As VMware partners up with long-time adversary, Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create a new product offering on AWS, local channel partners can expect to see some new opportunities emerge in 2017, when the offering becomes available, and beyond.
The two companies announced the new alliance on 13 October, striking a deal to put VMware’s software-defined datacentre software on AWS public cloud, with a new offering called, VMware Cloud on AWS.
While the product is not set to become available until at least mid-2017, it is expected to provide access to the full range of AWS services, together with the functionality, elasticity, and security offered by the AWS cloud.
VMware Cloud on AWS is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified software-defined datacentre platform that integrates VMware vSphere, VMware Virtual SAN, and NSX virtualisation technologies.
According to Gartner research director, Michael Warrilow, the new alliance between VMware and AWS is good news for the Australian market, which generally claims a higher rate of virtualisation among enterprises than the global average, with VMware taking a large chunk of that business.
For Warrilow, the VMware Cloud Foundation, being central to the joint offering, is where local partners should begin investigating if they want to find out how to make the most of the new product when it becoming available in Australia.
“For the channel, they should look at what VMware Cloud Foundation means for the evolution of what they do with VMware,” Warrilow told ARN.
At the same time, the proposed offering, which has the potential to let businesses run applications across public and private clouds, presents an enticing alternative for local businesses to VMware’s vCloud Air hybrid cloud offering.
“There’s nothing to stop the channel and those that are in the vCloud Air network transitioning to VMware Cloud Foundation,” Warrilow said.
“For them [the channel], very specifically, it’s the decision of whether they keep offering vCloud Air, and for how long? And if so, do they transition to VMware Cloud Foundation?”
The new alliance will see AWS become MVware’s primary public cloud infrastructure partner, with VMware becoming AWS’s primary private cloud partner.
What this means for partners in VMware’s vCloud Air ecosystem remains to be seen.
VMware’s vCloud Air partners in Australia include Datacom, Data#3, Macquarie Telecom, Deloitte and, most notably, Telstra, which made its VCloud Air offering generally available in 2015.
The telco first announced it had inked a deal to host and deploy VMware’s VCloud Air platform out of its connected datacenters in late 2014, with the company hailing the partnership as a key milestone in its global cloud strategy.
Meanwhile, Warrilow suggests that disaster recovery could present another area of opportunity for partners following the general availability of the VMware Cloud on AWS – whenever that may occur in the local market.
“The VMware site recovery manager is something that’s not specific to what’s being announced today, and that’s a really sweet spot for the channel to keep pursuing,” Warrilow said. “How will they do disaster recovery for VMware.
“That’s an area of differentiation. vCloud Air has that already, so that’s something they [the channel] can continue to pursue, and it is important to customers,” he said.