What Exactly Is VMware Cross Cloud Services?

It’s been a while since I have written about something VMware related, but hey sometimes we need something to write about.  Part of the reason I’ve been a little “Blog-Silent” with respect to things VMware is because I have been working on this thing called “VMware Cross Cloud Services”.  What is that you ask?  Well to be honest I will tell you I get that response a lot.  If you want the headline from the informational page it’s:

Cross-Cloud: A Common Operating Environment Across Private and Public Clouds

This was all announced back at VMworld US in August.  If you were there you saw the keynote from Guido on Cross Cloud Services during the Monday Morning General Session.  So let me give you a short break down on my personal perspective of what VMware Cross Cloud Services is and also maybe address some of the confusion even I have had with all the recent cloud related announcements.

The VMware Cloud Vision

This image is taking from the article link above.  I’ll try to explain how I see this coming together and you can imagine where that fits in.  VMware Cross Cloud Architecture as shown, is the umbrella under which various things reside.  Cross Cloud Services being one of those as you can see.  There are a couple components we can take away from this graphic that make up the VMware Cross Cloud Architecture.

  • VMware Cloud Foundation
  • VMware Cross Cloud Services

If we simplify it to those two things, then I asked myself, “what is all the other things that have come about recently like VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation on IBM Cloud.”  Simply put both of those things fall under the sub umbrella of VMware Cloud Foundation as it relates to consuming VMware in the public cloud space.  That’s pretty clear with the IBM offering from the name and Cloud Foundation is also available for private clouds.  From the VMware Cloud Foundation FAQ the answer to the question of “what is VMware Cloud Foundation?” is:

VMware Cloud Foundation™ is VMware’s new unified Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) platform for private and public clouds. Cloud Foundation brings together VMware vSphere® (compute), vSAN™ (storage), and NSX® (network) virtualization into a natively integrated stack through automation and lifecycle management capabilities of the new VMware SDDC Manager™. Cloud Foundation can be deployed on-premises in a private cloud or run as a service from the public cloud

From my perspective, VMware Cloud Foundation is a platform, made up of the various SDDC components.  This part of the VMware Cross Cloud Architecture has been much more visible in recent months due to both the IBM and AWS announcements for sure.  Okay then so what the heck is VMware Cross Cloud Services?  Good Question and to be honest there is not much out there if you google it, so I am going to give you a little insight.

VMware Cross Cloud Services

VMware Cross Cloud Services is a grouping of services to better manage the various cloud deployments you have.  It’s much more than a single pane of glass based on what you saw in the keynote video.  Initially, the goal is to discover the workloads you have out there.  Understand what is running, how much it’s costing, and where the best place to maybe place new workloads.  Fundamentally before you can manage your clouds you need to discover what’s out there.  This is not only public cloud discovery but private cloud as well.  That’s a big part of Cross Cloud Services.

Secondly, once we know what we have out there, we probably want to start doing a better job connecting these clouds and their networking.  This has been a goal for some time that many of us want.  Having multiple clouds is great, but connecting them has been a huge challenge.  I’ve done it successfully with vCloud Air in the past using VPN’s and other means.  It can be done, but there needs to be a more seamless approach.  We also saw in the video some network examination of traffic as well to ensure things are flowing how we expect and want them to.

Third, once we know what we have, where it’s running, how much it’s costing, and we’ve connected it all we may want to look at moving workloads around.  Migration between clouds has been done by tools like vCloud Connector and companies such as River Meadow.

These are just the examples of what we saw in the keynote video.  The real message here is that all this is alongside the VMware Cloud on AWS, and VMware Cloud Foundation announcements.  This is all part of the VMware Cloud Architecture and I am excited about working with the VMware Cross Cloud Services specifically in the coming months.  Hopefully this makes the mud a little more clear on what exactly VMware Cross Cloud Services is.  Certainly leave any comments or questions below!

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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