On June 24th I did a presentation and live demo of vCloud Air at our annual ITQ Technical Update Session (TUS2015). If you attended, you may recall that I told you guys of some awesome vCloud Air enhancements that were coming soon. At VMworld 2015 these enhancements became more clear and today two new vCloud Air features went GA. I will also fill you in on Project SkyScraper – aka cross-cloud vMotion!
vCloud Air Advanced Networking Services
If you have used vCloud Air up to this point, you might have noticed that the network Edge Gateway device VMware supplied, was a vShield Networking and Security Edge Gateway. Todays GA announcement delivers NSX powered edge gateways for Dedicated Cloud customers. They supply some cool new features:
- Distributed Firewall (micro-segmentation)
- Dynamic routing using BGP or OSPF
- Network scaling (up to 200 router interfaces)
- High capacity Point-to-Site SSL VPN for high speed and secure client access
- Enhanced Load Balancing (scalable https load balancing with SSL offloading and log visibility)
Hybrid Cloud Manager
I was very disappointed that there was no vCloud Air web client plugin available for vSphere 6.0. At VMworld, VMware announced a new product: Hybrid Cloud Manager which went GA today. This explains why no effort was put into making the web client plugin compatible with vSphere 6.0.
Hybird Cloud Manager provides vSphere users a seamless solution for extending their on-premises data center into vCloud Air. The Hybrid Cloud Manager offers hybrid networking and bi-directional workload migration capabilities, simplifying workload migration between on premises and vCloud Air.
Hybrid Networking Service is available as an optional add-on service that provide enhanced migration and network extension capabilities from within vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager. It provides the following capabilities:
- Secure and encrypted channel between on-prem and vCloud Air with intelligent routing that overlay on top of IPsec VPN and Direct Connect
- Low downtime migration between on-premises data center and vCloud Air
- Accelerated migration using inbuilt WAN optimization for improved performance
- Seamless Layer 2 Network Extension to vCloud Air, whereby user can stretch multiple L2 segments in one tunnel from your vSphere environment to vCloud Air so you can migrate VMs to vCloud Air while retaining the same IP and MAC address.
Technology Preview Project SkyScraper – ala cross-Cloud vMotion
For vCloud Air, VMware is targeting customers who are currently running vSphere in their datacenters. I have to say that I am getting more and more excited about vCloud Air and all the capabilities it brings for creating a true hybrid cloud environment. To be honest, VMware was late to the cloud game but I feel that vCloud Air is too hard to ignore if you are a vSphere shop and looking at cloud computing. The cross-cloud vMotion that was demonstrated at VMworld as part of the ‘Technology Preview of Project SkyScraper’ was simply amazing. Doing an online migration of a VM into the cloud! Now how is that for a seamless extension of your datacenter. With the vSphere 6.0 vMotion enhancements, I had high hopes that a vMotion to vCloud Air would be possible in the future but would have never expected that VMware could release a Technology Preview on such short notice. Big applause to the vCloud Air team!
Of course I will try out these new features in my lab as soon as I can get my hands on the bits. More to come soon hopefully!