Datacenters today are hodgepodges of architectural,
technology, vendor, and management decisions made incrementally over time. At
the bottom of these series of decisions is the operating system. There are
quite possibly scores of versions of operating systems in any large computing
environment. As organizations look to public clouds for pilot projects in test
and development and other popular use cases, it’s important to avoid becoming a
hostage to limited choices in operating system support.


At VMware, it’s no accident that we paired
virtualization with vCloud Express. We believe that virtualization is a crucial
enabler for cloud computing. With our vCloud Express service provider partners,
such as Terremark, we’re able to offer public cloud users a much broader choice
of operating system support than other public cloud providers.


If your business application is certified on a
specific version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) running behind your
organization’s firewall, you’ll want the flexibility to run it “as is” in a
public cloud testing environment. And if you’re a developer, you’re probably
writing code for applications running on specific versions of an operating
system that may include BSD, Solaris, Netware, OS2 and others not supported in
most public clouds. Linux developers in particular want the flexibility to
build to their specific flavor of Linux. The Linux kernel is compiled into
their applications. To do specific things, the applications need to run on a
specific version of RHEL, for example. They can’t rewrite a portion of the
application and suddenly find their operating system no longer supports the
correct version of glibc.


vCloud Express was designed to maximize developer
flexibility. For example, through our service provider partner Terremark you can
build out your environment with a number of leading operating system deployment
options. vCloud Express lets you leverage one of many preconfigured deployment
templates for Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Ubuntu — or use the
blank server deployment system and install one of Terremark’s 450-plus
operating systems/versions that are compatible with the VMware hypervisor. The goal
is to provide you with easy-to-use templates that are current with the latest
releases of the most popular operating systems.


The other popular cloud choice, of course, is Amazon
EC2. It provides you with some preconfigured operating system templates, but
you have to leverage their partners and customers to build and customize Amazon
Machine Images (AMIs) to expand your choices. In addition, there are only a few
pre-built templates for the most current versions of many popular operating


So why wait for your public cloud provider to offer
support for your operating systems? With vCloud Express, you can bring your own
operating system, build an application, and just run it.


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