cloud software

VMware's hybrid cloud to allow users to extend datacentres to public cloud

Archana Venkatraman

As the virtualisation market saturates and more enterprises begin to explore cloud computing, VMware has launched a hybrid cloud IaaS platform. Built on VMware’s virtualisation platform vSphere, the service will allow users to extend their datacentre to the public cloud without rewriting the apps, according to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.

Called vCloud Hybrid Service, the platform couples VMware’s virtualisation and software-defined datacentre capabilities to extend them to the public cloud “seamlessly”.

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Currently, more than 480,000 enterprises use VMware’s virtualisation software. A majority of workloads on G-Cloud and public cloud in the UK run on VMware.

The hybrid IaaS will allow them to migrate to the public cloud and extend the same skills, tools, networking and security models across both on-premise and off-premise environments, said Gelsinger. The aim is to help businesses reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing their existing applications, he said.

The service includes features such as application neutrality that will support more than 3,700 applications and more than 90 operating systems that are certified to run on vSphere so customers can get the same level of availability and performance running in the public cloud without changing or rewriting their applications.

Public cloud private cloud interoperability

"The hybrid service delivers a public cloud that is completely interoperable with existing VMware virtualised infrastructure,” said Bill Fathers, senior vice-president and general manager, hybrid cloud services business unit, at VMware.

One of the main concerns of enterprises today is the lack of interoperability and compatibility between private and public cloud technologies. This limits their ability to move applications back and forth between private and public cloud platforms for maximum efficiency.

VMware termed its public cloud strategy as an “inside-out approach” where workloads and applications running in virtualised datacentres, essentially private clouds, can be taken to VMware’s public cloud.

“By taking an ‘inside-out’ approach that will enable new and existing applications to run anywhere, this service will bridge the private and public cloud worlds without compromise,” said Fathers.

While VMware’s service will be interoperable, it will work only between a VMware-based private cloud and a VMware-based public cloud, but not other public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Windows Azure.

In the new world of IT, silos should not exist. Everything, including servers, network infrastructure and storage, must be virtualised and automated

Joe Baguley, VMware

Accelerating public cloud adoption

"We envision our clients using vCloud hybrid service to help accelerate their adoption of public cloud," Fathers said at the launch event.

Gelsinger said that one of the challenges for IT today is to bridge “silos” from the datacentre to the cloud to the user.

At VMworld Forum London earlier this month, Joe Baguley, VMware’s chief technologist for EMEA, echoed similar thoughts. He said that having just server virtualisation is not enough in transforming IT.

“In the new world of IT, silos should not exist. Everything, including servers, network infrastructure and storage, must be virtualised and automated,” said Baguley. “But the problem with today’s IT is that silos still exist. AWS is a silo, Windows is a silo.”

VMware vCloud Hybrid Service will first be available in June through an early access programme, with general availability in the US scheduled for the third quarter of 2013. It will be sold on an annual term, with pricing starting at 13 cents an hour for a fully protected, fully redundant 1GB virtual machine with one processor.

It is scheduled to launch in Europe and Asia in 2014. The pricing strategy for the European market will be announced later this year.


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