Now that VMworld is in full swing, I have had the opportunity to talk to a considerable amount of VMware Service Providers, Customers, and Cloud Consumers. Everyone has asked the question what does the AWS announcement mean for [Insert vCAN, vCA, IBM] as cloud providers.
From a vCloud perspective, adding AWS into the mix is simply just another VMware operated cloud provider. VMware powers over 4200 service providers around the globe offering capabilities from Managed Services, Hosting and Cloud Services. This announcement doesn’t change that, so how does it actually all fit together? Lets try clarifying the confusion on the VMware Cloud Strategy with a diagram;
This diagram speaks a thousand words (provided by Jenny Fong for VMworld).
Lets start by looking at VMware vCloud Air, this is a VMware owned, VMware operated public cloud. It runs in a VMware managed data center, is operated and supported by VMware, and it leverages the VMware Cloud Foundation SDDC. You buy your cloud resources through VMware, and we support not only you, but the hardware too.
VMware Cloud on AWS
VMware Cloud on AWS is similar in approach to vCloud Air. Essentially, this is still a VMware operated public cloud solution. You purchase cloud resources through VMware, VMware provides support to you, and we manage the Cloud Foundation stack providing the cloud capabilities. However, the hardware is owned and managed by AWS. For a lot of customers who have already built new applications in AWS, having the ability to leverage AWS data centers and moving their VMware workloads into the same region to continue to leverage those services is phenomenal. It solves a very difficult complex problem they have faced for years.
vCloud Air Network
For the vCloud Air Network partners running Cloud Foundation, or providing other capabilities, the key difference is that they are partner operated. They own the hardware, the data center, they manage the software and the customer relationship including support. This is the key difference for these partners. They manage the relationship with their own customers.
To summarise, why is VMware providing multiple cloud offerings? Why do they have a partner owned and operated, a VMware owned and operated, and a mix of the two?
Well simply put, it comes down to choice.
VMware believes in providing customers with the most choice available in the public cloud. VMware has an extremely large footprint in the enterprise data center. Most companies use vSphere, and have Virtual Machines and services they want to expand to the cloud. By having multiple cloud offerings, either owned by them, managed by them, or run by a partner offers the customer the biggest choice.
VMware vCloud Air focuses on three specific core use cases, Amazon Web Services can provide scale beyond most people’s imagination, and our partner clouds solve a lot of the data locality and sovereignty issues customers face on a daily basis.
This choice is fundamental to the principal VMware holds when providing cloud services. Giving a customer the ability to move workloads between on-prem, vCloud Air in Las Vegas, AWS in Ireland, and a vCAN partner in Australia is massive.
The choice ultimately comes down to you as the consumer. What is your use case? What Location do you want to be in? Who do I already have a relationship with? Can I leave this provider if I find a better deal somewhere else? How big do I need to scale? It’s all fundamental in your choice when selecting a cloud provider, and the addition of AWS provides more capabilities.
For Service Providers who provide managed services and professional services, this also opens up further opportunity to provide services and capabilities to your customers. You can bring more value add services to customers who struggle to understand how to implement and integrate these solutions.
I hope this clarifies some of the options, and ultimately remember its your choice.