VMware Takes Big Steps into its Cross-Cloud Vision


VMware takes big steps into its cross-cloud vision. My esteemed colleague at TVP Strategy Jo Harder recently released an article on the rumors about an upcoming VMware and Amazon Web Services press conference announcement. Jo was right on the money with her assessment: an official announcement was made, although VMware mistakenly posted its announcement a wee bit early. I would like to build off of Jo’s post and move the conversation in slightly different direction.

One area in which VMware has a real opportunity is in becoming the de facto middleman between different cloud providers, moving VMware closer toward its cross-cloud vision. Jo asked, “Are VMware and Amazon Web Services a suitable match?” and listed potential cloud partners that could offer particularly viable relationships. I believe that for VMware to truly succeed, the Amazon Web Services announcement needs to be just the next step. VMware already has a partnership with IBM and offers SoftLayer as a solution in the vCloud Air Platform marketplace. Now, VMware is welcoming Amazon Web Services into the marketplace. At this point, we can start to speculate on which company might be next in announcing a partnership with VMware in the near future.

VMware’s greatest presence is in the corporate world, as it is for Microsoft. The VMware and Amazon Web Services partnership is going to be a direct formidable competitor with Microsoft Azure. I believe that Microsoft will own Software as a Service (SaaS), but VMware will prevail with its platform, at least in the corporate world. That said, did you catch the part about Microsoft and VMware both having their greatest presence in the corporate world? Wouldn’t logic then dictate that a Microsoft Azure and VMware vCloud Air partnership might just be a win for both companies?

Think about it for a minute. A VMware and Microsoft partnership would give customers not only more choices in the marketplace, but I believe would offer the opportunity to split the business that might have gone over to Amazon Web Services. Since a good percent of virtual machines run on a VMware hypervisor, this could allow Microsoft to offer more products and solutions that might not have been readily available to companies that were not running Hyper-V as their hypervisor of choice. I think this would be good thing for Microsoft, VMware, and the consumers, with more competition among the cloud providers and cloud services.

“The reality is that most organizations are not deploying their workloads in the cloud today—yet. They’re thinking about it, planning for it, and testing it, but in most cases, they aren’t doing it—yet.” I am going to respectfully disagree with my colleagues on this point. In my opinion, a lot of organizations have made the move to the cloud in one way or another, when you consider all of the different cloud services like Office365, SalesForce and others. From what I have seen and heard, there many larger organizations that have both public and private clouds available to the organization. In a lot of cases, I have been hearing about companies that offer a private cloud solution and are working on ways to make the private offering cheaper than the public offering, so that different business units will choose the private versus the public cloud. In the VMware vision of the future, there will be more workloads running in the public cloud than the private cloud. I am not sure I quite agree with that assessment in that I think companies will prefer keeping their data in the private cloud than expanding into the pubic cloud. Time will tell on that, and we will just have to wait and see.

In conclusion, the VMware and Amazon Web Services announcement gave VMware the real opportunity to compete head to head with Microsoft today, but I believe VMware has bigger ambitions that would position VMware to be the key for companies looking for choice and competition as well as making it as easy as possible to move in and out of different public clouds and solutions. NSX, vRealize Operations, and Automation portfolio products and solutions will be key for VMware’s growth as well as adding more partners to the vCloud Air Platform. That, in my opinion, is VMware’s long-term goal.

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Steve Beaver
Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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