VMware vCloud Hybrid Service is a VMware owned and operated Infrastructure as a Service Offering. vCHS is available at the moment in the US and in the UK. Datacenters are located in Santa Clara CA, Las Vegas NV, Dallas TX, Sterling VA and Slough UK (west of London). VMware is likely to expand in Europe this year with datacenters in France and Germany.
The big difference with other public IaaS cloud offers like those of Microsoft Azure and Amazon is that vCHS is a so called ‘reliable cloud’. This means the platform has features built in to protect the virtual machines running on it. Think about features like vMotion and HA. Azure and Amazon EC2 are designed such that the application must provide resiliency (best effort cloud). When Microsoft has to reboot a host, an evacuation of virtual machines running on that host using a migration technology is not possible.
vCHS is built using the same software used by many organizations; VMware vSphere. It offers a hybrid cloud managed by a single console.
vCHS allows to keep the current private IP address of virtual machines when moving between on premise and vCHS. It uses VXLAN to enable this feature.
Recently VMware added several new services. Disaster Recovery allows to replicate virtual machines from an on-premise datacenter to vCHS using vSphere Replication technology. Purchase is based on an upfront investment in vCPU, memory, storage and network bandwidth. Costs start at $795/month for 1TB of data, 10GHz of CPU and 20GB RAM.
Also added recently is vCHS-Data Protection which offers backups of virtual machines running on vCHS.
On a chat session at Reddit yesterday VMware told about future features of vCHS like NSX and Pay as you go.
Currently customers wanting to use vCHS have to purchase a certain amount of compute and storage resources upfront. Even if a customer does not need all of the resources. Think about it as if you like to buy an apple and Walmart only sells a box containing 3 apples, 2 pineapples and an orange.
In H2 2014 VMware plans to launch a pay-as-you-go service option. Here you only pay resources which you have actually used. This service will include billing in arrears (pay at the end of the month). Granularity will be by the minute, and will be aggregated across all resources consumed (not per VM).
vCHS services can be ordered via VMware Solutions Providers or directly at VMware. VMware does not offer a service which allows registration using a creditcard and minutes later the customer can consume the service.
NSX is the software defined networking solution which was added by the acquisition of Nicira. NSX was introduced in August 2013. It is targeted at large organizations like service providers having a lot of changes in their network with multiple tenants. Instead of a network admin performing those changes manually, NSX can do that.
VMware is using NSX in the “back office” of vCHS today for management networks. VMware is in the process of implementing NSX for customer environments. Expect to see support for enhanced Edge capabilities and Distributed Firewalls and more.