Over the years, many technological developments have revolutionized the market. One of these developments was vMotion: being able to perform a fully automated and live migration of a virtual server to another physical server without any downtime. Nowadays, this is considered a common technology in all data centers, but at the time this was ground-breaking and revolutionary. vMotion truly shook the market, gaining VMware the leading position in the server virtualization market. I think everyone who lived in the world of physical, dedicated servers, clearly remembers when they saw their first vMotion and how very cool this was.
Over the years, VMware has made many impressive improvements and added additional functionality to vMotion, but not before VMworld 2015 I regained that “WOW !!!” feeling after seeing a vMotion. This time it was a vMotion of a virtual server in a local vSphere data center to a public cloud instance in vCloud Air: Cross-Cloud vMotion!
As part of the technology preview of ‘Project SkySkraper’ (during the keynote at VMworld 2015) VMware showcased a vMotion of a virtual server to vCloud Air without any downtime. This revolutionary functionality will be made available in a future release of VMware vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager to vCloud Air customers. How simple can migrating to the cloud be?
Of course, if your application is already suitable to be spread across multiple physical locations and is able to run full stateless, moving a full virtual server to and from vCloud Air will not be interesting. The reality is that few business applications are ‘cloud native’. Many data centers are still full of “traditional” three-tier applications with a presentation, application/middleware and data layer. These applications are a long mile away from migration between corporate data centers and public clouds.
That’s why I expect that this technology will provide a new revolution in the market and will gain VMware the position of most appropriate public cloud IaaS provider for VMware customers. No, there is no typo in the last sentence. I really mean most appropriate cloud provider for VMware customers! vCloud Air is primarily intended for customers who are already using VMware technology in their corporate data centers. VMware doesn’t focus on customers that have fully focussed on Hyper-V, XenServer and/or KVM. Of course vCloud Air can function as a pool for IaaS resources, thus complementing a Hyper-V data center, but the unique power of vCloud Air – providing a ‘seamless’ extension of the local data center – will only be fully utilized when the local data center also uses VMware technology.
I can’t wait until Cross-Cloud vMotion will be made available to the general public!