Tag Archives: OneCloud

VMware’s Internal Cloud – A Use Case for Operating a Cloud at Scale

Ahmed_cropped By Ahmed Al-Buheissi

OneCloud is VMware’s internal cloud that is used by the various internal departments to test, experiment, demonstrate and train on the different products at VMware. It is an impressively large cloud, hosting about 80,000 virtual machines (VM’s), with about 40,000 running VM’s at any one time. It is used by R&D, Internal IT, Education, and Field sales, to name but a few.

The VMware Operations Transformation team engaged the OneCloud management team to discuss and understand the operation of such a large cloud. The following are some of the areas that were explored:


The cloud was first established in 2012, where it started in a single datacenter and one core. The following year it expanded rapidly into a second datacenter and three more cores.  Soon the word spread and new tenants were invited. By the end of 2013, the demand was so high, it almost ran out of capacity. This means that 2014 was primarily focused on increasing capacity, both vertically and horizontally, and at scale. The team almost doubled in size, and spread across five datacenters in different locations around the world.


The OneCloud team consists of about 80 full-time staff, divided into an Infrastructure Operations team and a Service Operations team. The structure closely aligns with VMware’s cloud operations model, as documented in the VMware whitepaper Organizing for the Cloud.  

Service Operation

The OneCloud team runs like a separate business, with its own service desk and support structure. The team utilizes ServiceNow to manage the IT Service Management processes, such as Incident, Problem and Change management. They also have their own service delivery liaisons who manage the relationship with tenants, and help in understanding their use of the system, upcoming projects and any future demand.

Infrastructure Operations

This use-case is a live example of utilizing VMware-on-VMware, where VMware products are utilized at the hypervisor, networking and storage levels, then for provisioning and automation, and also for monitoring. Most of the VMware vCloud Suite of products are used for running the OneCloud infrastructure.

Hear more at VMWorld!

If you want to hear more about operating OneCloud, please join us at VMworld 2015 on Wednesday Sept 2nd at 2:30PT for the session: 80,000 VM’s and growing!  VMware’s Internal Cloud Journey told by the People on the Frontlines.  Hear the people who helped create and manage this large cloud talk about their experiences.

To add this session via the VMworld Schedule Builder, search for OPT5972.

Ahmed Al-Buheissi is an operations technical architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice and is based in Melbourne, Australia.