VMware doesn’t want to be left out of this whole public-cloud thing. Following in the footsteps of Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Amazon and other IT giants, VMware is releasing a public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform that will… well, many of the details remain unclear. VMware is defining it as a “hybrid cloud service” that will allow its customers to “reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing their existing applications.” In theory, the platform will allow them to utilize a holistic management and networking model. VMware will launch the platform later this year, serviced by the newly formed Hybrid Cloud Services business unit. The company also plans on merging its VMware vCloud Networking and Security platform with the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) into a common technology named VMware NSX, which will operate across both VMware and non-VMware hypervisors and cloud-management platforms. VMware also claims that VMware NSX will offer an open framework, the better for heterogeneous environments with a mix of networking services and devices. “VMware is calling the service ‘hybrid’ to set expectations about how enterprises should view the solution and to reinforce its claims about vCloud Director, the software upon which this offering is based,” James Staten, a Forrester analyst, wrote in a March 13 blog posting. “The company has long claimed that vCloud Director, which instantiates an IaaS environment, empowers I&O professionals to manage workloads in exactly the same way, with the same vCenter tools whether deployed on-premise or in the cloud.” The second reason for VMware to call its service a hybrid, he added, “is to prove to its army of VMware Certified Professionals that the public cloud isn't the enemy but is instead an extension of the data center but one that is different from the static virtualization environments they operate today.” VMware is clearly aiming the offering at its current customers, who might be considering another vendor’s IaaS platform for their development, cloud and data needs. But more details probably need to emerge before it’s clear whether VMware’s version can get their attention.   Image: Melpomene/Shutterstock.com