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By: Allwyn Sequeira, Senior VP & GM, vCloud Air

Bi-directional, zero-downtime cloud migration with SD-WAN, Hybrid DMZ, support for identity federation and VMware Cloud Foundation integration in vCloud Air enable enterprises to accelerate public cloud integration.

Public cloud computing is helping fuel the digital transformation. But IT leaders still face the challenge of bridging the gap between current state and future state. How do you modernize your existing IT investments to make them more relevant in the cloud era? Can you do so without requiring a forklift upgrade?

vCloud Air has focused on addressing these very issues, delivering agile infrastructure and IT services at scale, in the public cloud. Leveraging industry leading services like Advanced Networking Services, Hybrid Cloud Manager and Disaster Recovery, we have been bridging the physical gap between on-premises environments and the cloud and ensuring that the cloud environment can meet or exceed architectural, security and performance requirements of a customer’s own data center. As a result, customers are leveraging vCloud Air for data center extension, replacement and disaster recovery use cases.

Today, we are announcing exciting new capabilities that make it even easier for our enterprise customers to leverage vCloud Air as a seamless, compatible extension of their IT strategy.

  • Hybrid Cloud Manager now enables seamless, secure, bi-directional application portability between the enterprise data center and public cloud
  • Hybrid DMZ enables enterprises to extend their on-premises security, control and architecture into the public cloud
  • Identity Federation support enables enterprises to control public cloud access by federating with their corporate identity solutions

We are also announcing integration with the newly announced VMware Cloud Foundation platform, enabling our customers to access rich SDDC capabilities directly and instantly from vCloud Air.

Breaking the Data Center Barrier with Hybrid Cloud Manager

Last fall, we introduced Hybrid Cloud Manager as a solution for extending on-premises data centers into vCloud Air through network extension and enhanced workload migration capabilities. Today, we bring full bi-directional application portability between your vSphere-based data center and vCloud Air with zero downtime. Not just a vMotion between servers or neighboring clusters, this solution migrates workloads, including the compute, storage, networking and security policies from one environment to the other over a WAN-accelerated connection without downtime, meaning that administrators can execute cloud-to-cloud migrations without a maintenance window. Users can stay connected to the apps even as the apps move from one physical location to another with minimal disruption.

Beyond workload migration, Hybrid Cloud Manager also introduces new Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) technologies that improve the performance, control, and security of the connection between your data center and vCloud Air. With WAN acceleration, advanced Suite B encryption, and traffic management for the transparent network overlays, these capabilities bring vCloud Air closer to the local data center and simplify the complexities of WAN design.

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With Hybrid Cloud Manager, VMware vCloud Air customers receive:

  • Zero-downtime application migration: Bi-directional application portability to and from vCloud Air allows you to move VMs to the cloud without taking the VM offline.
  • NSX security policy migration: For customers with NSX on-premises, you can duplicate your internal NSX micro-segmentation policy for use with vCloud Air Advanced Networking Services to maintain security controls when migrating applications
  • High-speed network extension: Customers can stretch their networks at multi-gigabit speeds making it faster and easier to move applications to and from the cloud and maintain connectivity to on-premises data center resources
  • SD-WAN technology: Traffic and performance management with Suite B encryption makes the connection between your data center secure, highly available, and highly efficient, making the WAN feel more like your LAN.

Extending Enterprise Data Center Architectures to the Cloud

We hear from many customers who are “getting out of the data center business,” but leaving your data center doesn’t mean your architecture and standards change. Entrusting a cloud provider with your mission critical IT assets often means having to learn new architectures and constructs to ensure that your applications meet or exceed the security requirements on-premises. The Hybrid DMZ reference designs for vCloud Air resolve these challenges by introducing familiar on-premises networking and security concepts to vCloud Air, including bringing your own security or networking appliances, allowing the cloud environment to be 100% consistent with on-premises environments while providing enhanced security and isolation for off-premises workloads.

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Through a Hybrid DMZ architecture, IT can consolidate the number of network connections to individual vCloud Air Virtual Data Centers in favor of a single Hybrid DMZ connection. With this unified and secure entry point into vCloud Air services, customers can implement shared services, reduce the number of Direct Connect connections required, and mirror a customer’s on-premises security architecture in the cloud. This helps reduce architectural complexity and costs in the cloud while improving redundancy, security and isolation. The Hybrid DMZ architecture is flexible to meet the needs of the customer with the ability to customize the size of the DMZ environment and the connections to downstream services.

Federating your Corporate Identity Solution

To further integrate vCloud Air with your standard IT operations, we now offer support for Identity Federation using your preferred corporate identity provider solution. Based on SAML 2.0, vCloud Air can authenticate users against any supported identity provider including ADFS, Okta, Shibboleth, or VMware Identity Manager. Administrators have access to more granular role-based privileges and can institute multi-factor authentication requirements if desired. Authenticated in real-time, this solution ensures that employees that join or leave your organization are automatically granted or refused the correct rights based on role definitions.

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Extending SDDC to vCloud Air

Coming soon, VMware vCloud Air with VMware Cloud Foundation enables enterprises to instantly access familiar SDDC services in vCloud Air, while continuing to leverage vCloud Air services highlighted above. By combining the best of on-premises technology and the best of hybrid cloud technology, we are seamlessly connecting on-premises environments and the cloud and ensuring that your cloud environment can meet or exceed security and performance requirements of your own data center while still delivering cloud agility and scale.

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Putting it all together, this fully integrated hybrid cloud provides a transformational architecture unifying on-premises IT and enterprise public clouds. Virtualization provided a layer of abstraction above physical hardware, unleashing a wave of IT innovation; today’s announcements provide a unified layer of abstraction over private infrastructure and public clouds. We believe this will unleash a new wave of innovation where IT-as-a-Service capabilities will take advantage of the abstraction, continuum and compatibility of on-premises and public cloud infrastructure, and transform the way we think about IT!

Conclusion

With these new developments, vCloud Air is extending its leadership in delivering true, hybrid cloud services with innovative solutions that bridge the divide between your data center and the cloud. By focusing on these key challenges, we are bringing together the best of both worlds: cloud agility, flexibility, and scale that continues to leverage your existing IT investments and retain control over your architecture and policies. With vCloud Air, you can modernize your data center for the next era of IT without changing the way you operate.

Come back tomorrow to learn more about each of these announcements including demos of our zero-downtime migration capabilities.

Ready to get started with the hybrid cloud? Visit vCloud.VMware.com.

For future updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.