Google Cloud Storage now available through VMware vCloud Air

Google and VMware announced today that they have teamed up to offer enterprise grade Google Cloud Platform services to VMware customers through VMware vCloud Air.
With the availability of Google Cloud Storage through vCloud Air, VMware customers will have access to all three classes of object storage offered by Google:
  1. Standard storage offers our highest performance storage, with very high availability.
  2. Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) storage provides a lower cost option that doesn’t require immediate and uninterrupted access to storage.  Cost savings are made by reducing replicas.  Durable Reduced Availability storage offers the same durability as Standard storage.
  3. Nearline storage, Google’s newest storage service,  offers customers a simple, low-cost, fast-response storage service with quick data backup, and access for storage charges of 1 cent per GB of data.

Comparison of storage classes

Storage Class Characteristics Use Cases Bucket Locations
Standard Storage High availability, low latency (time to first byte is typically tens of milliseconds). Storing data that requires low latency access or data that is frequently accessed (“hot” objects), such as serving website content, interactive workloads, or gaming and mobile applications. Continental locations
Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) Lower availability than Standard Storage and lower cost per GB stored. Applications that are particularly cost-sensitive, or for which some unavailability is acceptable such as batch jobs and some types of data backup. Continental locations and regional locations
Cloud Storage Nearline Slightly lower availability and slightly higher latency (time to first byte is typically 2 – 5 seconds) than Standard Storage but with a lower cost. Data you do not expect to access frequently (i.e., no more than once per month). Typically this is backup data for disaster recovery, or so called “cold” storage that is archived and may or may not be needed at some future time. Continental locations

VMware Launches VMware Fusion 8 and Fusion 8 Pro

VMware Fusion Pro 8 Vmware Fusion 8

VMware, Inc. today announced the release of VMware Fusion 8, which includes over 50 new features, and is ready for the latest Apple and Microsoft innovations to deliver the ultimate Windows on Mac experience. VMware is also releasing VMware Fusion 8 Pro, with over 60 new features, including leading edge capabilities and cloud integration designed for advanced users and technical professionals.

“VMware Fusion enables Mac users to take full advantage of all the innovative features and capabilities available in Windows 10 such as Cortana or the new Edge browser,” said Nicolas Rochard, director, product marketing, End-User Computing, VMware. “With Apple OS X El Capitan readiness, up to 65 percent faster graphics, and an incredible cloud incentive program for our VMware Fusion Pro users to make the most of VMware vCloud Air, the value delivered by VMware is greater than ever before.”

VMware Fusion 8
VMware Fusion 8 is designed for individuals searching for an easy, fast and reliable solution to run Windows on a Mac without rebooting. With seamless integration that enables Windows applications to run like native Mac applications, VMware Fusion 8 is the ideal solution for Mac users who want the best of both worlds.

Key new enhancements in VMware Fusion 8 include:

  • Built for Microsoft Windows 10 – VMware Fusion 8 lets users take advantage of the latest features in Windows 10 like Cortana, the Microsoft speech-enabled virtual assistant, or the new Edge web browser. Users can quickly, easily and safely install new or upgrade existing virtual machines to Windows 10 with VMware Fusion 8.
  • Ready for Apple OS X El Capitan – VMware Fusion 8 is ready for Apple OS X El Capitan. Users can run VMware Fusion 8 on El Capitan public beta today with confidence or install El Capitan in a virtual machine to test its new features, capabilities and application compatibility without disrupting the current Mac environment.
  • Enhanced Graphics Engine – With added support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3, VMware Fusion 8 can deliver up to 65 percent faster graphics over the previous version, giving users more responsive and fluid graphics for day to day work while delivering maximum performance for highly demanding 3D applications.
  • Ready for the Latest Macs – Whether running Windows on the latest Macs such as the iMac Retina 5K or connecting Retina Macs to 4K displays, VMware Fusion 8 offers users a crisp Windows on Mac experience on mixed environments. For Mac laptop users, VMware Fusion enables power coming out of their Mac’s battery to be used as efficiently as possible, and provides adaptive graphics switching to give users the ultimate performance while least impacting battery life.

