At the heart of announcements coming out of the VMworld conference at San Francisco's Moscone Center on Monday is the new vCloud Suite 5.1. With the latest iteration of vCloud, the virtualization company aims to deliver the much-hyped software-defined data center.
The vCloud suite integrates VMware's virtualization, cloud infrastructure and management portfolio into a single SKU. The company said this simplifies the adoption of cloud era technologies -- and some of its clients, like NYSE Technologies -- agree.
"Today's IT requires organizations to take a holistic approach to planning, building and operating their infrastructure, especially as we move into this new era of cloud computing," said Don Henderson, chief technology officer at NYSE Technologies. "At NYSE Euronext, not only have we embraced cloud computing as a foundation for our corporate IT strategy, we're extending that value to financial services organizations looking to modernize their individual IT operations, leveraging VMware cloud technology and expertise to offer the financial industry's first community cloud."
Delivering on the Promise
VMware has bet big on the software-defined data center through its acquisitions of Nicira and DynamicOps. As VMware sees it, the software-defined data center delivers on the promise of cloud computing by extending the benefits of virtualization to every domain in the data center -- compute, storage, networking, and the associated availability and security services.
The software-defined data center architecture abstracts all hardware resources and pools them into aggregate capacity, enabling automation to safely and efficiently dole it out as needed for applications. Tenants or customers that leverage the software-defined data center can have their own virtual data centers with a logically isolated collection of all the virtual compute, storage, networking and security resources they are used to.
By recasting every layer of data center infrastructure into software services running across pools of industry standard hardware, VMware said its vCloud Suite will automate operations while maintaining application service levels. The VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 brings together the components to build, operate and manage cloud infrastructure, including virtualization, software-defined data center services, policy-based provisioning, disaster recovery, and application and operations management.
VMware boasts broad industry support, but what do analysts think? Thomas Bittman, a vice president at Gartner, said, "Most private cloud implementations will build from a virtualization foundation -- virtualizing compute, storage, networking and availability to create pools of resources -- helping to reduce capital costs and the cost of operations and, most importantly, enable faster service delivery."
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, told us VMware wants to expand the concept of the software-defined network to become the software behind the data center. He is betting vCloud Suite 5.1 will be well received as IT departments continue to struggle with overall control of their data centers and how to provision a lot of the resources.
"VMware, for all its chatter and hype and bluster, really isn't a public cloud company. VMware is really an internal private cloud if anything. The concept of a software-defined data center lets them move into the cloud," Kerravala said.
"It's a good vision for them. I think they've had a lot of control of the application stack through the hypervisor, and the last couple of acquisitions they've made allow them to go deeper. It allows them to think of the data center more outside than just the upper-level software."
The VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 will be available Sept. 11. Prices will start at $4,995 per processor.