VMware urges its customers to conjure up their own clouds

At the VMworld Europe conference in Cannes, France this week, VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz outlined plans for using new virtualization software products from VMware to "make the plumbing disappear" for customers now dreaming about their conceptions of the perfect cloud.

With its Virtual DataCenter operating system, vSphere generation of products, and vCloud Initative, VMware wants to let customers create "virtual private clouds" which can retain the security, manageability, and high availability of the internal computing environment while also accessing applications and services from one or more external clouds. VMware laid the groundwork for the strategy in an announcement at VMworld Las Vegas last fall.

"Our Virtual Datacenter Operating System initiative will accelerate customers down the virtualization path so that they can run their IT as an internal cloud service," Maritz elaborated this week, in a keynote speech at the Cannes event.
"The VMware vSphere generation of products, which are currently in development, will be a new class of software that delivers on this strategy. And, as customers become cloud-enabled, they will have the flexibility to securely and efficiently expand their internal clouds to tap the resources offered by external service providers through our VMware vCloud Initiative."

Unlike some well known existing players in cloud computing, VMware isn't looking to host or manage clouds. Instead, the vendor is working with outside service providers to support its "federated cloud" software technology, and about 400 partnerships are under way so far.

One early customer, airline company BMI, is seeking to move about 90 percent of its infrastructure on to a private cloud delivered by service provider Attenda.

But the new vCloud technology will also include an API allowing users to access resources in both internal and external clouds, along with administrative tools for deploying and managing workloads across multiple vCloud service providers. VMware is demoing the new administrative tools in Cannes this week.

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