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VMware vCloud Suite Plugs Cloud Management Gap

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VMware now offers a unified control panel for cloud software management and cloud infrastructure

VMware has revealed a fully-fledged cloud management product, with its updated vCloud Suite.

Basically everything VMware makes has a cloud-system connection, but the world’s largest virtualisation software maker never had a complete cloud operations suite until it launched vCloud Suite on 9 October at VMworld Europe in Barcelona.

“Complete” is defined here as a unified control package for both cloud software management and cloud infrastructure.

Control Panel

vCloud Suite is a master control panel for what IT people – especially VMware marketers – are now calling the “software-defined data centre.” Software-defined everything is coming into play: servers, networking, storage and now data centres. This is merely a marketing term, but it also is indicative of the clear trend toward centralised control in new-generation data centres.

“What we are doing here is calling out the key management competencies and capabilities that will enhance that software-defined data centre vision,” Mahesh Kumar, Director of Product Marketing and Management at VMware, told eWEEK.

With this new vCloud Suite, VMware is also getting a lot more magnanimous with regard to its products plugging into competing data centre software components. This will be good news for many IT managers, especially those who have various generations and brands of hardware and software in their data centres and have to port everything together so that it all works.

As opposed to previous versions, vCloud Suite will not lock users into either VMware private or public clouds. vCloud Suite now recognises and manages virtual machines operating on other hypervisors – hello, Hyper-V, Xen, XenServer and KVM. It can even move workloads to a non-VMware public cloud, such as the world’s most popular one, Amazon Web Services’ EC2.

This advancement has happened in only the last six weeks, Kumar said. The secret sauce to enable VMware to extend its cloud suite’s management capabilities comes from the recent acquisition of DynamicOps, which the company picked up in July 2012.

“We introduced vCloud Suite at VMWorld in August, and we’ve since added a new app to the suite, vCloud Automation Center, which came from DynamicOps and gives users the choice of provisioning workloads in non-VMware environments, “Kumar said.

Secret Sauce

DynamicOps was a spinoff from Credit Swisse that made a highly regarded cross-hypervisor management software application. This was the missing link for VMware, it turns out.

vCloud Automation Center enables users to mix and match the following channels: an on-site  VMware-based private cloud; a public cloud inside the vCloud suite; and/or a public cloud provider, such as Amazon, Rackspace, Verizon, HP or Microsoft Azure, that uses its own hypervisor approach.

vCenter Operations has four versions: Basic is free of charge; Standard adds capacity monitoring; Advanced includes management of the physical and virtual infrastructures; and Enterprise adds the ability to see application and operating system level operation throughout the infrastructure.

vCloud Suite is priced at $4,995 (£3,123) per CPU. It will be available in Q4 2012, Kumar said.

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Originally published on eWeek.