To bring clients the hybrid solution they’ve been asking for, VMware Inc. and Amazon recently announced a strategic partnership, bringing VMware’s enterprise-class data center software to the Amazon Web Services cloud. This will enable customers to run any application across vSphere and VMware Cloud Foundation-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments. This jointly architected service represents a significant investment on the part of both companies in engineering, operations, support and sales resources.
“In advance of the initial [general availability] in mid-2017, we’re going through a customer lighthouse program and beta program,” said Mark Lohmeyer, VP of server virtualization products at VMware. He said that the idea is to work with a small number of customers and really understand their environments and their requirements. VMware and AWS will learn from customers, making sure that the team is delivering a great service that will meet their needs on day one. Eventually, the program will extend to a larger group of beta customers.
Lohmeyer recently joined John Furrier (@furrier), co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, to discuss the details around what customers are looking for in a hybrid solution and what the VMware/AWS solution will provide for them. The conversation was conducted onsite at the VMware campus in Palo Alto, CA, this week as part of an editorial series of interviews intended to find out what’s coming next for the virtualization products maker.
Clients want the best of both worlds
Customers told VMware that they felt like they could either build a great VMware environment on-prem or they could build a great public cloud with AWS, but not both, Lohmeyer revealed. They said they didn’t want to have to choose, and they want to live in both of these worlds, with the advantages of both simultaneously. Therefore, the idea of a hybrid cloud solution was born.
Lohmeyer gave the example of their client, Amadeus IT Group S.A., a travel industry company that provides an IT platform for airlines. All of its mission-critical applications were built around VMware in its own private cloud. In its environment, uptime is critical; if service goes down, people start missing their flights. Amadeus also had an eye to the future, wondering what it could move to the public cloud; for example, disaster recovery or setting up an application in a geographic center where they do not currently have a data center presence. Now, it can do both; it doesn’t have to choose.
Hybrid is crucial to customer satisfaction
“On the hybrid front, what we’ve been hearing from customers is that this new service we’re building together, it’s for the first time delivering to them what they think of as a real hybrid architecture,” said Lohmeyer. He explained that a customer can go into their vCenter tools and see all of their resources across their on-prem environment, as well as in the AWS cloud; everything will run consistently across those two worlds. Additionally, anything that the customer built on top of that, such as scripting or third-party tools, will work consistently.
One of the greatest advantages of this partnership is AWS’ geographic presence, Lohmeyer stated. It has made a huge investment in data center regions around the world — with 13 today, and plans to add five more next year. VMware customers can take advantage of that, as the hybrid solution will to enable the service across of all of AWS’ regions, Lohmeyer concluded.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of VMware 2016.