The VMware-AWS deal could drive more companies into the cloud

The new service lets companies run VMware on AWS and manage their deployments with vCenter

The cloud partnership AWS and VMware announced Thursday makes Amazon's public cloud even more attractive for enterprises by letting them take the popular virtualization platform with them.

The appropriately named VMware Cloud on AWS, announced at a press conference in San Francisco, will bring cloud-optimized versions of vSphere, VSAN and NSX software to the cloud platform. When users spin up a VMware environment on AWS, they'll get a cluster running the entire Software-Defined Data Center stack in the public cloud.

The service, which is currently in technical preview, will be operated and supported by VMware, running on purpose-built hardware in AWS's data centers.

It's a move that makes AWS more appealing for VMware customers looking to run applications on a hybrid cloud. Users will be able to manage the public cloud deployments, like their on-premises VMware deployments, using VMware's vCenter software.

In addition, VMware instances running in the AWS cloud will have access to AWS services like Redshift and S3. To use the hybrid management, customers won't need to have VMware's entire Software-Defined Data Center suite running in their own data centers, just vSphere.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger appeared on stage together to announce the partnership. Both men said that the partnership was driven by a desire by the companies' joint customers to use VMware's tools with Amazon's cloud.

At first, the services will be available from a limited number of AWS regions, but Jassy said that he expects it to reach all of them in the future. Customers will be able to migrate their workloads to and from AWS using vSphere.

Users will be able to buy the services using a credit card or an existing VMware account. Combined VMware and AWS clusters will be available through with either on-demand or subscription pricing.

AWS's and VMware's engineering teams started working on the new offering earlier this year, Gelsinger said. As part of the deal, VMware will be AWS's preferred private cloud partner and Amazon will be VMware's preferred partner in the public cloud.

That may be a bitter pill to swallow for the partners in VMware's vCloud Air ecosystem, including IBM. One of the key differences between this deal and the one VMware announced with IBM in February is that this service is being offered and managed by VMware. That said, Gelsinger still contended that IBM is a "huge and important partner" for VMware going forward.

The news clearly struck a nerve at IBM. When asked about the announcement, company representative Lori Bosio shot back with an aggressive statement.

"IBM Cloud was first to market with VMware, and with 1,000 clients already using this partnership, it is clear whom they prefer," she said in an email.

The deal makes Amazon a stronger challenger to Microsoft, which has been pushing its hybrid cloud capabilities as a key benefit of its server software.

"This should cause some challenges for Microsoft, since it can no longer use this lack of a robust, multi-geography VMware public cloud alternative as a wedge to move customers off of VMware ESX over to Hyper-V and Azure," IDC Group Vice President Al Gillen said in an email.

Jassy took a potshot at Microsoft's Azure Stack private cloud software during a question-and-answer session following the announcement. He said the customers he talked to don't want to buy new hardware, especially new custom hardware like Azure Stack will require.

Instead, they want to use the same vCenter software that they're used to, which this partnership lets them do, he said.

Interested customers can request access to the service's private beta starting Thursday, but VMware doesn't expect the service to be live until early next year. General availability of VMware cloud on AWS will have to wait until even later in 2017.

The news comes about a month in advance of AWS's big re:Invent show in Las Vegas at the end of November. That show's likely bring a new set of services to AWS.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags amazon.com

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?