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VMware Expands Its Cloud Management Muscle To Public Clouds

VMware has overhauled its cloud management portfolio over the course of the past year, and at VMworld Europe this week, it's talking about new public cloud capabilities.

VMware has given its cloud management portfolio a big-time makeover over the course of the past year, and now it's touting itself as a market leader that can manage and monitor pretty much anything happening in data centers and public clouds.

On Tuesday at its VMworld conference in Barcelona, VMware unveiled vCloud Automation Center 6.0, a major update that includes technology from last year's DynamicOps acquisition, as well as some pieces developed in-house.

VCloud Automation Center 6.0 handles provisioning of infrastructure, apps and desktops, and custom services through a self-service portal. With new technology, it now works with devops tools like Puppet to address the infrastructure and apps for cloud automation, Ramin Sayar, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's cloud management business unit, said in an interview.

[Related: Microsoft Stakes Its Claim As Top Dog In Enterprise Cloud Market ]

"Developers want choice, and they don't want to be force-fed a certain type of provider. The vCloud Automation Center 6.0 release allows IT and developers to come to a single central portal that gives visibility into what's being requested and the costs associated with that," Sayar said.

The updated vCAC works with vCloud Hybrid Service, VMware's NSX network virtualization technology, and OpenStack clouds based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sayar said.

Jamie Shepard, regional vice president at Lumenate, a Dallas-based VMware partner, said vCAC 6.0 is helping customers move to more of a consumption model.

"IT is supposed to be the new 'service provider,' and if moving certain workloads to the public cloud is something that is required to satisfy the business, then why wouldn't you just extend your virtual investment and move them to and from?" Shepard said in an email.

VMware also is touting a new product called IT Business Management Suite 1.0 Standard Edition, which provides visibility into vSphere workloads running on the Amazon Web Services public cloud. This is important because many AWS customers tend to underestimate the amount of capacity they're using and end up paying more than they expected, Sayar said.

ITBM 1.0 works in conjunction with vCAC 6.0 to let customers see "the true costs" of running a vSphere workload on AWS versus on-premise, said Sayar.

VMware plans to add ITBM 1.0 support for Windows Azure "early next year," he added.

NEXT: VMware Fighting The AWS Scourge


Earlier this year, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and COO Carl Eschenbach urged partners to keep their customers away from AWS, and now VMware is giving customers the tools to make their own price and performance comparisons.

However, the true costs of cloud aren't just limited to AWS, according to Lumenate's Shepard.

"All public cloud models have their own benefits and pitfalls. Most vendors are allowing you to tie any infrastructure data workload via APIs to any cloud offering," Shepard said.

At VMworld, VMware also is talking about its vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 update, which lets customers manage apps running on vSphere in AWS for the first time. The tool keeps track of Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and other business-critical apps, and includes better visibility into how workloads are running both on- and off-premise, Sayar said.

"The information about application health is for application owners as well as developers," Sayar told CRN.

VCenter Log Insight 1.5, another new release, is a big data technology that provides monitoring of apps, virtual infrastructure and hardware running in private and public clouds. This lets VMware "look at both structured and unstructured data across infrastructure and apps, and on- and off-premise deployments," Sayar said.

VMware's DynamicOps acquisition last July was one of the first steps toward a more heterogeneous approach to cloud management, and the latest round of releases show just how far VMware has come.

Chris Ward, CTO at GreenPages-LogicsOne, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based VMware partner, called VMware's overall cloud management portfolio expansion "a very smart move" because more companies are looking at using multiple providers to meet their business needs.

"I don’t see any product vendor these days truly being able to offer only a proprietary or monolithic solution. The name of the game going forward is going to be integration of disparate systems and applications," Ward said in an email.

PUBLISHED OCT. 15, 2013

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