VMware has dropped a hint about a new joint offering with Amazon Web Services that would add a different dimension to the two companies’ cloud offering.
In a post about use cases for the port of its flagship vSphere compute virtualisation product running on ARM CPUs, VMware’s product line manager for cloud infrastructure Will Pien discussed using vSphere to run on ARM-powered Smart Network Interface Cards and in situations such as computers found in wind turbines.
“Our goal is to bring data centre virtualisation benefits such as vMotion, Fault Tolerance and lifecycle management into environments where these capabilities are not readily available,” he wrote.
Pien then reminded readers that in late 2018, AWS revealed it had designed its own ARM-based CPUs and put them to work in a new A1 instance type and that those instances can be 40 percent cheaper than x86-powered servers.
He therefore pondered that users could mix x86 and ARM for different workloads. Web servers, he suggested, could run nicely on a VMware-managed ARM cluster and communicate with databases running on x86-powered servers.
“We’re pretty excited with this use case and actively exploring it with AWS and ARM”, he added, before hosing things down a little by saying “We’re still early days in the above cloud effort, as well as continuing to explore new ways we can bring the benefits of our infrastructure stack to customers.”
But he concluded that VMware is open to chats around proof-of-concept projects for this sort of thing, so clearly this is more than a thought bubble.