New VMware management, security tools coming

New management and security tools will be in the spotlight at next month’s VMWorld Europe conference, a VMware official has told a Canadian audience.

At the annual one-day VMware Forum Toronto on Thursday, George Gerchow, director of the company’s centre for policy and compliance, gave several hundred attendees a few hints at what’s coming at the major conference in Barcelona.

One new tool will be built around what VMware has been calling Project Sandbox, an effort with the Centre for Internet Security to automate 40 “mission critical” audit compliance controls to help ensure the movement of applications to virtual machines.

The tool was previewed behind closed doors to select organizations at the VMWorld conference in San Francisco in August, Gerchow said.

“This is going to be that last stage that holds up virtualization and cloud adoption,” he said.

Also to be shown is a new software engine that enables “zero touch compliance” that will analyze virtual machines to find out if they comply with audit rules. The engine to be given away for free, will particularly be useful to cloud service providers who have constantly changing environments.

In lab tests the engine has handled up to 5,400 VMware virtual machines and 22,000 system changes, he said.

Some of the new capabilities will be rolled into the company’s vCenter Operations Manager

VMware Forum is usually held before VMWorld North America, but it didn’t work out that way this year. So Gerchow’s speech mainly dealt with bringing the Canadians up to date with announcements that were made at that conference.

VMware makes the biggest selling virtualization platform, vSphere. Recently it has been moving from virtualizing the data centre to cloud solutions.

Later in an interview VMware Canada vice-president Grant Aitken (pictured) said generally the pace of adoption of server and storage virtualization in Canada has been about the same as the rest of the world.

The exception, he said, is cloud infrastructure services. In part, that’s because such services as Amazon’s EC2 an Microsoft Azure came to market first in the U.S.

But he said it’s also because of the U.S. Patriot Act, which gives law enforcement officials there the ability to access any data stored in the U.S. Many Canadian companies won’t allow data to be held offshore, Aitken said.

“The Patriot Act definitely comes into the conversation in almost every occasion as you drill into why (customers) are using or waiting for the right Canadian service to come along to meet their needs,” he said.

Canadian-based cloud providers like Telus Corp, BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada and systems integrator CGI will help close the cap, he said. 

Telus got a chance to pitch its two VMware-based cloud services – Virtual Private Cloud, an infrastructure as a service offering for leasing pools of compute resources, and Cloud Server, which offers virtual machines on demand — to the forum attendees during the opening session.

Customers have to be using VMware’s vCloud Suite, which includes a connector to VMware-based cloud services, to take advantage of the Telus offerings.

In a later interview, Shawn Myron director, Telus business products and services, data centre and hosted solutions said customers can take a free trial of Virtual Private Cloud from now until the end of the year.

He wouldn’t disclose numbers, but said take-up of Virtual Private Cloud – launched in April – has been good.

Virtual Private Cloud is aimed at medium to large enterprises, he said, while Cloud Server is more for small companies.

Next month Telus will open the first of what he called “super data centres” in Quebec, followed by another in British Columbia next June that will expand the telco’s cloud and hosting capabilities. Each data center will be able to hold up to 100,000 physical servers.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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