services in your public
cloud?

Public
cloud computing may be fundamentally an API call over the Web to start and
manage a virtual machine, but how protected is that VM from surrounding VMs,
from the host and networks around it? A VM sitting in a cloud could have
different levels of security control, and those levels could be reflected in
pricing, but today that’s not an option.

How
about performance?

As
Mok found out at his company, it made a big difference if their MySQL jobs were
running on one set of servers over another with their public cloud provider.

Mok said:

    The point is
in both cases, the … customer is paying the same for an instance that is
    marketed as having identical compute units (i.e. processing power), but the reality
is
    very different. Bear in mind that one cannot select what underlying hardware
you
            want your instances to be powered up on.

Today
nothing is sold to public cloud customers based on security or performance. The
cloud is not being metered that way. There is no perfect unit of commerce in
the cloud. Yet. That will change. The substrate architecture matters to a
customer and the industry will begin to price that fact into cloud services.
That’s when we’ll see true service level agreement pricing.

Follow vCloud!

If you want to get more information on the progress
of vCloud Express, check out
http://communities.vmware.com/community/developer/forums/vcloudapi, follow us on Twitter at @vCloud or become a fan of
our Facebook Page at
http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/VMware-vCloud/203532122896?ref=ts

VMware vCloud Express and Developers, Developers, Developers!

VMware today
announced a lot of good news for developers and ISV partners for our vCloud API
(http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vcloud-api.html). And there’s a
lot more to come. Watch this space.

Our support for
developers on vCloud is what this announcement is all about. We’re not just
talking, we’re doing. We’re making it easier for developers to adopt our vCloud
API to move their applications to the cloud much faster. Working with the open
source community and other partners, we made available software development
kits (SDKs) for the vCloud API for Java and Python developers. Key open source
client libraries and tools for the vCloud API are now available from Dasein,
jclouds and libcloud.

The libraries,
along with the vCloud API, are standardizing and simplifying the integration
path for ISVs to public clouds. For example, two of our ISV partners, Cloudera
(www.cloudera.com) and webappVM
(www.webappvm.com), have used these libraries to enable their commercial
solutions for vCloud Express.

Cloudera and webappVM

Cloudera CEO Mike
Olson talks about what this means for developers in the Apache Hadoop community
on our blog here (http://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2010/01/cloudera-supports-vmware-vcloud-express-for-apache-hadoop.html).
webappVM CEO Isaac Roth covers the benefits of their integration of jclouds for
their platform-as-a-service vApp solution for vCloud Express here (http://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2010/01/webappvm-supports-platformasaservice-on-vmware-vcloud-express.html).

If you’re a
developer or an ISV considering the public cloud, today’s news is the latest
demonstration of the benefits of integrating the vCloud API into your solutions.
Maybe you should be checking it out, too! For more information on
the vCloud API and resources for developers and ISVs,
go to http://communities.vmware.com/community/developer/forums/vcloudapi.
To find your favorite vCloud service provider partner, go to http://www.vmware.com/appliances/services/vcloud-express.html.

For more information

To stay current on all of
the latest vCloud Express news, follow us on Twitter at @vCloud or become a fan
of our Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/VMware-vCloud/203532122896?ref=ts

webappVM Supports Platform-as-a-Service on VMware vCloud Express

webappVM provides software solutions that
enable PHP and
Java developers to onboard existing Web applications
to cloud computing environments such as vCloud Express while reducing risk by
providing built-in scaling and monitoring. We talked to webappVM CEO Isaac Roth
about what today’s VMware vCloud partner announcement means for developers (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vcloud-api.html).


What does this partnership mean for developers?
Roth: this partnership is particularly exciting because it combines a
self-service solution with emerging industry standards to address an important
problem: rapidly deploying and scaling web applications. Developers want
self-service and ease of use, in the cloud.  Being locked in to a closed architecture is no longer an
option. With webappVM, VMware can offer a self-service experience to
application teams using their solutions. 
Users can deploy their applications on that cloud without changing their
application or middleware. Which means greater agility and cost savings to
enterprises who use the combined solution.

What are the benefits for users of being able to launch a
platform-as-a-service on vCloud Express?
Roth: PaaS solutions
leverage the cloud’s potential to make application management simpler, lighter,
and quicker.  This includes
built-in monitoring, built-in scaling, and easy onboarding, all designed with
developers in mind.  One of the
greatest benefits of webappVM’s PaaS solution, however, is that our deployment
capsule doesn’t require you to rewrite any of your code – developers don’t have
to write to a new framework or middleware. They just specify the same
components, web server, application server, etc, that they’re already used
to.  Which means easier
implementation and greater portability to get applications up and running in
vCloud Express even faster.

How will the vApp solution
help developers?
Developers are
frustrated with the time it takes to stand up environments for their
applications. Too much work is spent configuring and provisioning, and not
writing code, which kills project schedules. And even with the time
constraints, developers always want just one more test environment.
VMware sees the need for a solution that enables developers to rapidly
on-board applications.  With
webappVM, we offer the first cloud orchestration solution to have shipping
support for vCloud.  We provide the
same scaling and automation benefits of other PaaS solutions while enabling
developers to have their choice of infrastructure providers, including those
powered by vCloud Express.

How will this solution help accelerate the Java community’s
adoption and use of vCloud Express?

