vCloud Availability for vCloud Director is a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution that provides simple and secure asynchronous replication and failover for vSphere managed workloads. The service operates through a vCloud Air Network Service Provider, and each installation provides recovery for multiple tenants. The service provides the following features:
The architecture of the solution relies on the service provider environment that provides the replication target and the customer, or tenant, environment that employs vSphere replication to move the data to the service provider. In the service provider environment, multiple components operate together to support replication, secure communication, and storage of the replicated data. Each service provider can support recovery for multiple customer environments that can scale to handle increasing loads for each tenant, and for multiple tenants.
On the tenant side, a single VM instance is deployed in the tenant vSphere environment. This provides management service that is used to oversee the replication operation for each replicated VM. Standard vSphere Replication is used to exchange this information with the service provider infrastructure.
Read the FAQ here
It’s been more than 2 years vCloud Air service is launched, from the day of its launch the service is getting better and matured.
During this VMworld 2015, numerous new features are revealed. Let us have a closer look
Features announced in VMworld 2015
vCloud Air Object Storage
Powered by EMC – Live Now Beta
Powered by Google – Live Now
New version of Disaster Recovery
SRM Air – Available in Q4 2015 – Early Access
Disaster Recovery OnDemand – Upcoming
vCloud Air meets NSX – Advanced Networking Services – Live Now GA -Dedicated Cloud, Q4 – VPC
vCloud Air SQL – Live Now Early Access
vCloud Air catalog & content Library – Upcoming
vCloud Air HCM – Hybrid Cloud Manager – Early Access on Sep 2nd week -Dedicated, Q4 – VPC
vCloud Air Cross Cloud vMotion – Early Access on Sep 2nd week -Dedicated, Q4 – VPC
vCloud Air Object Storage:
What is Object storage?
In traditional storage architecture,
- File systems manages data in file hierarchy
- Block Storage manages data in blocks (within Sectors and tracks)
- Object Storage manages data as objects
The usage of Object storage is increased in current trend since it is relatively inexpensive, scalable, and retain massive amount of unstructured data (data that do not have any pre-defined model).
vCloud Air Object Storage offers two flavours, powered by EMC ViPR (Beta) & Google cloud platform.
Look at this demo for detailed info, https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ip6iz6xd7vwgfx/CS8-%20Storage.pptx?dl=0
Powered by Google Platform:
Powered by EMC (Beta):
Sign-up for vCloud Air Object Storage : http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/object-storage
Disaster Recovery OnDemand:
Customers will pay a flat fee for each VM protected and the amount of storage consumed by the VMs. When a DR test is run or a DR event occurs, customers will only pay for the compute consumed when VMs are running.
SRM (Site Recovery Manager) Air:
SRM Air will be released later this year as part of an Early Access Program launching in Q4 2015. Some key benefits of this new solution are:
- Simple cloud-based protection
- Fast and reliable recovery
- Industry-proven technology
Check VMware blog for more info.
vCloud Air – Advanced Networking Services:
VMware vCloud Air Advanced Networking Services are a new model for public cloud security that improves overall network manageability and accelerates application time-to-market by delivering a powerfully agile and cost-efficient platform for zero-trust security. Built on VMware NSX technology, these services are the public cloud piece of VMware’s hybrid networking story.
Advanced Networking Services include:
- Trust Groups (i.e. micro segmentation): Implemented through stateful distributed firewalls, Trust Groups isolate and secure each VM and application down to the Layer 2 level, commonly seen as one of the most vulnerable points in network security. Centrally managed, inheritable, nestable, and portable, they are easily administered at scale and follow applications wherever they move in the cloud.
- Dynamic Routing: Both Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)-based routing over VMware vCloud Air Direct Connect are supported to simplify network management and to ensure that critical cloud-hosted applications are always reachable.
- Network Scaling: Support for virtual network interfaces can be expanded from 10 to 200 routed network segments in a single virtual data center, allowing customers to mirror even their complex on-premises network topologies in the cloud and to migrate on-premises applications “as is.”
- High Capacity Connectivity: Point-to-site SSL and site-to-site IPsec VPN options enable up to 100 mobile devices and 1600 site connections to securely connect to a single gateway
- Enhanced Load Balancing: Scalable HTTPS-based load balancing with SSL offloading and log visibility to meet the demands of high web traffic and production workloads
Dedicated Cloud customers will get Dynamic Routing and basic Point-to-site SSL VPN capabilities added to the basic networking services that come included with every VMware vCloud Air Dedicated Cloud. The remaining services will be available through two premium add-on options.
vCloud Air HCM – Hybrid Cloud Manager:
Completing the hybrid networking story, VMware vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager is a downloadable plug-in for vSphere that offers users a seamless option for customers to extend their on-premises data center into VMware vCloud Air. It is a single point of administration for VMware vCloud Air workloads and offers hybrid networking and bi-directional workload migration capabilities, simplifying on and off-premises resource integration and management of cloud workloads.
