VMware taps into mobility market with vCloud Air

Along with a host of new hybrid cloud service capabilities, VMware has announced the launch of vCloud Air Mobile.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

In the days leading up to VMworld 2014, VMware rebranded its vCloud Hybrid Service to VMware vCloud Air.

On Monday, chief executive Pat Gelsinger explained that the decision for the name change was to underscore the company's commitment to the hybrid cloud category, and to emphasise the company's belief that the "hybrid cloud is the future".

"We believe the cloud is moving from a period of experimentation into the phase of professional deployment," he said, noting that VMware has put itself up to delivering what the market needs — an industrial-grade cloud solution that offers a "liquid pool of solution without trade-off or sacrifice".

Delving into this further was Bill Fathers, VMware hybrid cloud senior vice president and general manager, who highlighted that the uptake of public cloud adoption has been phenomenal over the last five years. He said that 2 per cent of workloads around the world lived in a public cloud in 2009; five years on, it has increased to 6 percent.

"In the last nine months, the rates in which enterprises have added workloads to the public cloud has sprinted away exponentially. Historically, it was a bit clogged, but now things are starting to accelerate," he said.

Fathers outlined that it boils down to three key areas as to why enterprises are shifting to the cloud: The ability to be agile; increased efficiency when they have the right strategy in place; and the impressive cost savings of "billions and billions" of dollars.

However, this trend of adopting a public-only cloud approach is creating multiple incompatible environments, particularly around app development, such as the inability to develop and move a heterogeneous app into the public cloud, he said.

Fathers said enterprises are overcoming this issue by adopting a hybrid cloud strategy, and that he believes the company's expanded offerings of its vCloud Air network will further address these issues.

One of these expanded offerings will be vCloud Air Mobile, which will see AirWatch and the Pivotal Cloud Foundry made available on vCloud Air. This marks some of the first steps of AirWatch being integrated in VMware since the company was acquired in January this year.

VMware also announced that it has begun the beta program of providing vCloud Air OnDemand, which will transition into an early access program in early November. It will use a pay-as-you-go model that will have minute-based billing. Anticipated general availability for the service is early 2015.

Another early access program that the company will be entering into in September is making vCloud Air for government services available. It will be for clients that are required to be FedRAMP certified, a US security compliance.

vCloud Air will also have a database-as-a-service offering, which Fathers said will simplify and lower the cost of operational databases and running databases in the public cloud. This will leverage MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server to support all data platforms.

Additionally, VMware will leverage off EMC's ViPR software-defined storage technology to allow vCloud Air to act as an object storage service. Initially launching as a beta version in September, the technology will be on the market for general availability later this year.

"This isn't for storing pictures of kittens, but this is an industrial grade platform you can use to drive your mission critical workload around the world," Fathers said.

vCloud has already been rolled out in North America, the UK, and Japan. Last year, it was expected that Australia would be the targeted country to premier the cloud platform for Asia Pacific.

During VMworld 2013, then-VMware general manager of Asia Pacific and Japan, Andrew Dutton, told ZDNet that Australia's mature virtualisation market is a target for the company's hybrid cloud service.

"If you look at the plans we've put in around the region, it's all focused on getting Australia up and running first," he said. "Because the CIOs there are probably the most advanced in the way that they will say, 'plan it, get it done, test it, implement'."

However, Fathers retorted that the company has 3,900 vendor partners worldwide, so its footprint is already somewhat developed.

"We've been at the pace of rolling out a datacentre every month. SoftBank was our first partner in the Asia-Pacific region, and while I have no specific news on further footprint, we already have hundreds of partners to work with that are able to offer that same hybrid compatible service," he said.

VMware customers will also soon able to begin building real-time desktop application delivery with VMware's acquisition of real-time application provider CloudVolumes last week.

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