September 27, 2010 Leave a comment
“Virtualisation and Cloud – How do they Fit ?”
At the 2010 VMWorld held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, VMware unveiled a new approach to ‘Cloud Computing’ that enables businesses and larger enterprises who already have virtualized infrastructures, to shift some of their IT operations to an ISP’s cloud service offering.
The new service, Computing as a Service (CaaS) enabled by VMware vCloud Datacentre, is currently in field trials. Enterprises can use this hybrid service without having to rewrite applications that operate on VMware, using their current modes of operation, according to the vendor.
“It is intended to lower some of the barriers to adoption of cloud computing.” says Joe Crawford, executive director of IT solutions. “VMware customers will be interested in this functionality. There are hundreds of thousands of customers who use VMware today, and they can now use a cloud-based solution using the same tool set and same knowledge base”
For some ‘Virtualization’ and ‘Cloud Computing’ is still a grey area, so let’s try to clarify this a bit.
Virtualization is the creation of a virtual version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resource, in essence it is scaling down from a ‘one server, one application’ model to ‘one server, multiple servers and multiple applications’ model. A number of customers have used this model to scale down massive power hungry data centres to run on a few high capacity servers. With an array of benefits.
Whereas ‘Cloud Computing’ is Internet based computing, it is also a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories – Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
This new service is ground-breaking for VMware, a company that has factored heavily in the service provider community’s move to cloud computing. VMware have started to engage with ISP’s to offer this cloud based solution, built on the customers’ requirements.
The new service also promises security for applications shifted onto the cloud-based architecture.
One immediate area of appeal is disaster recovery and business continuity, Joe Crawford, executive director of IT solutions says, “as enterprises look for network-based computing options that enable them to stay in business in the face of natural or man-made disasters or service interruptions. In addition, the CaaS offering will give businesses the ability to add or subtract computing resources as needed, paying for what they use rather than investing capital in computing power that sits idle during slower times.
InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has been selected to trial the field tests for this service, using cloud computing to handle higher booking activity during peak travel times, and with the upcoming to holiday season, they are likely to need extra capacity until the off season.
With this service, you can have variable workloads hosted by the service provider as opposed to using your own resources, so if you require a higher capacity it is as simple as putting through a request.
So moving forward we can see infrastructures scaling down through virtualized environments and them saving money, by only paying for what they use. We have a high expectancy from the field trials and hope within the next year we can see our local ISP’s adopting a CaaS model driving forward with VMware at the helm.