VMware Fusion 8 Pro
VMware Fusion 8 Pro takes virtualization on the Mac to the next level with unmatched features designed for technical professionals that want to run Windows and Linux applications on a Mac without rebooting. With added support for the latest Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems like Windows 10, Ubuntu 15.04 or OS X 10.11 El Capitan Preview, advanced users, developers, QA and IT admins can rely on VMware Fusion 8 Pro for its high performance, reliability and leading edge Mac virtualization features.

Key enhancements in Fusion 8 include:

  • From the Mac to the Cloud – Native integration with VMware vCloud Air is now available and can be used to securely back up local virtual machines to the cloud, or build websites and apps locally before pushing them to the cloud for production.
  • VMware vCloud Air Incentive Program – To help users get familiar with the benefits of cloud computing, VMware Fusion 8 Pro customers are eligible to receive $600 in vCloud Air service credit to use for up to 6 months — twice the standard VMware vCloud Air sign-up offer.
  • VMware Ecosystem Integration – VMware Fusion 8 Pro has improved integration for connecting to, creating and running virtual machines hosted on VMware vSphere, VMware ESXi or VMware Workstation servers. Control and download virtual machines from remote servers and turn them into local Fusion Pro virtual machines, or upload local virtual machines to vSphere directly from Fusion Pro.
  • Built for Developers – Customers can use modern 3rd party tools such as Chef, Hashicorp Vagrant or Docker Machine to automate virtual machine and container deployment, or build universal applications for Windows 10 devices without ever leaving the Mac.
  • Complex Virtual Networking – With updated networking controls, including IPv6 NAT support, and compatibility with the VMware ecosystem, VMware Fusion 8 Pro users can recreate complex cloud architectures right on the Mac to demonstrate or validate design before implementation.

Centralized Management of Distributed Virtual Desktops
VMware Fusion customers interested in centrally managing virtual machines can upgrade to VMware Horizon FLEX. With the ability to centrally provision, manage and secure virtual desktops and applications running locally on Macs using policy-based controls, VMware Horizon FLEX is the ideal solution for customers who are looking to provide added management capabilities to their VMware Fusion install base.

Availability and Pricing
VMware Fusion 8 and VMware Fusion 8 Pro are available immediately for download and purchase from for $79.99 and $199.99 respectively. VMware Fusion 8 Pro is also available from VMware partners and distributors.

Download a free trial at the VMware Fusion trial page.

VMware Announces VMware Workstation 12 Pro and Workstation 12 Player


VMware, Inc today announced the newest version of its leading PC virtualization solution, VMware Workstation 12 Pro. VMware Workstation 12 Pro is ready for Microsoft Windows 10, and introduces over 40 new features to support the latest software and hardware innovations in the industry.

“For more than 16 years, VMware Workstation has continued to streamline the way technical professionals operate in the enterprise,” said Nicolas Rochard, director, product marketing, End-User Computing, VMware. “Out of the box, VMware Workstation 12 Pro will work seamlessly with Windows 10, allowing developers and IT administrators to easily test for application compatibility prior to production deployments and enable maximum uptime and availability.”

VMware Workstation 12 Pro
With support for the brand new release of Windows 10 and the latest Linux distribution, VMware Workstation 12 Pro transforms the way technical professionals develop, test, demonstrate and deploy software by running multiple x86-based operating systems simultaneously on the same PC.

Updates include:

