VMWare Says Microsoft, Google Clouds No Good

Sun's datacenter in a box

This week at the VMworld Europe 2009 show, the topic of cloud computing was high on VMware's list of things to talk about--and talk it did. In the process of discussing its plans for virtualization and cloud computing, VMware made no qualms that it felt cloud computing solutions from both Microsoft and Google are not what would benefit customers in the long run.

According to VMware, big companies like Microsoft and Google, want to create a computing cloud, where they call all the shots, and the customer is confined within the operating parameters of the service provider. This, says VMware, creates potential price hikes down the line, that a customer can get locked into because of a business contract, or just to avoid the headache of moving big infrastructures elsewhere. Those dealing with large server volumes a day, can attest to the delicate balance of migration/maintenance versus time spent and money spent.

What VMware proposes in return is something it calls the virtual datacenter operating system, or VDC-OS for short. Essentially, VMware wants to create a virtual datacenter platform, running on more consolidated racks, but providing the full setup, deployment and management facilities as a real data center.

This means:

- being able to set up virtual racks
- being able to set up virtual servers
- being able to set up virtual network wiring and routing

VMware's goal is not only to virtualize servers, racks, and networking, but to virtualize an entire data center.

VMware is proposing--in a very big way--that companies, small or big, take complete control of a datacenter, essentially creating a private computing cloud. Now, this private virtual datacenter would still physically exist on real servers, but the utilization of real compute resources would be significantly more optimized. Instead of having a rack made up of 20 more more CPUs spending the majority of their time idling, customers can potentially reduce purchasing costs down to 10 CPUs, and utilize greater than 90 percent of system resources.

"The first step is to evolve the datacenter from components of complex infrastructure to a more dynamic, manageable internal cloud. Internal clouds have, at their foundation, a new substrate layer that pools all internal compute capacity – servers, storage, and networking capacity into an internal cloud.  VMware announced its focus on creating this new layer as its VDC-OS Initiative and the company is expected to ship the first instantiation of it in 2009," says VMware

In a typical server environment, not all servers will be hit hard at all times. Depending on the company, a company intranet server for example, may be idling most of the time while the web and database server take the biggest hits. Meanwhile, the intranet server may have the same CPU as the database server. With virtualization, it's already possible to change resource loads to best utilize your hardware. But what if you could actually remove one virtual server from a virtual rack node, and deploy it into another rack responsible for a completely different department?

Utilizing a private cloud, companies have control over the majority of its resources and how things are used. Some of these technologies are already deployed in the real world. eBay for example, utilizes VMware's ESX Server to deploy thousands of virtual machines at its datacenters--large scale deployment truly on epic proportions.

Cloud computing has become a hot topic recently. Even AMD is proposing cloud computing based on its Fusion initiative, where gaming services will be hosted server side and streamed to the end user. AMD hopes not only to provide raw processing power that some gamers may not be able to afford, but also render game graphics in the cloud, passing the rasterized results to the player.

  • afrobacon
    That's one solution.

    I like the idea of being able to combine processing power, I'd like to see this brought to home use though; even though it would more less practical.
  • Tindytim
    afrobaconThat's one solution.I like the idea of being able to combine processing power, I'd like to see this brought to home use though; even though it would more less practical.
    Really? I can see one person browsing the net on their computer, while another is playing a processing intensive game. The resources was be shared so that the processing intensive game would get the left over from the web browser.
  • ThePatriot
    VMware has a very valid point. Why commit to MS and Google?
    There is no such thing as a free lunch..

    Also like the idea of virtual servers and networks.
    Sounds exciting.
  • neiroatopelcc
    TindytimReally? I can see one person browsing the net on their computer, while another is playing a processing intensive game. The resources was be shared so that the processing intensive game would get the left over from the web browser.In my ears it sounds like they're talking about a bigger esx enviroment with an extended vc server - which has nothing to do with playing games. If you think a datacenter has to deliver internet browsers and games to the user, then what you want isn't a datacenter but a terminal server solution. And in fact vmware has a virtual desktop system that delivers something similar to that already.
  • LightWeightX
    This sounds like a good idea. My main issue with the cloud, is that you have to trust the cloud owner (Microsoft, Google) with your data. With VMware's plan, you build your own VDC cloud and maximize your own resources.
  • Call me old fashioned. but I really am not concerned or interested in "Cloud Computing" I do not want to be able to access my data and information stored on a server somewhere and be linked to one of the two companies products.I can access my information anywhere in the world just by using a nas box, so all my info is accessible and secure.

    The whole PC world is one of choice and as such the variety of software available is tremendous. We can by hard format media to install or download media, From Utility Apps to Word Processing and even games, why limit to these two "Cloud Systems" cause once loads of your stuff is on there its a monster to change if you dont like it.

    The market has invented Hgh EndMini Super Computers to lttle Netbooks capable of the most used modern tasks necessary to get by, so why do we need cloud computing. Accessing your information of the internet irrelevant of which PC you use does seem cool, but this can already be done without cloud computing, I have all my fav applications running of a 4gb USB drive and can write all my Documents/spreadsheets, answer emails and view and save my bookmarks in my favorite browser all of the usb key, Which works on any pc. And to boot its secure in the way having your data online will never be ITS in my hands.

    As for gaming being streamed across from central servers to our machines, Not here in the UK for MANY MANY MANY years as there is no infrastructure even being proposed that could cope with that kind of bandwidth necessary. I mean, the latencies would have to be so minute as to where you move your mouse is where your cross hairs should be displayed in real time, and we suffer from lag now already lol, not likely for a long time.

    VMWare is a far better idea for Business to use, but is not a working solution for the home/power user. Cloud sounds good but there are better, more secure solutions out there also cost free with better peace of mind.
  • TwoDigital
    You really can have it BOTH ways (leverage a Google or Amazon cloud as well as an internal cloud) by keeping your apps/data in a known format such as the standard vmware vmc or some other virtual system. This allows you to freely upload your virtual machines to a cloud provider and still keep their configuration 'in-house.' It also allows you to run your virtual appliances on your own hardware (vmware player, vmware server, virtualbox, etc...) on free appliance software. Bigger needs and more fluid hardware expansion/contraction may require ESX server, etc...

    This will tie you to a specific virtual format, but they can migrate from one format to another with little effort. It will definitely avoid being 'tied' to Google or Microsoft, or what-have-you. Look for cloud providers that will let you run your OWN virtual machines.