VMware Widens Road to the Hybrid Cloud

by Amy Newman

VMware added a lane in its highway to the cloud with three new cloud provider partners and vCloud Connector, which bridges the private cloud to the public cloud.

VMware's vision of the hybrid cloud cloud got a little clearer this week with the announcement that three new providers have come on board. BlueLock, Colt and Verizon will provide service for vCloud Datacenter. VMware (NYSE: VMW) also introduced VMware vCloud Connector, a free plug-in designed to enable VMware vSphere admins to more easily deploy and manage virtual machines across vCloud-powered cloud services from within the VMware vSphere Client.

Each provider is offering its own infrastructure as a service built on vCloud. All three meet certification standards for customers to be compliant with solution and VMware.

This is the first major follow-up to plans the virtualization vendor announced at last September's VMworld. Although VMware rolled out the program at that time, the initial five cloud providers with which it partnered were all Asia/Pacific-based, Joe Andrews, director of vCloud Services, told ServerWatch.

The three new providers are primarily focused on North America and Europe.

vCloud's aim is to make the cloud more palatable to enterprises interested in cloud computing but concerned about its many pain points. Andrews cited research jointly undertaken by IDG and VMware that found that although agility is the leading driver to the cloud, security (including compliance) and performance and reliability (which includes guaranteed access to resources) are key concerns.

The services associated with vCloud Datacenter seek to mitigate this by delivering a hybrid cloud model whereby organizations can manage some resources internally in a private cloud and others in a public cloud. The VMware vCloud Connector plugs into vSphere, acting as the bridge between the two, "integrating on-premises with off-premises," Andrews said. This enables vSphere admins to manage both environments through a "single pane of glass."

So much attention has been paid to the cloud that it's sometimes difficult to see where reality ends and where distortion begins. One thing is clear, however: vCloud and its Connector are determined to change its current vaporous state.

Amy Newman is the senior managing editor of Internet.com's server vertical. She has been covering virtualization since 2001, and is the coauthor of Practical Virtualization Solutions, published by Pearson in 2009.

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This article was originally published on Friday Feb 11th 2011
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