VMware to Speed Move to Hybrid Cloud with New vCloud Products

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

At this year's VMworld conference, virtualization software vendor VMware announced several updated products and services that will help solution providers whose customers want to transition to hybrid cloud environments.

At its annual VMworld conference in Las Vegas, VMware announced new and updated products designed to help companies looking to move to hybrid cloud environments that will bring channel partners opportunities to build attached services revenue.

The products announced include a new feature of the vCloud Datacenter Program called Global Connect, vCloud Connector v1.5, Disaster Recovery to the Cloud with vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5, and a new online portal where customers can get more information and try out vCloud-based cloud services.

"VMware is focused on helping to drive business transformation for companies that are taking the journey to the cloud, and the announcements today are really focused on new enhancements that help to accelerate that journey for customers," said Joe Andrews, director of cloud services at VMware.

Global Connect is a new feature of the vCloud Datacenter Program that follows on the vCloud Datacenter Services portfolio first introduced at VMworld in August 2010. As an optional feature for vCloud Datacenter, Global Connect simplifies the use of multiple cloud service providers, enabling customers to use various cloud services from multiple providers across geographies as if they were a single, virtual cloud.

"This is the ability to deliver a consistent service globally to a customer through a single contract on the front-end, but delivered underneath by multiple service providers," Andrews said.

VMware is enabling service providers to work together to establish business relationships and customer contracts so they can transfer customers between them for different services. From the customer point of view, it’s one contract that supports multiple cloud providers and multiple geographies. What VMware is providing is the underlying technology to make this happen, Andrews said.

The updated vCloud Connector v1.5 beta improves some of the key areas on the software that was first announced in February 2011. Improvements are focused around speed, reliability and increased flexibility. With the updated vCloud Connector, customers will get faster and more reliable data transfer that reduces the time to transfer workloads. It’s currently available as a client that plugs into vSphere, but VMware is also introducing web access integrated with its new customer portal. The beta version is available now, with general availability planned for Q4 2011.

The new customer portal was developed to serve as a gateway to the cloud for enterprise customers. According to Andrews, while there is plenty of customer demand for vCloud services, it’s been difficult for customers to find partners offering such services. The new portal simplifies that and also makes it possible for customers to test out services.

Initially, four service providers are signed up, but Andrews said he expects that number to grow over time.

The final product announcement from VMware, Disaster Recovery to the Cloud with vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5, takes the previously announced vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5 and layers partners’ disaster recovery services on top. FusionStorm, Hosting.com, iland and VeriStor are the first four VMware partners to offer disaster recovery services on the platform.

"It takes advantage of the new capabilities in VMware Site Recovery Manager 5, which introduces vSphere replication and enables customers with a more seamless experience and lower cost of doing backup and disaster recovery," Andrews said.

All of the enhanced products and services provide new opportunities for channel partners to help their customers move to hybrid cloud operating environments. Andrews noted that a lot of VMware’s licensing sales have a lot of potential for services revenue, and VMware partners that have adopted a services model tend to find they generate revenue of 11 to 15 times the dollar value of the product on services.

"There will be an emerging opportunity for channel partners to serve as consultants or in an advisory role for their customers to figure out the best strategy for this journey to the cloud," Andrews said.