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The VMware cloud is getting bigger.
VMware is expanding its vCloud program, enabling enterprises to buy and move their virtualized assets across multiple service providers. The vCloud is VMware's program for service providers to run VMware virtualized clouds. The vCloud program was announced last year and is now expanding to enable virtual machine movement and service purchases across multiple vendors.
Matthew Lodge, Sr. Director, Cloud Services at VMware told InternetNews.com that in 2010 there were only five service provider that signed up for the vCloud Connector Beta. The program now has 25 data centers spread across 13 countries, enabling a global VMware cloud ecosystem.
"VMware provides the technical basis to make sure that vCloud datacenters are compatible with each other and service providers are now extending this," Lodge said. "As a customer you can deploy a virtual machine into a vCloud provider using a single contract."
For example, if a user has a contract with service provider Bluelock and they want to deploy an application to Singapore, then by way of Bluelock's partnership with vCloud provider Singtel, the virtual machine can be deployed using the exiting Bluelock contract.
"So in essence what this gives you is a global virtual cloud," Lodge said.
Lodge added that VMware has a product that can help service providers handle chargebacks and metering for the virtual services. That said, the billing is done directly by the service providers and the rates depend on the agreements made between the service providers.
Going a step further, VMware is improving its vCloud Connector tool that enables the transfer of virtual machines between public and private clouds. Lodge said that the new vCloud Connector 1.5 release is faster than previous releases, thanks to an improved underlying architecture. That new architecture enables multiple parallel transfers of data.
There is also now a web interface for the connector. Previously, administration for the connector was made by way of a client console.
The process of moving virtual machines from private to public cloud includes automated elements, though it does require some human intervention.
"Today it's a manual process in the sense that you identify the source and the destination," Lodge said.
Lodge explained that the administrator needs to indicate, for example, that a particular virtual machine running on vSphere will migrate to a particular cloud. The process of movement is not currently a policy driven setup where automatic rules would trigger a migration.
"Once the administrator has made the decision and they click the button, then under the covers everything is automated behind the scenes," Lodge said.