At VMworld 2014, VMware announced they would be re-branding their vCloud Hybrid Service to vCloud Air, but what exactly does it consist of? vCloud Hybrid Service, or vCHS became a general availability product at VMworld 2013, and was introduced as a competitor to other cloud solutions, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. VMware’s offering has come a long way in a short time, so let’s take a look at some of the features of vCloud Air.
vCloud Air, Public Cloud for the Enterprise Built on VMware
Besides boasting larger compute and storage capacities than other public cloud offerings, vCloud Air supports over 90 operating systems and 5,000 applications, much like the vSphere suite within an organization’s private data center.
The image above is from VMware’s vCloud Air Site http://vcloud.vmware.com/explore-vcloud-air/what-is-vcloud-air
VMware is truly trying to make the journey to the public cloud as easy as possible, no matter what is running within the vSphere environment. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to utilize public cloud resources for organizations is often the toolset they will need to use. This often requires additional training and adaptation by development and operations teams. Additionally, this can also make the creation of public cloud policies easier for an organization, by truly being able to leverage their on premises policies as a starting point.
vCloud Air is leveraged as a subscription service, much like a VMware software subscription. You don’t purchase a virtual machine at a time, instead, a pool of resources is purchased that can be divided however the organization sees fit. However, existing virtual machines can be easily moved to the vCloud Air environment either in an online or offline manner.
Introducing vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand
VMware has made it just as easy to get started with vCloud Air as any other platform. Their newest offering, vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand only requires a credit card to get started, and is offering a $300 credit to new users in the first 90 days of use. How far can $300 get you? Let’s take a look at their pricing model. If you navigate to http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/pricing-calculator/on-demand, you will be able to access a calculator to tell you exactly how much it will cost you to utilizer the service. I set up what I think is a realistic example, and exported the output below:
Rapidly spinning up four Linux servers, with 8 GB of RAM, 20 GB of SSD accelerated storage is included automatically, at no additional charge, and 40 GB of extra storage is totally in the realm of possibility. It will also only cost me 90 cents an hour. The ability to export this pricing to a PDF, in order to provide it to a manager is an excellent tool. We’ve all heard horror stories of rogue developers putting services on their credit cards, but there could also be legitimate use cases too. Organizations may decide to empower their users with the ability to use their corporate cards for a certain amount of testing in an environment such as vCloud Air, all while leveraging familiar and approved VMware management tools.
Besides providing its enterprise users access to the public cloud, and the ability to create an easy to manage cloud resources both on and off premises, vCloud Air supports global organizations with data centers across the world, and continues to work on rolling out even more data centers.
The above image is from VMware’s vCloud Air Site http://vcloud.vmware.com/explore-vcloud-air/vcloud-air-location
VMware has set itself up to become a big player in the hybrid cloud space for organizations running vSphere and vCloud air. Their public cloud service has grown in leaps and bounds over the last year. It will be interesting to see how it continues to grow and evolve, and compete with the other major players in the space.
VMware’s vCHS Press Release from 2013
What is vCloud Air on VMware.com
VMware’s Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand Landing Page http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/virtual-private-cloud-ondemand