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.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

August 31, 2010

4 Min Read

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing

VMware CEO Paul Maritz said virtualized applications now account for more than half of new applications installed and in the future, a growing share of the data center will be managed through the new layer of virtualization software. Virtualization implementers will gain additional capital expense savings, but they will plow them back into creating updated applications, designed to run on the private cloud and able to provide near real time services to end users.

"Data center managers are realizing this time they can't just renew the infrastructure. They must renew the applications as well. They can't be stuck with old, batch oriented code," Maritz said in a meeting with the press immediately following his keynote address to VMworld today.

VMware is positioning itself as the supplier of a framework for quickly rebuilding Java applications that will then run on a VMware-based, private cloud environment managed by an expanded portfolio of VMware software. VMware acquired SpringSource last year, builder of the popular Spring framework for lightweight Java applications. Maritz said Ruby on Rails applications can be used just as well. He described future application development as taking place on the VMware Cloud Application Platform, starting with the Spring Framework.

VMware put more product muscle behind its claim to be the future data center operating system. As additions to its core vSphere 4 virtual machine management system, VMware is adding vCloud Director. VCloud Director will manage a private cloud inside the enterprise, giving business users the ability to self-provision and allowing the IT manager to create pools of virtual resources -- servers, storage and networking -- with policies governing each pool as its own virtual data center.

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing

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.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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