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VMware Makes Dramatic Moves To Change Hybrid Cloud Game With Unified Platform

By - Source: VMware

VMware announced a litany of new releases with the potential to change the entire profile of cloud computing. The Palo Alto-based infrastructure software vendor called the resulting suite "the industry's first unified platform of virtualized compute, networking and storage for the hybrid cloud."

The products demonstrated Monday at VMware's Partner Exchange event in San Francisco are aimed at creating a seamless software defined infrastructure, part of the company's bigger vision of the software defined data center (SDDC).

If network capacity can be optimized as readily as server and disk, then it becomes a matter of service management savvy to provision images to each end user's unique requirements in real time. Less redundant capacity would have to be purchased and held in reserve and, because historically fixed costs would be rendered variable, consumers would have greater control over IT costs by having the ability to dial their consumption up and down in response to real-world conditions. CIOs could find the suite gives them greater flexibility as to which workloads to farm out to public clouds and which to keep in-house.

The linchpin to VMware's hybrid cloud move is the newest release of its server virtualization hypervisor, vSphere 6, which will debut simultaneously with its storage counterpart VSAN 6, later this quarter. Over 650 new features and capabilities in vSphere 6 are contributing to VMware's hybrid cloud vision, including Long-Distance vMotion, which as the name implies allows for live migration over long distances, and multi-CPU Fault Tolerance, which allows for continuous availability for VMs with up to four vCPUs.

VMware's Virtual SAN 6 enhancements focus mostly on scalability and performance, but the big announcement was the long-awaited support for Virtual Volumes. VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes include a set of APIs that provide better integration between storage and vSphere at the VM level.

"VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes will help to bridge the transition of storage from traditional virtual environments to the software-defined data center and cloud environments through seamless integration with OpenStack and VMware's cloud management platform," said Raghu Raghuram, EVP and GM of the Software-Defined Data Center Division at VMware.

The NSX network virtualization component, which has been battling Cisco's hardware-based ACI virtualization solution, will be enhanced and expanded in vCloud Air, VMware's public cloud offering. Customers using NSX and vCloud Air will be able to create hundreds of virtual networks and control them as a single network, through vCloud Air's hybrid networking services.

Perhaps the boldest move for VMware is that its hybrid cloud solutions now include an open source component; VMware Integrated OpenStack is VMware's own OpenStack distribution, free for vSphere customers, that opens up APIs to access VMware's components. 

"VMware Integrated OpenStack will enable us to deliver open API access to our VMware Infrastructure so users can quickly consume the resources they require, on-demand," said Adobe architect Frans Van Rooyen.

In an animated short, VMware touted vCloud Air's agility, compatibility and ease of use.