Virtualization platform provider VMware is outlining a new strategy to take information technology to the next level, where the cloud is the new IT infrastructure for small businesses, enterprises and end users. At its VMworld 2010 conference this week in San Francisco, VMware announced acquisitions, new products and promoted the idea of IT as a service instead of IT as a cost center for businesses.
As virtualization adoption rates increase, organizations will require less of their own data center hardware. Virtualization will enable them to create their own private clouds and also sign up with public cloud service providers to access existing business applications, new enterprise apps and software as a service (SaaS) apps. The apps will be delivered by an additional layer of software for automation, management and security of the cloud, said Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware, in a keynote address at the conference. "It's this new layer that will be the new infrastructure," Maritz said, adding that it will be essential that these applications are available to end users on a variety of devices beyond PCs, including iPads, smartphones and other mobile devices.
"We believe that we're at the beginning of a very important phase in the industry, which is a growing realization by enterprises that they not only have to renew their infrastructure but they have to they have to renew their application base...that the expectations of their customers are to have access to real-time information anywhere, anytime," Maritz said later at a news conference following his speech.
An array of new VMware products was introduced by Steve Herrod, chief technology officer and senior vice president of research and development for VMware, who followed Maritz onstage at the conference. He started with vSphere 4.1, the latest upgrade to its management software for using virtualization to create private clouds. VMware vCloud Director complements vSphere by helping to create "virtual data centers" that are logical pools of compute, network and storage resources that operate with common management policies, service level agreements (SLAs) and pricing. VMware vShield is a trio of security products for virtualization and cloud security, including vShield App for application security, vShield Endpoint for end-user devices accessing the network and vShield Edge for protecting the perimeter of a virtual or cloud network.
The new vCloud Datacenter Services bundles a variety of IT services for enterprises seeking to move some of their IT to a public cloud provider. Enterprises have been slower to embrace the public cloud than smaller businesses out of concern about security, SLAs, regulatory compliance and vendor lock-in.