VMware vCloud Director 5.1.3 released

VMware released an update for vCloud Director. New in version 5.1.3

  • Increased database support: vCloud Director has added support for the following databases.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 with service pack 1
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 with service pack 2
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 with service pack 1
  • Increased guest operating system support: vCloud Director has added support for the following guest operating systems.
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Microsoft Windows 8.1
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 with service pack 3
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9

The update contains a lot of fixes for issues as well.

Release notes are here. 

Download here 

vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client Plug-in released

VMware released the vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client Plug-in. This plug-in allows administrators to manage both their on-premise vSphere infrastructure as well as the virtual datacenters running on VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS). vCHS is the VMware public IaaS platform currently available in the US only, while in the UK a single datacenter is running in beta.

More on the roadmap of vCHS here.

vCHS-plugin

vchs-plugin1

Read more of this post

What are the differences between VMware vCloud Hybrid Service and Microsoft Windows Azure ?

The two biggest players on the x86 server virtualization market recently entered  the public cloud Infrastructure as a Service  (IaaS) market as well.

Microsoft Windows Azure Virtual Machines went general available in April 2013. VMware vCloud Hybrid Service went general available in August 2013. Some believe the rivals for  server virtualization will become rivals as well in the public and hybrid cloud space.

This post will describe why both cannot be compared.

Both Azure and VCHS provide customers the ability to create cloud based virtual machines and have control over the guest operating system and applications running on top of it. That is basically the IaaS model.

I guess this is about the only feature what Azure Virtual Machines and vCHS have in common.  Both clouds have a different philosophy and the architecture is based on different use cases.

Comparing Azure to vCHS is like comparing a cattle truck to a bus. Both are transport, have wheels and needs a driver. But the payload is much different. Cattle do not need seats, a fridge and a toilet. Nor does a cow or sheep need a safety belt. If one of the animals  dies while being transported nobody really cares. Passengers in a bus is something different. The bus company cares about this payload.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

charter_bus

The same compare applies to Azure versus vCHS. Azure was designed initially as  Platform as a Service. In that model are virtual machines used but not exposed to the developpers using Azure. The Azure platform is not designed to provide resiliency. Commodity servers are used with non-redundant powersupplies. Racks are equipped with a single top of rack router. There is no feature to move virtual machines to another host to prepare a host for planned downtime. Virtual machines are to Azure like cattle.
In Azure the application should provide resiliency.
The ability to manage the virtual machines in Azure is driven to provide developpers more choice in applications for development. 

VMware vCHS is designed with the requirement that the public cloud platform should provide resiliency. This means the hardware is robust and state of the art, virtual machines can be vMotioned to another host etc, vCHS is designed to host enterprise, legacy  applications which are not designed for cloud and do not provide resiliency.  

What applies to Azure vs vCHS applies to Amazon EC2 vs vCHS as well. Amazon however is more mature and feature rich than Azure. Massimo Re Ferre’ , architect of VMware, wrote an interesting blog about this subject here.

The bottom line of my blogpost: there is nothing wrong with cattle trucks or busses. They serve a different use case. Make sure your applications are compatible with the cloud platform. 

Lets have a look how different Azure and vCHS platforms really are. I do that by comparing different aspects:

  • platform
  • resources
  • service offering
  • service level agreement
  • storage services
  • guest os support
  • feature connect
  • time to cloud
  • new platform releases

Platform
Azure is built using a mix of Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V as  hypervisor. Microsoft does not reveal how much of its servers are running the 2012 edition of Hyper-V yet.  Azure is operational in 8 datacenters located in the US, Europe and South East Asia. Nodes are managed by so called Fabric Controllers. Data is stored in a distributed, very scalable storage platform which is able to do datacenter replication and geo-replication.

vCHS uses vSphere as the hypervisor. On top of that runs vCloud Director. vCloud Networking & Security is used for logical network separation and public access to the virtual machines (firewall, gateway).
vCHS is at the moment only available in three US datacenters. Expansion to 2 other datacenters is planned.

