VMware and Amazon are set to unveil a partnership that would make it easier for customers to run VMware software both on-premises and on AWS, Fortune reported on Wednesday.
The deal is expected to be announced on Thursday in San Francisco, with AWS chief executive Andy Jassy and possibly VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger on the stage, Fortune reported, quoting sources close to both companies.
VMware declined to comment on this story, with a spokesperson telling CRN USA via email that the company "is not commenting on the speculation".
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for further information.
VMware already has partnerships with public cloud providers. The company early this year unveiled a strategic partnership that lets customers migrate workloads back and forth between VMware-based private clouds and the IBM SoftLayer public cloud.
At VMWorld 2016, the vendor announced its Cross-Cloud Architecture, which allows businesses to manage, connect, govern and secure applications running across multiple cloud environments, including private clouds and public services such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer and Google Cloud Platform.
VMware, as a part of the new Dell EMC that was formed after the close of Dell's acquisition of EMC, is a sister organisation to public cloud provider Virtustream. VMware's former parent company EMC entered the cloud provider market with its July 2015 US$1.2 billion acquisition of Virtustream, a provider of cloud and infrastructure-as-a-service software.
Virtustream is set to launch in Australia at the end of this year or early next year.
Taking a partner approach
Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer of Dell and the former president of products and marketing at EMC, recently told CRN USA that Dell EMC will continue making its technology available to work with partners, and even competitors, as it looks at ways to better tie many of its technologies into more complete solutions.
Burton said that building an ecosystem that allows Dell EMC technology to work with partners and competitors while also building for preferred platforms is not an easy thing to do.
"To me, that's the model we've got to perfect," he said. "Whether you're Dell or whether you're EMC or whether you're Pivotal, we have to have independent ecosystems because there are going to be plenty of scenarios where people are not running our entire stack."
Speculation that VMware would be building bridges to the Amazon cloud has been around since at least early 2015.
In February 2015, Pat Gelsinger said in a private Q&A session that his company is developing a way to move workloads back and forth between its vCloud Air public cloud and Amazon Web Services, according to partners who were there.
VMware has previously warned customers that once they move workloads to AWS, its proprietary APIs and management dependencies make it difficult to move them out. Gelsinger told partners that if "a workload goes to Amazon, you lose, and we have lost forever".
There are already multiple areas where VMware and Amazon technologies intersect.
For instance, the AWS Management Portal for vCenter allows customers to use VMware vCenter to manage AWS resources. The portal installs as a vCenter plug-in within an existing vCenter environment to let customers migrate VMware virtual machines to Amazon EC2, and then manage the AWS resources from within vCenter.
Amazon also provides the AWS Connector for vCenter that allows an EC2 instance to be launched from a virtual machine that was migrated from VMware vCenter to Amazon EC2.
VMware vSphere customers can also use the AWS Connector for vCenter to export a virtual machine from Amazon EC2.