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Super controller for public clouds?

VMWare plans cloud integration manager for service providers

Chris Mayer
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VMWare’s cloud stock is ever-changing with the blueprint for its Cloud Integration Manager announced – making life easier for system adminstrators

VMWare’s impressive cloud product infrastructure appears to be evolving once again, after yesterday’s announcement of a huge upgrade to several products within their cloud suite.

At a live event in California, VMware CEO Paul Maritz unveiled VMware vSphere 5 and a comprehensive suite of cloud infrastructure technologies, with an aim to help customers achieve greater efficiency of existing investments and improve operational agility.

The most exciting of the announcements is the blueprint for vCloud Integration Manager – an overlord of sorts for system administrators to channel the abilities of vCloud Director, vShield and vSphere and get customers up and running in the cloud with as minimal fuss as possible.

This is a monumental step for the company as until now, service providers either had to do these tasks manually, or redirect valuable software development resources to writing undifferentiated ‘glue code’ and/or automation scripts.

vCloud Integration Manager includes a full set of REST APIs and a web GUI, above VMWare’s other products. The GUI acts as an administrator interface to enable the user to sort the cloud building blocks, whilst the web GUI invokes the Integration Manager API to accomplish the tasks set by the customer.

Integration Manager could also be of value to VMWare’s reseller partners, many of whom want hybrid clouds as part of their portfolio. The notion of a cloud reseller is included within the architecture, meaning that service providers can ‘securely delegate provisioning to resellers. In turn, the resellers can directly and immediately provision and de-provision their own customers (via the API or web GUI)’.

VMware’s senior director of cloud services Matthew Lodge comments on VMWare’s decision to focus on the service providers, noting that that arm of the business had grown by 200% in 2011. He added that this was:

a testament to the momentum and rapid growth those service providers are seeing in their VMware-based clouds. With vCloud Integration Manager, we hope to further accelerate their growth and profitability by reducing operational costs and opening up new routes to market.

It seems that this product could be the missing link needed to truly start a service provider revolution, and with space amongst the cloud market becoming ever more scarce, VMWare appear to have found a very profitable and potentially rewarding niche for themselves. They noticed the growing demand for a service, with the company reporting that there are now 94 companies registered as vCloud service providers since the third quarter of 2011 (when the service provider program was launched) – almost tripling in number.

Integration Manager could well be the master of puppets that service providers craved and as Taneja recently found, VMWare has become one of the leading vendors with a broad range of tools on offer. We should see it roll out in the first quarter of 2012 – so not long to wait at all for a fully coherent, and most importantly speedy cloud structure that suits providers.

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