With all the buzz around VMware’s various cloud solutions, we understand it can be difficult to keep track of what’s out there. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you pick the option that’s best for you and your organization’s needs.

The VMware Cloud Evaluation (formerly known as the vCloud Service Evaluation) was launched in 2012 and has been running in beta for the past 6 months. This sandbox environment is built on top of vCloud Director and VMware vSphere and is not a representation of a specific service provider offering.  The purpose of the VMware Cloud Evaluation is to let you explore the capabilities of a VMware-based hybrid cloud and experience the ease of moving workloads without commitment. The VMware Cloud Evaluation is not a production-ready environment.

The vCloud Hybrid Service, which will launch later this year, will be an enterprise-class, production ready service. Because VMware believes the underpinning for cloud is the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), VMware will give you, our users, the ability to extend the architecture you’re accustomed to in your private cloud out into the public cloud.

So, if you’re still in the process of learning about the value of hybrid cloud and the capabilities of a VMware-based cloud, the VMware Cloud Evaluation is the way to go. Through the VMware Cloud Evaluation, you get a non-production sandbox where you can move VMware workloads between clouds.

We hope this clears up the differences between the VMware Cloud Evaluation and vCloud Hybrid Service. Have another question to ask? Feel free to tweet us at @vCloud or @VMwareSP, and follow us for future updates.