Verizon CaaS and VMware Cloud Computing – Part I

Although I haven’t had the chance to participate to any of the private betas of VMware vCloud Datacenter or Director, I was fortunate enough to play with Verizon’s own deployment of VMware vCloud Datacenter called Verizon CaaS. It was a great experience! Provisioning and managing an environment of either physical or virtual servers has never been so simple and fast, whilst maintaining a high level of security and control.

But before going further with my experience with Verizon CaaS, I needed to understand some of these new terms that were introduced to the public a week ago at vmworld 2010 in San Francisco. New terms such VMware vCloud Datacenter Services, VMware vCloud Director, VMware vShield, VMware vCloud Express and VMware vCloud Powered. What does that mean? How do they work together? What’s the target audience? And many other questions I had in my mind at the time of writing this article.

My primary source of information was the VMware Cloud Computing web site. I found it quite difficult to navigate across all the web pages trying to get consistent definitions across the board but finally I made it through.

Part two of this article will be fully dedicated to my experience with Verizon CaaS. A lot to say and screenshots to publish…

But for now, part one dedicated to those new terms and how I do understand them. I could be wrong sometimes or misunderstanding the terms so do not hesitate to comment!

VMware vCloud Datacenter Services

Leverage globally-consistent infrastructure, management and security models, enabling enterprise customers to quickly and seamlessly move computing workloads from internal virtualized infrastructure out to an external cloud and back. In essence, it allows your internal virtualized applications to be easily moved to a vCloud Datacenter Services without re-architecting or refactoring everything. You can choose the vCloud Service Provider that best meets your needs and manage, move and operate your applications as if they were on site. vCloud Datacenter Services is acting at the Public & Hybrid Cloud Computing level. You may ask what are those services and what do they do precisely?

  • Application portability – Built upon the same globally consistent foundation as your internal datacenter or private cloud, that is VMware vCloud Director, VMware vSphere, VMware vShield for example and therefore provides a more compatible model for virtual datacenter management and security that allows complete application portability across private and public clouds.
  • Auditable security – Built to predefined specifications and based on secure VMware cloud infrastructure technology. It provides multilevel, auditable security through SAS 70 Type II or ISO 27001 compliance, also delivers virtualization-aware firewall capabilities, Layer 2 isolation, role-based access control and the ability to integrate with Active Directory.
  • Freedom of choice – Because all vCloud Datacenter Service offerings are built on the same compatible VMware technology, they provide the interoperability and portability that enterprises need to deploy applications across private and public clouds, and to move workloads from cloud to cloud as needed.
  • Flexible service levels – Allows for multiple service levels and models, including “pay-asyou- go,” to rapidly scale up and down cloud usage, “committed” for guaranteed resources pools, and “dedicated” for complete isolation of all resources.
  • Control – Gives IT organizations the best of both worlds: the ability to stay in complete control while enabling a self-service provisioning model for end users. Using role-based access control in VMware vCloud Director, user activity logs supplied by service providers and the vCloud API, IT organizations can manage cloud infrastructure more easily and calibrate multiple levels of service and access for all users.

VMware vCloud Director (vCD)

Acting at the Private Cloud Computing level, vCD is a software solution that enables enterprises to build secure, multi-tenant private clouds by pooling infrastructure resources into virtual datacenters and exposing them to users through Web-based portals and programmatic interfaces as fully automated, catalog-based services. It enables IT organizations to deliver resources to internal users by logically pooling compute, storage, and networking capacity into virtual datacenters. IT organizations can manage resources more efficiently with complete abstraction between consumption and delivery of IT services. vCD integrates with your existing vSphere deployment and supports existing and future applications by providing elastic storage and networking via existing interfaces. Using VMware vCloud API, you can extend your datacenter’s capacity into secure and compatible VMware-based public and hybrid clouds and manage it as easily as your private cloud leveraging interoperability and portability. The key components are:

  • Create virtual datacenters that include compute, storage and networking capacity to enable complete separation between the consumption of infrastructure services and the underlying resources.
  • Support multi-tenant environments to group users into organizations that can represent any policy group such as a business unit, division or subsidiary company. Each has isolated virtual resources, independent LDAP-authentication, specific policy controls, and unique catalogs. These features enable a multi-tenant environment with multiple organizations sharing the same infrastructure.
  • vShield security technologies such as perimeter protection, port-level firewall, and NAT and DHCP services, offer virtualization-aware security, simplify application deployment and enforce boundaries required by compliance standards.
  • Infrastructure service catalog to deploy and consume pre-configured infrastructure and application services, such as virtual appliances, virtual machines, operating system images and other media with the click of a button from central catalogs. This enables IT to standardize offerings, simplifying troubleshooting, patching and change management.
  • Self-service portal whee users have direct access to their catalogs and virtual datacenters through a user-friendly web portal.
  • VMware vCloud API is an open, REST-based API that allows scripted access to consume cloud resources, such as vApp upload/download, catalog management and other operations. The vCloud API makes basic transfer between clouds possible using the open virtualization format (OVF), which preserves application properties, networking configuration, and other settings.
  • Automation and orchestration by leveraging the APIs in conjunction with the VMware vCenter Orchestrator plug-in and integrations with other orchestration and service management products, administrators can automate routine tasks, build ITIL workflows, and script complex operations with ease.

Learn more about VMware vCloud Director with the following resources. Also VMware vCloud Director Architecture and Terms KB article provides information about the architecture of and terms specifically related to VMware vCloud Director.

VMware vShield

VMware vShield was available for almost a couple of years if I’m not wrong. This is a key component of the VMware Cloud Computing initiative. The product has matured since and is now available into five technologies tackling several security layers of a multi-tenant environment.

  1. VMware vShield App: Application protection against network-based threats
  2. VMware vShield Edge: Network security for the perimeter
  3. VMware vShield Endpoint: Offloaded and streamlined anti-virus
  4. VMware vShield Zones: Basic protection from network-based threats
  5. VMware vShield Manager: Complete security management

VMware vCloud Express

You get on-demand, pay-as-you-use infrastructure that is compatible with your existing VMware-based IT environment and provides a non-disruptive path to migrate from development to deployment. It allows a quick and easy access to VMware Virtualized infrastructure for prototyping and development from external third party providers.  Key audiences include development and IT professionals, ISVs, SMBs, and enterprises who want “IT on demand”, with easy access to service for development and testing new applications, or to “experiment” with the cloud experience. For businesses such as SMBs and start-ups that don’t want to invest heavily in on-premise IT, vCloud Express offers an easy, low-cost option to IT services that is agile and flexible to accommodate business growth.

VMware vCloud Express list of services:

  • Self-Service Portal
  • vCloud API
  • Web-based Signup/Activation
  • Utility Pricing
  • Credit Card Billing
  • Interoperability Across Service Providers

VMware vCloud Powered

VMware is adding a new technology badge called VMware vCloud Powered to the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP). The VSPP allows a broad ecosystem of more than 2,700 service providers to deliver VMware-based cloud services, providing enterprises the ability to easily and securely access public and hybrid cloud resources. vCloud Powered services are built on VMware vSphere, VMware vCloud Director, VMware vShield, expose the VMware vCloud API and support the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) for image upload and download.


About PiroNet

Didier Pironet is an independent blogger and freelancer with +15 years of IT industry experience. Didier is also a former VMware inc. employee where he specialised in Datacenter and Cloud Infrastructure products as well as Infrastructure, Operations and IT Business Management products. Didier is passionate about technologies and he is found to be a creative and a visionary thinker, expressing with passion and excitement, hopefully inspiring and enrolling people to innovation and change.
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