VMware Rolls Out Do-It-Yourself Cloud Building

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-08-31 Print this article Print

Running on VMware's bread-and-butter vSphere platform, the new management controls include general management, security, data center services and outside consulting services.

SAN FRANCISCO-VMware pulled the wraps off a series of new products and services Aug. 31 at its VMworld 2010 expo and conference here at the Moscone Center, all with the purpose of helping VMware users gain better control of their cloud computing deployments.

In fact, by using these new assets, enterprises with VMware environments can basically go into the do-it-yourself cloud computing business.

All of VMware's new cloud infrastructure products and services run on VMware's bread-and-butter vSphere platform. The new management controls include those for general management, security (three separate products), data center services and outside consulting services.

Various configurations of the six new offerings can provide a hybrid cloud computing system that is able to incorporate private and public clouds.

"Our object here is to help customers build private clouds in an evolutionary way," John Gilmartin, VMware's product marketing director for private cloud products, told eWEEK. "They can build upon their existing data centers, their existing applications [running in virtual machines, of course] on top of the virtualization platform they're accustomed to, vSphere.

"They will be able to go beyond that and offer infrastructure as a service to their own end users."

Common management interface for private, public clouds

VMware also has a common management interface out to the public cloud, Gilmartin said.

"With this, they [VMware customers] can use the same set of tools that they use in their private clouds, to have interoperability between the private and public clouds," Gilmartin said.

So as time rolls on, not only is hardware being consolidated into fewer physical machines, thanks to the phenomenon of virtualization software, but so are software and services. IT managers soon will be able to control a vast landscape of IT services that include local hardware/software, private clouds, public cloud services and hybrid clouds-for internal use and for supply chain/partnership/customer uses.

The new additions to the VMware catalog announced Aug. 31 are:

VMware vCloud Director: Formerly called Project Redwood, this enables enterprises with VMware environments to basically package and present their own IT services to their own supply chain or outside customers via something called a "virtual data center."

vCloud Director extends the resource pooling capabilities of vSphere by enabling IT managers to create pools of compute, network and storage resources with defined management policies, SLAs and pricing. Enterprises with VMware environments then can offer these VDCs-along with catalogs of other infrastructure and application services such as virtual appliances, VMs and OS images-to users through fully automated self-service access.

Thus, VMware users can extend their data center capacity to include secure and compatible public clouds and manage them as easily as their own private clouds. Can these be used to actually become an income stream for these businesses? VMware says yes.

VMware's vShield: This has three sub-versions that together deliver security designed specifically for virtual and cloud environments. VMware vShield Edge, vShield App and vShield Endpoint virtualize security and edge services, including firewall, virtual private networks (VPNs) and load balancing. This frees them from the constraints of physical infrastructure and provides a single, programmable security infrastructure.

"The dynamic nature of cloud environments, where applications and services are mobile and leverage shared infrastructure, requires a new security approach," Gilmartin said.

VMware vCloud Datacenter Services: These are secure, interoperable enterprise-class hybrid clouds hooked into the VMware environment and delivered by leading service providers. They pick up where standard public cloud offerings leave off. For enterprise purposes, public cloud services often encounter security concerns, leading to uncertain SLAs, lack of compliance and fear of lock-in, Gilmartin said.

VMware vCloud Datacenter Services provide a way for enterprises to make part of their data centers into external cloudlike entities in order to maintain control of security, compliance and quality of service. These services are delivered by name-brand providers such as Verizon, Terremark, Bluelock, Colt and SingTel.

These services appear to be pretty airtight. They feature VMware certifications, auditable security controls, SAS-70-Type-II or ISO-27001 certifications, and virtual application security-including stateful firewall and Layer 2 network isolation, as well as role-based access control and LDAP directory authentication.

Naturally, there is a whole set of services that put all of the above together for a VMware customer. vCloud Consulting Services include a portfolio of offerings, including assessment, planning, design and deployment services for updating and/or creating an IT infrastructure.

Go here for more information on VMworld 2010, which continues through Sept. 2.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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