vCloud

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vCloud is a cloud computing initiative from VMware which will allow customers to migrate work on demand[1] from their "internal cloud" of cooperating VMware hypervisors to a remote cloud of VMware hypervisors. The goal of the initiative is to provide the power of cloud computing with the flexibility allowed by virtualization.[2]

The initiative was announced at the 2008 VMworld conference in Las Vegas and garnered significant press attention.[3]

At the 2009 VMworld conference in San Francisco vCloud was featured in the vCloud Pavilion.[4] vCloud was also a subject at the 2010 conference.[5] The vCloud initiative has grown with many public service providers and multiple supporting applications.

vCloud architecture relies on vShield edge for its operation, routed networks in vCloud needs a VM running vShield-edge software, acting as the default gateway of that network. This virtual gateway is implemented on a free host on the system and provides its services to VMs on that host and on other hosts.

vCloud Hybrid Service[edit]

vCloud supports so called hybrid cloud solutions where a customer runs (part of) his cloud on his own dedicated hardware with the ability to move VM's running on the private infrastructure to the public cloud. This will give the user even extra flexibility: when external events (or seasonal effects) lead to a large extra increase in required computing (and/or storage) demand, the cloud manager can start using cloud services from his external provider.

If business rules require that some business critical or sensitive systems remain on self-owned infrastructure he can simply move less sensitive systems to the public cloud and free up resources on his own infrastructure. And when the need for the additional power is gone he can migrate back to their own systems. Although this functionality is part of the VMware vCloud suite of products: VMware doesn't offer (public) cloud services themselves: this is done via 3rd parties. One of such providers is Dell: that company offers complete vCloud solutions, including the hardware and software for the private cloud (based on Dell PowerEdge servers, Force10 network-infrastructure, consultancy, pro-support support and pro-active maintenance etc. But they also offer the required public cloud services to where customers can "push" some or all of their cloud systems[6] For (potential) users of these services it is important to consider where their (sensitive) data will be stored is/when using public cloud services and under which jurisdiction the provider of the services fall. In the example of Dell: that is an American company and the American government assumes a lot of freedom of data they can demand from cloud providers (or any company handling data), regardless of the actual location of the data or nationality of the customer.

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