VMware Supports OpenStack and Focuses on Private Cloud

At recent VMworld conference, VMware announced pushing deeper into private cloud computing, with their approach centering on a package of their core data center virtualization products integrated with vCloud Director. They dubbed this new combination as “vCloud Suite.”

VMware CEO Paul Maritz recalls that they have no idea what cloud computing is back in 2008, but now has 60% of their enterprise data center virtualized, which they plan to push closer to 90%. In order to reach said 90% virtualization, VMware believes that many companies must adopt the more automated provisioning and management services of private cloud computing, which is where their vCloud Suite fits.

The vCloud suite will have to compete with cloud pure play providers such as Citrix Systems, Eucalyptus Systems, and the open source CloudStack. There’s also a new generation of cloud vendors on the rise, such as Piston and Nebula, which are both based on the OpenStack source code. While VMware is primarily a virtualization vendor with cloud offerings, the vCloud Suite will bring their main product line into the cloud category, and VMware themselves have confirmed that they will be making vCloud the future focus of data center organization.

VMware Supports OpenStack

In an unexpected move, VMware became a member of OpenStack. VMware had to back OpenStack due to their acquisition of Nicira, a software defined networking vendor that has been a key contributor to OpenStack.

Observers used to have doubts on whether VMware plans to make Nicira’s technology more proprietary, in line with the rest of their product line, or whether they would prefer to reach out to the open source community. VMware answered their doubts definitively by supporting OpenStack’s neutral framework.

VMware has its own neutral framework for communications within its vSphere operating environments called vXLAN. VMware chose to support Nicira’s work at OpenStack instead of using Nicira’s expertise in software-defined networking to build out vXLAN further.

VMware is also moving towards an ability to deal with a variety of hypervisors and networked virtual machines as they try to further improve their approach to software-defined data centers. This is because OpenStack users tend to be users of the open source KVM hypervisor, which means VMware needs more cross-hypervisor capabilities if they want to interoperate with non-VMware segments of the datacenter.

Say Goodbye to vRAM-based Pricing

VMware also announced that they will be getting rid of the vRAM-based pricing that was introduced in July last year, in which users are charged for each 48 GB of virtual RAM assigned to their virtual machines on a single server. A lot of customers saw the vRAM pricing method as a means to increase the number of licenses that they need to buy, since processors per server are starting to become capable of hosting more VMs.

The vRAM-based pricing was even panned by Microsoft representatives at VMworld last year, referring to it as the VMware tax, before announcing that they would be keeping their pricing based on CPU count.

VMware may have listened to customers and competitors alike, as they have deemed the vRAM pricing as a wrong business model, and admitted that they have made things overly complex. The announcement was met by cheers from the audience at the VMworld conference.

The newly launched vCloud Suite 5.1, which will be made available on Sept 11, will include:

  • VMware vSphere 5.1, which is the core VM creation and management system. The new version supports live migration or vMotion across server racks that don’t have shared storage.
  • vCloud Director, which is a software product for the creation of a virtual data center that supports storage, compute, and networking.
  • vCloud Networking and Security 5.1, which allows the creation of secure virtual networks for every VM or tenant on a multitenant server. The new vXLAN capability is also included, allowing an IP and network MAC address to follow the virtual machine when it is moved or migrated.
  • vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1, which ensures the recovery or availability of applications that a re running in a virtual data center.

The vCloud Suite will be available in standard, advanced, and enterprise versions. The standard pricing is $5,000 per CPU, while the Advanced will be worth $7,500, and the Enterprise costs $11,495.

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