Resources
Windows Azure sells virtual machines. Microsoft provides those in t-shirt sizes. Which means there is a limited choice in combination of number of vCPU’s and internal memory. There is however an unlimited number of resources. Customers can created as many VM’s as they need. The resources consumed are billed in a pay as you go model. This also means the costs can be very fluctual. One month a high bill, the next month maybe a lower bill.

In vCHS customers buy a certain amount of resources, a combination of cpu, storage and memory resources. Like a virtual datacenter (sandbox) instead of individual components. vCHS does not sell VM’s like Azure. Customers can make any number of virtual machines with tailor made specifications. vCPU, memory and disks can independantly be configured by the customer. The costs per month are based on a core subscription based on a contract of minimal 3 months to max 36 months depending on the service offering.

Service offering 
In public cloud there are two ways to have customers use  virtual machines running on nodes. In dedicated mode all virtual machines running on a node belong the same customer. The processing on the node is non-shared and physically isolated from other tenants/customers. Networking and storage is logically separated from other tenants.
In shared mode virtual machines of multiple tenants share processing.

VMware vCHs provides two service offerings:

  • vCloud Hybrid Service Dedicated Cloud will provide physically isolated and reserved compute resources with pricing starting at 13 cents an hour for a fully protected, fully redundant 1 GB virtual machine with 1 processor.
  • vCloud Hybrid Service Virtual Private Cloud will offer multitenant compute with full virtual private network isolation. Virtual Private Cloud pricing starting at 4.5 cents an hour for a fully protected, fully redundant 1GB virtual machine with 1 processor

Azure does not provide a non-shared model. Processing capacity on nodes is shared by virtual machines managed by multiple tenants.

Service Level Agreement
Microsoft guarantees an availability of 99,95% for the virtual machine service. However, this is only guaranteed when Azure customers have two or more instances of the same role participating in an availability set. Microsoft does not provide a SLA for a single instance VM.

VMware has a SLA for each service offering. For the Dedicated Cloud an availability of 99,95 % is guaranteed. For the Virtual Private Cloud the availability is 99,90%. I do not know why there is a difference in availability. Both models use the same server hardware.

Storage services
As said before, Microsoft Azure sells components like processing and storage individually. Customers can just use a bunch of storage for backup or archiving without buying processing or the need for a VM.

Currently in vCHS it is not possible to just use storage without being charged for reservation of processing as well. Also vCHS does not provide the scaleable, block storage which Azure Storage provides. In vCHS storage comes with the VM, not as an independant resource,

Guest OS support
Azure is limited in the number of guest operating systems it supports. Currently Azure supports Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012. Also supported is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2, Ubunutu 12.04 and 12.10, CentOS 6.2 and CentOS 6.3  & openSUSE 12.3

vCHS supports many guest operating systems. From Windows NT4 to Windows Server 2012. In total vCHS currently supports 67 guest operating systems.

Feature connect
Both vCHS and Azure provide some sort of hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud is basically an extension of an on-premise infrastructure to the public cloud.
Azure allows to connect on-premise networks with Azure using site to site VPN.
VCHS allows this as well.

In management of a hybrid cloud, administrators prefer to have  similar features in on-premise and public cloud platform.
Azure does not provide all the features of Hyper-V running on-premise. There is no support in Azure for VHDX virtual disk format, no Live Migration, no snapshot, no live extension of virtual disks, no remote console access etc.

Not all applications are supported in Azure. Microsoft for example does not support all Windows Server roles. DHCP is an example. Also Exchange Server is not supported. It will run but outgoing mail will be rejected by many organizations because the sending IP-address in the SMTP session (owned by Microsoft) will not match the domain name of the Azure customer. Reverse DNS is not supported yet.

As vCHS is running VMware ESXi as hypervisor most common features are available both in vSphere on-premise and in vCHS off-premise.
I do not know if the issue with Exchange is valid for vCHS as well.

Time to cloud
Using Azure it is a matter of minutes from typing in your creditcard number to the moment your first VM runs.

