Amazon Web Services and VMware this week announced a strategic partnership that will make it easier for partners to cross-sell and leverage the products of both companies.
At the heart of the agreement is VMware Cloud on AWS, designed to give customers a seamless software-defined data center (SDDC) experience that integrates VMware on-prem and hybrid technologies with the AWS public cloud.
But what precisely the deal means for managed services providers (MSPs) and other third-party IT solution providers remained unclear in the hours after the cooperation was announced.
“It is fair to say that partners and solution providers will be a key element of our strategy and that we will communicate out more regarding VMware Cloud on AWS as details become available,” a VMware spokesman told MSPmentor.
Certainly, hopes are the new relationship could help mitigate a frequent complaint among tech solution providers: the cost of VMware products.
“Customers will have the ability to purchase services through their existing VMware commercial agreement and use their existing VMware software investments to secure additional loyalty discounts for their VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid environment,” the companies said in a joint statement.
Geoffrey Waters, VMware’s vice president of service provider channel, has been working to convince IT solution and services providers of the rich opportunities surrounding virtualization and cloud services.
“There’s two ways we can help service providers and MSPs,” he told MSPmentor during an afternoon chat at VMworld in Las Vegas in August. “We either help reduce their costs of managing their own clouds … or we give the ability to add new services to drive new revenue streams.”
Wide adoption of VMware solutions is translating into strong momentum for the channel ecosystem, where 4,200 partners in 119 countries are serving about 99 percent of the cloud total addressable market, Waters said then.
“That means our network of partners across the globe are able to offer end users choice and flexibility on a local basis, so you can get your cloud on a local basis.” he said. “Think about data sovereignty. Think about the different compliances that people need. Think about the different vertical markets.”
Some observers said the move helps AWS to better compete with rival Microsoft Corp. in hybrid cloud solutions.
“Our customers continue to ask us to make it easier for them to run their existing data center investments alongside AWS,” AWS CEO Andy Jassy said in the joint statement with VMware. “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.”
The alliance represents a “very powerful collaboration” that gives companies flexibility in deciding whether to transition their data to the public cloud while maintaining investments they’ve made in on-premise data centers, said Tim Feeney, an analyst at Morningstar Inc. told Bloomberg.
“Essentially, the process of managing the hybrid cloud environment is significantly less of a hassle now,” Feeney said. “This is a very powerful move for VMware because IT managers are more likely to retain VMware’s services for longer.”
Bloomberg Content Service contributed to this report.