VMware Apologizes For Hybrid Cloud Service Provisioning Delays

"We'd like to apologize to our users for exceeding the target provisioning time for new accounts. For those who are ready to give it a try, we are making room for you," VMware's vCloud team said in a Thursday blog post.

VMware in early March started a free trial of the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation, and sources told CRN last week they received the following error message after signing up: "We were unable to log you in: Your vCloud service has not completed provisioning. If you recently signed up for service please wait at least 15 minutes for this to complete."

[Related: VMware Struggling With Hybrid Cloud 'Test Drive' Sign-Up Delays ]

While VMware didn't specify its target time for provisioning the service, some would-be users were still unable to log in several days after signing up. VMware attributed the delay to a "large uptick in evaluation sign-ups" it has seen since starting the free trial in early March.

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"To meet that demand we are adding more capacity to get you up and running," the vCloud team said in the blog post.

It's unclear if VMware is apologizing for its own missteps or for those of its service provider partner. At least some of the virtual machines users create with the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation are hosted at Virtacore Systems, a Sterling, Va.-based service provider.

Also unclear is what VMware means by "adding more capacity," since it claims the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation isn't running on its own infrastructure, but that of a vCloud service provider. VMware didn't respond to a request for clarification.

VMware says the Hybrid Cloud Evaluation is not to be confused with vCloud Hybrid Service, the production-grade public cloud IaaS offering it's rolling out later this year in conjunction with an as-yet unspecified stable of service provider partners, as well as parent company EMC.

Regardless of whose infrastructure it's running on, the fact that VMware is having trouble provisioning a public cloud IaaS for testing and development doesn't bode well for its ability to run a larger scale service for production workloads.

Most enterprises treat real-time account set up and self-service provisioning as table stakes features for public cloud, Jared Wray, founder and CTO of Tier 3, a Seattle-based service provider, told CRN. "Our buyers would not consider a solution where these fundamental capabilities don't exist -- after all, agility is what is attractive about the cloud in the first place," Wray said.

VMware says its private cloud management, orchestration, networking and security model can help make the public cloud a less frightening place for enterprises. But if VMware wants to keep customers away from Amazon Web Services, it will have to hammer out the basics of running an IaaS service and pick partners that are capable of delivering it.