In VCHS another model is used. Customers needs to fill in a purchase order. It can take hours or even some days between registration and first operational virtual machine. vCHS is sold direcly from VMware and also by partners. Customers cannot use their creditcard and buy virtual machines online.

New platform features
Microsoft releases new features in Azure about every month. Most are for Paas, some for Iaas. There are no announcements on future features. Some to be released features can be used as Preview. One of the Preview features is the ability to failover to a second customer datacenter orchestrated by Azure.

VMware announced it will add DRaas to vCHS in Q4 2013. This enables per VM replication from on-premise to vCHS. Also Desktop as a Service is announced. VMware PaaS platform Cloud Foundry will be added in the future as well.

Conclusion
Azure and vCHS are different clouds. While Azure is primarily targeted at cloud application development (PaaS) and added Iaas type of features, vCHS is essentially a cloud infrastructure platform supporting legacy apps and is adding PaaS features in the future.

An introduction to VMware vCloud Hybrid Service

This post is part of a series of posting on the VMworld 2013 announcements. See this post for an overview of what has been announced.

At VMworld 2013 VMware announced the General Availability of it’s own operated Public Infrastructure as a Service named vCloud Hybrid Service or vCHS. The IaaS service is built on VMware solutions like vSphere and the vCloud Suite components. Big difference with other IaaS providers is that vCHS is targeted at enterprise applications. Those applications do not scale and often use technology which is not supported in public clouds of Windows Azure and Amazon AWS. Those clouds are suited for scale out applications in which the failure of a single VM does not have an impact on the availability of the application.

The vCloud Hybrid Service Data Center is located in the US at the moment.  New data centers are expected to be added a part of a phased-rollout program across the globe.

vCloud Hybrid Service will be soled direct, via channel partners, via vCHS franchise partners and via VMWare Service Providers

The image below shows the VMware operated datacenters (4 in the US) and Savvis operated datacenters.

vchs-locations

As vCHS is built on the same hypervisors as many organizations are using in their private infrastructure it is very easy to move workloads from on-premise to vCHS or back. It offers support for many guest operating systems. In fact it supports more Microsoft operating systems running in the VM than Windows Azure.

vCHS offers two types of resources:

  • Dedicated Cloud offers CPU and memory which is physicaly separated from other tenants. Network and Storage are logically isolated. It has 12, 24, and 36 month capacity contract terms
  •  Virtual Private Cloud offers resurces which are logically isolated from other tenants. So on the same server VMs of multiple tenants are active.

services available will be:

  • Direct Connect: Will allow customers to connect their data center network directly to vCloud Hybrid Service over private
    dedicated networks, providing secure, consistent, high bandwidth connectivity.
  •  Disaster Recovery as a Service: Will automatically replicate applications and data to vCloud Hybrid Service, providing
    rapid automated recovery in the event of an outage. Customers can securely and automatically protect their applications
    with vCloud Hybrid Service for a fraction of the cost of building out additional physical data center capacity.
  • Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service: Will provide full support for the open source Cloud Foundry distribution and
    Pivotal™ CF™. Cloud Foundry allows customers to avoid the complexity o-af rrcehitecting of applications to make them
    run well on public clouds, and avoids lock-in to proprietary cloud APIs.
  • VMware Horizon View™ Deskto-pas-a-Service: Customers will be able to run Horizon View Desktops on vCloud Hybrid
    Service, and rapidly deploy new desktops without the expense and effort of procuring and managing physical hardware.

Direct Connect will be available in October with a list price of $75 per port per month for a 1GB connection and $250 per port per month for a 10GB connection.

Disaster Recovery as a service will be available in beta in Q4.

Cloud Foundry support will be available in Q4.

Horizon View Desktop-as-a-service will be available in beta in Q4.IPSec VPN’s connections between on-premise datacenters and vHS can be installed via self service.

Virtual machines can be moved to the vCHS datacenter using the vcloud Connector software over a VPN connection. For large data there is a possibility to ship the data using external media,

Charged are usage of compute, support, storage, bandwidth and usage of public IPs.