  • Built for Windows 10 – VMware Workstation 12 Pro enables IT professionals and developers to test and develop for Windows 10 with their existing Windows or Linux PC. Users can take advantage of the latest features in Windows 10 like Cortana, the personal digital assistant and the inking capabilities in the new Edge web browser, or begin building universal applications for Windows 10 devices.
  • Enhanced Graphics Engine – With support for Microsoft DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3, VMware Workstation 12 Pro enables and expands the type of 3-D graphics applications that can run inside a virtual machine.
  • Improved Performance – VMware Workstation 12 Pro offers performance improvements that enhance productivity and the user experience. With performance improvements of up to 3x when suspending or resuming encrypted virtual machines, up to 36 percent faster 3-D graphics, and improved echo and noise cancellation when using Skype and Lync VoIP calls within a VM — highly demanding applications can be faster and more efficient than ever before.
  • Ready for the Latest PCs and Tablets – VMware Workstation 12 Pro has been optimized to support high resolution 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) displays for desktops and QHD+ (3200×1800) displays used in laptops and x86 tablets providing users with a crisp and detailed experience. Workstation 12 Pro also benefits from improvements in handling mixed environments between standard resolution PCs and 4K displays.
  • VMware vCloud Air Incentive Program – To help users get familiar with the benefits of cloud computing, VMware Workstation 12 Pro customers are eligible to receive $600 in vCloud Air service credit to use for up to 6 months — twice the standard VMware vCloud Air sign-up offer.

VMware Workstation 12 Player
VMware Workstation 12 Player (formerly VMware Player Pro) is a streamlined offering of VMware Workstation 12 Pro that is ready for Windows 10, offers enhanced 3-D graphics support and improved virtual machine performance. With its intuitive interface and easy setup, VMware Workstation 12 Player is another option for IT professionals to deliver a corporate virtual desktop to employees, contractors or customers.

Centralized Management of Distributed Virtual Desktops
VMware Workstation customers interested in managing virtual machines can upgrade to VMware Horizon FLEX. With the ability to centrally provision, manage and secure virtual desktops and applications running locally on PCs using policy-based controls, VMware Horizon FLEX is the ideal solution for customers who are looking to provide added management capabilities to their VMware Workstation install base.

New System Requirements
While 32 bit operating systems are supported inside virtual machines, VMware Workstation 12 Pro and Workstation 12 Player requires 64 bit processors and 64 bit host operating systems for advanced computing and modern application ecosystems.

Availability and Pricing
VMware Workstation 12 Pro and VMware Workstation 12 Player are available for purchase immediately for $249.99 and $149.99 respectively.

VMware Workstation 10 and 11 customers can upgrade to VMware Workstation 12 Pro for $149.99. VMware Player 6 Plus and Player 7 Pro customers can upgrade to Workstation 12 Player for $79.99.

Download a free trial at the VMware Workstation trial page.

Amazon CloudFront is Now Included in the Set of Services That are PCI DSS Compliant


Amazon announced today that CloudFront is now included in the set of services that are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Merchant Level 1, the highest level of compliance for service providers.

PCI DSS compliance is a requirement for any business that stores, processes, or transmits credit card data. Amazon CloudFront’s PCI compliance now makes it easier for retail e-commerce, travel booking, ticket sale, or in-app purchase applications to integrate Amazon CloudFront as a part of their architecture and adhere to PCI DSS. Because Amazon CloudFront supports dynamic and static content delivery, customers such as e-commerce businesses can use the same secure service for whole site delivery to accelerate both the browsing and shopping cart experience for their site visitors.

In addition to PCI DSS Level 1 compliance, here are some of the most recent security features now embedded in CloudFront:

HTTP to HTTPS Redirect – You can use this feature to enforce an HTTPS-only discipline for access to your content. You can restrict individual CloudFront distributions to serve only HTTPS content, or you can configure them to return a 301 redirect when a request is made for HTTP content.

Signed URLs and Cookies – You can create a specially formatted “signed” URL that includes a policy statement. The policy statement contains restrictions on the signed URL, such as a time interval which specifies a date and time range when the URL is valid, and/or a list of IP addresses that are allowed to access the content.

Advanced SSL Ciphers – CloudFront supports the latest SSL ciphers and allows you to specify the minimum acceptable protocol version.

OCSP Stapling – This feature speeds up access to CloudFront content by allowing CloudFront to validate the associated SSL certificate in a more efficient way. The effect is most pronounced when CloudFront receives many requests for HTTPS objects that are in the same domain.

Perfect Forward Secrecy -This feature creates a new private key for each SSL session. In the event that a key was discovered, it could not be used to decode past or future sessions.

