The Virtualization Practice

IT as a Service

IT as a Service (ITaaS) covers private clouds hybrid clouds and the cloud management offerings used to create and manage these clouds. This includes coverage of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) private and hybrid cloud offerings, Platform as a Service (PaaS) private and hybrid cloud offerings, and Software as a Service (SaaS). ...
Emerging areas like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Storage as a Service, and Applications as a Service are also covered. The key issues covered include which enterprise applications and use cases are appropriate for private and hybrid clouds, and how vendors should select the cloud management offerings that are going to be used to manage these various types of cloud services. Covered vendors include VMware (vCloud Automation Center), VirtuStream, CloudBolt Software, Intigua, ElasticBox, ServiceMesh, Cloudsidekick, and Puppet Labs.

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VMware has updated its Cloud Management offerings with vCenter Operations 5.6, vCloud Automation Center, vCloud Connector Advanced 2.0, vFabric Application Director 5.0, vFabric APM 5.0, ITBM 7.5 and an IT Benchmarking Service. These are now cross platform offerings spanning multiple hypervisors (vSphere, Xen, KVM), multiple clouds (vCloud, Amazon, Windows Azure), and including support for physical hardware (VCE, IBM, HP, Dell).

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VMware is clearly pursuing a “waterfall” strategy with the editions of the suite. This means that leading edge functionality will most often show up first in the Enterprise Edition of the vCloud Suite and then over time migrate down into the Advanced and Standard Editions. This will set up a battle royal of suite vs best of breed for each of the components of the suite – with each battle focused upon both functionality and pricing differences.

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Bundling the Foundation Edition of vCenter Operations into every edition of vSphere is VMware’s strategy for seeding its customer base with just enough of vC OPS to entice customers to move up and purchase a higher level edition of the suite. However, the least expensive version of vCenter Operation is now $125 per VM instead of $50 per VM. Finally support has been added for monitoring OS instances that run on other hypervisors and other clouds.

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With this set of announcements, VMware has proven its intentions of joining the ranks of the major cloud management software vendors. Virtualization and cloud computing represent disruptions that create an opportunity for a new multi-billion dollar management vendor at the table. VMware has announced a suite of management functionality that makes it a credible vendor at this table. Legacy vendors of management solutions like IBM, CA, BMC and HP are now served notice that their businesses and customer footprints are at risk. Game on.

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DataNow Essentials is now available. DataNow allows you to integrate with what is already there, with no need to provision more storage or migrate data, thus keeping cost and complexity low and speeding deployment time, and avoids cloud or storage vendor lock-in. Datanow is available to existing customers of AppSense’s user virtualization product suite free of charge – but is not a product in its own right. This is an interesting change in scope – other file storage solutions offer a sharing function in their own right. AppSense’s key consideration here is very likely that user virtualisation needs data to be portable.

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Given the level of applause that greeted the announcement of VMware’s new pricing model, I know this will open me up to criticism, but was the old VMware licensing model really all that bad? It certainly wasn’t perfect, and there’s an awful alot to like about the new model, but was the old license pricing model so bad that it could only be fixed by ripping it up and replacing it with something so very different?