VMware seeks to increase support for Amazon Web Services

Cloud provider VMware is looking to increase support for Amazon Web Services to diversify cloud platforms and cut data-loss risk for customers

Virtualisation and cloud provider VMware is looking to increase support for Amazon Web Services (AWS), the frontrunner in the cloud computing services space.

VMware is conducting a survey urging its users to share their AWS usage details. 

“VMware is improving integration with Amazon Web Services and would like your input,” said Duncan Epping, principal architect in the Technical Marketing group at VMware, on the company blog.

“We are interested in increasing support for AWS through enhancements to vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), in particular.”

The company’s tools º such as vCloud Automation Center (based on its DynamicOps acquisition), Cloud Foundry and vFabric Application Director – already support provisioning on AWS.

VMware acquired DynamicOps in July this year to support heterogeneous virtualisation and cloud environments. In August, at VMworld 2012 San Francisco, the company further emphasised its multi-cloud vision by demonstrating how its new tools help users manage VMware-, Amazon- and Microsoft-based cloud infrastructures.

Multi-cloud strategy cuts data-loss risk

VMware will use its customers’ survey feedback to guide its initiatives around AWS support, its multi-cloud strategy and to help improve the vCAC tool. Multi-cloud strategy involves the use of two or more cloud services to cut the risk of data loss or downtime occurring out of reliance on a single platform.

Experts welcomed this move as the extension of support to other platforms that could free CIOs from fears of supplier lock-ins. IT executives will be able to easily move from one hypervisor to another as their business needs change.

"One of the great potential benefits achievable from virtualisation is the flexibility it can provide to move workloads around the available physical resources,” said Tony Lock, programme director at analyst firm Freeform Dynamics.

“The wider the span of platforms that can be used, the greater the options available to IT managers. If platform options can be expanded without adding complexity or risk, organisations will see benefits from the openness," Lock said.

Experts have said that even today, around 85% of public cloud-based workloads still run on Amazon’s cloud computing platforms.

But the increased integration would be for VMware to retain users who are increasingly looking at heterogeneous suppliers for flexibility. 

“VMware has realised that it cannot ignore other hypervisors and cloud providers any more,” said Jens Söldner, a German-based virtualisation consultant.

“Especially after the DynamicOps acquisition, they are trying to position themselves as the main management provider and now accept other hypervisors (Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine - KVM) as possible counterparts to their own ESXi platform,” Söldner added.

But official support VMware's help desk will probably require an agreement of some kind with AWS, said William Fellows, vice-president for research at 451 Research Group. 

“But I'm sure they're working on it. Buying DynamicOps was a bust if they can't use it to claim true multi cloud support!” Fellows said.

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