VMware: Hey, Other Cloud Services Exist

VMware’s vSphere Web Client interface

VMware has updated its cloud-management portfolio to support alternative tools, including Amazon’s platform. That’s a big step for the company, which for some time seemed to shy away from the idea of backing heterogeneous cloud environments.

VMware’s vFabric Application Director 5.0 is designed to, in the company’s words, “provision applications on any cloud.” That includes Amazon’s EC2. The platform includes pre-approved operating system and middleware components for modeling and deploying those aforementioned applications, with the ability to use the platform’s blueprints for deploying applications across “multiple virtual and hybrid cloud infrastructures.”

The other platform, vCloud Automation Center 5.1, enables “policy-based provisioning across VMware-based private and public clouds, physical infrastructure, multiple hypervisors and Amazon Web Services.”

Other newly announced “advancements” to VMware’s vCloud suite include enhancements to its vCloud Connector, software for transferring virtual machines and applications across private and public clouds; and vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6, which offers integrated cloud-operations management for hybrid cloud environments.

At the VMworld 2012 conference this summer, it was clear that VMware would have to deal with its increasingly heterogeneous environment in some fashion. Microsoft and Red Hat have been gaining ground with their respective Hyper-V and KVM virtual machine platforms, even as Amazon gained more ground in the cloud. “There no longer is anything such as a VMware or KVM only shop,” Convirture CEO Arsalan Farooq said at the time.

Competition from rivals shows little signs of slowing down: Citrix recently launched XenServer 6.1, for example, which is a giant shot across VMware’s virtualization bow. Meanwhile, Hyper-V could experience an uptick in usage thanks to its inclusion with Windows 8, which will begin appearing on lots of hardware by the end of the year. Faced with that changing landscape, VMware may have decided that the best course of action was to open itself a bit more to rivals. As Michael Corleone once said, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.


Image: VMware