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Another VMware Cloud in Action – Carisbrooke Shipping Sails Beyond Physical Limitations and into the Cloud

Headquartered in the Isle of Wight, Carisbrooke Shipping is one of the largest shipping companies in UK operating a fleet of over 50 modern dry cargo and multi-purpose vessels. In the forty years since it was founded, the company has had to combat rising fuel costs and increasing competition in the shipping industry. In order to continue growing its business, Carisbrooke decided to audit its IT systems to see how they could control costs and move beyond the limitations of their physical infrastructure. That’s when they began to consider the cloud.

While many companies offered varying levels of integration and support in their cloud solutions, Carisbrooke struggled at first to find a provider that offered the flexibility and control the company required. Carisbrooke IT Manager, Daniel Lewandowski, stated that his team needed to be able to move workloads into a cloud environment seamlessly and instantly, while still being able to maintain complete control. “We still wanted some level of control over the way the estate was run – both from the applications layer and the underlying estate beneath. Initially, there was nothing on the market that suited our need for a truly hybrid approach – with the ability to both outsource and retain complete management.”

Attracted to the seamless integration, flexibility, and control of VMware vCloud® Air™, and having already begun virtualizing three out of five of their offices with VMware vSphere®, Carisbrooke decided to move forward with vCloud Air last year. Lewandowski explained their decision, stating, “Not only did we have the experience with VMware, and were impressed with what we’d already achieved with vSphere, but in terms of the technology, functionality and pricing of vCloud Air, the service just couldn’t be beaten.”

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vCloud Air OnDemand. No Credit Card? No Problem!

Need instant access to a production ready public cloud that you can use to seamlessly extend your VMware vSphere® environment? With VMware vCloud® Air™ Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand, you can easily provision the resources you need, while only paying for what you use. Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand is offered as a pay-as-you-go service, designed to meet your agility and flexibility needs. To get started, all you need is a credit card, with no contracts required. But what if you aren’t able to purchase with a credit card? You are in luck! Today we are introducing the new Subscription Purchasing Program (SPP), where you can pay for usage with subscription credits that can be bought directly from VMware or from your preferred VMware Solution Provider using a purchase order. Now, you’ll have two great ways to purchase vCloud Air services from VMware – create a self-service vCloud Air account with your credit card, or leverage our new Subscription Purchasing Program. Either way, you can create an account and deploy your VM’s within minutes.

The Subscription Purchasing Program provides a flexible and cost effective way to purchase any vCloud Air or Horizon Air service. Whether you’re making smaller transactional purchases or larger strategically planned purchases, the Subscription Purchasing Program can address your needs. The program allows customers a flexible way to acquire cloud services using a pre-paid credit system. Credits are purchased and deposited into your account and can be used to pay for your VMware cloud services as you consume them.

Subscription Purchasing Program Benefits:

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Capturing vCloud Air Edge Gateway Data with Syslog

A key element of designing a secure hybrid cloud is getting visibility into the network traffic of your cloud-based applications.

VMware vCloud® Air™ supports the ability for customers to collect information about traffic coming to and from their edge gateway through the use of a syslog server. Powered by VMware network virtualization, the edge gateway provides advanced networking services (like DHCP, static routing, load balancing, and VPN) and oversight over traffic through the use of firewall and NAT rules. By configuring your vCloud Air edge gateway to transfer log data to your syslog server, you can then set up alerts or notifications and build reports with your preferred tools.

Access to the edge gateway log data is through the vCloud API. I will go over the vCloud API element in detail, how to configure this through a REST Client, and show example syslog messages. This post will focus on the vCloud Air subscription service, but the concepts apply to vCloud Air OnDemand as well.

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How Confident Are You in Protecting Your Apps?

Planning for disaster recovery (DR) is exactly like buying insurance. You know you need it, but it may fall off your list of top priorities, you may buy less than what you really need, or you can’t afford a solution that meets your requirements. If you’ve experienced any of these set backs, you’re not alone. In a recent 451 Research survey, almost 60% of survey participants did not have a DR plan in place.

The good news is that cloud-based disaster recovery now offers a flexible, affordable solution. The cloud-based backup and recovery market is expected to grow at a 21% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next several years. According to the survey:

  • 30% of companies expect to implement cloud-based disaster recovery in the next six months
  • 40% plan to implement cloud-based disaster recovery in 6-12 months

This huge spike in growth for a market that is only a few years old is very compelling, and for good reason. Compared to traditional disaster recovery approaches that are often expensive and complex, cloud-based disaster recovery provides a considerably less expensive, less complex method for protecting your data and applications. By using cloud-based DR, you can eliminate capital expenditures associated with DR infrastructure, test DR functions more frequently, and decrease their recovery-time-objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).

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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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