With written contribution from Mike Zuber (AMS Cloud Lead)
At the heart of VMware’s strategy for the Cloud, is the IT architecture for the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). It extends the fully virtualized infrastructure, with VMware offering complete sets of technology solutions for all SDDC components— including the vCloud Suite.
A purpose-built solution to run a vSphere-based private cloud, vCloud Suite is a vertically integrated solution, optimized for the VMware hypervisor environment. Unfortunately after reviewing some of the materials I still have some questions.
Questions, questions, questions …
For one, why would vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), the automation component in vCloud Suite, apparently rely on the use of Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation but NOT vCenter Orchestrator? I also noticed they are also using Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft .NET in the vCAC developer toolkit. Vendor lock-in concerns aside, does this arrangement create management complexity and need for additional IT resources and budget?
Also, what of the preferential use of vCenter Operations Management Suite (vCOPS), the operation management component in vCloud Suite? Offering functionalities for VMware hypervisors over non-VMware hypervisors. With Microsoft technologies playing a distinct role within vCloud Suite, why is there an apparent lack of heterogeneous support for a Microsoft Hyper-V environment? It also occurred to me that they are missing support for other non-VMware hypervisors in a cloud management platform. Am I missing something?
Are we managing disparate technologies at the same time?
VMware and Microsoft are both offering competing hypervisor technology today. However, vCAC seems to have a reliance on Microsoft technologies over VMware’s own in-house Orchestrator technology. This notion sounds peculiar to me. Why would VMware have clients manage two separate consoles and technologies? The way I see it, it appears they are charging clients for a VMware orchestration and workflow, whilst having them pay for the costs of managing a separate Microsoft tool at the same time. Does this also mean that a client purchasing vCAC, will now need to learn two orchestrator tools? These are all questions that warrant a long hard look, and have left me asking—where’s the beef?
Is this a VMware hypervisor centric platform for Cloud use only?
In the technology business, sometimes things happen that we don’t understand. vCloud Suite apparently dependent on Microsoft technologies, but yet does not make provision for Microsoft Hyper-V to enjoy the same vCAC/vCOPS functionalities that VMware hypervisors enjoy today. This is strangely baffling to me. To begin with, why would a cloud management platform NOT be heterogeneous? Again, am I missing something?
Besides additional license fees needed for staging Microsoft Hyper-V environments onto vCloud Suite, we are finding that non-VMware hypervisors receive limited vCAC/vCOPS functionalities. In the case of Microsoft Hyper-V, clients need to implement the use of third-party tools such as Microsoft System Center, for a similar level of performance management that VMware hypervisors consume via the vCloud Suite today. By now, I am wondering—are there limitations to vCloud Suite being heterogeneous? Are there limitations to offering a common operations management tool for use across Cloud and Traditional IT? Where’s the beef?
Heterogeneity and Cloud Management – Learn More …
In retrospect, I am truly glad that HP is staying neutral to hypervisors such as VMware and Microsoft. As it is, clients are moving to KVM for Dev/Test use cases. This helps them save money and save time reallocating licenses, to reduce the amount of big checks they are consistently asked to write.
Heterogeneity in cloud management is fundamental for the common, comprehensive operations management across both Cloud and Traditional IT. Being multi-hypervisor, multi-vendor capable provides clients with choice and flexibility, in how resources are easily integrated for use and managed. Heterogeneity is made possible via an open and extensible architecture. Anything short of this just becomes a patchwork of complicated technologies to manage.
To understand why heterogeneity in cloud management is critical, I encourage you to learn what it means to be a broker of enterprise cloud services. Especially when staging complex PaaS/SaaS offerings for use across a hybrid cloud of private/public cloud and traditional IT.