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We are delighted to announce the general availability of VMware vCloud Director 8.20. The latest in a string of successful vCloud Director releases on a regular cadence (following 8.0 and 8.10), vCloud Director 8.20 is an innovative, highly-anticipated release that enables vCloud Air Network service providers to achieve three key objectives:

  1. rapidly monetize new services,
  2. deliver radical operational efficiency to shared vCenter environments, and
  3. with the new “Adopt a vCenter” capability, extend this radical operational efficiency to existing vCenters.

These three capabilities are critical enablers for every service provider’s business. We are yet to speak with a single provider in the market today who is not under pressure to grow revenue by adding new services, while simultaneously needing to control costs and increase efficiency.

Praise for vCloud Director 8.20

vCloud Air Network service providers have responded with great enthusiasm about the new levels of innovation achieved by the vCloud Director 8.20 release, and its anticipated impact:

“vCloud Director is the lifeblood of our hybrid cloud offering, Virtual Private Data Center. With the release of vCD 8.20 our customers will have an unprecedented level of control over their virtual infrastructure. With this release, we hope to see a 30% reduction in service requests directly related to network configurations. The improved integrations with NSX show VMware’s commitment to next generation secure infrastructure as a service. We have never been more excited about the future of the vCloud Director product line and we look forward to all of the new features on the horizon.”

– William L Bell II, VP of Products, phoenixNAP

Let’s take a moment to dig into these three top capabilities – accelerated monetization of new services, radical operational efficiency, and “Adopt a vCenter” – in a bit more detail, so that we can better understand the impact that they can have on a service provider’s business.

Rapidly Monetize New Services

The most-anticipated capability in vCloud Director 8.20 is its deep integration with NSX, which now allows NSX capabilities to be exposed and consumed in a multi-tenant, self-service fashion. Service providers have granular role-based access control (RBAC) over these capabilities, which enables them to carefully govern what their tenants can do – and price and package these capabilities accordingly.

Based on typical market pricing for advanced networking features, as well as typical tenant demand, a service provider can reasonably anticipate increasing revenue from a vCloud Director 8.20 environment with all NSX features enabled by 1.5-2x over a 36-month period (assuming an estate of 100 on-premises VMs and 200 hosted VMs). Your mileage may vary, of course, and we encourage you to test different scenarios for your business by using the NSX ROI calculator (login to Partner Central required) to model how vCloud Director 8.20, with the addition of NSX-derived networking services, can enable your business.

In addition, vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 1.0.1 enables service providers to deliver disaster recovery services natively in vCloud Director, which serves as the recovery environment for on premises or hosted vCenters. vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 1.0.1 is now certified on vCloud Director 8.20.

 

Radical Operational Efficiency

vCloud Director has traditionally been focused on enabling Infrastructure as a Service providers – whether self-service or partially managed – to deliver unprecedented levels of scalability and efficiency across shared vCenter environments. Service provider UKCloud explains:

“The UK government is one of the most digitally advanced in the world. In supporting its ongoing transformation to deliver ever better service to UK citizens with ever greater efficiency, we rely heavily on vCloud Director. Using it to underpin thousands of VM workloads, we are one of the heaviest users of vCloud Director and we have grown to appreciate its reliability and scalability. But we are also well aware of VMWare’s continued commitment to innovation and what this means for our clients – from NSX edge device usability, performance and functionality to the new HTML interface – and we see the latest iteration of vCloud Director as a major step forward.”

– Andy Webb, Product Manager, UKCloud

This radical operational efficiency continues to be the heart of vCloud Director’s value proposition, enabling our service providers to truly deliver more with less. We encourage all service providers to review our growing list of case studies and consider what would it mean for your business if you could improve your VM-to-admin ratio by 3x, as Zettagrid did (from one-admin-to-200-VMs to one-admin-to-600-VMs), or save $1.35M up front and $250,000 in annual maintenance costs by implementing vCloud Director instead of a custom solution, as phoenixNAP has experienced.

