CloudShare FastUpload Will Ease Moving VMs to the Cloud

CloudShare is looking to reduce the time and expense traditionally associated with moving virtualized IT environments to the cloud with its FastUpload product, which the company will introduce April 19.

CloudShare, which makes products that enable businesses to quickly build and share copies of their complex IT environments in a cloud computing environment, plans to roll out a product that will let enterprises quickly upload existing virtual machines as a cloud-based service.

FastUpload, to be announced April 19, is the latest offering from CloudShare designed to let enterprises use the capabilities of cloud computing to quickly share their IT environments with others, according to Kevin Epstein, vice president of marketing at the 3-year-old company.

CloudShare aims to do for solution providers and ISVs what Cisco Systems' WebEx did for businesses: create an easy way to share data with remote colleagues over the Web.

Before WebEx, setting up a traditional Webcast was a lot of work, from bringing in a dedicated camera crew to having everyone dial into the meeting, Epstein said in an interview.

"With WebEx, it became intrinsically easy for any normal person to [set up and launch an online meeting] within 15 minutes," Epstein said.

In CloudShare's case, users are sharing production-grade replicas of their IT environments, which are delivered as SAAS (software as a service). These can include demos, proofs-of-concept, training or other enterprise applications.

CloudShare launched its namesake Enterprise version in 2009 while still in stealth mode. In February 2010, CloudShare released its Pro version, which offers some of the same features as the Enterprise edition.

Company officials said the products can be used for sales demos, training or collaboration.

Now CloudShare is rolling out FastUpload, which will enable businesses to upload existing in-house VMware-based virtual IT environments to the cloud, making them available as a cloud-based service, in as little as 15 minutes, Epstein said.

The product will remove a lot of the time and expense associated with the sharing of virtual environments, he said. Currently, the most popular ways of sharing virtualized IT environments is to use standard FTP, which can hours or days, or putting them onto storage media and sending them via Federal Express, which can take a day or more and comes with a host of security risks.

Businesses can also use host importers, but that usually comes with a fee.

Epstein said FastUpload offers benefits to workers such as tech support pros, who can be given a copy of the virtual environment to debug, and can supply remote offices with instant provisioning and training, and learning and certification.