VMware Extends Virtualization Reach
With the release of VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, the virtualization software provider is proclaiming it has pioneered the first application that delivers a "software-defined datacenter." The vCloud suite integrates the vendor's virtualization, cloud infrastructure, and management portfolio into a single technology product.
The software-defined datacenter architecture abstracts all hardware resources and pools them into aggregate capacity. This means virtualization is extended to every domain in the datacenter, including computing, storage, networking, and the associated availability and security services. Hardware resources are then automatically delivered as needed to datacenter tenants and/or customers, who can in turn operate their own isolated virtual datacenters.
Specific vCloud Suite 5.1 components include the vSphere 5.1 platform that supports virtual machines (VMs) with up to 64 virtual CPUs, the vCloud Director 5.1 that orchestrates the provisioning of virtual datacenter services, vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 that allows users to create logical networks for each application or tenant and isolates network traffic between applications belonging to the same organization, and the vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1 disaster planning/testing/recovery solution.
According to an article in InfoWorld, vCloud Suite 5.1 may prove to be a "disruptive game changer" for network administrators. The solution's virtualization capabilities allow admins to create "dozens of networks connecting hundreds of VMs," all without touching the switching configuration.
In addition, InfoWorld cites how vCloud enables a software-driven datacenter to automatically draw functionality from pools of disparate infrastructure resources that can be located in different racks or datacenters, allowing admins to continually meet application and service requirements.
vCloud May Change the Game for Midsize Businesses
However, network admins are not the only ones for whom VMware's latest datacenter application may change the game. Midsize businesses also stand to receive significant benefits in terms of the flexibility and reach of their IT enterprises through vCloud's capability.
Typically speaking, midsize businesses do not have the financial resources or in-house know-how to create an extended IT infrastructure. This puts them at a potentially serious disadvantage with larger competitors who can easily extend their enterprise to almost any spot they want, greatly increasing visibility into and capability of field operations and opening up possibilities for employees to work at full productivity wherever they are.
Using mobile technologies and managed services, midsize businesses have been able to close this gap somewhat. But far too often, they are left with a patchwork extended enterprise that only partially delivers visibility and functionality outside of corporate headquarters and does not offer full reliability or security.
vCloud 5.1 offers midsize businesses the promise of delivering their complete arsenal of datacenter resources wherever an employee is located, with maximum reliability and security. The solution also can virtually connect employees operating in independent network spaces, providing a tremendous amount of flexibility in terms of activities such as opening new markets, winning new clients, and recruiting talent.
One of the biggest benefits virtualization delivers to the business world is a leveling of the playing field as far as company size goes, allowing smaller organizations with a high degree of creativity and talent to more effectively compete. vCloud 5.1 looks like it will take this to a whole new level, and midsize businesses should be very happy.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.