“Adopt a vCenter”

The new “Adopt a vCenter” capability delivers game-changing value for two deployment models – managed service providers and private dedicated clouds – that have traditionally been outside vCloud Director’s area of core competence.

First, what is “Adopt a vCenter”? In a nutshell, “Adopt a vCenter” enables vCloud Director 8.20 to discover resource pools in existing vCenters and “adopt” them into the vCloud Director management plane, without interruption or downtime.

Managed service providers, particularly those who have over the years developed custom code on top of vCenter to provide some multi-tenant capabilities across their underlying shared resources, have been telling us that moving to vCloud Director has tremendous potential to save both time and money over their current custom / DIY approach.

Similarly, private dedicated cloud providers have been telling us that a number of them have analyzed their estate and identified a number of very small, low-margin dedicated vCenters scattered throughout their data centers that don’t make business sense to operate any more. With the continued mainstreaming of shared cloud services, many of the constraints that originally caused customers to demand dedicated environments no longer apply. In these cases, the plan is to “adopt” these vCenters into a shared vCloud Director environment going forward, in order to retain the customers but at a healthy margin.

If either of these scenarios resonate for your business, we encourage you to join the growing list of vCloud Air Network service providers who are exploring more about what vCloud Director can do for them.

Service Monetization Opportunities through the ISV Ecosystem

Finally, no vCloud Director release would be complete without the collaboration from our strong and growing ecosystem of ISVs. A number of critical ISVs enable vCloud Director to substantially extend and enhance its capabilities, including OnApp, Veeam, Veritas, and Zerto, and we are delighted to share their thoughts on the importance of the vCloud Director 8.20 release:

“VMware vCloud Director enables service providers to offer robust, enterprise-grade virtual private clouds for enterprise customers, and it’s fantastic to see the platform continue to grow in features and maturity. With the additional of NSX support, vCloud Director 8.2 gives service providers more ways to grow their cloud revenues – and by enabling service providers to extend their clouds using third party solutions, like the OnApp provisioning, management and billing portal, VMware continues to support a vibrant, growing ecosystem of cloud providers through the vCloud Air Network program.”

Narendar, Shankar, President, OnApp Americas

“VMware vCloud Director 8.20 is a significant release that adds enhanced functionality.  Fully integrating VMware NSX into the platform allows edge gateways and distributed firewalls to be easily configured via the new HTML5 interface.  Additional enhancements such as seamless cell upgrades and vCenter mapping illustrate VMware is committed to the platform and to vCloud Air Network partners.”

Anthony Spiteri, Global Technical Evangelist at Veeam Software

“Veritas and VMware have worked together for over 10 years to guarantee a seamless experience when leveraging Veritas solutions to provide backup and recovery of VMware virtualization environments.  During our testing of the latest release of vCloud Director, we were impressed with how easy the upgrade experience was from prior versions.  The commitment to simplify the upgrade experience enables VMware customers to minimize the time needed to adopt the new version.”

Charles Butler, Principal Product Manager, Veritas

“Businesses face a variety of challenges that continue to grow in complexity, which they heavily rely on technology to overcome them as they implement their cloud strategy to achieve success. As an ISV in the vCloud Director ecosystem, Zerto joins with VMware to affirm our commitment to the platforms used by our joint customers as they rationalize their infrastructures to gain IT resilience. Additionally, with hybrid cloud becoming more widely adopted, managed and cloud service providers utilizing Zerto and vCloud Director will greatly benefit by improving their delivery of enterprise-class IT service and operational efficiency.”

Ziv Kedem, CEO and Co-Founder, Zerto

The future is indeed bright, and we believe that 2017 is going to be a banner year for all of our vCloud Air Network service providers who have come to depend on vCloud Director as an integral part of their business. We encourage all our partners to join us at the upcoming vmLIVE sessions in March to learn more! #longlivevcd