Also offline data tranfers using external media are charged.

No additional costs are for firewalls, VPN, load balancers, disk I/O, redundancy + HA,, DHCP and NAT

vCloud Hybrid Service is going to compete with two gorilla’s in public cloud computing: Amazon and Microsoft Azure.

Lets compare some prices. I admit comparing pricing between cloud providers is very easily comparing apples to oranges. There are so many cost aspects.

Azure locally redundant storage costs between $0,07 per GB and $0,062 per Gb depending on the amount of storage in use. The more storage in use, the lower the price will be.

VMware vCHS storage costs between $0,13 and $ 0,17 per GB per month.

Compute for a private virtual cloud (shared CPU/memory/networking/storage) costs $ 0,04 per GB including 5 Ghz in vCHS

In Azure, when a Linux VM is run, costs are $ 0,022 per GB including 8 x 1.6GHz CPU

Also Azure charges per minute while VMware charges per hour.

Here is the Pressrelease on vCHS

An introduction to VMware Infrastructure Planner

VMware Infrastructure Planner(VIP)  (formerly known as vCloud Planner) is a new sales tool focused on showing VMware customers the financial benefits of moving from vSphere to a Software Defined Datacenter powered by VMware vCloud Suite . VIP uses as starting point the current  environment of the customer having  VMware vSphere and vCenter Server.

It is the next Generation of VMware Capacity Planner, a similar tool open for VMware parners only used for assessments of physical servers and show benefits of going virtual.

VIP is currently in open beta.  The assessment is initiated by VMware Parters or VMware Sales. They supply login credentials for customers.

VIP looks like to have a bit of a feature overlap with VMware ROI TCO Calculator. The current version 4 calculates financial benefits of various VMware solutions including vCloud Suite.

The image below shows a report presenting the savings on storage when selected VM’s are moved from SAN to local storage abstracted by VMware vSAN. This report is for demo purposes.

vcloud-planner-storage

Key features of VIP include:

  • Understand how components of the SDDC can drive savings in your environment: for this Beta release, the tool will focus on the benefits provided by vCenter Operations Manager, vCloud Automation Center, and Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • Apply high-level cost assumptions to estimate total $ savings potential
  • Share results with colleagues – either online or through downloadable summary reports

VIP is deployed as a  virtual appliance. It needs vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS).   Customers who don’t already have vCenter Operations Manager can download a free “headless” (no UI) version as part of, and for the duration of, the vCloud Planner assessment.

The virtual appliance and vCOPS can be downloaded after the VMware partner created a portal on internet, and added one or more accounts for its customer. When the customer logs in, he will be presented with a url which downloads the appliance.

 Requirements

  • Customers must have vCenter Server 5.0 or above
  •  As part of the beta, customers must be willing to deploy a VMware Infrastructure Planner virtual appliance into their environment. This virtual appliance must be granted access to the internet. Proxy servers are supported (either unauthenticated or basic authentication supported)
  • Customers must be willing to deploy a UI-less instance of vCenter Operations Manager 5.7 (provided as part of the beta program), OR already have vCenter Operations Manager 5.7 deployed
  • Customers must be running English language versions of vCenter Server
  • It also needs the vSphere Web Client
  • vCloud Planner local collector appliance must be installed on a 64-bit host

To get results data collection will take at least 7 days. This is the minimum time recommended time for vCloud Planner to build up a picture of resource use in your environment. Collected data is sent from the customer site to VMware.  IP addresses and hostnames are not collected at all. Data is sent fully encrypted.

 Reports can be seen in the Internet portal. It will for example give recommendations of VM’s which can be moved from expensive SAN storage to VMware VSAN (using local storage). VSAN is suitable for workloads with certain IOPS and read/write skew characteristics. VMware suggests that VMs that record less than 2,000 IOPs per TB may be good candidates for VSAN. vSAN is currently in a closed beta with few public information available. See for some technical background my post here.

