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VMware Opposes Microsoft Service That Runs VMware Stack on Azure

VMware said Microsoft's new service was developed without any input or support from certified-VMware partners.

Microsoft announced a new service this week designed to ease VMware migration to Azure, but VMware said it was developed without any input or support from certified-VMware partners or VMware itself.

Microsoft previewed Azure Migrate earlier this week, a service that will be available for free to all Azure customers starting Monday, along with the preview of “VMware virtualization on Azure, a bare-metal solution that runs the full VMware stack on Azure hardware, co-located with other Azure services.”

“Our experience has shown public cloud environments require significant joint engineering to run enterprise workloads,” Ajay Patel, senior vice president for product development and cloud services for VMware, said in a blog post. “Hence, we cannot endorse an unsupported and non-engineered solution that isn’t optimized for the VMware stack. VMware does not recommend and will not support customers running on the Azure announced partner offering.”

The statement closely follows the official launch of VMware Cloud on AWS at VMworld 2017 in August, a step in VMware’s strategy to extend public cloud support as VMware customers increasingly move workloads to AWS and Azure. The service is essentially VMware’s server virtualization platform running on bare-metal servers inside Amazon data centers, which customers can consume the same way they consume AWS cloud server instances.

The solution from Microsoft – developed without VMware’s blessing – highlights similar concerns that analysts had around the partnership between AWS and VMware: basically, that there is nothing keeping Amazon, or other vendors like Microsoft, from developing their own competing set of products.

"Even if Amazon remains a good partner, there's another looming problem for VMware. A big reason behind the partnership is that some VMware customers aren't ready to move wholesale to Amazon’s cloud and need an easy, familiar on-ramp. Over time, customers may want to fully embrace AWS,” Bloomberg reported in September. The same could be said about Azure.

Patel said: “Microsoft’s stated intention is to enable this as an intermediary migration solution and not as a solution architected for running enterprise workloads in production. Microsoft recognizing the leadership position of VMware’s offering and exploring support for VMware on Azure as a superior and necessary solution for customers over Hyper-V or native Azure Stack environments is understandable, but we do not believe this approach will offer customers a good solution to their hybrid or multi-cloud future.”

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