vCloud Integration Manager

With the PEX coming up, VMware has made a very timely announcement and we can expect more details to come out shortly. VMware has announced a new product called “vCloud Integration Manager” (vCIM) which will enable vCloud service providers to serve their customers in an even more efficient manner.

The Integration Manager will sit between the vCloud Director and the front end portal. It will automate a lot of tasks that will usually be an operational cost to a service provider. This will be a new way to increase efficiency in service delivery. For instance tasks like provisioning virtual data centers, networks, accounts etc can now be delivered truly as a service. The Integration Manager will integrate VMware vCloud Director, vSphere, vShield Edge and Chargeback.

According to Mathew Lodge, senior director of cloud services for the virtualization and cloud technology vendor, vCIM will enable service providers to create product catalogs that will be available to the customers. This will allow the customers to provision their own cloud services using a front-end ordering system that connects to vCIM.

Accelerate time to revenue: vCloud Integration Manager will be tightly integrated with VMware vCloud Director, VMware vSphere®, VMware vShield™ Edge and VMware vCenter™ Chargeback Manager to automate and accelerate the provisioning and delivery of infrastructure and associated services. vCloud Integration Manager will provide a REST-based API to integrate with a service provider’s back office systems (CRM, billing, etc.), and a Web-based administration portal. (VMware)

Simplify operations to increase efficiency and reduce costs:vCloud Integration Manager will include Web-based portals to streamline and automate service plan, customer lifecycle and reseller management. With the click of a button, service providers will be able to standardize product configuration and delivery, manage customer lifecycles from sign-up to decommission, and reduce the time and overhead involved in transacting with resellers. (VMware)

Service providers will also be able to make their services available to resellers. Why? This will allow SP to delegate the selling to the resellers. The SP or the resellers will be able to set appropriate products available to each customer.

So this will make the life of the SPs a lot easier  (no need to develop vCIM like in-house tools) where they can focus on what they know best while the customers also benefit from decreased wait time from the time of the order to the delivery of service. vCIM is said to be out in Q1 of 2012 and is expected to work with vCD 1.0/1.5 and possibly supporting both ESXi 4.1 and 5.