The report below shows oversized VMs. These are VMs configured with a amount of virtual memory which is more than required by the OS and applications running in the VM. By adjusting the virtual memory, physical memory can be saved resulting in a reduced number of required hosts.

vcloud-planner-compute

The “open beta ” means that anyone can sign up for an account with VMware Infrastructure Planner. The “beta” means that VMware is still actively testing and looking for feedback on the tool. VMware is  also continually rolling out new features in the tool – showing the value of more components of the suite for example, or  tweaking the UI to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. Bugfixes and feature improvements are enabled automatically in the online portal and in the  associated download bundle.

VMware to become a public cloud service provider: announcing vCloud Hybrid Service

VMware today announced it is expecting to launch a new Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform named VMware vCloud Hybrid Service in Q2 2013.

This post explains what vCloud Hybrid Service is and will explain the setup. For IT staff wanting to learn public cloud using vCloud Connector the vCloud Hybrid Service is a great way to start. You do not need to get hardware, spent time on installation and configuration. Just register and play with it.

Until now VMware was a vendor of software which enables private and public clouds and much more. The IaaS offering is done by VMware vCloud service providers. However VMware believes the adoption of public clouds which are using VMware vCloud Director and other VMware solutions does not progress fast enough. It also sees Amazon and others  increase their market share in the IaaS space using non VMware software. There is a lot of competition.

It is a bit like a potato’s farmer does not see  the wanted growth in number of McDonalds and Burger King outlets so decides to start a fast food chain itself to keep the potato farming going!

The competition immediately responded with a campaign. See this Microsoft page:

microsoft-response

So VMware will offer and operate its own public cloud. It is labeled a hybrid cloud because it can easily be connected to any private cloud running VMware software. It will not only just offer virtual hardware on which cloudconsumers can built their operating system and applications. vCloud Hybrid service offers a lot of virtual appliances which have preinstalled development tools, CRM tools or webpublishing tools. Examples of such turn key available tools are :

Ruby on Rails Web Application, WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, SugarCRM, Redmin, Tomcat, Alfresco , Gallery , Tracks , phpBB, MediaWiki. See the screendump below for a complete overview.

vcloud-hybrid-application-support

VMware today announced its intensions. vCloud Hybrid Service will go into GA in Q2 2013.

Until then, VMware vCloud Hybrid Cloud can be evaluated starting March 13 for free during 90 days. The registration is easy: go to https://vcloudservice.vmware.com/starteval , fill in name, company, email address and telephone number. No credit card needed. Soon after you will receive an email and a order number on your mobile phone. After confirming the order number another email will be sent containing username and password.  The portal says you have to wait 15 minutes for provisioning. In practice it can take one to two hours before you are able to log in.

vcloud-hybrid-interfacet

The  free 90-day Test Drive includes everything you need to get started in the cloud:
•Windows or Linux OS
•2 VM’s/2 CPU’s
•2 GB RAM
•50 GB Disk

The image below shows the operating systems which are available as a template.

vcloud-hybrid-os-support

It is also possible to connect a private VMware vSphere cloud to the vCloud Hybrid Service using vCloud Connector. This allows  moving your workload in – or out – with vCloud Connector!

Setup of a virtual machine is pretty straightforward. Basically a next next finish job. It is handy to understand what a vApp is. After creation of a VM has finished, you can use the remote console. You will have to install the VMware Remote Console Plug-in to be able to use the remote console. Installing means closing Internet Explorer.

To change the properties of the virtual machine, go to the ‘ View in vCloud Director’ tab, select VMs, select the server name and right mouse click. Then select properties.

Frequently Asked Questions on vCloud Hybrid Service are answered here. 

