VMware Launches vCloud Suite, Cloud Ops Forum

VMworld 2012 host unveils new bundle for virtual data centers and a new community for cloud provider partners.

SAN FRANCISCO - VMware on Aug. 28 at its VMworld 2012 event launched a new management package for data centers called VMware vCloud Suite.

The world's largest virtualization software provider also introduced a new community group, the Cloud Ops Forum, whose purpose will be to promote cloud-based IT from VMware's point of view.

The announcements were augmented by the additional news Aug. 28 that VMware also is joining the open-source OpenStack Foundation. The Cloud Ops Forum and OpenStack Foundation are parallel in purpose in that they aim to provide tools for IT departments to virtualize their data centers and move services into public, private or hybrid cloud deployments.

Free Upgrade for Current Licensees

VMware vCloud Suite is a free upgrade for users with an Enterprise Plus vSphere license, while VMware Cloud Ops Forum consists of partner service providers that want to promote the use of cloud products for their own businesses.

"vCloud Suite allows customers to create an agile data center, with the intelligence at the software level, extending it to networking, availability and storage," said Jon Cairns, director of systems engineering in Northern Europe for VMware. "A single SKU [stock-keeping unit] allows a software-defined data center."

The product is built around vSphere 5.1 and launches at version 5.1 itself. It includes existing products such as vCloud Director and vCloud Networking and Security, and the standard package will be available as a free upgrade to anyone paying an Enterprise Plus license fee for vSphere.

There are two higher levels: vCloud Suite Advanced includes vCloud Operations Management (vCOPS), which automates the process of scanning alerts for significant incidents, making the operations manager's job easier.

vCloud Suite Enterprise also includes VCenter Site Recovery Manager, which automates the process of recovering a virtual data center from a different site in the event of a disaster.

Pricing is Now a Per-CPU Model

The products are now licensed per CPU, Cairns said, with no limits on the number of cores, the amount of vRAM or the number of virtual machines (VMs). This reduces the often-criticized complexity of previous VMware licensing models.

Meanwhile, the Cloud Ops concept is a way to present the benefits of the cloud to the rest of the business, Cairns explained.

"When we started, it was all about capital expense and operational expense savings," Cairns said. "There are savings in there, but really, the benefit the business sees is around agility: stopping IT being a cost center."

The Cloud Ops package will center on training and education to help IT managers present this case to their businesses, enabling them to take advantage of those cloud benefits-and putting VMware into a position to sell more cloud software and services.

Peter Judge of TechWeek Europe contributed information for this story.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...