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VMware offers cloud construction mind meld as a service

'New Operating Model for the Cloud Era' to mutate sysadmin jobs

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VMworld 2012 Everything you and the world's greatest process wonks know about building and operating data centres is wrong if you're assembling a private cloud, says VMware, and only its new Cloud Ops offering - billed as a "New Operating Model for the Cloud Era" - can help you do it right.

That's the message from VMworld 2012 in San Francisco today, where incoming VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger said in his keynote that the company is “putting aside ITIL and CMDB in favour of process that works for cloud.”

What is the process VMware thinks will vapourise your IT more effectively?

Current CEO Paul Maritz, in response to a probing journalistic question from The Reg, said that Cloud Ops is a distillation of VMware's and partners' experiences building private clouds for customers.

“This is something we have done very directly in response to customers,” Maritz told the assembled press, from a darker corner of the Moscone Centre than Apple uses for its announcements. “We took our field and professional services organisation and gave it the job of doing private clouds. As we did those [jobs] we realised that technology is only part of the problem.”

“If you operate a cloud as you operated IT when you had silos you won't get the value,” Maritz said. He therefore feels that “jobs and processes need to change” and that VMware's newly-codified cloud-building processes are just the ticket.

But what are those processes?

For now, they appear to be VMware services that – surprise! - you'll need to shell out to access. The announcement of Cloud Ops says those services comprise:

  • New cloud operations services provide customers with collaborative assistance in analyzing, designing and implementing cloud solutions.
  • New and updated technology consulting services help customers quickly build experience with cloud computing and the industry’s first complete and integrated cloud infrastructure suite, the VMware vCloud Suite.
  • New Education Offerings and Certifications expand the in-house skills and experience customers need to effectively design, operate and evolve their cloud environment.
  • VMware Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) 3.0 offers a set of documents designed to help customers construct a cloud solution leveraging technologies, recommended practices and innovative tools proven in real-world enterprise and service provider cloud deployments.

There's also a new group – the Cloud Ops forum – that will see VMware partners share expertise to throw into the process pool, an arrangement Maritz said will mean the IP branded Cloud Ops will be “a living thing” and “a community effort”.

Whether that adds up to an ITIL alternative is highly debatable, as the library emerged from work conducted by the United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce and involves a training and certification process. Despite VMware and partners – HP, EMC, Capgemini, Canopy, CSC, Dell, Infosys and T-Systems have all clambered aboard the Cloud Ops bandwagon – all serving as brain donors to upload their hard-won experience to the Cloud Ops IP collection there's no indication Cloud Ops will match the ITIL experience.

The Reg will chase VMware to learn just how this group mind meld will work and whether Cloud Ops will ever be as easily-accessed as the ITIL framework to which it was compared here today. ®

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