Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is cloud or utility computing?

Cloud computing is an approach to computing that leverages the efficient pooling of on-demand, self-managed virtual infrastructure consumed as a service. Sometimes known as utility computing, clouds provide a set of typically virtualized computers which can provide users with the ability to start and stop servers or use compute cycles only when needed, often paying only upon usage.

What is the underlying technology used by the VMware vCloud Air Network Service Provider ecosystem?

VMware vCloud Air Network Service Providers utilize the same platform with integrated and connected management to seamlessly extend beyond the data center to the cloud that VMware customers use in their data centers - VMware vSphere. And because vSphere used by our service providers has the same level of reliability and security as customers internal IT environments, utilizing a VMware vCloud Air Network Service Provider enables you to reduce both risk and cost without requiring you to invest in additional management tools, reinvent your processes or retrain your existing workforce.

vCloud services enables customers to leverage the industry-leading service providers, software vendors and advanced VMware technology, to build private clouds and seamlessly deploy test labs, disaster recovery or simple flex capacity off premise or to the cloud. It also delivers peace of mind because the services from hosting and service providers for disaster recovery, test and development or just simple infrastructure on demand are certified by VMware and will be reliable and flexible.

How is cloud computing different from hosting or grid computing or other terms heard in the industry?

Various terms (such as cloud computing, elastic computing, grid computing, mesh computing) are used to describe the ability to tap into Internet-based resources that can be accessed on demand to perform computing tasks.

What's the difference between "on-premise", "hosted" and "cloud"?

On-premise, or private clouds continue to be an increasing trend amongst companies. As they begin seeing the opportunity to leverage resource pools and simplified provisioning to centralize computing power to better service distributed business units, they also realize the challenges of billing and SLAs required to achieve these goals. The cloud has been defined in many ways, but many view the cloud as an elastic, self-provisioning, billable on a usage basis, way to acquire computing needs. This can be private (on-premise), public ( hosted off-site ), or hybrid (mix of on-site and off-site). Unlike the cloud, a hosted solution usually means there’s a fixed rate to pay, like by month or by number of servers, as well as the inability to scale infrastructure on an as-needed basis. Normally hosted services imply that a fixed set of computer resources are made available.

Where can I find more information on the vCloud Air Network?

As a part of the VMware vCloud Air Network, VMware offers VMware vCloud Air, a public or hybrid cloud delivered and operated by VMware. Customers can visit to find their ideal VMware vCloud Air Network service provider partner.

Why should I choose VMware to build a cloud over other alternatives in the market?

The VMware Cloud Platform defines a new class of technology that provides a reliable, extensible and manageable cloud infrastructure.

  • Runs any application cost effectively and predictably in a shared, on-premise or off-premise infrastructure cloud.

  • Aggregates industry standard x86 systems, storage and network into unified logical resource pools to provide the highest reliability and the lowest cost way of running applications.

  • Allows users to automatically manage applications to pre-defined SLAs by providing built in availability, security and performance assurance for all applications.

How will I be certain my applications and data are secure in the vCloud?

VMware-based vCloud – private, public or hybrid - has the same security, reliability and performance currently delivered by VMware vSphere. Compliance certifications vary by VMware vCloud Air Network Service Provider partners and can be viewed at

Can I move my applications out of my internal VMware Virtualized vCloud to the VMware vCloud Air Network?

Yes. The cloud computing platform of services that are common across all VMware vCloud Air Network services found both in your data center or via third parties enable applications to be migrated with minimal impact. VMware provides a broad array of containers to facilitate cloud computing including virtual machines, VMware Ready Virtual Appliances and vApps.

What OS does the vCloud support?

VMware encapsulates the OS of your choice within the virtual machine and isolates it from the hardware. Users can take the OS and the application within that virtual machine and deploy it on any hardware. That, combined with the broad ecosystem of VMware Ready vClouds that support all different operating systems, enables a choice of OS.

Is vCloud a product or a service?

Neither. It is a set of enabling technologies including VMware vSphere, the vCloud API and additional cloud computing services that have yet to be announced that are brought to end customers both via private clouds built on VMware and the vCloud service provider ecosystem.