vCloud Air OnDemand – VMware’s IaaS and hybrid infrastructure service

Try VMware’s vCloud Air OnDemand and get up to $1,000 in free service for your first 90 days

While vCloud Air is a relative newcomer to the cloud hosting market, its creator, VMware, is certainly no stranger to virtualization. To convince you of their claim that they’re the real deal – and able to deliver a compute performance that’s significantly superior to AWS and Azure – they’re offering up to $1,000 of free service over your first ninety days.
So VMware built vCloud Air on top of vCloud…which lives within vSphere. I found all that just a bit confusing. Here’s what each of them actually does:

VMware is a software and services virtualization pioneer. They should require no introduction.

vSphere is a VMware platform that allows locally managed virtualized deployments.

vCloud (and vCloud Suite) allow efficient and agile locally managed vSphere-based private clouds.

vCloud Air is a public cloud platform built on vSphere, that allows both deeply integrated hybrid and pure cloud deployments.

vcloud air
Image source: http://vcloud.vmware.com/explore-vcloud-air/what-is-vcloud-air

vCloud Air offers secure, pay-as-you-go, cloud compute hosting where you can create and dynamically scale virtual machines and resources up or down, while paying only for the resources you use. The billing scheme seems roughly analogous to other cloud providers.
Until December 31, 2015, you can get a $300 service credit on sign up.
But that’s just for people coming in off the street. This link – if you use it to create a new account before the end of June – will get you a $500 service credit along with a chance at an additional $500 (one winner is drawn each week).
Once you’re done with your credits, you will find that the on-demand model can be customized by region, time period and resources required for compute, storage and other additional services.
You can choose between per month, per hour or even per minute price offering, billed in various currencies. An online support option is available for 7% of the invoice amount, and production support is available at 12% of the invoice.

Use cases for vCloud Air

Moving packaged applications to the Cloud

Your IT department can move a packaged application into the cloud, allowing you to more effectively use your on-premises infrastructure for critical applications. This will minimize the department’s administrative burden and allow them to focus on more strategic operations. In some cases, it can also reduce your IT budget by reducing the on-premises IT infrastructure. In some scenarios, it can also improve mobile user experience and remote office application access.
More importantly, vCloud Air supports more than 5,000 applications and 90 operating systems (I’ll bet you didn’t know there were 90 operating systems). This interoperability can save you a whole lot of code re-writing and configuration headaches.

Speeding up application development and testing

Because it’s all virtualized within a single ecosystem (VMware), you can easily sync your on-premises environment with your vCloud Air deployments. That means they can test, deploy or iterate faster. The vCloud Air environment is scalable, so your QA process can move at full-speed without the need for new tools or training.
Teams can migrate applications between on and off-premises quickly without needing re-writes. Pivotal Cloud Foundry – an enterprise PaaS solution – can be used in combination with vCloud Air to accelerate and simplify the application development and deployment.

Protecting your data in the cloud

How do you protect the mission-critical environment data you’ve replicated to the Cloud? vCloud Air uses automated replication, on-going monitoring, and assured application availability. And, again, because it’s all part of the vSphere system, location barely matters. vCloud Air:

Provides an agentless, policy-based recovery solution for virtual machine (VM) data and content; it replicates your existing IT policies defined on-premises at the VM level.

Disaster Recovery and Failover Plans
vCloud Air disaster recovery (DR) is entirely self-service, using asynchronous replication and failover. Recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) can be comparable to locally-based backups (with the obvious advantage of NOT being locally-based!).
Remember: you can get as much as $1,000 in free vCloud Air credits by using this link to create a new account before the end of June.

Additional video resources

Introductory video for OnDemand

Configuring your OnDemand VMs

OnDemand User Access and Tracking Consumption

Written by

Alex is a Software Engineer with a great passion for music and web technologies. He's experienced in web development and software design, with a particular focus on frontend and UX.

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