Cloud Services

The Best Cloud for Test and Dev is… a Dedicated Cloud?

By Angelos Kottas

VMware vCloud Hybrid Service offers two distinct compute services: the Dedicated Cloud service provides users with exclusive physical compute nodes and a dedicated management stack, while the Virtual Private Cloud is a logically isolated, multi-tenant environment. As vCloud Hybrid Service grows in scale, we can pass on cost efficiencies to customers. Therefore, on January 1st, 2014, VMware reduced pricing on Dedicated Cloud by 50 percent, to 7 cents an hour for a fully protected, fully redundant 1 GB VM with 1 vCPU.  If you’re a VMware customer, you’ll undoubtedly pay less than this MSRP price based on volume/commitment. The minimum commitment is one month.

Dedicated Cloud is perfect for workloads that require dedicated hardware for performance and/or isolation. Surprisingly, Dedicated Cloud may also be your single best place to run test and dev workloads. It sounds completely contradictory, but here’s how it works:

With the Dedicated Cloud service, you effectively get a private cloud hosted and run for you by VMware, and you get to retain complete control over memory and CPU oversubscription. By oversubscribing both, you can pack many more test and dev workloads onto the underlying physical infrastructure, effectively reducing the unit cost.

The key is the many sophisticated innovations around intelligent memory allocation and management developed by VMware to allow customers to dramatically consolidate their IT resources without sacrificing performance.

When you buy a GB of memory in vCloud Hybrid Service, you get that amount of physical memory inside a server. With Dedicated Cloud, you can overcommit by 50 to 100 percent or more, based on the performance characteristics, consumption patterns and requirements of your applications. In a test and dev use case, for example, you may drive significantly higher volumes of transient or non-performance-driven VMs into Dedicated Cloud and achieve lower unit costs. At 100 percent oversubscription, that 1GB of memory effectively costs 50 percent less (3.5 cents).

Two additional benefits of the Dedicated Cloud service offering include:

  • License Management: One of the hardest aspects of managing a hybrid cloud environment is addressing disparate licensing models from different software vendors that limit license mobility, and in many cases make it difficult or impossible to deploy applications in a public cloud environment. These restrictions often relate to limits against deploying in a multi-tenant environment and licensing meters that are tied to physical hosts, CPU cores and the like.

    Dedicated Cloud addresses both of these challenges architecturally. Given the single tenant compute architecture of the service, Dedicated Cloud serves as a hosted private cloud service, rather than a multi-tenant public cloud, with respect to software licensing agreements. Since customers are allocated specific compute nodes individually, customers can also apply traditional on-premises licensing meters like physical hosts or cores when applying software licensing to their hosted environments. This opens up a broad spectrum of traditional operating systems, such as Microsoft Server Datacenter Edition, and enterprise applications that can now be deployed in a hybrid cloud environment, freeing up capacity on-premises for other critical applications.

  • Virtual Data Centers: In addition to memory management, Dedicated Cloud customers get to carve up their cloud resources into discrete virtual data centers. This allows customers to divide resources across different use cases, departments and discrete pools of capacity. Each virtual data center within a Dedicated Cloud can have its own set of user accounts, as well as varying levels of memory overcommitment and discrete application catalogs. In addition to targeting different service levels for different applications, this cloud administration capability allows customers to provide visibility and chargeback to internal customers based on actual cloud consumption.

Test and dev VMs are ephemeral, dynamic and require an agile environment that supports self-service, and the Dedicated Cloud provides IT much more control and architectural flexibility. The VMware hybrid approach extends the same applications, networking, management, operations and tools across both on-premises and off-premises environments without compromise.

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3 comments have been added so far

  1. Great explanation of why a dedicated cloud environment on vCHS can give a better over all value when compared to the multi-tenant environment (virtual private cloud).

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