VMware promises to cut steps to populate clouds

vCloud Integration Manager orchestrates a service provider's VMware software to cut the steps needed to build a cloud for a new customer, and provides features that make it easier for other companies to resell a large cloud
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

VMware has released software that cuts down the steps needed for service providers to add customers to their clouds, as well as making it easier for other companies to resell a large cloud.

vCloud Integration Manager, launched on Tuesday, works with VMware's vCloud Director, vShield and vSphere software. It automates the process of configuring those products — which handle cloud management, security and the basic virtualisation layer respectively — to set up a cloud. As a result, the tool should cut the time it takes for service providers to create clouds based around VMware's ESXi hypervisor, according to the company.

"Until now, service providers either had to do these tasks manually, or redirect valuable software development resources to writing undifferentiated 'glue code' and/or automation scripts," Matthew Lodge, senior director of cloud services at VMware, wrote in a blog post.

The product is aimed at businesses that host lots of customers within their clouds, such as very large datacentre operators, ISPs and large enterprises. In addition to providing process automation, Integration Manager has a feature to allow resellers of these companies' cloud services to create and tear down clouds via a REST API or a web-based graphical user interface (GUI).

Integration Manager sits between a service provider's web portal and customer relationship management (CRM) system on the one hand, and the underlying VMware software stack and datacentre hardware on the other. When the portal or CRM system receives a request to build or shut down a cloud, it will send the request via API to Integration Manager, which automates the process from there on out.

"We developed Integration Manager in response to demand from our growing vCloud service provider ecosystem," Lodge wrote. "There are now 94 clouds in 19 countries worldwide that qualify for the vCloud Datacenter or vCloud Powered status."

Dell is one of those companies, having launched a VMware-powered global public cloud in August. However, though VMware's hypervisor is prevalent in enterprise datacentres, it still has ground to make up among cloud service providers. Amazon Web Services's global infrastructure cloud runs on a tweaked version of the Xen hypervisor, while Microsoft's Azure is understood to be based around Hyper-V.

Integration Manager is available immediately in the UK. VMware declined to provide pricing for the product.

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