With the Hybrid Cloud Manager, VMware vCloud Air customers can utilize:
- Hybrid Management: single-pane-of-glass management and control of VMware vCloud Air workloads through the vSphere web client.
- Enhanced Workload Migration: bi-directional workload portability to and from VMware vCloud Air. Low-downtime, replication-based migration over an encrypted VPN connection or Direct Connect cuts VM downtime to minutes. Downtime is further reduced with software-based acceleration. Migrations can be scheduled for off-peak hours to minimize disruption, and are secured by bleeding-edge Suite-B encryption technology.
- Network Extension: Customers can stretch hundreds of on-premises network segments to a single edge gateway in the cloud through a Layer 2 VPN tunnel, seamlessly extending their on-premises data centers to the cloud and integrating on and off-premises resources. This can be done over the Internet (encrypted) or a Direct Connect, and it makes cloud bursting a reality since workloads can retain their IP and MAC addresses when moved to the cloud. Moreover, customers can start treating their on and off-premises resources as a single resource pool, architecting new hybrid applications that take advantage of the best of both worlds.
How to purchase http://vcloud.vmware.com/service-offering/hybrid-cloud-manager
vCloud Air catalog & content Library:
The vCloud Air Catalog and Content Library stores and synchronizes virtual machines, OVFs and ISOs between on-premises vSphere and vCloud Air.
vCloud Air Cross Cloud vMotion
VMware has made a lot of improvements to vMotion technology. The next-gen feature of the vMotion is a cross-cloud vMotion. With this feature you can seamlessly migrate virtual machines from on-prem to vCloud Air and back. Benefits are avoiding disasters by quickly migrating VMs to vCloud Air for continued business operations. Another scenario is easily migrating test workloads running in vCloud Air back to on-premises and vice versa. Optionally you can choose replication based migration: virtual machines are migrated using vSphere replication, with scheduling options and ability to retain a copy on source vSphere environment.
vCloud Air SQL :
vCloud Air SQL is a database-as-a-service offering that delivers rapid access to scalable, cloud-hosted relational databases. The service automates the provisioning, operation, and management of Microsoft SQL Server instances in order to increase productivity and minimize administrative overhead.
vCloud Air SQL provides customers with easy access to scalable, cloud hosted relational databases. Delivered via vCloud Air’s on-demand, self-service platform, vCloud Air SQL provides a complete managed database-as-a-service that automates the provisioning and administration of relational databases. System administrators, developers and non-technical personnel can deploy databases within minutes on vCloud Air and can seamlessly access them from other hosts on vCloud Air or on-premises.
More vCloud Air SQL Resources:
For anyone to experience virtualization, the start point is VMware Workstation, no exception to me as well. Using workstation anyone can setup a simple lab with minimal resource.
Workstation has grown a lot today and you can do so many things. With Workstation 12 Pro release, integration with vCloud Air has enhanced alot. You can manage your entire vCloud Air VPC with Workstation 12 Pro.
How to connect your workstation to vCloud Air.
Its simple, from the home tab, click connect to vCloud Air –> Provide valid creds –> You are done
Within minutes it will collect all data in your account and ready for use.
With this integration you can
- View your complete vCloud Air inventory
- View the Virtual Machine Console
- Perform all VM power operations
- Upload workstation VM to vCloud Air
View your complete vCloud Air inventory:
View the Virtual Machine Console:
Perform all VM power operations
Upload workstation 12 VM to vCloud Air:
Right Click WS VM –> Manage –> Upload
Select vCloud Air –> Select your vDC –> Finish
And your VM in vCloud Air
- Only Workstation 10 version VM ( you will have to downgrade if the VM version is greater than 10)
- Only Windows virtual machines, no support for other OS flavours
Expecting much more features in future.
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
- 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
- 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.
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)
- 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.
- 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
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 ?
vCloud Air Tutorials:
vCloud Air certification:
vCloud Air Course[2 Hours, selfpaced]:
What it’s all about: Delivered by cloud provider Rackspace, Cloud U is a vendor-neutral curriculum designed for IT professionals and business leaders that covers and certifies knowledge of the fundamentals of Cloud Computing. CloudU content is available to any professional at any time, but if you want a formal recognition of your knowledge about Cloud Computing, you should complete the courses and requirements for a certificate.
