At VMworld Europe 2009, on Tuesday Feb 24th, Paul Maritz, president and chief executive officer of VMware, Inc., outlined a comprehensive strategy and technology roadmap that will help enable companies to achieve the benefits of cloud computing internally, and bridge to external clouds through a virtual private cloud.
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This strategy is aimed at a more modern approach to delivering IT as a service, achieving the maximum efficiency and flexibility for businesses. Building on announcements from VMworld Las Vegas 2008, today at the second-annual VMworld Europe 2009 in Cannes, Maritz discussed and demonstrated three key enabling components for building a virtual private cloud: the complete virtualization of the datacenter through a Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS), the extensions of the VDC-OS and the management layer to enable service providers to deliver external clouds and federate with internal clouds, and the evolving technologies for desktop virtualization to tie all elements of IT as a service together.
“VMware’s focus is on enabling our customers to run their datacenters as internal clouds and operate in a far more flexible and cost-efficient way,” said Paul Maritz, president and chief executive officer, VMware. “Our customers want the plumbing to disappear – in the datacenter, on the desktop and in the cloud – so they can focus their staff time and IT budget on delivering business value. They want cloud-like services so they can act as hosting providers to their internal customers. Our Virtual Datacenter Operating System Initiative will accelerate customers down the virtualization path so that they can run their IT as an internal cloud service. The VMware vSphere generation of products, which are currently in development, will be a new class of software that delivers on this strategy. And, as customers become cloud-enabled, they will have the flexibility to securely and efficiently expand their internal clouds to tap the resources offered by external service providers through our VMware vCloud Initiative. I am excited to share the progress we’ve made on our initiatives at VMworld Europe.”
The Virtual Private Cloud
A virtual private cloud is a secure computing environment that allows computing capacity from both internal and external clouds to interoperate and be delivered much like a utility. A virtual private cloud brings unprecedented levels of flexibility, control, efficiency, resiliency, and manageability to datacenters and allows any application – legacy, server-based, desktop or those built on new application frameworks – to be delivered as a service.
The virtual private cloud brings the benefits of cloud computing under the control of corporate IT, such as:
· Improved efficiencies through maximum resource utilization of all server, storage and network resources
· Better resiliency through capacity or fail-over capabilities that are dynamic or on-demand
· Improved accountability by leveraging a usage-based, pay-as-you-go service model
· Better quality through standardized auditable and automatically ensured service levels
· More flexibility through a future-proof platform that supports existing and future applications that require no re-writes or modification to run in the cloud
“VMware is helping make the promise of a self-service datacenter a reality through the VDC-OS and VMware vCloud Initiatives,” said Mark Bowker, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “VMware, as a leader in the industry, has the ability to provide the building blocks, create standards, and shape the future of cloud computing. VMware is in a unique position, with its depth and breadth of mature solutions, to help customers build their first iterations of central compute clusters and lead the federation between internal and external computing resources. VMware has demonstrated success with a rich ecosystem of partners that are now anxious to work with the company to build and deliver cloud computing solutions.”
Customers Moving To Virtual Private Clouds Today
VMware’s enterprise customers are anxious to achieve the benefits of cloud computing, and are taking the first step by evolving their datacenters to internal clouds. bmi, the second-largest airline at London Heathrow, operates services in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. The airline has aggressive targets to move approximately 90 percent of its infrastructure onto a VMware-based private cloud delivered by Attenda, one of EMEA’s premier service providers.
“Moving to a cloud computing model will play a key role in our ongoing drive towards reducing the TCO of our IT infrastructure and increasing our operational agility,” said Peter Federico, group IT director for bmi. “Through cloud computing provided by Attenda, VMware’s technology gives us the ability to scale our computing capacity on demand to meet spikes in activity during peak hours or when we’re running promotions. We now use the cloud to support our key websites and also a key ground operations system. Clearly, cloud computing is core to our day-to-day operations.”
VDC-OS: The Foundation for the Cloud
The move to a virtual private cloud is catalyzed by the increasing power and attractive economics of industry-standard x86 hardware, the maturing of virtualization technologies, increasing choice in new application architectures, and the availability of vast new clouds of cheap and readily accessible computing power. The first step is to evolve the datacenter from components of complex infrastructure to a more dynamic, manageable internal cloud. Internal clouds have, at their foundation, a new substrate layer that pools all internal compute capacity – servers, storage, and networking capacity into an internal cloud. VMware announced its focus on creating this new layer as its VDC-OS Initiative and the company is expected to ship the first instantiation of it in 2009.
The VMware vCloud Initiative Enables Federation between External and Internal Clouds to Create a Highly Elastic Virtual Private Cloud
The VMware vCloud Initiative, first announced at VMworld Las Vegas 2008, enables federation between external and internal clouds to provide the elasticity for the virtual private cloud. VMware vCloud™ technologies equip service providers to become cloud computing providers and offer a range of IT services that companies can tap for increased flexibility, efficiency, resiliency, and manageability of their virtual private cloud. VMware is working in concert with major service providers to achieve this goal, including industry leaders, such as SAVVIS, SunGard, Melbourne IT and Terremark. These service providers are either offering or plan to offer vCloud services with the security, service levels, and application compatibility required for enterprises to confidently incorporate them into their virtual private clouds.
As a proof point of its progress, tomorrow at VMworld, VMware will demonstrate an integration of the VMware Infrastructure Client with external cloud resources at VMware vCloud™ service providers. This new capability will enable the deployment and management of workloads with VMware vCloud service providers with just a few mouse clicks, in the same management interface as customers use to manage their internal clouds.
Support for New and Existing Applications in the Virtual Private Cloud
Virtual Private Clouds have the unique capability to run both existing applications and new scale-out applications without rewriting or rearchitecting the applications. The vCloud Initiative allows enterprises to seamlessly take the same existing applications that they are currently running in VMware environments and run them in internal or external clouds with the high availability, manageability, and security that customers have grown to rely on from VMware. The VMware vCloud Initiative also enables new application frameworks to leverage internal and external clouds and inherit the same availability, manageability, and security benefits.
VMware vCloud API to Enable Interoperability Across Clouds
A core enabler of the VMware vCloud Initiative’s broad application and service provider interoperability is the VMware vCloud API, which allows programmatic access to private cloud resources and support the delivery of services and applications that leverage and extend virtual private clouds. The VMware vCloud API is in private release and under co-development with partners. At VMworld Europe 2009, software companies such as Engine Yard and IT Structures will demonstrate new services built on top of the VMware vCloud API which further enable scalable, elastic, portable infrastructure for Web 2.0 and enterprise application stacks.
“As a leading Ruby on Rails platform for the cloud, we’re excited to be working with VMware to support its vCloud API,” said Tom Mornini, CTO Engine Yard. “The vCloud API is exciting because it will allow our enterprise customers to choose between internal and external cloud resources more easily, and is backed by VMware, a trusted vendor.”
VMware is committed to open interoperability between cloud services, and is working with many industry partners to advance standards for cloud computing. As one of the original authors of the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard now released from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), VMware will build upon that work by submitting a draft of its VMware vCloud API to enable consistent mobility, provisioning, management, and service assurance of applications running in internal and external clouds.
To listen to a replay of the VMworld Europe 2009 General Session keynotes, please visit: