VMware announced Horizon App Manager now available for on-premises use

Today VMware announced that Horizon App Manager 1.5 will be available for on-premises use.

Horizon App Manager is VMware’s single sign on (SSO) portal for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that was released in May 2011 hosted by VMware and sold on a per-user subscription.

Horizon App Manager enables organizations to centrally manage the provisioning, access and usage of public and private SaaS application, supports the main SaaS providers like Box.net, Google, Salesforce and WebEx, allows federated login on apps that supports Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) or Open Authentication (OAuth2) and provides split-key identity storage for legacy web applications.

Later in this quarter, Horizon App Manager 1.5, will be available as a virtual appliance that companies can host in their data centers maximising the control over this authentication provider and service providers can host for their costumer or for their direct use.

Piston plans to integrate VMware’s Cloud Foundry into OpenStack

Today Piston Cloud Computing, Inc., a one-year old company that has developed a private cloud operating system built on OpenStack and named Piston Enterprise OS, announced a new community open source project called Cloud Provider Interface.

Cloud Provider Interface will integrate OpenStack with Cloud Foundry, VMware’s open source PaaS available through various private and public cloud distributions.

This “marriage of convenience“, using the words of Krishnan Subramanian, principal analyst at Rishidot Research, comes unexpected in an infrastructure landscape that wants OpenStack opposed to VMware and Amazon WebService but seems more logical on a PaaS perspective, where VMware tries to place itself as an open source player.

Piston will work on a Cloud Foundry BOSH (an open source tool chain for release engineering, deployment and lifecycle management of large scale distributed services) CPI for OpenStack that will extend Cloud Foundry deployment over OpenStack in addition to VMware and AWS.

Release: Skytap announces SmartClient

skytap logo

Today Skytap announced a new remote access solution to its Skytap Cloud called SmartClient.

SmartClient offers a Java-based browser applet and RDP client compatibility to access any Skytap Cloud supported guest host (Windows, Linux or virtual appliances) and is intended for mobile users that work on smartphone and tablets.

SmartClient key features are:

  • Secure remote desktop-level access from any browser or device
  • Fluid switching between any number of virtual machines
  • Easy navigation with convenient toolbar of common actions like run/suspend VM
  • Full visibility and control using either the Java-based browser applet or any RDP client
  • Advanced collaboration with “over-the-shoulder” view and granular access permissions

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Video: VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit

On April 12 VMware TV published  a video where Steve Herrod, VMware CTO, and John Arrasjid, VMware Principal Architec, discuss about vCloud Architecture ToolKit (vCAT) now at version 2.0.1.

The material included in the toolkit, which comprises around 600 pages across 10 documents, is intended for Architects, Operators and Consumers each one with a specific area.

vCAT was originated from the awareness that

costumers were finding it is something challenging to determine which technologies to choose, how to integrate them and how to take third party technologies as well

says Arrasjid in the video, and now includes best practices and design guidelines and the full vCloud suite.


Eucalyptus Systems announces Series C funding for an additional $30 million

Today Eucalyptus System announces a new Series C funding round for an amount of $30 million. This investment, led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and joined by existing investors like Benchmark Capital, BV Capital and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) brings the total funding to $55.5 million.

The increase in capital has come barely a month after the announcement of the partnership between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Eucalyptus System, which raised company’s credibility in the race for the best Open Source Cloud project.

We are rapidly expanding operations to meet the needs of advanced cloud deployments by customers and partners worldwide. This funding will help us move even faster in a rapidly growing cloud market. Over the last year, Eucalyptus has solidified its lead as the most widely deployed private cloud software platform and the leader in hybrid architectures.

said Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus in the official news.

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Microsoft System Center 2012 for Microsoft Private Cloud available today

Today, during the kick-off of the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas, Brad Anderson spoke about System Center 2012, generally available now for evaluation and purchase.

