Enterprises are planning to embrace Cloud Computing as the new model of infrastructure that helps them leverage IT better for their business. Not only application services, but even enterprise datacenters and desktop environments are being moved to the cloud. In view of that VMware has announced several interesting products and solutions that could help enterprises benefit from Cloud Computing. These range from infrastructure management to application development platforms and even something for end-user computing. Here's an overview.
VMware vCloud Director
There are strong chances that companies would be using both the public and private clouds, and would require some sort of integration between the two. That's where VMware's vCloud Director comes in. It enables you to build private and hybrid clouds that are compatible with VMware public clouds.
vCloud Director would enable organizations to create virtual data centers. It integrates with existing vSphere deployments and supports existing and future applications by providing elastic storage and networking through existing interfaces. Rather than providing siloed infrastructure for each department in the organization; virtual data centers based on common physical infrastructure can be used to deliver IT services. By pooling these physical resources on the back-end, hardware utilization and consolidation increases. Under vCloud Director, the underlying physical infrastructure is shared in a multi-tenant, isolated fashion by departments or outside organizations that never know about each other. Using vCloud Director a datacenter administrator can provision resource pools on the fly and trigger workflows to start resource reclamation, ie unused virtual machines can be wiped out and freed resources would be added back to the available pool. He can group users into organizations that can represent any policy group such as a business unit, division or subsidiary company. Each has isolated virtual resources, independent LDAP-authentication and specific policy controls. These features enable a multi-tenant environment with multiple organizations sharing the same infrastructure. For security, it incorporates the new vShield offerings.
Today's security solutions let you monitor the physical boundaries of your IT infrastructure, but it becomes a challenge to monitor the logical boundaries created by virtualization. Traditional enterprise security was dependent on agents that required dedicated hardware, which were not developed to be aware of virtualization and dynamic IT environments. In a virtualization environment, where applications are mobile and leverage shared resources, a new security approach is required. The vShield product family helps tackle these cloud security challenges. These products deliver a security model designed specifically for virtual and cloud environments. The vShield product family is based on VMware's existing VMsafe security APIs, and incorporates three new product offerings, namely vShield Edge, vShield App and vShield Endpoint.
With vShield, the security functionality can be embedded directly into the virtual environment, which previously was tied to a specific hardware. This means that security settings can be moved with a VM when they are VMotioned. These security enhancements are especially crucial for enabling multi-tenancy and cloud deployments. With these products you can virtualize security and edge services like firewall, VPN and load balancing, and free them from the constraints of physical infrastructure and provide a single security infrastructure. This eliminates the complexity of traditional approaches and enables more visibility and control across the breadth of the datacenter.
VMware has rolled out something of interest to Java developers who use the Spring framework for app development. Called vFabric, the cloud application development platform integrates with the Spring framework to help speed up Java application development efforts and optimizes the use of cloud infrastructure while freeing developers from those constraints.
vFabric incorporates a data management and application scaling layer that gives developers access to services that make the Cloud Computing infrastructure. The vFabric integrated platform services include:
• tc Server: A lightweight application server based on Apache Tomcat application server that is optimized for Spring and ideally suited for virtual environments. It is optimized for VMware vSphere and can be instantaneously provisioned to meet scalability needs of modern applications on the cloud.
• GemFire: A data management service that speeds up application performance and eliminates database bottlenecks by providing real-time access to globally distributed data.
• RabbitMQ: It's a cloud ready messaging service that facilitates communications between applications inside and outside the data center.
• ERS: It's a dynamic load balancer, and is an enterprise version of the Apache web server that distributes and balances application load.
• Hyperic: It enables application performance management through transparent visibility into modern applications deployed across physical, virtual, and cloud environments.
VMware View 4.5 and VMware ThinApp 4.6
In support of their end-user computing vision, VMware launched two new products that help organizations transform from desktop-centric environments to Cloud Computing, where a user has access from any device to any application. The products launched were View 4.5 and ThinApp 4.6.
VMware View 4.5, is an updated desktop management and delivery solution that enables organizations to move from desktop architecture to modern, user-centric model where all applications and data that user wants to access are in the data center and he can access those through any device from any location. This enables users to work on their virtual desktops over LAN or WAN, while VMware View with Local Mode enables secure offline access while leveraging local processing power of the device. This way an enterprise can manage tens of thousands of virtual desktops through View 4.5 management platform. It decentralizes the operating system storage, which enables desktop environment to scale linearly and also with low latency. This simplifies the architecture and lowers the acquisition cost for an enterprise.
Many enterprises are still stuck with their legacy applications, which hinders their adoption towards modernization. ThinApp 4.6 simplifies the application delivery by encapsulating applications into a single package that can be deployed, managed and updated independently from the underlying operating system. This provides organizations to quickly migrate their legacy applications based on IE6 to Windows 7 by eliminating the need to recode their applications. This saves the cost of application porting by deploying it virtually, as the application virtualization encapsulates the application into a single executable file, which can be deployed on any Windows operating environment. This eliminates installation conflicts as each virtual application is isolated from each other and the operating system. The packaged applications have awareness of each other but execute independently and make no changes to the underlying operating system.