VMWorld 2012: VMware bangs drum for software-based datacentres

Virtualisation giant takes wraps off new cloud product suite and talks up benefits of software-defined infrastructure.

Datacentre

Virtualisation giant VMware has used its annual customer and developers' conference to debut new cloud products and enablement services.

At the VMworld 2012 conference in San Francisco, VMware took the wraps off its vCloud Suite 5.1 of virtualisation, datacentre management and security offerings.

The product bundle contains the latest versions of VMware's vSphere virtualisation platform, vCloud Director and vCloud Networking and Security.

Speaking to IT Pro, VMware's director of systems engineering, Jon Cairns, said the suite is aimed at enterprises that want to build "software-defined datacentres."

The term is used by VMware to describe a datacentre infrastructure that is completely virtualised, automated and delivered as-a-service.

They can use previous purchases as a discount against the cost of the vCloud suite.

"[The product suite] is actually a mixture of significantly updated products and new additions," said Cairns.

"We've taken all the bits customers need to build a software-defined datacentre and combined them into a single, logical SKU that makes it easy for them to consume it."

End users that have purchased individual components of the product suite already can take advantage of VMware's Fair Value Conversion Programme to get some money off the total package.

"They can use that previous purchase as a discount against the cost of the vCloud suite. So, their previous purchases are taken into account," he said.

"We also recognise that [some customers] may not be ready for the entire suite, so they can purchase individual parts and use the Fair Value Conversion Programme to upgrade when they are ready."

There are cost and business agility benefits to be had by going down the software-defined datacentre route, added Cairns.

"As soon as you start abstracting and pooling [datacentre resources], you start making much more efficient use of the hardware," he said.

The vendor also used the conference to announce the launch of its Cloud Ops education and advisory services, which are designed to help IT departments negotiate the move to the cloud.

To coincide with the launch, VMware has also introduced the Cloud Ops Forum, a group of third-party vendors, service providers and integrators who will guide IT workers through building and operating cloud environments.

Founding members include Capgemini, CSC, EMC and HP.

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