Forrester has an in-depth review of this future new service titled VMware Takes the Cover Off Its Public Cloud

Gartner also writes about VMware’s intention: VMware Will be a Public Cloud IaaS Provider

Soon after the announcement Microsoft responded in a blogposting stating VMware has a zig-zag strategy, is rearranging the furniture and does not know how to operate a cloud.

vcloud-hybrid-vcloud-directort

VMware announces VMware NSX

VMware is busy bundling and integrating their in-house developed solutions & acquired solutions into suites which deliver more value to their customers. Only recently VMware released the Horizon Suite which offers VDI, centralized management of physical desktops and laptops (Wanova acquisition),  and management of applications, data and mobile devices.

Today VMware announced VMware NSX. This is a software platform which combines the Nicira Network virtualization platform (NVP) with VMware  vCloud Networking and Security. The VMware NSX platform enables software defined networking which allows a simplified management of networking configurations independent of the vendor. It also offers firewall, VPN, load balancing, network zones and VM mobility using VXLAN.

NSX will support multiple hypervisors. Most likely those which are supported by NVP namely XenServer, Xen, KVM and ESX.

Release of NSX is expected in second half of 2013.

This post at VMware.com explains in detail what VMware NSX is.

ZDnet has a good story about VMware NSX and the long term strategy of the company.

Networkworld.com: VMware blends in Nicira SDN technology, reveals public cloud plans 

VMware released VMware vCloud Connector 2.0

VMware vCloud Connector 2.0 has been released at December 20. The software enables management of private and public clouds in one interface. Click here for an overview of features.

Release notes are here.

vcloud connector 2.0

New features are:

  • Datacenter Extension
    Enables you to extend your private datacenter to a public vCloud. You can move virtual machines and vApps from your private datacenter to a public vCloud, retain their original network settings, and continue to use them as if they were still in your private datacenter. You use the Datacenter Extension feature through the Stretch Deploy command in vCloud Connector.
  • Content Sync
    Enables you to synchronize templates across clouds. You can publish a folder or catalog of templates to a Content Library, have users subscribe to it, and keep the templates synchronized for all subscribed users.
  • Cross-cloud Search
    Enables you to search for a virtual machine, vApp, or template across all the clouds that you have added to your vCloud Connector installation.
  • Multi-tenant Node
    Enables public vCloud Service Providers or system administrators of private vCloud Director clouds to install one vCloud Connector Node for the cloud. Multiple organizations on the cloud can use that Node.
  • Copy and deploy in one operation
    Provides the ability to copy and deploy in one step, as well as the option of using the commands separately.
  • New User Interface
    Includes new Copy and Deploy wizards, new interface for Tasks, Details panel, and new cross-cloud search, among others.

Overview of the Dutch Public Cloudspace

The METISfiles is an independent market research and consulting firm focused on the ICT industry. The firm published an interesting overview of Dutch companies that are selling public cloud services.

Popular examples of vendors providing public cloud services always include the likes of Salesforce, Amazon, Google and Microsoft. But there are also many Dutch companies that are selling public cloud services successfully today. This research document provides a first look at who’s who in the Dutch SaaS, PaaS and IaaS world.

The (partial) list that we established consists of approximately 140 companies. Software-as-as-service players (SaaS) are most common in the Netherlands, with 77% of all entries in this category. Within Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) we managed to find only 4 companies or 3% of all entries. Within Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) we identified about 30 companies equalling 20% of all entries. The slide below provides a logo snapshot of who’s who in the Dutch Public Cloudscape today.

Read more here.

dutch-cloudspace

VMware opens Lab Connect as extension of classroom trainings

labconnect

VMware announced a new training offer for attendees of VMware classroom courses. After completing the course, students are able to use a training lab environment hosted in the cloud for 30 active hours or 30 days. This enables them to learn and digest the information in the course at their own pace and comfort.

The lab is available initially for USA students who attend a VMware-delivered VMware vSphere: Fast Track [5.0] or VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [5.x] class.

Europe, Asia Pacific, and Japan expect to release VMware Lab Connect in Q1 2013.

Read more here.

 

VMworld survey: Self-service cloud not available to 85% of users

Cloud computing has become a buzzword. Any IT-vendor is doing its best to deliver some sort of cloud service.

See this Dilbert strip of October 21 which illustrates wel the ‘we need to do cloud’ thing.Link to strip.

