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VMware aims to virtualise the cloud with Cross Cloud Services

Virtualisation giant wants to allow customers to run cloud operations in a common environment between on-premises private cloud and public cloud services

VMware aims to be able virtualise hybrid cloud operations with a common operating environment between on-premises IT and multiple cloud service providers by mid-2017.

The news was announced at VMworld 2017 in Barcelona under the banner of VMware’s Cross Cloud Architecture, which comprises VMware Cloud Foundation – available now – and VMware Cross Cloud Services, which will be available in mid-2017.

VMware Cloud Foundation is the automated lifecycle manager for private cloud operations that can also span public cloud via the use of VMware’s vRealize hybrid cloud management tool.

But by mid-2017, VMware hopes to launch VMware Cross Cloud Services, which will enable common operations – using vSphere’s ESXi server hypervisor, VSAN storage and NSX networking – across private cloud and the public clouds of Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM, as well as VMware’s own vCloud Air.

This announcement builds on a recently announced partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows VMware functionality to be available on AWS. AWS commercial sales vice-president Mike Clayville described the move as “public cloud leader meets private cloud leader”.

Expected use cases in the short term are “businesses that want to avoid capex” by not building more datacentres, and those with workloads they want to burst into the cloud, said Clayville.

He expected early movers to be the public sector, oil and gas, financial services and healthcare.

Talking about VMware Cross Cloud Services, VMware networking CTO Guido Appenzeller said customers’ workloads were often siloed, either on-premise in their own environments, for example VMware, or in the cloud using the provider’s tools, such as S3.

Cross Cloud Services aims to break down these silos by allowing a common VMware operating environment across private and public clouds. Appenzeller gave a demo in which an imaginary business tiered and migrated workloads in a split that saw databases retained on site while web and application elements were mirrored across two public providers.

The announcement of Cross Cloud Services appears a rational and commercially appropriate response to a future that will undoubtedly see a migration of IT to the cloud. It aims to provide VMware – currently leader in on-site virtualisation – with a means to extend its reach from private to public clouds, an arena already dominated by the likes of AWS.

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