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AWS Notches Big Cloud-War Win with VMware Deal

A new partnership between long-time rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS), part of Amazon.com, and VMware could prove to be a major deal for enterprise hybrid cloud users as well as the competitive landscape that services them. Yesterday, the companies announced that they will be cooperating on a new hybrid service, dubbed VMware Cloud on AWS, designed to make it easier for enterprises to run VMware applications on data centers managed by AWS.

VMware said the strategic alliance will “deliver a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering that will give 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.”

Easier To Use AWS for Hybrid Cloud

The new service will allow customers to run applications across the VMware ecosystem in private, public, or hybrid cloud environments. VMware Cloud on AWS will be delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand service that the company said will easily scale to allow existing VMware clients to use the software they already have to leverage AWS’ global footprint of services, including storage, databases, and analytics.

“VMware Cloud on AWS offers our customers the best of both worlds,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware (pictured above), in a statement. “This new service will make it easier for customers to preserve their investment in existing applications and processes while taking advantage of the global footprint, advanced capabilities, and scale of the AWS public cloud.”

The service should be a win for AWS customers who have been looking for an easy way to run some of their workloads in-house while using Amazon’s services as a backup for tasks beyond the scope of their on-site infrastructure. It should also give Amazon a way to better sell its Web services as something that can be used as part of a hybrid cloud strategy, rather than competing against it.

A Big Win for AWS

But the good news for AWS, VMware, and their existing clients could spell trouble for incumbent hybrid cloud providers such as IBM, Microsoft, and Google. VMware already had a similar agreement with IBM to run its software on its public cloud, and VMware’s new agreement with Amazon will surely cut into that territory. And unlike the IBM deal, VMware’s sales team will be hawking its AWS service, giving it a potential advantage in terms of sheer manpower.

Microsoft’s Azure public cloud service, meanwhile, will most likely start feeling some competition for its VMware users. And Google, which has been trying to negotiate a partnership with VMware for some time, once again finds itself on the outside looking in at another important hybrid cloud agreement. The popularity of VMware among enterprise clients likely makes AWS the biggest winner in the agreement.

“Our customers continue to ask us to make it easier for them to run their existing data center investments alongside AWS,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “Most enterprises are already virtualized using VMware, and now with VMware Cloud on AWS, for the first time, 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.”

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