Being the market leaders in data center virtualization, VMware is a front runner when it comes to private clouds. They have gained that trust amongst their customers, something of which is helpful in this era of public clouds.
The gradual growth in public cloud offerings has made VMware to scratch its head, since the top companies in public cloud offerings like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud do not use VMware. To mention AWS, Rackspace, Linode use Xen. While Google Cloud uses Kernel based VM and Microsoft Azure uses Hyper-V. This was a concern for VMware to sustain their existence in the market as the leaders of virtualization.
One effective solution was, why not come up with their own public cloud platform. This made VMware to introduce a public cloud platform known as vCloud Air, which is a growing IaaS in Cloud Computing. Because of its earlier reputation in virtualization, vCloud Air has put itself amongst the top companies in the public cloud market.
VMware has a concrete foundation of their existing on-premise infrastructure like vSphere, which induces building of vCloud Air on the same foundation including the infrastructure, disaster recovery and various applications as service offerings. This helps VMware to gain more trust from their existing clients on private cloud data centers to migrate onto vCloud Air seamlessly.
Though vCloud Air is pretty new player in the public cloud market, it has introduced a basic set of services one should look for in a public cloud. Let’s compare these services with Amazon’s offerings:
|Amazon Web Services||vCloud Air|
|Compute||EC2: Virtual machines available with standard resource size options.||VM: Virtual machines with liberty to choose any combination of CPU and memory.|
|Vertical Scaling: Resizing an EC2 instance needs a server restart.||Vertical Scaling: VM can be resized without any kind of shutdown.|
|ELB: Automatically distributes incoming traffic across multiple EC2 instances.||Load Balancer: Automatically distributes incoming traffic across multiple VMs.|
|Auto Scaling: Automatically scales the EC2 capacity up or down as per requirement.||No support.|
|Storage||EBS: A virtual volume that can be attached/detached to an EC2 instance.||Hard Drive: Virtual block storage Hard Drive that can be added/removed to the VM.|
|S3: Object store for storing and retrieving any amount of data.||No support.|
|CloudFront: Easy distribution of content with low latency via global network of edge locations.||No support.|
|Networking||VPC: Allows a private isolated network of AWS cloud.||VDC: Allows a private isolated section to create virtual data center.|
|Route53: Highly available and scalable DNS web services.||No support.|
|Monitoring||CloudWatch: Monitoring for AWS resources.||Monitoring of VMs and its resources, CPU utilization, disk reads/writes can be achieved.|
|Database||RDS: A relational database service.||vCloud Air SQL (recently launched) : Database-as-a-Service that provides easy access to scalable, cloud-hosted relational databases.|
Way to quickly deploy and manage applications in the AWS.
|CloudFormation: Automation for AWS resources using templates.||No support.|
|Pricing||Charged on hourly basis for usage of CPU, memory and storage.||Charged on hourly basis for usage of vCPU, memory and storage.|
|Management Tool||AWS has a management interface. Also supports REST APIs for integration||VMware tools like vShpere client can be used to manage vCloud Air. REST APIs support available|
vCloud Air might not be as vast as AWS in terms of services and features but is a natural choice for people already using VMware tools to manage their infrastructure on the private cloud. vCloud Air might also be a good choice when layer 2 networking is important.
In future, vCloud Air will also be adding support for more geographic locations and introducing more services to achieve high availability and scalability like AWS. I would say it has made a good start with a solid set of services which shows it’s potential to turn into a mature cloud in coming years.
We are also conducting a training on VMware vCloud Air. You can find details about the course here.