This morning we got the official announcement of VMware vCloud Connector, a new, free vSphere plug-in that I wrote about last week on SearchCloudComputing.com.
VCloud Connector lets users view VMs in their private and public cloud infrastructures and move them back and forth between the two. I asked Mathew Lodge, VMware’s senior director of cloud services, to explain how vCloud Connector is different from vCloud Director, the long-awaited cloud product that VMware unveiled at VMworld 2010.
“There’s two differences,” he said. “One is this: (VCloud Connector is) very simple. It’s based, it’s designed for folks so that they don’t have to learn anything new. It’s the existing interface they know and love. They can access all their clouds through this right away. I think the other big difference … is that vCloud Director is designed to give an interface to non-vSphere administrators, so an organization, for example, can delegate administration out to the business unit.”
“There’s a difference in target for these two things,” he added.
The VMware users I spoke to last week said they don’t see the immediate need for another hybrid cloud computing tool. But Chris House, technical engineer for Metro Health, a medical provider in the Midwest, told me vCloud Connector could be an appealing alternative to the complicated vCloud Director.
“This sounds like a good stepping stone to hosting virtual machines out on the internet with a hosting provider,” House said in an email. “I think this incremental approach is probably one that we would be interested in, keeping control within the vSphere client, but the VM execution can be outside the enterprise, without needing to deal with vCloud Director.”
Still, House has some questions about the usefulness of vCloud Connector.
“I wouldn’t think there’d be a need to regularly move VMs back and forth, unless it’s for some kind of testing purpose,” he said. “VMs are generally many gigabytes in size, and that would take some time. We have discussed hosting some dev/test VMs outside the enterprise, but it’s an additional cost at this point, and we can deliver everything we need internally.”