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VMware's new vCloud Director is supposed to settle the cloud computing market's hash once and for all. VMware claims everyone, enterprises and service providers alike, will be able to partake in the joys of cloud: self-service computing power for users, elastic, pay-as-you-go consumption, highly automated, painless IT infrastructure management that does away with the drudgery of custom scripts and personal attention.
But it turns out vCloud Director won't do all that. It's actually going to take a collection of disparate parts and third-party software vendors all working together to provide an IT shop with the full panoply of cloud features, and the requirements are both strict and strange.
VMware is turning to its favorite partners, third-party independent software vendors (ISVs) to provide other missing pieces. Aria, Zenoss and HyTrust are examples of this. Aria's billing management system can be "embedded" in vCloud Director to connect with enterprise financial systems (VMware Chargeback doesn't do that).
Open source application monitoring technology firm Zenoss is offering its real-time monitoring abilities as an add-on for vCloud; Zenoss developers went to VMware headquarters to develop in concert with VMware. And HyTrust is launching an LDAP and Active Directory integration component. ISVs want to paint a rosy picture of this mix-and-match approach to getting a full-featured cloud.