Today we shared news of the 30+ VMware service providers delivering vCloud Powered services using vSphere and vCloud Director. In light of this, I’d like to share more details on VMware’s strategy to enable a broad set of cloud service providers to deliver compatible clouds under the VMware vCloud Powered designation.
For background, the vCloud Powered service badge requires that providers meet service requirements that include deploying vCloud Director while exposing the vCloud API and enabling Open Virtualization Format (OVF) image import and export. These requirements facilitate compatibility with vSphere-based workloads, VMware and third-party management tools, and enable customers to easily move workloads into the cloud from their on-premise datacenter and back.
Today’s news is significant for several reasons…
First, it validates that cloud consumers want to buy services from a broad selection of providers. The vCloud Powered services customers we’ve spoken with – software vendors, insurance and financial services firms, and healthcare providers – have a variety of service requirements that cannot be fulfilled by a single provider. These include geographic proximity, industry specialization, and a range of SLA needs depending on the application. Further, a good number of customers want to have a more substantial business relationship with their service provider and be able to contact them via channels beyond just email – e.g. a live phone call with a knowledgeable rep. This added assurance is critical for small and mid-sized companies, since many do not have dedicated IT staff and may be at greater risk of business loss should their production apps go down.
Second, this momentum validates the core technology stack adopted by an increasing number of service providers that’s based on VMware vSphere, vCloud Director with integrated vShield security technologies, and the vCloud API. While I will try and resist the urge to project a VMware product commercial here, it is worth emphasizing that the vCloud stack helps to accelerate service delivery for a provider. Together, these products allow providers to deliver robust Infrastructure-as-a-Service capabilities like a service catalog, enterprise LDAP authentication and role-based access control “out of the box”, so they can focus more of their development investment on building differentiated services to meet their customer needs.
Third, the vCloud Powered service badge assures customers of VMware compatibility and the ability to easily move their existing workloads to and from these providers, using tools like vCloud Connector. Why is this significant? More than 250,000 customers worldwide, and the lions’ share of the world’s virtualized workloads, run on VMware. Therefore, it’s natural for these same customers to want to extend their IT infrastructure to the cloud on a service that’s compatible with what they have today rather than having to rewrite or re-architect their apps for the cloud. By the way, this service design does not assume that customers will frequently move workloads between providers, but the fact that it’s easy to do it is another assurance for customers that they can maintain control.
Let me sum this up with a recent anecdote from an IT executive at a company that does technical research for the semiconductor industry. His company was looking to extend their network domain to the cloud in order to confidently secure applications delivered to remote employees. Initially, he did a trial with one of the big commodity cloud providers but found that that provider’s lack of compatible technology, limited support options and customer service would make it impossible to meet their required performance SLAs. After the trial, this customer refined his selection criteria with a requirement that the service provider be powered by VMware vCloud technology and they recently signed on with a vCloud Powered service.
We’re honored to recognize the positive vCloud momentum that is being driven by the service providers who are building and delivering these services today. People who will be attending VMworld later this month will have the opportunity to hear more specific customer stories. There will be several sessions where you can meet with customers who have adopted vCloud Powered and vCloud Datacenter services. In the meantime, follow VMwareSP on Twitter and Facebook for ongoing updates around our growing service provider community.
List of providers to date who deliver vCloud Powered services:
U.S.: Bluemile; CDW; CoreVault; Expedient Communications; GNAX; Hosting.com; iLand; Krypt; Lokahi Solutions LLC; MindSHIFT; NTT America, an NTT Communications Company; PeakColo; Secure-24; TekLinks; Tier 3; TierPoint; Venyu; ViaWest; Virtacore; Zumasys