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Tag Archives: vcloud

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.

Welcome, Google, to the raw VM IaaS market

Google announced limited beta of Google Compute Engine, its IaaS service, at Google I/O yesterday, after weeks of rumor and speculation. The IaaS market has evolved into two segments: “raw VM” IaaS led by Amazon Web Services, and enterprise, where the cloud directly supports the application with higher performance, more flexibility and high availability. This segment is dominated by the VMware vCloud service provider ecosystem.

Google’s service apes AWS in that it explicitly offers no availability guarantees, and existing applications are not invited to the party: the service is designed for start-up developers writing new applications. Ideally, its customers will deploy many instances of a few base VMs, following the patterns of Zynga and Netflix.

So welcome, Google, to the IaaS market – it’s great to see some well-financed competition for AWS in the raw VM segment. I really hope Google is serious about its offering given the limited success of Google App Engine, and because I wonder about Google’s motivation. Why do developers matter when Google makes almost all its revenue from ads? I expect it’s because developers write apps that collect and generate data. Google’s raft of free services from Gmail to Maps to Android exist to feed data and eyeballs (that is, you and me) into its ad algorithms, and 3rd party apps offer another way to do that. Those new Google glasses and tablets are going to generate all kinds of monetizable big data.

The announcement, along with the Glasses and Nexus tablet, highlight the importance of “big data”, the New Black of batch processing. VMware announced its Serengeti initiative a few weeks ago, which makes it far easier to deploy Hadoop onto virtualized infrastructures (i.e., clouds) of all kinds. My colleague Dave McCrory also launched datagravity.org this week, which explores the idea that computing must move closer to the data, not the reverse. vCloud provider NYSE Technologies is the embodiment of this approach with its capital markets cloud, designed to bring those apps closer to their exchanges.

When it comes to application gravity –- the inability to leave behind the apps you already have — there are now more than 125 certified public vClouds in 26 countries. It is the world’s largest cloud ecosystem, and all of them offer the same vCloud API, and compatibility with the applications you already have. It also offers me the opportunity to end on a high note: the most recent vCloud customer success story, over at Another VMware Cloud, is the non-partisan, non-profit National Democratic Institute (NDI). For the growing number of you who have ditched your dictators and need to organize political parties and hold free and fair elections, NDI can help faster, cheaper and with less interference (far more resistant to cyber attacks) because it runs on a VMware vCloud. Check out the video interview at http://www.vmware.com/anothervmwarecloud and their work at www.ndi.org.

 

VMware vCloud Service Provider Ecosystem Growth Continues

Today VMware announced new capabilities to help accelerate our customers’ journey to the enterprise hybrid cloud. These advances would not be possible without the strong collaboration from our large ecosystem of service providers. I’d like to briefly recognize the value of that partnership.

VMware’s collaboration with service providers is both broad and deep. Many providers serve in an advisory capacity and as design partners with our engineering teams to provide valuable input on how our products are developed to meet the needs of a broad set of customers.

The overall VMware service provider network continues to grow in response to end-customer demand for services based on VMware infrastructure. Today, there are over 5,600 members of the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) who deliver services in 62 countries.  The VMware products and solutions that are utilized by these providers is robust, spanning across all layers of the cloud – from infrastructure to platform to end-user computing.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the positive traction of our 31 partners delivering vCloud Powered Services. Today the number of service providers has grown to 41 (see list below). We see this program continuing to aggressively expand due to demand from customers who want to use public cloud services that are built on a secure platform and are compatible with their on-premise vSphere-based workloads.

We also welcome Dell’s announcement that they’re joining the VMware vCloud Datacenter program and are excited that they will start to deliver services globally.

If you’re looking to start your own cloud journey, you can find a vCloud Service Provider and test drive a service today at vcloud.vmware.com.

List of VMware vCloud Service Providers to date:

vCloud Datacenter Services:

Bluelock; Colt; CSC; Dell; SingTel; SoftBank, Terremark, a Verizon Company

vCloud Express Services:

Terremark, a Verizon Company; Virtacore

vCloud Powered Services:

U.S.: Bluemile; CDW; CGI; CoreVault; Expedient Communications; FusionStorm; 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; Xtium; Zumasys

Canada: NetKeepers; OnX; RackForce, Scalar Decisions

EMEA: Thales Group (Austria); Elisa (Finland); Dunkel GmbH; Wusys GmbH (Germany); Bitbrains; Nxs Internet; Proserve; ZXFactory BV (Netherlands); Carrenza; Redstone PLC; Stratogen (UK)

 APJ: Anittel; ZettaGrid (Australia); ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation, CTC (Japan)

 

Cloud, meet Enterprise

This week we, along with our partners, announced the service availability of vCloud Datacenter Services. We think this is a major milestone because these are the first production enterprise hybrid clouds. There are already several “swipe your credit card get a developer VM” clouds out there, so why do we need three more? Precisely because these are not “swipe your credit card” developer clouds. These are clouds designed and architected to run existing enterprise applications with flexibility, performance and security.

