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VMware vCloud Director

Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 | No Comments

Well today was a big day at VMworld as well as for my own activities. After much speculation and waiting VMware have now released a Cloud product, yes project Redwood has gone GA.

Like me you may remember VMworld 2008 where VMware first put out their vision for Cloud. I have been blogging about it ever since my first post on the topic on Sept 23rd 2008. Like me you probably remember being disappointed that in 2009 the only thing released was vCloud Express which was not really a product but a program.

Today all of that has changed both for VMware and me. VMware actually launched a product, VMware vCloud Director (VCD) plus a new program called vCloud Datacenter.

First the product, VMware vCloud Director.

I have been working with VCD since before the beta. In fact, as far as I know, we were the first people on the planet to install VCD outside of VMware (we just beat one other company who had the alpha code). Since then we have been through the beta program and have been keenly awaiting the released version. Its been a long road but it means that we are very intimate with the product and have been able to gain lots of operational experience. We have been running some beta trials with some of our own customers on top of VCD to get some field experience for ourselves as well as VMware.

Over the next weeks you will probably see information coming out about VCD, for the moment check out the product pages on the VMware website and I would recommend looking at some of the "Meet the Engineers" videos in the resources page. There are some great sessions on VCD at VMworld alongside the mystery Lab 13 which will show you how to do a quick installation of the product.

Second the program, vCloud Datacenter.

Here is how the VMware press release describes the program.
While public cloud services have created an alternative for delivering compute capacity in a self-service, pay-per-use model, security concerns, uncertain SLAs, lack of compliance and fears of lock-in have limited enterprise adoption. VMware vCloud Datacenter Services provide a way for enterprises to extend their datacenters to external clouds, while preserving security, compliance and quality of service. Delivered by some of the world’s leading service providers, including Bluelock, Colt, SingTel, Terremark and Verizon, VMware vCloud Datacenter Services will use globally consistent infrastructure, management and security models to make it possible for enterprise customers to move computing workloads from internal virtualized infrastructure to an external cloud and back.
You can see that there are five providers that cross major parts of the globe. This includes SingTel, which is the parent company of Optus who owns my company Alphawest. It is great to be part of the program. However I prefer how it was quoted in the press.
Balkansky expects only a "few dozen" partners globally would be certified as 'vCloud Datacenter Service Providers'.

"We needed to have a best of the best, a quality set of partners we could go with jointly to our customers," said VMware CEO Paul Maritz.
So what this means is that VCD is a product from VMware. Anyone can go and purchase it to build an internal or a public Cloud (subject to licensing programs of course). But VMware have worked very closely with a select few providers, especially in this early stage of the product to provide some consistency and assurance around the services that are offered for external Cloud.

As the Principal Architect for a major deployment of VCD in Australia which will be launched sometime in the future (I am of course not allowed to say when) I am very pleased to have the product and the program now publicly available. I have had a few people comment about my lack of blog posts over the last year and I can tell you its been quite frustrating. Much of what people blog about is what you interact with on a day to day basis and for so long everything I have been doing has been under heavy NDA so I just have not been able to talk about it. Today is not the day to be doing deep dives into VCD, I will do that over the coming weeks as I share my likes and dislikes of the product.

Essentially today has been a day to celebrate the end of a long journey for many. It was good to see Eddie Dinel, the product manager for VCD on stage during the keynote. I managed to catch up with the development team as they celebrated tonight the end of their hard work. Here are some photos from the event.

Left to right are some very important people that I have worked with closely on all of this.

Rodos (thats me), Principal Architect - Datacenter and Cloud, Alphawest.
Eddie Dinel, Product Manager for VCD, VMware. Eddie was on stage during the keynote.
Mike DiPetrillo, Principal Systems Engineer, Global Cloud Architect, VMware.
Phil Weiss, vCloud Solutions Architect APAC, VMware.

I also got to meet some of the developers who were let out of their cages. Below is a photo of a team member who worked on the UI experience and a programer who worked on the UI plus a number of other areas.

Now its time for some sleep. VMworld has two more days. I look forward to VCD getting out in the wild, its a good thing for the Cloud market to have some new options and player coming to market.


P.S. I don't speak for my employer, this is my personal views and comments. If you are press and you want any comments, contact the media department at my company. If you are a blogger, a virtualisation geek or someone thinking of deploying VCD as a private or public cloud I would be more than happy to discuss with you my experiences of building and deploying one of the first global implementations.

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