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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Changes to Pricing Model

You may have heard the rumors and speculation that VMware is changing its pricing model with the introduction of a new version of VMware vSphere.  There’s only one way to find out the complete story – join us at VMworld San Francisco on August 27th to hear all the newsworthy announcements.

If you can’t join us in person next week, you can stay on top of the latest announcements about VMware’s cloud strategy and solutions by tuning into VMware NOW, the new online destination for breaking news, product announcements, videos and demos at: http://vmware.com/go/now

Try your own vCloud in minutes

Today, we’re announcing that we’re introducing a new service that allows you to get your own vCloud IaaS service in minutes, called vCloud Service Evaluation. We heard from many customers that they came to vmware.com to learn more about vCloud services, but that it wasn’t easy to sign up with a credit card, kick the tires, and learn by doing. vCloud Service Evaluation will provide a quick, easy and low-cost way for you to learn about the advantages of a vCloud through hands-on testing and experimentation.

You can sign up for the beta here: http://vmware.com/go/vcloudbeta. We’ll be sending out invites to those who sign up the week of August 27th, and those of you who are going to VMworld in San Francisco can see and try the service at the cloud services pod within the VMware booth.

You’ll need a credit card to use the service. It makes the service self-funding, and we can keep things simple, avoiding complex “service quotas” and other artificial restrictions – and also offer Windows VMs. We learned that customers have widely differing requirements for tests and proofs of concept. So, instead of annoying restrictions, you pay a small amount for what you use – a 1Gb Linux VM with one vCPU is $0.04/hour – and you are free to run the VMs you need until you are done. Once you have entered your card details, you’ll get your credentials within 15 minutes. If we need to verify anything, you’ll get a call.

To keep costs down, we commissioned a VMware vCloud service provider to build and operate the service on our behalf. We’re giving you a vanilla example of how a vCloud Powered service – delivered by a VMware vCloud service provider – would work. It’s worth pointing out that vCloud service providers offer significantly more in terms of cloud functionality. vCloud Service Evaluation has all the basics like a catalog of useful VM templates, virtual networking, persistent storage, external IP addresses, firewalls, load balancers, the vCloud API etc., but you’ll get a lot more in a production vCloud service.

To find that production vCloud service, head to vcloud.vmware.com: the gateway to the world’s largest network of certified compatible public cloud services, including more than 145 vClouds in 28 countries.

To get you started quickly, vCloud Service Evaluation offers a variety of pre-built content templates (at no charge) including WordPress, Joomla!, Sugar CRM, LAMP stack, Windows Server and a mix of web and application stacks and OSes. You can also Bring Your Own VM (BYOVM). That’s right, you can BYOVM and put it into your own private catalog for deployment. You can do that either by uploading it directly into vCloud Director, or you can run the vCloud Connector VMs into your account (they’re in the public catalog) and use that to transfer your VMs from vSphere or any other vCloud.

Here’s what the main console looks like:

Vc-se-console

The service evaluation also allows you to run the VMware vCloud Director® interface.

Vcd-console

We also learned that while we had some great information on vmware.com, but that it was hard to find stuff relevant to vCloud – and it wasn’t clear where to ask questions. So we put all the “how to” guides in one place, added some new ones, and also provided a Community site (message boards) where you can ask questions and get answers from experts at VMware and our partners.

How-to

Community

Finally, email, chat and telephone support is available Monday through Friday for billing enquiries and to report any technical problems. “How do I…?” questions are best asked (and answered) on the Communities site.

We hope you find vCloud Service Evaluation a simple, low-cost way to learn about VMware vCloud, and look forward to getting your feedback on the service.

Delivering Business Innovation with Application Management A presentation at the O’Reilly Velocity Conference

A few weeks ago at the O’Reilly Velocity conference, Komal Mangtani, who heads up engineering for our Application Management business, and I co-presented VMware’s point-of-view on how applications need to be managed in the cloud era and how you can leverage the cloud to drive business agility and operational efficiency for your IT organization. Our presentation can be viewed here.

Velocity attracts many cutting edge, “New Age” companies as well as big, established players. Attendees are mainly system administrators but there’s also a large contingent of developers and operation teams.

Komal and I kicked off our presentation by walking through a number of examples of how business and IT innovation have been accelerating over the past few decades. We made the following case to the audience:  not only is the speed of innovation accelerating, but it’s fundamentally changing the way applications need to be built, deployed and managed.

As we analyzed these examples, it was clear to everyone that software is the key element driving innovation today. Marc Andreessen made this very point last year when he wrote in the Wall Street Journal that every company is a software company. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – Manufacturing, Telecom, Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals – what you’re doing is powered by software.

Just a few short years ago, IT was a business enabler; today, IT is the business. While most business and IT executives recognize this truism, many of them are unsatisfied with their innovation performance. The key reason is that the innovation delivery chain suffers from a split personality disorder:  developers want to innovate with abandon, while operations teams want a very stable environment with tight control. For ages developers have been seeking ways to improve their software development lifecycle, moving from waterfall to agile and scrum methodologies in order to get their latest and greatest code rolled into production as quickly as possible. Operations teams, however, have put in strict rules to slow down that process in order to maintain control and avoid outages. With these two forces pulling in opposite directions, innovation can’t thrive and IT developers and operations teams – and, more importantly, the business – suffer.

One of the latest trends that is closely tied to rapid innovation and execution is the adoption of Platform as a Service (PaaS). Admittedly, PaaS is an over-hyped concept, but in general PaaS does indeed simplify the development process and enable ongoing innovation. However, it’s still a maturing approach and many solutions in the market lack significant enterprise features while threatening to create vendor lock-in.  In fact, one of the core distinctions VMware’s “Cloud Foundry” has delivered is openness with respect to where the application can get deployed, in recognition to the lock-in challenge.

In our talk, Komal and I differentiated between various types of PaaS. Although we use the word PaaS very commonly now, the industry has recognized that there is more than one PaaS. There is aPaaS  (Application PaaS)– where solutions like Google AppEngine, force.com, Intuit serve as examples and there is iPaas (Integration PaaS) –  examples include IBM CastIron and Informatica Cloud Services.

Some PaaS solutions are built exclusively to users for a specific SaaS application like NetSuite BOS while others are independent like LongJump or Relational Networks. And so, we highlighted that when talking / exploring PaaS, make sure you understand the full context and extensibility of each of these offerings.

The reality, however, is that it’s still early days for PaaS adoption and most business applications do not, and will not run on PaaS in the near future. The industry generally agrees that PaaS will be the application platform of the cloud era and a very different developer experience, one where they can focus on core development and not environmental details. Hence, the driver for PaaS, the ability to deliver applications faster to market, needs to be balanced and tackled per project as it is still not a one size fits all.

The $64,000 Question (for those of you who remember that iconic game show) is, what is? The answer lies in understanding the nature of the challenge.

In order to enable innovation today and to make an impact on your business, you need to be able to set up new environments quickly. You need to be able to service millions of users around the clock. You need to be able to develop new capabilities in an agile manner and apply these changes on an ongoing basis. The evolution of IaaS has made getting infrastructure up and running in minutes a reality. At the same time, agile development has had a huge impact on making newly developed software available much more quickly. The challenge today is to get that newly developed software up and running on the instantly available infrastructure in a controlled manner while maintaining agreed service levels.

In my next post, I’ll walk you through how the VMware Application Management Suite addresses this challenge, and how you can deliver innovation for your business by bridging your development and operations teams to achieve agile operations.