Database As A Service Launched By VMware

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VMware announced vFabric Data Director, a database as a service platform for enterprises, at VMworld

VMware has announced vFabric Data Director, a platform to deliver a database as a service solution for the enterprise.

Announced at the company’s VMworld 2011 conference, vFabric Data Director presents a database-provisioning and operations environment designed to deliver a database as a service (DaaS) model for the enterprise. VMware’s vFabric Data Director is an extension of the company’s Cloud Application Platform strategy, said David McJannet, director of cloud and application services at VMware, in an interview with eWEEK.

Policy-Based Management Of Databases

The platform enables IT to control and manage a growing set of heterogeneous databases through policy-based automation, while streamlining application development via a self-service provisioning model which allows developers to access the database services needed for modern applications.

Built on VMware vSphere, vFabric Data Director will also extend the benefits of virtualised infrastructures to the database tier, enabling optimisation of resource utilisation for increased operational efficiency and cost savings.

“Enterprises are increasingly challenged to manage the significant growth of data needed for modern applications while supporting critical application development initiatives,” said Tod Nielsen, president of Application Platform at VMware, in a statement. “Today, VMware is advancing its ongoing cloud application platform strategy by delivering innovative data access and management services that more efficiently serve today’s applications and establish a foundation for next-generation, cloud-era applications.”

To address this changing nature of applications – including Web, cloud, social and mobile platforms – VMware is investing in a complete cloud application platform. This includes developer frameworks, application and data services and cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) delivery models that promise to increase developer productivity and operational efficiency significantly, while enabling access to a broad range of infrastructure services from VMware, third parties and the open source community.

VMware is advancing the modern cloud application platform by extending the Spring community of Java developers with key framework innovations; delivering a core set of cloud application services, including messaging and in-memory data services; and introducing Cloud Foundry, the company’s open PaaS.

Tackling Database Sprawl

With exponential growth in data to support today’s applications, enterprises increasingly suffer from “database sprawl,” the proliferation of under-managed, under-secured, and sometimes unknown databases across the IT organisation. vFabric Data Director will establish a policy-driven model for consistent security, data protection and resource consumption across an enterprise’s database portfolio. Automating routine database operations via standardised policies and best practices will enable database administrators to focus on higher value initiatives while laying the foundation of a self-service database model for developers.

Developers will also be able to access vFabric Data Director via a Web-based portal to gain self-service access to a broad range of database services to serve their specific needs, McJannet said

In a 2008 report entitled Database As A Service Explodes on the Scene, Forrester Research analyst Noel Yuhanna, said, “Enterprises must support hundreds, or even thousands, of applications to meet growing business demands, but this growth is dramatically driving up the cost of running and managing the databases under those applications.

“The stress this puts on the IT budget makes it harder to provide databases to support new requirements such as Web 2.0 applications, or other emerging collaboration solutions, or even to support more mundane uses such as increased application testing. A new emerging option called database as a service hosts databases in the cloud and is a good fit for some new apps,” he

The first database supported on Data Director is VMware vFabric Postgres, a new offering from VMware based on, and fully compatible with, PostgreSQL, McJannet said. PostgreSQL is an enterprise-class database, with a long history of mission-critical customer adoption and support from a vibrant open source community.

Optimised For vSphere

VMware has also completed specific optimisations of vFabric Postgres for the vSphere environment. vFabric Postgres’ elastic database memory dynamically adapts to changing workloads to achieve greater memory efficiency and higher consolidation ratios. Dynamic checkpoint tuning and the ability to automatically match virtual machine (VM) parameters for optimal performance and resource usage, further establish vFabric Postgres as an optimal database choice for vSphere environments, the company claimed.

PostgreSQL is only the first database supported. “We’re investigating a series of databases,” McJannet said. “Certainly, we’ll be adding more databases in the future.”

VMware plans to expand vFabric Data Director support beyond PostgreSQL, extending the common provisioning and operations model to the broadest range of commercial and open-source databases, the company said.

“Sybase, an SAP company, and VMware have a common vision that customers’ new application demands and cloud deployment pursuits are changing the database market, from both an architectural and delivery perspective,” said Raj Nathan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Sybase, in a statement. “VMware vFabric Data Director will help deliver both traditional, as well as new, database technologies as a service for enterprises. We look forward to working closely with VMware as a preferred partner to deliver Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise a leading database solution through VMware vFabric Data Director.”

“The introduction of VMware’s vFabric Data Director represents a powerful innovation at the intersection of cloud, virtualisation, and data,” said Bill Cook, president of Greenplum – a division of EMC, in a statement. “We are thrilled to have collaborated with VMware, and we are excited about the role that the vFabric Data Director technology plays in our enterprise data cloud product offering: Greenplum Chorus.”

Automated Provisioning

vFabric Data Director also extends the benefits of virtual infrastructure to the database tier, reducing operating costs through automation of database provisioning, backup, restore, cloning and monitoring.

“Making it easier for Tier 3’ Enterprise Cloud customers to manage the complexities of their data is core to our Database as a Service strategy,” said Jared Wray, founder and CTO at Tier 3, in a statement. “VMware vFabric Data Director overcomes many of the challenges our customers face in moving to self-service databases in the cloud and represents a real step forward in technology that empowers Database as a Service.”

vFabric Data Director will be available for download in the third quarter of 2011 at a list price of $600 (£368) per managed virtual machine. vFabric Postgres is available in conjunction with Data Director, and the database is also available on CloudFoundry.com, VMware officials said.

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