IBM Acquires Database-As-A-Service Startup Compose


IBM has closed a deal to acquire Compose, a startup based in San Mateo, California., formerly known as MongoHQ. IBM will make Compose part of its BlueMix cloud platform for software developers.

According to a prepared statement, Compose, which was founded in 2010, offers auto-scaling, production-ready containerized databases to help software development teams deploy data services. Compose supports five popular open source databases, including MongoDB, Redis, Elasticsearch, PostgreSQL, and RethinkDB. Each database can be provisioned in minutes, and are designed to include high availability, failover, and daily backups. In addition, Compose offers Transporter for moving and syncing data continuously between data stores — available both as a service and as a free open source application.

“Compose’s breadth of database offerings will expand IBM’s Bluemix platform for the many app developers seeking production-ready databases built on open source,” said Derek Schoettle, the general manager of IBM Cloud Data Services, in today’s announcement. “Compose furthers IBM’s commitment to ensuring developers have access to the right tools for the job by offering the broadest set of DBaaS service and the flexibility of hybrid cloud deployment.”

Google announces Cloud Storage Nearline

Google announced today Cloud Storage Nearline and as part of their ” Switch and Save program” they are offering 100 PB of Storage Nearline free for 6 months.


Earlier this year, Google announced its new low-cost Nearline cold storage service and today, the company is taking it out of beta and making it generally available. Google considers it to be ready for production and its SLA promises an uptime of 99 percent. Unlike some of its competitors like Amazon Glacier, where accessing data in cold storage can take hours, Nearline promises to make data in its archive available within seconds.

Straight from the press release, here is a breakdown of some of the new features available in Nearline:

  • On-Demand I/O allows users to increase I/O when data needs to be retrieved faster than the standard 4 MB/s read throughput per TB of data stored, meaning customers only pay for increased throughput when it is needed. Google is offering offer on-demand I/O for free for the first three months after the service launches.
  • Google made its Cloud Storage Transfer Service (previously known as Online Cloud Import) generally available, so that organizations can import online data from HTTP/HTTPS locations into Google Cloud Storage. Both one-time data migrations and recurring data transfers are available via configuration, and lifecycle management options are also available.
  • A Switch and Save program will provide new users with 100PB of free storage in Cloud Storage Nearline for up to six months as a way to entice users to switch to Google’s service. However, customers are required to commit to migrate at least one petabyte of data into Google Cloud Storage within the first three months of signup.


Azure Site Recovery: Move VMware, AWS, Hyper-V and Physical Servers to Azure

Microsoft announced today the general availability of Azure Site Recovery. To enable customers to move heterogeneous workloads from multiple environments – VMware, Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or physical servers – to Azure.

Azure Site Recovery one-click migration also enables migration of customer workloads between Azure regions. Customers can replicate on-premises workloads to Azure with Azure Site Recovery for 31 days at no charge, effectively making migration to Azure free.

According to Abhishek Hemrajani, Senior Program Manager, Cloud + Enterprise, Microsoft’s Availability on Demand (AoD) solutions will enable customers to take advantage of the hybrid cloud by enabling enterprise scenarios such as cloud-integrated disaster recovery, cloud migration, and DevTest. Microsoft Azure and Azure Site Recovery (ASR), will allow organizations to harness a near unlimited amount of compute and storage, combining the agility needed to innovate quickly, while seamlessly leveraging and extending infrastructure investments.

With AoD, customers can use ASR to migrate heterogeneous workloads to Azure and solve IT challenges with the power of Microsoft Azure:



The following table lists the different on-premises source environments that can now be migrated to Azure with ASR:

Source Target Availability Supported Guest OS Types
Hyper-V 2012 R2 Azure Available All Guest OS types supported by Azure
Hyper-V 2008 R2 SP1 and 2012 Azure Available Windows* and Linux*
VMware vCenter Server 5.0, 5.5, ESXi 5.0, 5.5 and Physical Servers Azure Available Windows* and Linux*
Amazon Web Services (Windows AMIs only) Azure Available Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1+
Hyper-V 2012 Hyper-V 2012R2 Available All Guest OS types supported by Hyper-V

*Limited to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1+, CentOS 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.4, 6.5, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3