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Last October, when VMware unveiled a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), many in the tech industry were surprised. The two companies, once spirited competitors, announced they were collaborating on a new hybrid cloud solution called VMware Cloud on AWS.
Customers Push Alliance
VMware Cloud on AWS is a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering that gives customers the full software-defined data center (SDDC) experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. It delivers a hybrid cloud architecture that is suited for current and future applications—including containerized apps—and also works across both on-premises private clouds and advanced AWS services.
“This hybrid cloud environment enables a powerful set of use cases, including regional capacity expansion, disaster recovery, application migration, data center consolidation, new application development, and burst capacity,” says Mark Lohmeyer, vice president for products in the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware, “all with complete operational consistency and seamless workload portability.”
The reason for this strategic alliance, according to both companies, was customer demand. VMware has more than 500,000 customers worldwide, and AWS is the industry’s leading public cloud provider. Both companies found many of their customers were running both VMware and AWS and wanted the solutions to work better together.
“We discovered that many customers wanted to work simultaneously in both VMware and AWS environments and wanted to have the flexibility and strategic choice of where to run their workloads at any given time. That was the impetus behind creating VMware Cloud on AWS,” says Lohmeyer.
VMware and AWS Collaboration
Since the announcement, engineering teams from VMware and AWS have been working together closely.
“Our companies are working together in a meaningful way,” says Lohmeyer, “and there is a deep engineering relationship focused on making VMware Cloud on AWS a great service. We want this to be a powerful, convenient platform for both existing and new workloads.”
To date, thousands of AWS and VMware customers have expressed interest in VMware Cloud on AWS. A handpicked group of customers and partners have been closely engaged with engineering teams in the development process. A larger beta program with additional representative customers will follow before a general release later this year.
Enthusiasm From Customers
“I was very pleased with the level of enthusiasm we heard from customers after the announcement, across almost every industry vertical and geography. The scale and scope of interest we’ve received from customers has definitely exceeded all of our expectations,” says Lohmeyer.
As an example of a customer planning to test VMware Cloud on AWS, Lohmeyer pointed to a company that provides an IT platform for airlines and the travel industry. Uptime is critical, so the company built all of its business-critical applications in a private cloud using vSphere and other VMware solutions. Now the firm is looking to leverage the public cloud for disaster recovery and to extend to geographies where it does not have a data center presence.
“When you look at their teams,” says Lohmeyer, “they have spent 10 years learning how to use VMware tools and customizing applications to their environment. Now they can take all that learning and leverage it, with absolutely no changes, on top of the AWS cloud. That’s powerful.”
VMware Cloud on AWS will be delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service and will be available in 2017.
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