A Look Inside vCloud Hybrid Service

Today we unveiled vCloud Hybrid Service – A VMware-owned and operated public cloud designed to help our customers seamlessly extend their private cloud resources beyond the data center. Now that I’m able to talk about the service, let me pull back the curtain on part of the architecture and technology behind vCloud Hybrid Service.

When the vCloud Hybrid Service architecture team began designing the service we followed two core tenets; simplify the physical aspects of the design and use VMware software wherever possible and practical. The goal was to deliver a high-quality cloud service that fully embraced the concepts of the software-defined data center.

vCloud Suite 5.1 was in development while we were designing the vCloud Hybrid Service architecture, and fortunately for us many of the new features in the vCloud Suite were directly applicable to our design tenets. For example, we saw an opportunity to use the vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) software capabilities to radically change our networking design.

The resulting network design is simple from a physical perspective. Basic switching and routing capabilities are provided by hardware while more complicated functions are provided by the vCNS Edge appliance in combination with VXLAN. Throughout the course of our development period, we worked closely with the vCNS engineering team to refine our design and deploy it in production.

The vCNS software suite is a feature-rich-networking platform, and here are some of the numerous capabilities we used from vCNS Edge:

  • Load Balancing – Used to provide Internet facing services to customers
  • SNAT – Used to provide outbound access where required
  • SSL and IPSec VPN – Remote access capabilities
  • Routing – Routing between internal networks as well as to the Internet
  • VXLAN – Isolate customer networks allowing for bring-your-own address space
  • APIs – Manage and deploy virtual network infrastructure through automation

In combination, these capabilities provide resilient, high performance core networking services for our customers. Most of these features are also available for customers to employ directly in their vCloud Hybrid Service cloud environment, and all of the vCNS networking technology we are using is available today for on-premise deployments.

The end result is that we now have an agile, programmable network infrastructure that will provide an easy road to upgrade as we continue to expand the capabilities of vCloud Hybrid Service. I’ll cover other parts of our vCloud Hybrid Service architecture in future posts – but in the meantime, feel free to comment below around what’s important to you in a cloud service’s networking infrastructure.

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