VMware is rolling out new cloud consulting services that the virtualization vendor claims can get a private cloud running for a customer in 30 days or less. Also available, as of Monday, is a VMware vCloud reference architecture, which the company describes as a blueprint to help customers quickly create a vCloud solution that has been proven in other enterprise cloud deployments.
VMware says it is targeting these services at companies that understand the value of cloud computing but are unclear as to how to make it happen. "Everyone we've worked with that started out with preconceived notions dramatically changed their expectations of what cloud can do for them [after meeting with VMware]," says Matthew Stepanski, VP of VMware's Technical Services Cloud Practice.
The main new consulting offering is the vCloud Accelerator Service, which helps a customer plan, design, configure and deploy a private cloud, Stepanski says. The Accelerator Service brings together a variety of VMware services, including vSphere for managing virtualization in the data center, vCloud Director for pooling together virtual infrastructure resources, vCenter Chargeback for managing how to bill various lines of business for access to cloud services, and vShield for securing cloud environments.
VMware is just one of many IT companies going after the cloud computing market with various services and product offerings. HP, for instance, last week unveiled its HP Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute offering, which is designed to help customers deploy private clouds.
Acknowledging the competition, Stepanski believes VMware's legacy in virtualization gives it an advantage among others because virtualization is at the core of cloud computing. "You can have virtualization without cloud, but you cannot have cloud without virtualization," he said.
But like virtualization, in which companies initially deployed the technology in application testing and development environments before deploying it in more risky production environments, some customers are also deploying cloud computing cautiously and in limited areas. To address that, VMware offers a "controlled introduction," Stepanski says, even though VMware is confident its cloud environments could work in production environments easily.