VMware has announced new and improved offerings in their vCloud initiatives.

VMware vCloud Global Connect

Global Connect offers a global network of VMware vCloud Datacenters consisting of vCloud Datacenter certified VSPP Service Providers. Basically, different providers set up a business agreement / partnership to deliver a standardized global cloud service. All of the vCloud Datacenter program members have standardized on a strict base architecture and SLA to ensure global compatibility. With a single contract, a customer is able to migrate his workload to a different provider. The contracted provider is responsible for the SLA, regardless of the provider actually hosting the workload.

VMware vCloud Portal

vcloud.vmware.com is a gateway to various providers. In this portal, you can find a suitable (be it local or providing the right SLA) vCloud Provider using a map (and dig up detailed information about the provider) and test drive their offering. Initially, VirtaCore Systems, Colt, iland Cloud Infrastructure, Colt and BlueLock will be available from within this portal.

The vCloud is expanding

The vCloud Datacenter is expanding: Colt is expanding massively in Europe and Dell joins the vCloud Datacenter program. The number of vCloud Powered providers has risen to over 40. In total, there are 5600+ partners in the Service Provider program.

vCloud Connector

The vCloud Connector is a piece of software interconnecting different vCloud Providers. With the Connector, you can view, copy and deploy VMs and Templates across your own vSphere environment and the private and public vClouds out there. You can also do some basic interaction with your VMs. At this point, you can perform power operations, access the console and launch the vCloud Director GUI for the more advanced stuff.

The new version of vCloud Connector, 1.5, has had a big overhaul. Transfers now use parallel TCP/IP connections for faster transfers, checkpoints (or resume points) for added reliability and can be point-to-point to avoid staging issues. Also, the architecture has been changed to an agent based (and/or virtual appliance) type situation.

The GUI hasn’t seen much change, although there are multiple points of access now: vSphere Client, Web Access and integration with the vCloud Portal. Because of this integration, you can now transfer your VM’s from vCloud to vCloud from within the portal. Migration, however, is still ‘cold’: your workload will suffer some downtime. Migration between different providers will probably be charged, although there’s no standardization of cost because there’s no standard way the vCloud interconnect.