VMware's campaign to make its cloud infrastructure work better with third-party vendors came into clearer focus Tuesday with several additions to vCloud Suite 5.1, the vSphere bundle it unveiled at VMworld.
The big new addition is vCloud Automation Center, which is used for provisioning apps and services in vSphere environments. Through integration of technology from VMware's acquisition of DynamicOps, VMware is now supporting competing vendors' hypervisors and infrastructure in addition to vSphere.
Keith Norbie, vice president of Nexus, the Minnetonka, Minn., office of Stratos Management Systems, said adding vCloud Automation Center could help channel partners broaden the scope of their VMware businesses.
"This is an aggressive move from VMware, and the right move," Norbie told CRN. "DynamicOps has the potential to be that glue connecting different clouds that we don't have today."
vCloud Automation Center also is integrated with vCloud Director and vCenter Orchestrator to allow it to work more smoothly with other vendors' management tools, Rob Smoot, director of product marketing for VMware's management products, said in an interview.
"VMware is showing why management products need to evolve in cloud environments with a new approach, such as analytics," Smoot said. "This gives administrators and operations teams more intelligence and helps IT be more of a service broker" within organizations.
VMware also is updating vFabric Application Director, a cloud application deployment tool, to allow it to work with Amazon EC2 and other types of hybrid cloud infrastructure for the first time, Smoot said. vFabric Application Director also will support Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SQL and SharePoint, as well as customized apps written in Java, .Net, and Ruby on Rails.
"This is important from a customer perspective. A year ago, customers were thinking more tactically about Amazon, for example. But now that Amazon has matured, a lot of development and testing workloads are being deployed in Amazon environments," Smoot said.
Also new is vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6, an update that adds group-based views and application-level monitoring of core business apps. "This level of visibility helps IT and business get better aligned," Smoot said.
VMware also is unveiling vCenter Operations Foundation edition, which includes a dashboard with analytics of performance and health in vSphere environments. Smoot said customers that need more sophisticated capacity management and configuration can opt to upgrade to a more feature-rich vCenter Operations product.
VMware, with help from its channel, is rolling out vCloud Suite during the fourth quarter, sweetening the pot with a free upgrade for Enterprise and Enterprise Plus customers that is valid through the end of the year. vCloud Suite is priced starting at $4,995 per processor.
PUBLISHED OCT. 10, 2012
This story was updated on Oct. 12, 2012, at 9:48 a.m. PST, to clarify that the company name is Stratos Management Systems, not Stratos Management Services.