VMware provides foundation for enterprise hybrid cloud

VMware vCloud Connector 1.5

VMware‘s key message this week at its annual VMworld conference is making the shift to the hybrid cloud. The company announced new and enhanced products around helping customers migrate to hybrid cloud environments so they can get all the benefits associated with such an operating platform.

The new products are being introduced to meet the growing demand for reliable, high-performance and secure clouds, according to VMware, and there’s good news for channel partners that take the products to market and are able to attach services revenue to their sales, said Joe Andrews, director of cloud services at VMware. VMware’s statistics show that channel partners are able to make 11 to 15 times the amount of revenue they make selling VMware products on attached services, so there’s a great opportunity there for partners that want to take customers to the cloud.

“The path is not the same for all customers, and the channel partner can play a role in providing value-added services and consulting to help them go through this journey,” Andrews said.

VMware announced new products, programs and a new customer portal at VMworld.

Global Connect makes the use of cloud services simpler by providing the underlying technology that will allow customers to use multiple cloud services in different geographies but still appear as if it’s one overall cloud service. As part of the vCloud Datacenter Program, service providers will be able to work together to provide customers cloud services that will appear as if it’s one cloud, even though they may be scattered around the country or world, making it appear like a single global cloud. For customers, they get one contract that covers multiple cloud providers and geographies.

VMware also announced Disaster Recovery to the Cloud with vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5, which enables partners to build disaster recovery services on vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5 and take them to their customers. So far, four service providers are signed up to the service — FusionStorm, Hosting.com, iland and VeriStor — but Andrews said he expects many more to sign on in time.

“This has been a capability for customers that larger enterprises have enjoyed,” Andrews said.

VMware is also introducing a new version of its vCloud Connector free management tool that it first released in February. Currently in beta, with full release expected in the fourth quarter of this year, vCloud Connector 1.5’s enhancements were focused around improving transfer speeds, reliability and flexibility. The tool was launched as a plugin for vSphere, but with this latest release, VMware is introducing web access integrated with a new customer portal aimed at helping customers find cloud service providers and even try vCloud-based cloud services out before they commit to a purchase.

Finally, the vcloud.vmware.com portal will give customers the ability to more easily find vCloud-based services through drill-down searches based on geography and service badge designations. Designed as a gateway to hybrid cloud computing, the new portal provides a world view of VMware vCloud service provider partners so customers can find the kinds of cloud services they need. Additionally, some partners will make it possible for customers to kick the tires and try the service out before committing. Four service providers will initially be making their service available for test driving, but Andrews said that number will grow in time.

“VMware is a very channel-focused company. We have a strategy of partnering with a broad ecosystem. VMware is interested in creating more revenue opportunities for channel partners because we believe they’re the lifeblood for our business,” Andrews said.