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VMware continues pushing the hybrid cloud

Virtualization giant VMware is continuing on its hybrid cloud strategy, making several announcements on Monday that are geared toward customers who want access to both public and private cloud infrastructures. That doesn’t mean just any cloud, of course, but VMware-based public and private clouds.

The company is making use of its NSX networking technology, which came together out of VMware’s $1.26 billion purchase of startup Nicira in 2012, to act as a networking bridge between private clouds built with the [company]VMware[/company] vSphere hypervisor and public clouds built on vCloud Air.

With their public and private clouds linked up by VMware’s VCloud Air Advanced Networking Services,
VMware customers can supposedly create and manage hundreds of virtual networks that carry over their on-premise security policies and networking isolation for applications to the VMware public cloud across a single WAN connection.

“[One can] view the public cloud as an extension of the on-premise data center,” said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger during a press event in San Francisco on Monday. “We think this disrupts the entire cloud market.”

VMware hybrid cloud
VMware hybrid cloud

If you were hoping that VMware would shed some details on how vCloud Air is doing in the marketplace, you’ll be disappointed that VMware remained silent on those figures. VMware’s public cloud is quite a few years behind public-cloud leader [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services, but it appears that VMware is trying to grow its cloud by courting its clients who already have a VMware-tailored private cloud and don’t want to bother with migrating existing infrastructure to another company’s platform.

VMware’s flagship product vSphere also got an update as of Monday in the form of new services. vSphere users now have the option of using Long-Distance vMotion, a live-migration service that let users run their workloads and migrate them to different hosts across long distances.

Also included is what’s known as Instant Clone Technology (formerly known as Project Fargo), which will apparently let users rapidly spin up both containers and virtual machines in “sub-second timeframes,” according to a company announcement. No doubt that VMware is hoping this service negates the notion that other companies’ container technologies (like Docker’s, for example) are faster and more efficient than what VMware has to offer.

VMware also reiterated its support for OpenStack by further explaining VMware Integrated OpenStack, which lets organizations use VMware’s tools to manage existing OpenStack clouds. vSphere enterprise-plus customers will now get free access to the service, but if they want customer support to help them manage that infrastructure, they will have to pay $200 per CPU each year, according to Dan Wendlandt, VMware’s director of product management for OpenStack.

VMware OpenStack

Wendlandt, who says he has been an OpenStack developer since its inception, said that OpenStack is a “project by geeks for geeks, for lack of a better term,” and that VMware’s integrated service is for users who don’t want to spend countless hours trying to get OpenStack infrastructure to work; they just want to build applications.

Wendlandt wouldn’t comment on specifics when asked about whether VMware’s hybrid cloud push means that we might see a version of OpenStack that can connect to VMware’s public cloud. As of today VMware is currently releasing OpenStack APIs to connect with the company’s private cloud business lineup, he said, although he indicated that we could see something that links OpenStack to vCloud in the future.

All of the announcements made on Monday are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2015.