I can imagine some reaching for their Twitter clients to lambast me for failing to acknowledge there are some enterprise apps running in those developer clouds today. Of course there are – but that misses the point. These are either new or re-architected applications, not the 99% of existing applications upon which IT departments spend 70+ percent of their budgets (according to Gartner).

I see a market for both types of cloud – developer and enterprise – but the enterprise cloud market is just getting started. Here are three reasons why this is important:

Reality check one: cloud is not just about raw infrastructure 

We’ve done a couple of enterprise cloud surveys recently, and in one of them IDG Research, partner to CIO magazine, asked 636 enterprise IT executives in the US, Europe and APJ about their cloud plans – and what was holding them back. Top of the list were performance, security, availability and portability. 88% said they’d be happy to move to a cloud that offered them the same or better security as they had inside their own four walls. This aligns with many conversations we’ve had with VMware customers, who haven’t made significant moves to use public clouds because of these barriers. 

Gartner’s Lydia Leong blogged on this topic recently, saying “provisioning raw infrastructure is the easy and cheap part, in the grand scheme of things.” What we’ve heard from VMware customers aligns with that. Enterprise IT folk need is the flexibility and agility of public cloud, coupled with the security, performance, availability and services they get in their own data center today. Oh, and help to deploy and manage all of this stuff would be helpful too. As would local presence and delivery capabilities in countries with strict data privacy laws (think Switzerland, Germany or France).

Reality check two: converting VM files isn’t hybrid cloud

Portability is another issue that is top of mind for enterprises. It gets back to the 99% of applications they run – enterprises want to know how those puppies are getting to the cloud. Several cloud providers offer tools to convert virtual machine file formats so that they can run on their cloud infrastructure. VMware is a keen supporter of open VM file formats (and open cloud APIs, too), which today means the industry-wide OVF file format. Most of these converters translate to a cloud-specific proprietary VM format. This has led some to proclaim that they can now offer a hybrid cloud, or indeed some sort of cloud portability. Translating the file is the easy part – but what about the application inside the VM? Is it going to get the same layer 2 network configuration it expects, for example? There are a host of dependencies and in developer clouds the assumption is that the app gets re-coded to use the new APIs of the host cloud. This is not portability — it's porting, the proverbial check in to the Hotel Calfornia of apps.

Portability really means that the app behaves the same way without modification (new code) – because modification means more expense, not lower costs. It also requires the same kind of security in the cloud that the customer can get in their own datacenter. vCloud Datacenter services provide both for VMware customers: the same VMware vSphere infrastructure foundation they use today, and auditable security for the cloud infrastructure, individual app and user level.

Reality check three: businesses don’t budget using credit cards 

Some have suggested that contracting with a cloud provider for a specific service level isn’t cloud, as if there were some “cloud purity law” that says credit cards are the only way to go. The only kind of purity law I enjoy is the German one concerning beer.  Let’s get real: businesses plan and budget their expenditures in advance. Staying within budget (i.e. predictable spend) is a very important concept for businesses. It may also be advantageous to strike a contract rather than paying instantaneous or “spot” rates, because it also allows the provider to plan ahead and get greater efficiency.

vCloud Datacenter provides a way to guarantee resource allocation to apps, and therefore guarantee predictable performance and predictable billing. The other fact of life at most businesses is that if something is going well and there’s lots of customer demand, budget can rapidly be reallocated to capture that demand. So even in this situation, the customer can scale up or scale down quickly. 

Cloud, meet Enterprise

One of the more enjoyable things about the cloud is its rapid evolution. We’re seeing the emergence of different flavors of cloud, and my guess is this will only continue as enterprises begin to really embrace this new model of computing. As we’ve worked with thousands of enterprises to virtualize and embark on the journey to the cloud, our customers have spoken.  They’ve told us what they need from a cloud service, and we are committed to delivering. Today we and our partners introduce the enterprise  hybrid cloud, designed to deliver IT agility and self-service, while maintaining security, performance and control.