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VMware shifts from on-premise to hybrid cloud virtualisation

Cliff Saran

VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, was in London today to launch vCloud Hybrid Service in the UK, which will drive a shift away from on-premise VMs.

The hybrid cloud

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service enables UK organisations to run on-premise VMware installations and one running on VMware’s public cloud infrastructure. 

VMware vCloud Hybrid Service will be available in Europe from a datacentre in Slough for organisations that need to keep their data in the UK.

Speaking about the shift in the IT business, and the importance of hybrid cloud, Gelsinger said: "This is the most disruptive period of IT."

According to Gelsinger there is zero to negative growth in on-premise IT business.

He said Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, Dell and BMC going private and the sale of the IBM x86 server business to Lenovo represented minor tremors that in the coming years will see a major shift away from client server computing.

"We are passionate about helping users transform internal IT and become the hybrid cloud for our customers," he said.

"There is a need for public cloud without the need to rewrite applications," said Bill Fathers, senior vice-president and general manager for the hybrid cloud services business unit at VMware. He said the company has spent last year and a half developing a hybrid cloud, which can extend network connectivity to enable organisations to expand on-premise VMs into the public cloud.

Cancer Research is one of the early adopters of the vCloud Hybrid Service.

Mick Briggs, head of IT services operations, Cancer Research said: "We want to extend from our corporate environment into the cloud."

He expected many organisations would deploy hybrid clouds since they are easier to build and manage compared to a private cloud

An on-premise private cloud suffers from an agility overhead, according to Briggs, in that the business may have to wait months for physical servers to be deployed, once the virtualised environment reaches capacity.

Cancer Research has run development and test environments on VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service. Briggs said the hybrid cloud not only allows Cancer Research to set up test and development environments quickly, but also manage those environments to reduce costs.

Cancer Research operates two active-active datacentres to support line-of-business applications and has used Cisco’s Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) to share network segments between the two sites. This allows pools of VMs to be shared between the two sites. Briggs believes that by sharing VMs between Cancer Research’s own datacentre facility and the vCloud Hybrid Service via a fast network pipe, the organisation would no longer need the active disaster recover datacentre site. "It is cheaper to install a fat network pipe than operate an active disaster recover datacentre."