I recently had the opportunity to test the VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand service through VMware’s Early Access Program and wanted to share a quick walkthrough. Pretty easy to use and at sign up you can get a $3oo credit to check it out.
You do need a credit card to sign up but other than that the process is pretty straight forward. You can manage your subscription from your My VMware account as well.
Overall, I think the service is pretty easy to use. I was able to setup my account and provision a new Windows 2012 R2 virtual machine in just a few minutes as advertised. If you don’t have ready access to a lab and you need to test something in short order that is application focused, I think this is a very solid option. Let’s take a quick look through the virtual machine provisioning process.
You have two options to create a new virtual machine, either deploy a new one from a template they have (you can configure the resources to your needs) or deploy a new vApp/a new VM from scratch. Since I don’t have any loaded I went the template route.
I chose Windows 2012 R2 Standard here. Note, since that it is Windows there is an additional fee due to licensing. You can configure the CPU, memory and storage to what you need. The storage has two options standard or SSD-accelerated. Since this is VMware I presume they might be using VSAN? Not 100% sure what the SSD accelerated means, whether that is local caching in the case of VSAN like just some host card/SSD or array-based. Either way both are an option–SSD acceleration costs a little more (must mean it is nothing that can perform data reduction).
The virtual machine too about 4-5 minutes to provision and was ready to use.
I have to say I was quite pleased with the performance of the virtual console, didn’t have any noticeable lag. Good stuff.
You can continue to configure your network(s) adding public IPs if needed and so forth. All pretty intuitive.
So a quick look at their new offering, like I said I think this is a great choice for spinning up a quick lab if you don’t personally have access to equipment. I haven’t had a chance to look at the more critical–application enabling features (using it as a DR Site etc.) but it certainly looks promising with some of the advertised options.