buchachon - Fotolia
What is vCloud Air and where does it fit into my current data center?
VMware's vCloud Air -- formerly known as the vCloud Hybrid Service -- is an infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, offering from VMware designed to provide a public cloud based on vSphere. VCloud Air competes with other public-cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2.
VMware says its software platform provides a streamlined path for moving ESXi VMs from local servers into the data centers used by VMware and back again without the need for additional management tools. VMware claims administrators versed in vSphere can use the same skill set for vCloud deployments.
The whole point of a hybrid cloud like vCloud Air is to provide a data center with scalability, yet charge only for the computing resources used. For example, a single data center would need to make a capital investment in servers and configuration when more computing capacity is needed. But many business workloads are relatively low-priority or temporary -- such as test and development tasks -- and a few workloads might present unpredictable or erratic computing demands. All of these use cases make it difficult for businesses to justify in-house computing investments.
By connecting the data center to VMware vCloud Air, a business could move some low-priority workloads to the public cloud, spin up temporary VMs for testing or "burst" workloads to the public cloud when computing demands become excessive, then bring the workload back in-house when demands ease.
The cost of hybrid cloud services typically is based on usage factors including processor cycles, memory use, network bandwidth and storage capacity per hour. This shifts the cost from a one-time capital expense, or Capex, to a recurring use-based operating expense, or Opex, giving a business the financial benefit without depreciation or long-term service agreements, issues that often complicate capital investments, such as server purchases.
Dig Deeper on Using VMware cloud computing tools
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Containers have rapidly come into focus as a popular option for deploying applications, but they have limitations and are fundamentally different ... Continue Reading
Senior technology editor Stephen Bigelow breaks down how AWS Storage Gateway can trip up users' hybrid cloud strategies. Beware these issues with ... Continue Reading
There is a small list of enterprise-class deployments and integrations known to run on VMware Cloud on AWS, but not all complex workloads are suited ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.