VMware vCHS options: Dedicated cloud vs. virtual private cloud

VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service is available in two flavors: dedicated cloud and virtual private cloud, which differ in terms of price and scale.

What's the difference between the dedicated cloud and virtual private cloud offerings in VMware vCHS?

Despite its name, vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) is actually VMware's public cloud platform. Users can spin up new virtual machines or entire virtual data centers in the public cloud and connect them to their on-premises VMware infrastructures. (That's where the "hybrid" part comes in.)

VMware vCHS comes in two flavors: dedicated cloud and virtual private cloud. Dedicated cloud is for larger cloud projects and more resource-intensive workloads, and it offers some additional protections and flexibility. Storage, networking and support costs are roughly the same for each core service, but compute is more expensive with the dedicated cloud option -- 10 to 13 cents per GB per hour, compared to 4 cents per GB per hour for virtual private cloud.

Contract lengths also vary. Dedicated cloud customers can sign one-, two- or three-year deals, whereas the contracts for virtual private cloud customers run for either three months or one year.

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Chris Colotti, a senior technical marketing manager at VMware, explained the technical differences between vCHS dedicated cloud and virtual private cloud at a Boston VMware User Group event in October 2013. Here's a recap of what he said:

Dedicated cloud provides 120 GB of vRAM, 30 GHz vCPU and 6 TB of storage. It allocates a 50 Mbps network by default and can burst up to 1 Gbps in times of increased demand.

Virtual private cloud has 20 GB of vRAM, 5 GHz vCPU (that can burst to 10 GHz) and 2 TB of storage. Its default network allocation is 10 Mbps, with burstability to 50 Mbps.

A major differentiator with the dedicated cloud is that VMware will host each customer's infrastructure on servers that are physically isolated from those of other customers, which may be a requirement for businesses in regulated industries. Virtual private cloud relies on logical separation.

Dedicated cloud customers can also create multiple virtual data centers, which may appeal to value-added hosting providers. As an extension of this feature, dedicated cloud provides multiple gateways to the Internet, so each virtual data center can have its own network and firewall configuration.

It's important to note that choosing between the dedicated cloud and virtual private cloud options in VMware vCHS is not necessarily an either/or proposition. Customers may buy instances of both and connect the workloads in each over a virtual private network.

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