There’s a fair few VMware folks scratching their heads today and wondering when the world changed quite so much. The company today announced its hybrid cloud solution, avialable today on an early access program. GA is slated for Q3 2013. Here’s some details:

  • vCloud Hybrid Service Dedicated Cloud: Provides physically isolated and reserved compute resources, as well as a private cloud instance. Sold on an annual term with pricing starting at $0.13/hour
  • vCloud Hybrid Service Virtual Private Cloud: Multitenant compute resource model, but with dedicated allocations for customers. Sold on a monthly term with pricing starting at $0.045/hour

It would be very easy to get critical at this announcement, and gasp at the fact that a company that formerly hated on the public cloud is now turning around and offering a hybrid solution. But that attitude ignores the reality for VMware customers who are often conservative and have only just developed an appetite for taking tentative first steps into the public cloud.

For those customers – application portability, an architecture they’re familiar with and an invoice from a vendor they’re already deeply partnered with is important. That’s the bottom line and the reason that, despite what the purists will say, this initiative will gain some traction.

It’s no threat to the big cloud providers of course, but it does raise some questions for those companies who make their income by helping large organizations built private clouds – their world just got a little bit more complicated.

In terms of technology, vCloud Hybrid Service will offer a simplified approach to management, allowing VMware customers to use the same tools and processes they use today to manage both on-premise and off-premise environments.  They’ll do this via the free vCloud Connector plug-in. As an interesting aside, VMware selected cloud automation technologies from Puppet Labs for the orchestration part of the offering – not surprising when one considers that  the company recently announced that it was putting $30M into Puppet Labs.

VMware is holding out an olive branch to partners – vCloud Hybrid Service can be sold the same way as on-premise VMware licenses with a standard SKU, and partners can retain the billing relationship with customers.

Interesting times huh?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Nice, fair summary Ben. May I add some more details… Tibco, Microsoft, SAP, Puppet, Pivotal, partner ecosystem! We are building a lot of value added services on top of vSphere that will all be available through vCHS over time. Add to that compatibility and interoperability with a customer’s existing infrastructure, with availability and elasticity and SDN, it’s going to shape up to be a very compelling offering.

  • Well, certainly an underwhelming announcement and probably so for the reasons you mentioned. This is all about VMware holding on to those enterprise workloads by making them a bit more sticky to VMware. In theory these are the enterprise workloads VMware fears will wind up in the AWS cloud ecosystem. So VMWare is going to make it easier to go with what you already know. Nothing radical or new about that. With regard to VMware “selecting” Puppet Labs for the orchestration part of the service, they did announce putting $30M into Puppet Labs not too long ago, so no surprise here either. Ho hum.

  • Interesting times, indeed. Couple this news with Dell’s recent announcements and we see a pattern emerging of traditional IT Management vendors looking for new ways to ensure they have a ‘play’ as the hybrid cloud evolves and emerges. Beyond ensuring their own livelihood, however, what will be important to watch is how this evolves with management and compliance in mind. After all, the value is not in the virtualization of disk, compute and storage but in orchestration of those resources in the context of the application lifecycle, provisioning on the right infrastructure at the right time and place, in consideration of power, cooling and cost to meet service level objectives and governance requirements of the business.
    – Shawn Douglass, CTO, ServiceMesh

  • Good analysis of vCHS. I actually found VMware’s announcement underwhelming; I had expected more. As I posted on my blog, vCHS is really just a managed hosting service, not a true Public Cloud…

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