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VMware's Maritz Predicts Hybrid Cloud Future

Private clouds inside the enterprise will trade workloads with similar, VMware-based public clouds rendering physical data centers "quite fluid," according to CEO Paul Maritz.

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VCloud Director will coordinate operation of virtual machines in the internal x86 server environment as well as with cloud services from outside the enterprise. VMware has set up partnerships with five providers who base their services on the VMware ESX hypervisor run virtual machines. Asked by InformationWeek if the vCloud Director will manage a heterogenous or homogeneous set of clouds, Maritz answered: "Director will manage workloads across clouds that share a compatible DNA, the right infrastructure," that is, an ESX hypervisor based environment. Such an approach wouldn't encompass the leading supplier of cloud services, Amazon Web Service's EC2, which uses its own virtual machine format.

Partners that will provide cloud services compatible with vCloud Director currently include Bluelock, Terremark, Singtel, Colt and Verizon Business. Maritz said VMware was likely to expand the list in the future.

Cloud workloads will move easily from private enterprise environments into the designated cloud partners' environments, between them and back into the enterprise without hitting hidden hurdles or barriers, said Steve Herrod, VMware CTO, during part of Maritz' keynote address. VCloud Director was formerly known by its "Redwood" project name inside VMware.

In addition, VMware will expand its offerings to include security or "defense in depth" built into the virtualization layer. A firewall will no longer be a physical device standing guard at the perimeter of the enterprise. It will become a software appliance that accompanies the servers of the virtual data center, whether inside the enterprise or outside in a public cloud. Both VMware and third parties are providing a set of vShield products to virtualize security and allow various measures to follow cloud workloads.

VShield products will convert a negative for the cloud computing, the doubts about its security, into a positive asset, with constant checks and scrutiny of operations that will surpass those available in the static data center, Maritz said.

"In this hybrid cloud world, the physical data center can become quite fluid," said Maritz.

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