vCloud Air – What’s In a Name? A Lot Really.

You may have already seen the news that the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service has been officially renamed this morning to vCloud Air. This will inevitably draw some interesting comments as any name change can do, but there is good reason for what some may refer to  as pure semantics.

How Hybrid Was vCloud Hybrid Service

I’ve chatted with a lot of folks over the last year, and I have been lucky enough to have access to preview releases of the vCHS platform prior to its initial launch. The name was chosen with a specific target of allowing VMware customers to extend their data center to the shared or dedicated externally hosted environment using the tools and techniques that are familiar to them.

Hybrid is a very specific use-case, and this was the goal of the product from what I can tell. It was designed to extend workloads to an off-premises cloud environment.

Through my conversations, I found that many of the people I’ve chatted with have actually broken the mold on this and they were using it in the same way that I was. An entirely standalone platform that happened to be running VMware as the product ecosystem.

So if the product isn’t really being consumed as a “hybrid” service, it does seem fitting that it should be named appropriately.

vCloud Air For Everyone

If you want to spin up an environment, you have no need to have the on-premises portion of the build. You can do so with an on-premises and not connect the two also. Really, the use-cases are there for many different configurations.

The real win for existing VMware customers is that you can export machines and bring them into your vCloud Air environment. You can also reverse the process and build in the vCloud Air platform and export for local consumption and testing.  The platform familiarity is a definitely win, and given the large number of VMware implementations at customers ranging from SMB up to massive enterprises, there is no doubt that having the common base to deploy into will be a winning proposition.

Next up in the platform is the long awaited pay-as-you-go model which I wrote about over at here. That, along with the continued addition of new data centers is showing us that VMware is all-in on creating a broadly accessible platform for current and new customers.

Exciting times ahead, and I am sure that VMworld will open the doors to many more announcements next week!

What a day! The full-day Toronto VMUG on February 27th

This year is my first time as a co-leader of the Toronto VMUG for a full-day event along with Angelo Luciani, Mike Preston, and Ryan Goff. We pulled together in a big way along with the fabulous team at VMUG headquarters.

The event was made even more accessible thanks to our friends at Turbonomic, who sponsored free parking at the venue for those who had to drive down.

vCHS goodness with Michael Roy

It started off with with a bang thanks to a great morning keynote by Michael Roy, Technical Marketing Manager from VMware in the vCloud Hybrid Service team. Michael did a super job of introducing the vCHS initiative to our audience, and it was timed well along with the recent announcement of the launch of the first European data center!

It’s particularly nice to have Michael in town as we have chatted on vCHS before at VMworld 2013 and he is a Canadian living in San Francisco so that gets extra points. Plus, be sure to check out his upcoming book Instant Getting Started with VMware Fusion:

A visit from Chris Wahl!

We were lucky enough with this event to have Chris Wahl of here to give a presentation about orchestration, process improvement and overall awesomeness titled “Stop Being a Minesweeper”. Chris is a dynamic speaker, and we had lots of time to chat on everything in technology throughout the day which was a special treat.

You may recall that Chris was one of our judges for Virtual Design Master Season 1.


Make sure to keep your eyes out for Chris’ upcoming book Networking for VMware Administrators co-authored with Steven Pantol. It’s available for pre-order now!

Excitement in the air with VSAN and NSX

It should be no surprise that there was a lot of focus on two of the popular offerings from VMware with VSAN (Currently in Beta) and Network Virtualization with NSX. While it is often feared that the products are targeted to the large scale customer and service provider, there was a lot of buzz among the attendees from businesses large and small.

The whole agenda is available here to give you an idea of the great partner vendor and VMware presentations that where there:

VMUG Expert Panel and the Big Lab Giveaway

To top off this exciting day, we had an “Ask the Expert” panel featuring Chris Wahl, Michael Roy, Toronto VMUG’s own Mike Preston, and yours truly!


There were some great questions from the audience, and we received lots of great feedback about the event content while we where there also which was a sign of a well designed VMUG event day.

Record numbers this year

Thanks to the incredible community that is here in Toronto and surrounding area, we had a record number of registrations and attendees for the event. At the last count we had over 500 registered on site as was evident by the standing room only for the keynote session in the morning.

This was the ultimate nod to how important this community is, and we couldn’t be more pleased with all of the interaction and networking that took place during the event. Vendors were able to spend lots of time with our attendees and the feedback on the presentations was very positive.

Toronto’s first vBeers with Veeam

Another fun part of the event was a vBeers party at 5:00 sponsored by our friends Veeam at the Baton Rouge restaurant next to the Toronto Convention Centre. There were a large amount of attendees who came over with us and spent a couple of hours chatting on the day, plus everything in technology and lots of great networking was happening. This was the perfect end to a community event.

I’ll close by giving a heartfelt thank you to all of you for the work you do to make these events happen, and to give us the inspiration to make each one better than the last!