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VMware Advances Hosted Computing Services


VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP), which allows hosting providers such as Web hosting services, telecommunications companies and outsourcing businesses to bring to market new virtual infrastructure as service offerings.

The VSPP incorporates a new licensing model that makes the industry-leading VMware Infrastructure suite available to hosting providers on a per-virtual machine, per-month basis. With this new program, hosting providers can easily develop their own customized virtual infrastructure as service offerings that “rent” VMware virtual machine capacity to end customers.

For end customers, virtual infrastructure as a service offers significant benefits compared to traditional hosting offerings that provide dedicated servers or shared hosting. Dedicated server offerings often lead to long-term capacity over-commitment and lack of flexibility, while the VSPP enables hosting providers to offer “utility computing” services, which allow end customers to instantaneously add or reduce their hosted virtual infrastructure capacity to align with event-driven demand. With shared hosting, single operating system instances are partitioned, forcing customers into one-size-fits-all computing models that lack full isolation from one another. VMware hosted virtual machines are fully isolated—if one virtual machine crashes, others remain available—and they can be easily tailored to the particular needs of every application.

With the VSPP, hosting providers can enable end customers to benefit from hosted virtual infrastructure that is more highly available and robust than traditional hosted services. Hosting providers benefit from the ability to differentiate themselves through innovative new offerings and better service level agreements while increasing resource utilization and internal efficiency.

According to industry analyst firm Gartner, Inc., “Utility computing offerings lead the way as the most significant innovation taking place in the industry.” (1)

“The VSPP opens new doors for managed service providers to reinvent hosting services and reach new customers of all sizes,” said Raghu Raghuram, vice president of product and solutions marketing at VMware. “The added flexibility and availability of VMware Infrastructure as a service enables hosting providers to offer their customers immediate access to the proven benefits of virtual infrastructure as easily as flipping on an electric switch. Hosting customers can now rely on production system availability not possible with traditional hosted offerings, as well as automatic data and systems protection and rapid recovery from failures, while paying only for the computing capacity they require at the time.”

VMware has been working with a select group of leading hosting providers during the last two years including EDS and Telefonica. VMware conducted a pilot of the new program earlier this year, and hosting providers worldwide are currently participating, including: Attenda (U.K.), Cobweb (U.K.), Data Return (U.S.), Dedigate (The Netherlands), I-Tech (The Netherlands), ICM (U.K.), (U.S.), Interoute (U.K.), Macquarie Telecom (Australia), Mistral Internet (U.K.), Net Access Corporation (U.S.), NSX (The Netherlands), Rackspace Managed Hosting (U.K., U.S.), SmartyHost (Australia), Talk Internet (U.K), Tepucom (The Netherlands) and Vericenter (U.S.).

“Our Infinistructure utility computing platform leverages VMware virtualization technology to provide revolutionary levels of scalability and flexibility for our customers,” said Jason Lochhead, founder and principal architect for Data Return, a Texas-based enterprise IT operations services provider. “We believe that the ability to deliver resources in time with our clients’ needs gives us a significant advantage over our competitors.”

“We use VMware products to power our Real Time Infrastructure, offering the benefits of faster provisioning, higher availability and lower cost than would be possible with conventional hardware hosting, while also helping the environment by consuming less power and data center space,” said Simon Hansford, vice president of marketing and product management at Attenda, a U.K.-based managed services provider.

Hosting providers can choose to license either VMware Infrastructure Enterprise or Starter, enabling them to provide a broad range of utility computing packages for various customer needs, from high-end managed services to individual Web site hosting. Additional benefits of the VSPP include:

High availability: In addition to hosting fully isolated virtual machines, VMware Infrastructure includes VMware High Availability (HA), which automatically restarts a virtual machine affected by hardware failure on a different physical server, ensuring minimal downtime for end users.
Resource optimization: VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), another component of VMware Infrastructure, load-balances virtual machines across the pool of physical servers, in order to accommodate increased customer demand while ensuring the stability of physical hardware.
Scalability: VMware Infrastructure enables new capacity to be easily added and removed based on fluctuating customer needs. This is useful for customers that have seasonal increases in computing demand, such as during holiday or tax seasons, because they can increase computing resources without the time and expense required to provision new hardware.
Serviceability: VMware VMotion technology enables non-disruptive migrations of virtual machines from one physical server to another, ensuring that hardware can be serviced without any service interruption.
Cost savings: Virtualization enables significant increases in resource utilization while preserving customization for the customer. This allows hosting providers to avoid hardware costs, enabling them to provide higher value to their customers.


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