vCloud Air @VMWorld 2015 pt.1

VMWorld was bigger than ever this year with 23,000+ attendees. Announcements came in droves and vCloud Air certainly didn’t miss out on its fair share. I will be covering all of these in lot more detail in coming posts, but for now here’s high level summary.

Some of these announcements have been doing the rounds for a while, whilst others came out of the blue. Here is a breakdown of what got me childishly clapping at the screen whilst I watched remotely.

Hybrid Cloud Manager: is the replacement for the vCloud Air vSphere Web Client Plugin and vCloud Connector. It also adds advanced hybrid network capabilities based on NSX technology.

Enhanced Hybrid Cloud Management: Greatly improved administration and management of vCloud Air workloads from vCenter.

Enhanced Virtual Machine Migration: Replication-based migration of VMs over Direct Connect and VPN with automated cutover (ASAP, scheduled and optimised) and finally an exposed API. Oh, and the all important addition of WAN optimisation!

Infrastructure extension: Stretch multiple L2 segments (up to 200!) into vCloud Air over Direct Connect or VPN. This replaces vCloud Connector Stretch Deploy which is a very welcome addition if you have ever tried to use Stretch Deploy in any anger…

Project Skyscraper was also announced during the keynote on Day One of VMWorld and got all the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahhs’ of a world class fireworks display. It has been a long time coming but unfortunately is still in technology preview (*sad face). It includes;

Cross-Cloud vMotion: This had to be one of the coolest demos of the entire event. vSphere vMotion into vCloud Air (and back again). Zero downtime for workload migration to public cloud. That is an absolute first! You can guarantee I will be covering this in great detail!

Cross-Cloud Content Syncsynchronise VM templates, vApps, ISOs, and scripts with their content catalog from vSphere to vCloud Air.

Advanced Networking Services: The long-awaited NSX integration into vCloud Air. There’s way too much here to go into any detail. High level enhancements include;

Enhanced Edge Services: Current vCA Edge capabilities + support for dynamic routing (eBGP/OSPF), SSL-VPN, enhanced load balancer, multi-interface trunking (True L2 Stretch), enhanced stateful edge firewall + more.

Trust groups: Stateful in-kernel L2/3 firewall (micro-segmentation), Object based rules, 5-tuples mapped to apps + more.

Compliance and operations: Enhanced API, Distributed firewall logs, Load balancer health checks + more.

Site Recovery Manager Air (SRM Air): In terms of revision, DR2C (or Disaster Recovery to Cloud) is in it’s second incarnation. v2.0 gave us reverse replication, fail-back, multi point-in-time recovery in addition to other small improvements. Enhanced Disaster Recovery aka SRM Air (or DR2C 3.0 if you will) adds SRM capabilities in a SaaS delivery model. Expect application-centric automated workflows that orchestrate testing, failover and failback of VMs to and from vCloud Air.

DR2C will also move away from a subscription model to OnDemand, metered by the minute pricing model where you only pay for the storage you consume + a per VM monthly subscription. Watch this space!

EMC & Google Cloud Object Storage: Object storage has been a cornerstone of public cloud for many years now. VMware has partnered with EMC and Google Cloud to provide the following services integrated directly into vCloud Air.

Google Cloud Object Storage: Available in three flavours. Standard, Durable Reduced Availability and Nearline. I think these services are all pretty self explanatory but for more info see here.

EMC Object Storage: Geo-protected distribution, located in the same data centers as vCloud Air, S3 compatible API. Currently only available in the US, but coming to other global vCA data centers in the near future.

vCloud Air SQL (DBaaS): Again relatively self explanatory. vCA SQL is a managed database service initially based on, you guessed it, Microsoft SQL. This was announced last year but has made it into the fold this year.

Backend-as-a-ServicevCloud Air’s first foray into the PaaS world outside of the partnership with federation brethren, Pivotal. Most impressive in my opinion is Kinvey, a vCloud Air integrated mobile development platform with complete backend services for end-to-end delivery of mobile applications: identity management, data services, business logic, analytics + more.

Apparently you can build and deploy a complete mobile application without writing a single line of code! I find this difficult to believe but I look forward to giving it a go.

There were a number of other smaller announcements which weren’t as exciting (to me at least). If you want any more info about any of the above feel free to give me a shout.

Author: @Kev_McCloud

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