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By: Mathew Lodge

Six weeks after announcing general availability of VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) at VMworld in San Francisco, we are back in Barcelona with another significant milestone – expanding vCloud Hybrid Service to Europe with UK being the first country.

Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to expand our infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) footprint internationally, providing US, UK and European VMware customers with the fastest path to cloud. You can extend the same applications, networking, management, operations and tools across both on-premises and off-premises environments, with no modifications. We’re going into beta later this quarter with a small group of customers, with general availability in Q1 of 2014.

The UK was a deliberate choice as the first location in Europe for vCloud Hybrid Service, because it is a dynamic IT market close to the rest of Europe with excellent connectivity, and because our customers were clear that UK and European sovereignty and data locality were very important to them. The service is provided by VMware UK and bound by UK and European data protection and privacy legislation.

One thing I hear regularly from customers is that common management and automation is hugely valuable as they add public cloud to their infrastructure portfolio. VMware’s goal is to simplify and automate IT management, while empowering IT to govern services across multiple platforms and providers. To further this, today we also announced new hybrid cloud management capabilities, as well as the vCloud Hybrid Service Marketplace.

New integrations between vCloud Hybrid Service and VMware cloud management solutions include:

  • VMware vSphere Web Client – In December, we’ll release a new plug-in that will allow vSphere administrators to directly manage vCloud Hybrid Service using the vSphere web client. This new integration joins the existing vCloud Connector, the plug-in for the Windows vSphere Client. The net: you can now manage vCloud Hybrid Service from the same places that you manage vSphere.
  • VMware vCloud Automation Center 5.2 and 6.0 – You’ll have seen our announcement of vCloud Automation Center 6.0 in Barcelona; in November, vCloud Hybrid Service will be fully certified with out-of-the-box vCloud Automation Center 5.2 and 6.0. vCloud Hybrid Service is already certified to work with vCloud App Director, VMware Hyperic application performance management and vCloud Configuration Manager.

Beyond this, we also wanted to make it easy for you to discover, download and buy all of the application and tools you need to effectively run your cloud. With the new vCloud Hybrid Service Marketplace, customers can find over 2,000 applications, download virtual appliances and run them on vCloud Hybrid Service. We’re also adding new operating systems and applications to the vCloud Hybrid Service public catalog as we continue to complete licensing contracts with major software vendors, and publishing simple guides around how you can “Bring Your Own License” to vCloud Hybrid Service. The Microsoft guide, for example, explains how you can use existing Windows Server licenses on vCloud Hybrid Service dedicated cloud if you have the appropriate agreement with Microsoft.

We’re excited to continue delivering new capabilities in vCloud Hybrid Service across the globe, and we welcome any and all of your feedback to make the service better.

To get started with the vCloud Hybrid Service, visit vCloud.VMware.com. For future updates from the vCloud team, follow this blog with your favorite RSS reader, or follow our social channels at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.