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VMware and AWS joint venture to help enterprises manage multi-cloud environments

Virtualisation giant VMware reinforces its commitment to helping enterprises manage multi-cloud deployments with AWS partnership

VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are embarking on a partnership that will allow enterprises to move their vSphere-based, private cloud workloads into the Amazon public cloud with ease.

The pair have taken the wraps off the technical preview of their joint VMware Cloud on AWS offering, which they claim will allow organisations to draw on their existing on-premise investments to tap into Amazon’s global public cloud capacity and services.

As such, organisations with vSphere-based software stacks running in their private datacentres will be able to use the same user interface and VMware application programming interfaces (APIs) to manage their on-premise and cloud resources in the AWS cloud.

In a blog post announcing the partnership, Mark Lohmeyer, vice-president of products in VMware’s cloud platform business unit, shed some light on how the division of labour between the two firms will be carved up.

“[The service] will be operated, managed and sold by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service and customers will be able to leverage AWS services, such as developer tools, analytics, databases and more,” he said.

“This jointly architected service represents a significant investment in engineering, operations, support and sales resources from both companies.”

According to AWS, the partnership came about as a result of joint customers asking both firms for help running their existing, VMware-based on-premise environments alongside their public cloud deployments.

Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, said the technology tie-up should help bring a degree of consistency to how enterprises run and operate their hybrid cloud environments.

“Most enterprises are already virtualised using VMware. Now with VMware Cloud on AWS, it will be easy for customers to operate a consistent and seamless hybrid IT environment using their existing VMware tools on AWS, and without having to purchase custom hardware, rewrite their applications or modify their operating model,” he said.

The companies are set to start inviting select customers to take part in a beta trial of VMware Cloud on AWS in early 2017, with a view to making the offering generally available later in the year.

Read more about VMware and multi-cloud

  • Virtualisation giant VMware offers enterprises a helping hand with managing multi-cloud environments, spanning AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
  • VMworld US 2016 suggests VMware is under no illusions about the challenges it faces, as its traditional customers cede control for IT buying to line of business units and start exploring their multi-cloud options.

The initiative is part of VMware’s ongoing bid to help enterprises that may have sourced public cloud resources from multiple providers, and are trying to work out how best to connect them to their existing on-premise IT resources.

It is a strategy the virtualisation giant kicked off in earnest at its VMworld US 2016 conference in August 2016, with the preview release of its Cross-Cloud Services (CCS) offering, which is designed to help enterprises manage and monitor their use of Amazon, Microsoft and Google cloud resources.

CCS relies on the use of the cloud provider’s open APIs to operate and glean information enterprises may need to manage their public cloud deployments.

However, its release has led to speculation about whether it would prompt VMware to forge closer ties with one or more of these public cloud providers, with a view to releasing joint products and services with them.

AWS, meanwhile, has made no secret of its mission to court the enterprise market, as it seeks to extend its lead in the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market.

This has seen it announce plans to build out its global datacentre footprint, in apparent acknowledgement of the data sovereignty and latency concerns many enterprises continue to harbour around the use of public cloud resources.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

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