However in many cases this cloud offering has nothing to do with cloud. For infrastructure service models more than once traditional dedicated hosting is sold as ‘cloud’ because it has a pay as you go model. Shared service centers, where IT-infrastructure is used by several consumers, is sold as ”cloud’ which in fact is a virtual datacenter we have known for many years. You won’t see vCloud Director or other solutions here. Just hypervisors.

So what is cloud?

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the definition of Cloud Computing has 5  essential characteristics. One of them is :

On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.

The NIST definition of cloud computing is:
“Cloud Computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. “

Abiquo, vendor of  cloud software platform performed a survey at VMworld Europe 2012 in Barcelona about cloud computing.

The survey found out that almost half (46%) of cloud services are manually provisioned by an IT administrator for the end user without automation. The study reveals a worrying landscape of technology rather than service focused cloud implementations.

The survey  found that despite 75% of delegates reporting that their company offered private, public or hybrid cloud services to customers, just 15% of these provide a ‘self-service’ interface that enables the end user to select and provision cloud IT services for themselves – the ultimate purpose of cloud computing. 39% of delegates also revealed that there is no cloud management interface for customers to access services.

In addition, bringing cloud services online is a lengthy process for most customers. The most common SLA for provisioning a customer request is ‘within three days’, for 37% of customers. Just 15% of IT professionals interviewed commit to providing virtual cloud services to customers within three hours, although a further 25% are able to spin-up services within 24 hours. This represents significant delays in the provision of new services into cloud environments, and a lost opportunity in term s of productivity and efficiency gains.

Continue reading the press release here.

VMware vCloud Director 5.1 available for download

VMware made vCloud Director 5.1 available for download at September 10, 2012.

More info and download link here.

Veeam Essentials available for all VMware vSphere editions and Hyper-V

Veeam Essentials is a bundle of Veeam Backup & Replication v6 and Veeam ONE (monitoring & reporting). It is a very cost effective suite for smaller organizations. Cheaper then buying the individual components.  In the past Veeam Esssentials could only be used if VMware vSphere Essentials or vSphere Essentials Plus was used on the managed hosts.

Recently Veeam changed this policy. Veeam Essentials can be used to protect and manage (monitor & report)  any vSphere edition. It can be purchased in 2-socket bundles (used to be 6-socket bundle). The maximum number of sockets is still limited to six. Also Hyper-V costs can be protected since the release of version 6 of Veeam B&R.

More info at Veeam.com 

VMware Partner Exchange 2012 video recordings available

VMware Partner Exchange is a kind of mini VMworld for VMware partners only. I think the event is slightly underestimated by partners. While VMworld is targeted at VMware customers and sessions are not always that deep dive, Partner Exchange much more focussed on designing/architecting and use cases. Besides technical sessions on VMware solutions there are also sessions on sales, marketing and on VMware Partner programs. 

A selection of the sessions is now available as recording on VMware Partner Central for viewing and download. Sessions can either be downloaded as MP3, MP4 or as PDF. Mind only available for VMware Partners. You need a login account and password to enter VMware Partner Central.

A recommended session is a two hour session (CIM1359) titled Architecting a Cloud Infrastructure. The session in a workshop style with interaction of the attendees  is presented by Duncan Epping,  David Hill, Frank Denneman and Chris Colotti. In this session you will learn how to design a vSphere 5 infrastructure. Very much recommended!

To access the recording, go the VMware Partner Central. Login  and select the Partner University link. Then select the Video Recordings link. This will bring you to another login of Vmware MyLearn. After login the sessions are shown.

vCloud Director Client for iPad now available

At VMware Partner Exchange VMware announced the release of vCloud Director Client for iPad.

Some key features of the app include:

–       The ability to create new vApps

–       Through the use of a third party app, you can access the VMs within your vApp via RDP, VNC, or SSH.

–       Provides the ability to perform common tasks, such as powering on a VM.

–       Settings can be visualized and modified

Read more and watch a video at source

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