VMware Cloud Director – A New Day.

I look back at the (short) time I’ve been at VMware and still fascinated by how technology evolves. VMware vCloud Director has been near and dear to my heart throughout this journey, for better or worse.

Today we announce VMware Cloud Director Service at VMworld Europe. I’ve been testing Cloud Director Service (CDS) and stoked I can finally discuss it in public. My man Ari Paul wrote about our other awesome announcements for VMware Cloud Providers here.

It’s pretty amazing to see Pat on stage discussing Cloud Director Service –

Before we get started, I wrote a blog post in April of 2018, stating the following –

“Let’s briefly talk about VMware on AWS. This is an amazing way of providing an entire Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) stack inside of a hyperscale environment in a matter of a few hours – from start to finish. This also fills a need for Virtualization teams that want a vCenter-like user experience in a cloud environment.

However, in the context of vCloud Director, couldn’t this just be another Provider VDC we could call on to gain additional resources? Please do not take this as a directional statement as it’s not (and not supported today) – but the point I’m making here is vCD with VMware Cloud brings quite a bit of possibility.”

What is it?

VMware Cloud Director Service is our evolution of providing VMware Cloud Services. Cloud Director Service (CDS) will operate now as a managed service, by VMware. Our Managed Service Providers consume CDS through Cloud Provider Hub.

To summarize, CDS allows an MSP to “carve” up resources from a backed hyperscaler environment. Today, this is done using VMware Cloud on AWS as depicted below:

As you can see in the above left screenshot, this is my CDS environment – very similar experience to what we see within a VCD environment today.

Key Value Points:

  • Ability to instantiate a new VCD instance backed by hyperscaler SDDC in a matter of a few minutes. Not days or weeks: completely instantiated within a few clicks in the Cloud Provider Hub.
  • VCD state is managed by VMware as a service – upgrades, availability, and so forth.
  • Continuous VCD updates and additions provided by VMware. This provides updates dynamically to VCD.

At the end of the day, the end user gets the same VCD experience and self-service functionality. See my updates on version 10.0 here.

A few questions I’m sure many of you are thinking. This is Daniel’s opinion and should not be taken as directional statements by our Product Management.

Top of Mind Questions

  1. Is VMware Cloud Director Service available today?
    1. It is currently in private beta – please talk to your VCPP field team for further insight or sign up here.
  2. Does this mean the provider premises VCD appliance/bin goes away?
    1. I’ve asked this question many times myself. While I am not a PM, there’s no intention of just offering a “service.” It doesn’t make business sense – there’s too many use cases where the locality matters. This coincides with several other operating models VMware has – look at vRA/CAS, Network Insight / vRNI, Log Intelligence, vRLI, and so forth.
  3. How different will CDS be from a provider premises VCD instance?
    1. From a UI perspective, I’m sure there might be slight variations, but it will be extremely close (over time).
    2. As for component architecture, it will be different. This is due to the considerations for a hyperscaler environment, what VMware manages as a service, along with variations with what NSX-T provides through VCD today.
  4. How will this be priced for Cloud Providers?
    1. This will be available via Cloud Provider Hub for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) / Providers inside of the VMware Cloud Provider Program. Will be available on when CDS is generally available (GA).

Opportunity for Cloud Providers

I believe the opportunity is significant for current VMware Cloud Providers. A provider can provide the same, unified experience between currently managed VCD instances alongside the Cloud Director Service, as depicted below –

Moreover, the minimum sizing for a SDDC cluster in VMware Cloud on AWS set a bar that was rather high for some Cloud Providers. Three nodes sets a pricing threshold that could be relatively high on a per tenant basis.

With CDS, we can segment out specific segments on a per organization (tenant) basis, this provides a further optimized financial model for providers and tenants. Furthermore, the managed service opportunity has significant potential no matter where the workload resides.

What’s Next?

As mentioned, CDS is in the private beta stage. We are actively testing with development partners and working towards general availability.

I am extremely fortunate to collaborate with our organization on where we are evolving towards. A call out for John Dwyer – if you don’t know this guy, get to know him. He’s a big reason on why we are here today.

One other point I’d like to make – VMware Cloud Director or Cloud Director Service is the new nomenclature. Now we can drop the little “v.” So, start using the new name! 🙂 #VCDpowered


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