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VMware vCloud Air expanding its cloud offerings

Despite its relative newness to the market, VMware's public cloud infrastructure offering could appeal to shops already using the company's vSphere server virtualization platform.

What types of cloud services does vCloud Air offer?

VMware's vCloud Air -- formerly vCloud Hybrid Service -- is the virtualization company's infrastructure as a service cloud platform that currently has three service offerings.

Dedicated Cloud provides users with a portion of single-tenant, physically separate computing resources, starting with 30 GHz of vCPU cycles, 120 GB of memory, 6 TB of storage and 50 Mbps of network bandwidth to handle some of the most demanding workloads -- or even multiple workloads. Using a single-tenant approach provides the optimum guarantee of security and prevents unanticipated resource conflicts with other workloads sharing the physical infrastructure.

VMware's Virtual Private Cloud provides a more traditional multi-tenant, logically separated compute environment, starting with 5 GHz of CPU cycles with ability to burst to 10 GHz, 20 GB of memory, 2 TB of storage, and 10 Mbps of network bandwidth, which is more appropriate to individual business workloads. Adopting a multi-tenant infrastructure allows far better cost sharing, and the isolation offered in virtual environments maintains adequate security for multi-tenant workloads.

VMware's Disaster Recovery Cloud is a new offering. It supplies the same computing resources as a Virtual Private Cloud, but includes self-service disaster recovery tools for virtual workloads and supports features like automated failover, migrations and recovery.

At VMworld 2014, VMware announced the beta of its Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand service, which offers a pay-as-you-go model for its cloud services with general availability expected in the first half of 2015.

Every public cloud customer should remember outages and downtime are unavoidable, though the impacts on your workloads can be mitigated. For example, VMware points out that maintenance windows rarely -- if ever -- occur. If maintenance becomes necessary, VMware will try to provide at least 24 hours of notice – enough time to shift critical workloads to alternate cloud providers or back in-house to ensure undisrupted operation.

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