The hype machine
has been running at full steam for a while now as far as the cloud is
concerned.  But there are very few
options for easily taking a Java application onto the cloud and, until now,
none that let you choose your infrastructure provider and middleware.  WebappVM provides a simple, powerful,
self-serviced and self-managed approach to application deployment and
monitoring visibility necessary to trust cloud infrastructure.  We provide the automation and choice
customers have been looking for. 
This partnership means developers can adopt vCloud Express and know they
are receiving the support they need in making the transition into cloud
computing.

 

Isaacroth

Issac Roth is CEO and
co-Founder of webappVM (www.webappvm.com), where he is responsible for product
direction and strategy. Before founding webappVM to solve application
management problems for customers moving to cloud and virtualization
infrastructures, Roth spent five years at Wily Technology, helping to grow the
APM leader from a few handfuls of customers through the $375 million
acquisition by CA, Inc.

Cloudera Supports VMware vCloud Express for Apache Hadoop

Cloudera launched as a company with senior executives
from Oracle, Facebook, Google and Yahoo! in early 2009 promising to provide
enterprise-class support and services for Apache Hadoop, an open-source
software project. In late 2009 the original creator of Hadoop, Doug Cutting,
joined Cloudera. We recently caught up with Cloudera CEO Mike Olson to learn a
bit more about his company’s participation in the VMware vCloud partner
announcement today (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vcloud-api.html).

What is Cloudera?

Olson:
Cloudera is commercializing the open-source Apache Hadoop project. We offer
support, services and products that complement the open source core for
enterprise users. Hadoop is
a powerful technology used
to store and process large amounts of data. Cloudera helps traditional
enterprises tap into the power of Hadoop.

What's the significance of putting the Cloudera
Distribution for Hadoop on vCloud Express?

Olson: The Cloudera Data
Platform enables users to analyze both structured and complex data using a
radically lower cost storage architecture and a massively scalable processing
model. It’s a novel approach that many organizations are applying to discover
new insights into their business by looking at data that would have been
difficult or cost-prohibitive to mine before Cloudera. vCloud Express and the
vCloud API is a fantastic opportunity to dynamically provision resources,
process the job and de-provision resources with little or no capital cost.

Like many compelling
enterprise software offerings, the Cloudera Data Platform can be deployed to
cloud instances as easily as it is deployed to internal servers. However,
Cloudera is excited and pleased to offer developers confidence that should they
elect to run the Cloudera Data Platform with their vCloud Express provider of
choice, it will be as compatible across a broad ecosystem of providers as it is
within their internal datacenter.

How does it work?

Olson: CDH is a natural
workload for cloud infrastructures. Designed from the ground up to span from
server to cluster to datacenter, the CDH is “at home” in cloud infrastructures
as it can be deployed elastically over a dynamic number of nodes. The
combination of VMware vCloud API and the virtualization platform allows
straightforward deployment to both internal and/or external clouds without requiring
software modifications.

How does running the Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop
on vCloud Express make developers' lives easier?

Olson: First, it makes
deployment simple and cuts down on installation and configuration efforts. The
Cloudera team invested time and energy to make deploying Hadoop on the VMware
platform streamlined and straightforward. Cloudera added API-level integrations
into the Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop (CDH) and then shared the relevant
additions with the Apache Open Source community. We believe users of Hadoop
will appreciate the support we have added for deployment of Hadoop through
vCloud Express.

 

Mike-bw

 Mike Olson, CEO of
Cloudera (www.cloudera.com), was formerly CEO of Sleepycat Software, makers of
Berkeley DB, the open-source embedded database engine. Mike spent two years at
Oracle Corporation as Vice President for Embedded Technologies after Oracle's
acquisition of Sleepycat in 2006. Prior to joining Sleepycat, Mike held
technical and business roles at database vendors Britton Lee, Illustra
Information Technologies and Informix Software. Mike has Bachelor's and
Master's degrees in Computer Science from the University of California at
Berkeley.

vCloud API and the OVF

VMware submitted
its OVF 1.0 standards-based vCloud
API
to the DMTF Cloud
incubator
back in September 2009. This was an effort to get the conversation and
process started on creating a standardized cloud API for all to use. Putting
that OVF wrapper around VMs makes everyone’s life easier. The vCloud API allows
for upload and download of vApps along with their instantiation, deployment and
operation. You can also use it to deploy and manage virtualized workloads in
internal as well as external clouds.
 


Unlike the VMDK file format that encodes a single
virtual disk from a virtual machine with no information about the virtual
hardware of a machine (such as the CPU, memory, disk, and network information),
OVF provides a complete specification of the virtual machine including CPU, memory,
networking and storage. We like OVF because an administrator can quickly
provision this virtual machine into a virtual infrastructure with little or no
manual intervention. And because OVF is a standards-based portable format, it
allows the user to deploy this virtual machine in any hypervisor that supports
OVF.

 

While the vCloud API may not be the end result of
this process, we wanted to step up and start a conversation (although we think ours is a good place to start). Fujitsu was the next to follow in
November 2009 with an API submission (really more a definition of interconnects) although
there are others out there with an API (Amazon, Rackspace, Google, Sun Microsystems, etc).
Look for Citrix and Microsoft to embrace OVF as well.

 


This will
be a long process and we probably won’t see the first draft until the end of
2010 at the earliest.
If you happen to work for or work wit
h one of the other
companies that has an API out there then encourage them to work with this DMTF process
so we can get something the ISV
ecosystem can really get behind. Standards is the only way this cloud thing
is going to work and stick around.
 

If you want to get more information on the progress
of the vCloud API, check out http://communities.vmware.com/community/developer/forums/vcloudapi,
follow us on Twitter at @vCloud or become a fan of our Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/VMware-vCloud/203532122896?ref=ts