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VMware shops now have a way to manage both on-premises virtualized workloads and Google Cloud Platform resources from the same console -- a pairing that supports hybrid cloud scenarios and speaks to VMware's still-critical influence on enterprise IT.
In July 2018, VMware and Google pledged to create a plug-in for VMware's vRealize Automation software to tap into Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The plug-in, which is now generally available, connects to VMware vRealize Orchestrator, the workflow engine inside vRealize Automation, to provide a consistent experience for admins across vSphere and GCP environments, VMware said.
Google Cloud services are accessed and managed through vRealize Automation from the command line, an API or as blueprints published to the management suite's service catalog.
Customer feedback during the project's testing period prompted VMware and Google to add features outside the original scope. These include support for more Google Cloud services, including Google Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Spanner, Cloud Filestore, Cloud SQL and Cloud Pub/Sub. They also enhanced performance, reliability and usability, such as a workflow that captures errors and sends email reports to support teams.
The move helps Google Cloud keep pace with AWS and Microsoft Azure, which already had integration points with VMware vRealize. In the case of AWS, that relationship has even influenced vRealize's design direction. Moreover, the Google Cloud plug-in for vRealize Automation is not as comprehensive as VMware Cloud on AWS, said Mary Johnston Turner, research vice president for cloud management at IDC. VMware Cloud on AWS, built on VMware's Cloud Foundation software stack, is now available in 13 AWS regions.
Still to come is AWS Outposts, an AWS-managed software system that will reside inside customers' data centers. Outposts, planned for release later this year, enables customers to use the VMware control plane to manage workloads, or one that uses AWS' own tools.
Mary Johnston Turnerresearch vice president for cloud management, IDC
Meanwhile, Google has Cloud Services Platform, a software stack that is meant to run on a customer's existing data center hardware and is dependent on VMware.
Still, the Google plug-in to vRealize Automation is a useful integration point for VMware customers and a good step forward for Google, Turner said.
"This underscores the value and role VMware is playing in multi-cloud and the continued interest in on-premises [deployments]," she said.
A couple of years ago, many IT observers believed the bulk of workloads would eventually move into the public cloud. That hasn't played out for various reasons, such as a miscalculation of how quickly application architectures could transform and take advantage of the cloud model, concerns over latency and regulatory limitations, Turner said. As containers and microservices come into vogue for distributed application development, hybrid cloud makes more sense.
"Organizations have become much more savvy about how they make these multi-cloud decisions, what workloads go where," Turner said.