Cloud computing is all the rage, right? Microsoft has Azure, Amazon has AWS, VMware has vCloud, and Apple has iCloud. As a consumer and server admin, what are you to do? The most important thing is not to jump into any marriage with a cloud provider. Here’s what you need to know about the cloud.
While the TV commercials saying “take it to the cloud!” might make it sound like there is just one type of cloud computing and even one cloud, it’s a lot more complex than that. There are multiple forms of cloud computing and multiple providers offering them – each with their own twist. In essence, there are three types of cloud computing:
Thus, most everyone uses SaaS, Admins use IaaS, and Developers use PaaS.
Graphic Thanks to Fibertown.com
VMware promotes vCloud a lot on the web but, like “cloud computing,” it may be confusing as to many what vCloud actually is. To clarify, VMware vCloud isn’t a product or service at all. vCloud is a brand and a part of a family of VMware products, with the most popular being the vCloud Suite and vCloud IaaS offerings.
VMware vCloud providers are third-party companies that offer infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions. These providers run the VMware vCloud Suite (covered next) and allow you to move your existing VMware vSphere virtual machines to their infrastructure clouds. Also, you can use the VMware vCloud Connector to connect your internal vSphere infrastructure with their vCloud datacenters. VMware houses a director of service providers at vCloud.VMware.com
The other side of the vCloud family is the VMware vCloud Suite. Prior to vSphere 5.1, VMware offered vSphere, vCenter, vCloud Director, and other products, but with the announcement of vSphere 5.1, all these infrastructure products are now offered as a suite called the vCloud Suite. In the graphic below, you can see what makes up the vCloud Suite. The major components are:
The vCloud Suite could be used by private companies in their own datacenter to create a private cloud. Or, the vCloud Suite could be used by vCloud service providers to offer public IaaS clouds, available to admins around the world. If you connect your private vCloud to your provider’s public vCloud, you have created a hybrid cloud.
When the vCloud Suite was launched at VMworld 2012, I wrote all about these different pieces in more detail and covering what was new in the Petri IT Knowledgebase article, VMworld 2012: VMware Launches vSphere 5.1 and the vCloud Suite.
Pieces of the vCloud product family are available in evaluation modes. You can download a 60-day trial of vCloud Suite should you want to try to build your own private cloud.
To learn more about cloud computing, I recommend my free one-hour Cloud Computing 101 video on YouTube (below), my TrainSignal CompTIA Cloud Essentials video training, or my VMware vCloud Director video training course.
If you are interested in vCloud Director, you can watch a piece of my vCloud Director Essentials course (the installation video), shown below.