Private Clouds – Part 3: VMware vSphere

December 22, 2010
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At the forefront of virtualization we find VMware with a suite of products and it’s no surprise that VMware offers a solid private cloud solution. With the leverage they have in the virtualization world VMware’s vSphere is expected to be one of the top solutions. The term VMware use to market their solution is quite appropriate:

“Transform your IT infrastructure into a private cloud, deliver IT as a Service (ITaaS)”

VMware’s vSphere gives organizations the power to pool resources, automate service delivery and deploy a private cloud platform which can be extended to the public cloud infrastructure when further resources are required. The concept of IT as a service (ITaaS) is aimed at improving IT efficiency and reducing both capital and operating costs. vSphere is definitely a leader for its variety of features and completeness as a solution. vSphere is available as:

  • Standard edition which offers basic consolidation of applications
  • Advanced edition which protects business-critical applications
  • Enterprise edition which automates resource management
  • Enterprise Plus which transforms the IT infrastructure into ITaaS

VMware’s complete private cloud solution is made up of:

  1. vCloud Director – provides a catalogue based service of pooled resources
  2. vCenter Chargeback – provides pay-per-use and reporting mechanisms similar to those found in public clouds
  3. vShield – provides the security aspects of the private cloud infrastructure
  4. vCenter Server – provides the foundation of virtualization management
  5. vSphere Enterprise plus – provides the foundation of the private cloud infrastructure and bridging capabilities to public clouds

vCloud Director

vCloud Director makes it possible to group and manage resources in ways that fit the business processes. The simplified delivery of such resources helps IT departments provide services customized to the end users which is a noticeable business enabler. It includes features such as pre-configured services or custom-built services, policy-based user controls, simplified management, consolidation of resources and application portability between clouds.

vCenter Chargeback

Cost models are so well presented with vCenter Chargeback that they allow an organization to estimate costs related to deploying new services and running costs associated with existing services. The model allows different product/process owners to have visibility of costs related to their services. Included with the rich set of features we find customized models that organizations can modify to specific business policies. Charging for IT services (IT-as-a-Service) eliminates the perception that virtual machines are free. Additionally, vCenter integrates with existing IT Financial Management or Asset Management systems.

vShield

vShield includes application protection against network-based threats, network security for the perimeter, offloaded and streamlined anti-virus and the complete security management of resources. It improves the visibility and control of data security and offers IT compliance benefits for the entire organization.

vCenter Server

vCenter Server provides a centralized control of the virtual infrastructure and is consider as the platform that forms the foundation for virtualization management. vCenter Server manages vSphere environments giving IT administrators a scalable and extensible management platform at their hands.

vSphere Enterprise plus

As we have seen above, vSphere is packaged into multiple editions to fit the needs of any organization. All editions include the necessary components, specifically a hypervisor with features that support basic consolidation, improve availability, protect data, automate resource management, and simplify operations. vSphere is available in four languages which are English, German, Simplified Chinese and Japanese.

To see a comparison list of vSphere editions go here:

The good news is that VMware has packages for SMBs with fewer than 20 physical servers. The vSphere Essentials provides an all-in-one solution for small offices while the vSphere Essentials Plus adds high application availability and data protection for a complete server consolidation and business continuity solution for the small office IT environment.

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