Cloud Computing – The view of VMware

INTRODUCTION

The promise of Cloud Computing is a much better approach to helping IT with two fundamental business goals

  • drive greater agility
  • lowering cost

Achieving these goals has a direct impact on business:

  • IT agility drives business agility
  • Lowering IT costs will free up funds for further business innovation and investment.

However we also know that IT plays a key role in ensuring compliance and security, while also maintaining service levels required by the business.

This is why VMware puts emphasis on helping customers move to cloud computing while also maintaining IT control. It is unacceptable to just hand over control of sensitive corporate assets to a third party.

The VMware approach is a split into 3 horizontal layers which is critical to the eventual end-state of cloud computing:

  • Your infrastructure and existing environments
  • The growing demand for a new breed of business applications
  • How users will take advantage of this new way of doing IT.

INFRASTRUCTURE: PUBLIC CLOUD REALITIES

The approach to cloud computing starts with your existing infrastructure and applications. After all, it would be inefficient to throw everything out and start over “in the cloud”. The challenge is to leverage existing investments, skills and processes.

Often when we mention cloud, people immediately think about Public Cloud offerings. So what attracts people to public clouds? VMware believes there are 4 characteristics:

  • Pooling: enables us to break down the traditional physical silos of infrastructure and create capacity pools of CPU, memory, storage and networking to maximize utilization of resources.
  • Elasticity: dynamically allocate capacity to workloads, and automated scale up and scale down for maximum efficiency
  • Automation: a truly dynamic, on-demand environment has to be fully automated. Nobody imagines that Google has thousands of administrators running around taking care of infrastructure requests every time new users join their services.
  • Self-Service: this is the key reason why the companies are going to the public cloud. There’s nothing faster then going to the app store to buy an app whenever I want, without waiting. Cloud computing provides the right architecture to enable this for infrastructure on-demand too.

But, as stated before, the goal is to leverage existing investments in place today, in the existing datacenters. Thus organizations are looking to first bring the cloud computing characteristics to their existing datacenters and creating a Private Cloud.

INFRASTRUCTURE: PRIVATE AND HYBRID CLOUD

Most companies already started the journey with the infrastructure assets they already begun to virtualize. Only VMware provides a cloud infrastructure platform that addresses all aspects of the datacenter: CPU, Memory, Storage and Networking that delivers all 4 key characteristics of cloud computing.

It is however too limiting to talk about Private and Public clouds as being seperate and distinct. In order to optimize the infrastructure choices, and thus achieving the best economics, bridging public and private clouds and creating a secure Hybrid Cloud delivers the best of both worlds.

VMware, through its vCloud program, enables Public Cloud Service Providers with compatible cloud computing stacks, using the same technology VMware supports for end customers, to provide an Optimized, Portable and Scalable infrastructure solution for businesses.

APPLICATIONS: IMPACTING COSTS AND AGILITY

Infrastructure is there simply to support applications. So it is important to address this layer as well. How we approach applications can effect costs and agility.

Applications can be broken down in in existing applications and new applications. It is important to reduce the ongoing maintenance of aging applications.

Moving to a cloud computing platform is also seen by a lot of companies as an opportunity to modernize many of these existing applications and enhance application capabilities to provide more value to the business.

To do this, or to create new applications to best support the business, we need to focus on improved Time-To-Market and ensure that these applications meet the needs of this modern era, including the inevitability of ever-expanding data.

VMware’s approach encompasses:

  • Existing Applications
  • New Business Apps
  • SaaS applications

CLOUD APPLICATION PLATFORM

VMware offers a new Cloud Application Platform that starts with a modern framework and set of tools to speed the rapid development of modern Cloud Applications.

VMware extend this by providing a set of common servives to enable these applications to be Cloud-Ready and to take advantages of new application paradigms that are emerging in the consumer world, such as social networking, collaboration, etc.

VMware focuses this platform on a progression of BUILD-RUN-SCALE, to put the emphasis on both speed of delivery and simplification of operations. Again achieving the promise of increased agility at lower costs.

VMware offers choice of deployment options. VMware’s Cloud Application Platform is widely used in the industry as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering (Google, Salesforce, …). HOwever VMware enables you to choose where you want to deploy, either inside your datacenter or to one of VMware’s many and growing list of partners.

VMware’s Cloud Application Platform leverages existing development languages and frameworks (Spring Framework) which are already familiar with many developers. The advantage of this is that it can accelerate application development for the cloud.

USERS

The last layer is the end-user layer. One of the biggest challenges today is the proliferation of end-user devices and the ongoing refresh rates associated with these devices. The desktop has evolved to laptops, smart-phones, tablets, etc. End-users expect that they can use these devices and have access anytime from anywhere.

The challenge is to enable end users with that type of freedom while still ensuring security, and trying to support all of this in a cost-effective manner.

The traditional desktop approach allowed IT to lock down the device, which contained an operating system, desktop applications, and user information. So traditionally the device was the “control point”.

VMware’s approach to this dilemma is to take the full advantage of what cloud computing has to offer ad what we’ve outlined in the layers below. By moving applications, data, personas, and access controls into the cloud we can provide both a secure, and more manageable environment while also facilitating the choice of access devices.

Think of it as managing desktop applications as cloud-based-services. Thus we enable more productive, mobile workforce without sacrificing IT control.

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