With the rise of the software-defined networks (SDN) in the data center, it was only a matter of time before cloud service providers starting making that capability available to customers.
One of the first instances of these next-generation cloud platforms arrived in the form of NaviCloud Director, a cloud platform based on a virtual machine from VMware that can be managed via VMware vCloud Director management software.
According to Chris Patterson, vice president of product management for NaviSite, a subsidiary of Time-Warner, instead of replacing existing NaviSite cloud platforms, NaviCloud Director will be rolled out as an option within the NaviSite cloud platform portfolio. Patterson says NaviCloud Director is aimed at IT organizations looking for a cloud that can run VMware application workloads as a natural extension of their own enterprise IT environment. In contrast, most first-generation cloud platforms, says Patterson, were aimed at independent software vendors that typically were not looking for as much control over the IT infrastructure as an enterprise customer.
Patterson adds that IT organizations are becoming a lot more confident in their ability to deploy and manage application workloads in the cloud. They just need to work with cloud providers that give them the tools they need to govern the overall environment instead of creating another silo of computing into which they have no visibility.
Patterson also says that rather than working with cloud service providers that have standardized on other virtual machines, most organizations will prefer to work with cloud service providers that support the same virtualization platform currently used in their data centers. That approach not only limits the amount of retraining required to deploy and manage application workloads in the cloud, it also eliminates a lot of the headaches associated with hybrid cloud computing.
As the lines between instances of cloud computing continue to blur, it won’t be long before IT organizations start thinking of resources in the cloud in much the same way they view internal IT infrastructure resources. The only difference will be who actually owns that infrastructure.