VMware has kicked off its annual VMworld conference by announcing its partnership with Amazon Web Services has officially launched in Australia and by adding enhancements to its cloud that will help it to combat Microsoft and Oracle and also enhancing its offerings for cloud partners.
As reported exclusively in these pages last week, VMware-cloud-on-AWS has been available in Australia for some time, but the company today officially launched the service.
It already has customers in Australia and New Zealand. The company has also revealed that its first stab at cloud, vCloud Air running at Telstra, will soon be decommissioned. Around 40 users will migrate to other VMware-powered clouds from Australian or multinational providers.
The VMware Cloud on AWS has also received some important updates, among them a new option to run on three hosts instead of four (with commensurate savings), new migration options to make it easier to get into the cloud, plus the ability for VMware’s software-defined storage product VSAN to reach out beyond the physical hosts and manage capacity in AWS’ Elastic Block Store service.
The latter addition means VSANs can now scale higher than ever before into the AWS cloud, which will comfort many users who worried about capacity restrictions. Microsegmentation is another addition, along with support for Amazon’s key management services. Both will improve the VMware cloud’s security credentials. Adding support for AWS Direct Connect will means faster data flows to the cloud, another non-controversially beneficial tweak.
The competitively interesting stuff starts with a new “licence optimisation” service for both Oracle and Microsoft applications that means users can specify the number of CPU cores they want in the VMware/AWS cloud.
This matters because Oracle is passively hostile to its software running in clouds other than its own, as demonstrated by its 2017 decision to move from per-CPU to per-core pricing. Doing so effectively doubled the price of using clouds other than its own. Many users have virtualised Oracle-based applications tended by VMware. Ensuring they can consider the VMware cloud without price increases is an important measure. Doing likewise for Microsoft-based workloads will have the same effect.
But VMware’s also got a little bad news for Microsoft in the form of an enhanced disaster recovery product that snapshots on-premises VMs, puts them in the cloud and then offers rapid failover from on-prem cloud.
Microsoft’s had a similar service in Azure for some time and has offered it for VMware-mananged VMs and those running under Hyper-V, giving it a way to engage with VMware users.
VMware has long identified disaster recovery as a natural cloud business. Enhancing its offering gets it to parity with Microsoft and therefore a better chance of increasing its wallet share.
CRN was briefed on these changes before VMworld and it’s surely notable that VMware chose to make updates to its cloud service its first news from the event. The company’s execs placed much emphasis on the fact this is the fifth update to VMware-on-AWS, which reflects the company’s plan to develop new core features for the cloud first and then trickle them down to vSphere for on-prem usage.
And VMware this week reported that, contrary to previous guidance, on-prem users keep buying its stuff and delivering revenue growth for its core compute virtualisation products. The company attributed that growth to customers’ comfort with its cloud offerings, either on AWS or from the network of more than 4000 partners that run VMware-powered clouds.
Also ahead of VMworld, the company revealed “VMware Cloud infrastructure and operations services offerings for multi-cloud.”
This offering is aimed at VMware’s channel and will arrive in the form of a “Cloud Provider Hub” the company said would "allow partners to expand their VMware Cloud infrastructure footprint with VMware Cloud on AWS and offer consistent multi-cloud operations with VMware Cloud Services”.
”For partners running a VMware environment today, the new VMware Cloud Provider Pod, VMware vCloud Director 9.5, VMware vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR, and VMware vCloud Usage Insight will enable cloud standardisation with single click automated deployment, simplified management, and reporting, enabling VMware partners to quickly differentiate and monetize their VMware-based clouds.”
CRN expects VMworld to also feature news of a new VMware blockchain offering, an improved cloud marketplace and final release fo the long-awaited HTML 5 vSphere client.
Simon Sharwood travelled to VMworld as a guest of VMware.