An announcement was made last week about the new VMware vCloud Hybrid Service. This service will bring VMware Public Cloud Service to the masses later this year. There are a couple of related posts from our own Virtualization Practice analysts, which can be found here and here. Since there has been plenty of conversation about just what the vCloud Hybrid Service is, I am going to use this post to share my thoughts on the service itself.

First the good: This services marks VMware’s entrance into the public cloud space. We the consumers now have a few different choices for public cloud providers and the underlying technology used to power the clouds. AWS, Openstack, Hyper-V, and now vSphere are the main technologies used as the underlying cloud technology. The kicker is that each of these services has to be established, and the stability of the platform is the current top priority. The venders’ secondary priority seems to me to be tools and methods to take advantage of a hybrid cloud. Each public cloud provider has a method to get the resources into the cloud, but so far, without the use of third-party products, moving resources live into the cloud is not up to par or really available yet.

VMware’s Hybrid Cloud Connector is the revamped vCloud Connector and is used as the communication point between your local hypervisor and the vCloud Hybrid Service. This connector can currently be used with any current private cloud technology. Let’s be honest, though; the Hybrid Cloud Connector was developed to be an extension of the current vSphere and vCloud technologies. It is going to work best when it connects the vCloud private to the vCloud Hybrid, as this was the true design and intention. Is this a bad thing? No, I don’t think so, and this hybrid service will appeal to VMware’s base of around 500,000 customers right off the bat.

I find that I have some of the same concerns about a lot of the new technologies. VMware is making a big push in time and effort to establish the Software Defined Data Center, but the road to this superhighway is still only a dirt road, as migration tools are not nearly as developed and matured as the technology. This, I believe, is one of the biggest hurdles to get over. Even with the Hybrid Cloud Connector, migrations to the hybrid cloud must be performed via a cold migration or when the virtual machine is off. Time will tell if third-party products will end up being the migration kings or if the public cloud providers really step up the game with migration tools. In my humble opinion, third-party products would be in the best position to fill this gap. If there comes a time when multiple public clouds could be used, the need for vender neutral tools will really come into play.

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Steve Beaver (155 Posts)

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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