Today VMware unleashed a slew of announcements to kick off VMworld. First out of the gate, VMware made a series of announcements related to vCloud and took the wraps off of VMware vFabric Data Director.

VMware's vCloud Datacenter Services program was announced in 2010. The program allows third-party providers to offer VMware cloud infrastructure. When launched in August of 2010, the program was offered by five partners. Fast-forward to August 2011 and VMware says it's expecting to offer the program in 25 data centers in 13 countries by the end of this year.

Why's that important? Matthew Lodge, senior director of cloud services at VMware, says that this allows companies to offer services in multiple regions. This can be important not only for performance regions, but also allows providers to meet data protection and regulatory requirements.

VMware has also launched a site that helps customers locate providers in the vCloud Ecosystem. Lodge says that, prior to the vCloud Ecosystem site, VMware customers could have a hard time locating providers that serve their region.

VMware vFabric Data Director

Today's second announcement will be exciting for system administrators, database administrators, developers, and others working with databases. The vFabric Data Director is a database provisioning and operations tool for managing databases using policy driven automation.

The problem that VMware is addressing with vFabric is "database sprawl," says David McJannet director of cloud and application services. In a typical environment, from development to deployment, companies tend to wind up creating multiple copies of a database. McJannet says that Data Director helps to alleviate that with the "clone" feature. In addition, Data Director has policies for CPU, memory and storage management.

Data Director also gives organizations templated provisioning, easy high-availability and a full set of monitoring and view resource usage.

Currently, Data Director is based on VMware's customized distribution of PostgreSQL 9. According to McJannet, other databases will be made available eventually but no word on which databases and when. Pricing for 25 managed virtual machines starts at $15,000, and a standard edition of vFabric Postgres Standard Edition for production use is $1,700. VMware does offer a non-production license for free, so companies should only be paying for databases in production.