How to prepare: Study each Cloud U lesson whitepaper, and then successfully complete each of 10 Cloud U quizzes based on the whitepaper’s content. Successfully complete a 50-question final exam drawn from materials covered in the ten Cloud U lessons.
CompTIA Cloud Essentials
What it’s all about: According to CompTIA, the Cloud Essentials Certification covers the basic fundamentals of cloud computing and shows that individuals understand cloud computing from both a business and a technical perspective. In addition, the certification covers migration to the cloud and governance of cloud computing environments.
How to prepare: CompTIA offers study and training materials, and, while it’s not required, CompTIA recommends that individuals taking the exam have at least six months experience working in an IT services environment.
Cloud Security Alliance Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
What it’s all about: This is the mother of all cloud computing security certifications. The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge certification is vendor-neutral and certifies competency in key cloud security areas. The test is based on the Cloud Security Alliance Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing V3, English language version, and the ENISA report “Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security.”
How to prepare: The best way to prepare is to study the CSA Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing v3, and the ENISA report “Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks, and Recommendations for Information Security.”
CloudSchool.com Certified Cloud Technology Professional
What it’s all about: CloudSchool.com offers a number of vendor-neutral cloud certifications, each based on a one-day course module and aimed at competency in specific areas of cloud computing. There are certificates for cloud architects, cloud technology professionals, cloud governance and cloud security, among others.
How to prepare: Cloud School offers self-study kits as well as on-site and remote workshops, study sessions and instructor-led workshops to help prepare applicants for the exams.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect
What it’s all about: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certifications recognize IT professionals that possess the skills and technical knowledge necessary for designing, deploying, and operating applications and infrastructure on AWS. There are three associate level and two professional level certifications currently offered.
How to prepare: Amazon offers study materials, practice exams and introductory, advanced and specialized courses and training on its website.
Arcitura Education Cloud Certified Professional
What it’s all about: The Cloud Certified Professional program from the Arcitura Cloud School is focused on general cloud computing technology, architecture, security, governance and capacity. Founded by best-selling author Thomas Erl, this curriculum enables IT professionals to develop real-world cloud computing proficiency. There are eight cloud computing specialties available.
How to prepare: Arcitura Education offers on-site training, public workshops and self-study materials through its website. Each certification exam also has a corresponding one-day course module.
Cloud Credential Council
What it’s all about: The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) is an international body that drives standards training and certification for cloud computing pros. The CCC is independent and vendor-neutral, and members come from the public sector and academic institutions, cloud providers, cloud consumers, cloud brokers, professional associations and international certification bodies from across the world. The certifications are geared toward cloud consumers, cloud vendors or cloud solutions, and service providers that want to improve their skills in defining, choosing, building, operating and managing cloud services. Currently, CCC offers two associate level and five professional level cloud certifications.
How to prepare: The Cloud Credential Council offers courses and preparation material on its website.
What it’s all about: Cloud Genius certification offers certificates on cloud technologies, cloud/DevOps automation and cloud architecture and design. The program is heavily focused on hands-on experiential learning. The coursework requires twice-weekly on-campus attendance, as well as team collaboration on real-life projects. The program also offers a solid foundation in cloud technologies, modern DevOps practices and some basic programming in Ruby and Chef.
How to prepare: Each certificate requires, at minimum, 24 classroom hours (three hours, twice a week for four weeks). In addition, the program directors suggest devoting additional time to view video lectures, working on group projects and practicing materials you’ve learned.
What it’s all about: The Cloud Institute Certification program is based on the findings and recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is geared toward greater and faster cloud adoption in government and public service verticals. The program also includes a focus on security and privacy challenges. There are currently two online certification programs, Certified Cloud Architect and Certified Cloud Professional, and one open assessment available.
How to prepare: Cloud institute advises certification candidates to use the publications offered by the NIST as a basis for study, and to use the free Open Exam to identify areas where more work is needed. The Institute also recommends candidates have working experience in enterprise cloud technology, SOA design or development, cloud-related services and application, and/or storage-centric services.
Exin Cloud Computing Foundation
What it’s all about: Exin offers two certification levels, Cloud Computing Foundation and Cloud Technologies Advanced. The programs cover main cloud computing concepts as well as what’s involved in planning, procurement and management. The certification is geared toward DevOps professionals responsible for making the business case for cloud solutions, evaluating vendors and systems, and then integrating them with legacy technologies.
How to prepare: Exin offers exam preparation guides and sample exams as well as eBooks covering these concepts. These materials are available on its Web site.