VMware's strategy for helping the growing number of customers with software running in multiple clouds is to provide the same infrastructure and development and management tools across the different environments.
This week, VMware advanced its multi-cloud game plan by introducing a product portfolio called Cross-Cloud services. The package, unveiled at the VMworld virtual conference, includes advancements to VMware Cloud infrastructure, the vRealize cloud management platform and the Tanzu application development portfolio.
During his keynote address, VMware CEO Rangarajan Raghuram called multi-cloud technology the "next chapter" in VMware's history, after its success in server virtualization followed by private cloud infrastructure.
"Going forward, multi-cloud is at the center of gravity for everything that we do," he said.
But maintaining that center will be more challenging than in the past. In the new chapter, VMware will have to pry customers away from the similar tools provided by public cloud providers. Also, startups like Aviatrix, Alkira and Voltera offer less expensive, effective products.
Paul Nashawaty Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group
"They're coming in a little bit behind the eight ball," said Paul Nashawaty, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "But the one advantage VMware has is an established brand and an established footprint in a lot of organizations."
The VMworld announcements started to define the path VMware wants to take its customers on to keep them from wandering to competitors. For example, VMware unveiled a technology preview that makes hybrid cloud the default operating model in vSphere, a suite of virtualization products that are a critical component of VMware Cloud.
The preview, called Project Arctic, would integrate cloud connectivity into vSphere, making it possible to access VMware Cloud capacity and deploy Cross-Cloud services.
As a result, IT admins using the vCenter management console for on-premises vSphere deployments could use the same expertise in managing vSphere cloud environments. Project Arctic would use a SaaS version of vCenter.
VMware Cloud is available on AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. It's also available on more than 4,000 VMware partner clouds.
By the end of the month, VMware plans to make VMware Cloud available for AWS Outposts, an on-premises IT as a service platform. Outposts lets companies host a private cloud environment that's fully integrated with the AWS public cloud.
Dell Technologies plans to offer VMware Cloud on APEX Cloud Services, its managed service, by the end of January. The combined infrastructure-as-a-service offering will let companies deploy preconfigured cloud instances in their data centers, edge locations or colocation facilities. Dell acquired VMware in 2015 and spun out the company this year.
Multi-cloud plans for Tanzu, vRealize
The preview will add to vRealize an app-centric view of a company's cloud environment. The management tool shows how cloud providers and users interact with cloud applications.
Other features include identifying and resolving problems that affect applications. The technology also provides an application's change history and the ability to roll back to previous versions. Also, the preview includes search across all vRealize services with results displayed in a single user interface.
VMware wants Project Ensemble to reduce the amount of time IT admins spend combing through and correlating metrics and logs, tracking change events, and investigating the impact of outages. The preview will initially be available for VMware Cloud on AWS.
VMware's obsession with multi-cloud technology stems from the demand in the enterprise market. Companies have embraced more than one public cloud, creating a need for all sorts of operational tools.
Gartner predicts worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow more than 23% this year, to $332.3 billion.
Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget
Antone Gonsalves is the news director for TechTarget's Networking Media Group. He has deep and wide experience in tech journalism. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked for UBM's InformationWeek, TechWeb and Computer Reseller News. He has also written for Ziff Davis' PC Week, IDG's CSOonline and IBTMedia's CruxialCIO, and rounded all of that out by covering startups for Bloomberg News. He started his journalism career at United Press International, working as a reporter and editor in California, Texas, Kansas and Florida.