Getting started with vCloud Air

It’s been more than 2 years I work for vCloud Air, I receive many queries  about the service, options, design guidance, how to purchase etc. Let me cover most of the things in this post.

 

What is vCloud Air ?

vCloud Air is a public cloud platform built on vSphere from VMware. it is a secure, hybrid cloud service built on the vSphere foundation. vCloud Air has multiple infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) subscription service types:

  • Dedicated Cloud – A subscription-based dedicated single-tenant, physically isolated cloud compute service that offers the broadest set of capabilities among the compute services in vCloud Air
  • Disaster Recovery Cloud – A recovery-as-a-service (RaaS) solution that introduces native cloud-based disaster recovery capabilities for VMware vSphere virtual environments
  • Virtual Private Cloud Subscription –  A subscription-based secure and expandable infrastructure as a service (IaaS) compute environment in which to start migrating your key production workloads and launch net new applications
  • Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand – An infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that allows customers to consume specific vCPU, vRAM, Storage, Network, IP Addresses, and even Support as incremental, pay-as-you-go services
  • More services to go live shortly..

 

Why Cloud services are getting popular and companies / organization moving their workloads to cloud ?

Answer is simple, to avoid overhead & utilize the flexibility of cloud services. Overheads such as Capex (Capital Expense), Security, hardware maintenance including but not limited to power, complex wiring, datacenter maintenance. Managing the infrastructure locally or collocated is not only complex but needs more human power, manual work and delay to procure new resources.

By using cloud services an org/company can concentrate of their domain business leaving these overheads to cloud providers. In Cloud, all the actions are instant and has a great flexibility to modify the resources (CPU, Memory, RAM, Storage..) according to the need.

 

vCloud Air Cloud offerings in details.

Choosing a cloud offering:

Choosing a right cloud offering can optimize cost, before you choose it is important to analyze your requirement for proper planning.

Analyzing your needs:

  • Analyze your compute resource needs such as number of
    • Virtual machines
    • CPU
    • RAM
    • Storage
  • Analyze your Application / Services needs such as
    • Number of users
    • Target users (such as developers, testers etc)
    • Types of application
    • Storage IOPS
    • Public Ips & Network bandwidth
    • Security
    • Peak & off peak hours
    • Disaster recovery & backup

Complete your designing & planning of your cloud environment and you are ready choose a right cloud offering for your org/company.

Offerings:

offering

 

Check vCloud Air pricing guide( http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/pricing-guide) to estimate your costs.

Security & Compliance :

Despite of all the benefits of the cloud, still companies are concerned about the security, risk & compliance. vCloud air holds major security  certifications to ensure compliance measures.

  • ISO/IEC 27001 (Global)
  • HIPAA
  • SOC 1 (SSAE16/ISAE 3402)
  • SOC 2
  • SOC 3
  • Cloud Security Alliance
  • UK G-Cloud 6
  • FedRAMP Provisional Authority (for vCGS)

Visit http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/cloud-compliance for more info on vCloud Air security.

Security is a Shared Responsibility, it is combined efforts of both customer and cloud providers. End to end security of vCloud Air service is shared between VMware and the customer.

VMware covers,

  • Physical security – Datacenter level security breaches
  • Information security – Customer & user level data
  • Network security – Physical & virtual devices
  • Security monitoring – Underlying infrastructure (Storage, Network, Servers, etc)
  • Patching & vulnerability Management.

VMware expects customer to take care of

  • Information security – customer data
  • Network Security – Maintaining firewall rules, exposing communication ports, security hardening
  • Security monitoring – Detection, classification and remediation of all security events that are isolated within customer environment

Reference Articles:

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vcloud-air/vmware-vcloud-air-security-technical-whitepaper.pdf

http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/security-overview

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vcloud-air/vcloud-air-Security-FAQ.pdf

 

Application & Guest Operating system Support:

Till today’s date, vCloud air is the only service which supports most of the operating systems, it supports more than 5000+ applications and over 90 operating systems. vCloud air is built on vSphere, so technically you can bring any OS that is supported by vSphere. For list of operating systems, please have a look at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=software&testConfig=16

All the Apps that have virtualization support can run on vCloud Air, also we have many solutions / services available instantly in vCloud Air market place. Look at vCloud Air market place  https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/category_groups/vcloud-air to see the list of solutions

Additionally you can bring your own licenses to vCloud air, have a look at https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/category_groups/vcloud-air?category=bring-your-own-license for more information.

Bring your OnPrem Workloads:

Unlike any other cloud providers, vCloud air is true hybrid cloud. It has great flexibility moving your workloads from vCloud Air to OnPrem and vice-versa.

You can move workloads from your OnPrem datacenter to vCloud Air in three different ways:
• Use VMware vCloud Connector™ to connect,view, and copy onsite vSphere workloads to your vCloud Air environment.
• An optional data migration service, Offline Data Transfer, is available to migrate large data sets using an external storage device.
• Administrators can use VMware vCloud Director® to import or export Open Virtualization Format (OVF) virtual machine images or other media.

vCloud Connector Tutorials & config

 

Click here to know how to purchase vCloud Air, for vCloud Air OnDemand http://www.virtualizationexpress.com/2015/01/vcloud-air-ondemand-an-intro/

Want to experience vCloud Air ?

 

More Resources:

Documentation:
http://vcloud.vmware.com/using-vcloud-air/documentation

Service Description:
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vcloud-air/vcloud-air-Service-Description.pdf

vCloud Air Tutorials:
http://vcloud.vmware.com/using-vcloud-air/tutorials

vCloud Air certification:
https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=64576&ui=www_cert

vCloud Air Course[2 Hours, selfpaced]:
http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=det&id_course=252513