System Center 2012 consists in 8 components, as Technet reports:

  • System Center 2012 App Controller provides a common self-service experience across private and public clouds that can help you empower application owners to easily build, configure, deploy, and manage new services.
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provides comprehensive configuration management for the Microsoft platform that can help you empower users with the devices and applications they need to be productive while maintaining corporate compliance and control.
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Rackspace give early access to its OpenStack Cloud

On April 16 Rackspace, OpenStack co-founder along with NASA, has announced the availability in production of its Next Generation Cloud Powered by OpenStack.

The official announcements describes the service as:

the world’s first large-scale, production ready next generation cloud, powered by OpenStack and backed by Fanatical Support®

The fact is that, starting from this week, customers can sign up for early access to “Cloud Server, Powered by Openstack”, while the public cloud will be available from May 1.

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IBM and Red Hat officially join OpenStack

As anticipated, IBM and Red Hat will join OpenStack Foundation as Platinum members.

Other big names at the same level are AT&T, Canonical, Hewlett-Packard, Nebula, Rackspace and SUSE.

Cisco, Cloudscaling, Dell, Dreamhost, Morphlabs, Netapp and Piston Cloud Computing are also joining the foundation as Gold members.

Citrix, which was an OpenStack supporter, is not mentioned in any announcement of the foundation despite its employees are still working with OpenStack on Xen hypervisor support.

Platinum Members will fund $500,000 per year (paid annually) with a three year commitment. Governance documents will allow Platinum Members to withdraw from Board and funding obligation if Foundation changes its mission. Gold Members will fund an amount equal to total company revenue times .025%, with a minimum of $50k and a maximum of $200k. In addition to the funding commitment, Platinum Members will provide operational resources to the Foundation such as staffing or development environment infrastructure. Resource requirements will be developed in more detail by the drafting committee, but the general expectation is a resource commitment that is consistent with staffing two full time equivalents.

According to the foundation wiki.

We suggest to read the article published on Gigaom.

HP, IBM and RedHat confirm their commitment to OpenStack

As a reaction to the submission of CloudStack Software to Apache Software Foundation announced last week by Citrix, the other vendors publicly reinforce their commitment to OpenStack project.

HP is the last one to renew its support confirming that Openstack will be the center of its upcoming public, private and hybrid cloud implementations.

According to an HP white paper, the new HP Compute Cloud service:

is built on OpenStack’s open source operating environment and enhanced with unique HP technology … HP Cloud Compute provides you with the software, control panels, and APIs required to run instances and manage your own compute cloud. In addition, HP Cloud Compute supports a variety of standard hardware configurations, and benefits from the KVM hypervisor technology.

Red Hat and IBM are also ready to give their support to OpenStack, an official announce, according to GigaOm, will be done at the OpenStack Spring Conference.

For a platform like OpenStack, that many define as “immature” at this stage, is strategic to have such big names as endorser, on the other side for the big players OpenStack is the weapon (together with the previously mentioned CloudStack) to face Amazon Web Services and VMware’s proprietary tool sets.

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VMware vFabric AppDirector Automated Provisioning for Applications in the Cloud

In march VMware launched vFabric Application Director a new product with the aim to simply the process of applications deployment and update into cloud environments.
AppDirector allows you to declare applications and related components making a blueprint, then it integrates with the vCloud API’s to deploy into a private or public cloud.

What you obtain is a vAPP that is a container able to carry an entire multi-tier application with even its own scaling rules for each of the tiers.

VMware offers AppDirector in a bundle with vFabric AppInsight called vFabric APM, in order to allow monitoring of the released applications.

With vFabric Application Director, vFabric AppInsight and the rest of the vFabric product line we are seeing VMware’s application level strategy come to life. It is clear that VMware is making an enormous and strategic investment on this front, probably second only in priority to the continued investment in vSphere’s domination of data center virtualization. The combination of vFabric and vSphere also brings into clear focus the fullness of the VMware software stack, and the degree to which VMware seriously threatens established OS vendors like Microsoft and Red Hat.

We recommend the reading of this article by The Virtualization Practice.