VMware Unveils Cloud Pricing Model, Beefs Up Cloud Provider Program

VMware is simplifying the pricing model for service providers looking to leverage its vCloud platform to build cloud services.

The company is doubling the number of products in its VMware Service Provider Program.

The enhancements to the VMware Service Provider Program, or VSPP, come during a time of fast growth in the program, said Geoff Waters, director of VSPP. There are currently 2,900 service providers working with VSPP, or 145 percent more than 12 months ago.

"The bulk of these partners offer multi-tenant services to their customers," Waters said. "VSPP allows enterprises and SMBs to access public clouds from our partners, and combine them with private clouds into hybrid clouds."

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The biggest change to VSPP is a new way for customers to pay for virtual machines as part of VMware's Infrastructure-as-a-service offering, Waters said.

Next: Pay For Services Based On Allocated Memory

VMware's Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering includes access to VMware vSphere, which lays down a virtualization foundation on which cloud services can be built; VMware vCloud Director, which allows the deployment of pre-configured or custom-built cloud services; vCenter Server, which provides scalable management of virtualized environments; and vCenter Chargeback, which provides for automated chargebacks in private cloud environments.

Starting this month, Infrastructure-as-a-Service pricing will be based on the amount of memory allocated to a virtual machine, Waters said. Prior to this, the pricing was on a per-virtual machine basis.

"We recognize that not all workloads are the same," he said. "Before, if you needed a service for two months, you would pay for the necessary virtual machines for those two months whether you used them or not. Now we charge in hourly increments for the virtual allocated RAM. This gives a more elastic pricing, and aligns our pricing model with that of cloud service providers."

The new allocated memory pricing model is only available for Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Waters said. Other components in VMware's VSPP program have a variety of pricing models, depending the offering.

For instance, he said, a new service being added to VSPP focused on hosted e-mail services is charged according to the number of mailboxes.

Next: Adding New Products To VSSP

New to the VSPP this week is security services based on the VMware vShield App, which provides protection against network-based attacks; and vShield Edge, which provides perimeter network security for virtual data centers, Waters said.

VMware is also adding to VSPP a couple of Desktop-as-a-Service offerings, including VMware View Premier desktop deployment technology and ThinApp Client, which provides agentless application virtualization.

Also new to VSPP is Hyperic HQ EE, which provides complete and continuous visibility into the entire virtualized application stack for helping administrators discover and quickly resolve problems. Hyperic came to VMware as part of its 2009 acquisition of enterprise application and Java developer SpringSource.

Finally, VMware is making hosted e-mail services part of VSPP with the addition to the program of several technologies from its Zimbra portfolio of hosted email technologies. Zimbra, which VMware acquired in January from Yahoo, was developed the open-source Zimbra Collaboration Suite, which includes applications to coordinate, manage, and share e-mails from multiple vendors, including Microsoft's Outlook, in a single interface; perform group scheduling; and handle desktop and mobile device synchronization.

"By adding all these products into VSPP, we are lowering the barriers to offering new services while making it easier for customers to buy them," Waters said.