Every day, I have the opportunity to work with VMware partners who have built successful cloud offerings leveraging software via the VMware Cloud Provider Program. Its an incredible program, enviable in market, that powers the cloud upon which many of our partners have built successful businesses.
So how does VMware Cloud on AWS, a managed VMware offering, compliment the existing capabilities of our partners? Its a question I've heard a lot, and so I wanted to address it here.
Refresher on VMware Cloud on AWS
VMware Cloud on AWS is VMware’s Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) extended to the AWS Cloud with optimized access to AWS services: high speed, and at no cost for services in the same AWS Availability Zone.
Under the hood is VMware Cloud Foundation, which integrates VMware's compute, storage and network virtualization products (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN and VMware NSX) along with VMware vCenter management; optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure.
The Mega-Trend of Hybrid Cloud
Around 2014, the market dynamic shifted; customers started demanding a new type of provider - a provider that had a cohesive hybrid story, across private and public clouds and, in some cases, on-premise clouds, too. Service providers adapted, however the transition was, and is still, difficult: every new cloud posture requires new sets of tools (management, automation, support), new training, new skills, new teams. All of which introduces cost inefficiencies and complexity.
One of the most exciting innovations in recent times is the ability to run VMware Cloud on AWS, delivering the best of both worlds for a true hybrid go-to-market:
- VMware SDDC, the best virtualization stack in market, with consistent tools and technology to that which our partner runs in their own data centre; running on
- Amazon Web Services, providing the benefits of public cloud: elasticity, pay-per-use, resource pooling, capacity on demand
DNA of a Successful VMware Partner
When I look at the VMware partner landscape, certain characteristics consistently stand out:
- Differentiation: our partners are incredibly good at finding niches in market; such as servicing industries with specific regulation, servicing workloads that require custom hardware, or providing cloud services in a location that is more optimal for their customers. VMware Cloud on AWS provides new markets and new opportunities (such as deployments into new locations that would have previously been impractical); its a complimentary service, empowering partners to take their service offering and deploy into new locations, with unprecedented scale, and with all the inherent benefits of immediate proximity into AWS for cloud-native services like S3, RDS, Aurora, and so on
- Customer obsessed flexibility: in order to scale, public cloud providers need to standardize - its simply not practical to provide custom services at scale. Our partners have the ability to be more nimble and flexible, which often leads to a better customer experience. VMware Cloud on AWS is well suited to partners who want to leverage their existing (highly efficient) service delivery model, with the same management and support tools used today in the partner's managed private cloud. With VMware Cloud on AWS, partners are able to continue to deliver upon their promise of customer-first flexibility, adapting to meet the evolving needs of their customers
- Revenue growth: by addressing the specific needs of customers, our partners are able to provide a rich feature set of services, with high value services like business continuity (disaster recovery, backup), database management, migration and management services - the flexibility of our partners and willingness to solve (almost) any problem for customers drives revenue growth. VMware Cloud on AWS provides new revenue streams for partners where customers are increasingly demanding hybrid and public cloud-first solutions. For workloads to be migrated into the public cloud, VMware Cloud on AWS provides drag & drop cross-cluster vMotion, meaning a customer is up and running faster and the time-to-revenue realization is quicker. The customer gets the benefit of the public cloud, and the partner is able to continue to meet their needs - a win/win for all
- Best-in-class engineering: our partners have some really incredible engineers; guys and gals who are willing to get involved at any level of the OSI stack. Our partner engineers are often pioneers, stress testing new code and pushing the extremes of what's possible. VMware Cloud on AWS supplements a partner's engineering teams, with 24x7 support, tight SLAs and prompt response in the event of service incidents (often immediate, via embedded chat). No other solution or offering gives a partner more urgent access to a provider's resources if and when its needed
- Scalable multi-tenant architecture: crucial to building a cloud business is to drive efficiencies of scale for underlying resources, whether that's in management tools such as automation, billing and so forth, or through multi-tenancy of the physical assets themselves. These tools empower providers to provide a superior service for customers who aren't in a position to build out these capabilities themselves. VMware Cloud on AWS offers packaged tools in the way of multi-tenant management and automation that are available, immediately, to our partners; and since the SDDC in AWS appears as "just another" vSphere instance, customers and partners alike are able to leverage Hybrid Linked Mode to connect otherwise disparate instances, thus reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and complexity of the solution
- Efficient cost control: any business needs to have visibility of costs and revenue, and predictability; so its no surprise that the most success partners have a good handle on cost. VMware Cloud on AWS delivers predictability of costs for partners, with servers available under pay-as-you-go (PAYG), 1-year commit or 3-year commit terms. With the ability to provision new capacity in <2 hours, partners no longer need to worry about complex algorithms related to fill rate and demand measurement. Simply provision the capacity as its required
The future for VMware is in helping our partners deliver hybrid solutions for enterprises and government. Only VMware, in partnership with Amazon Web Services, provides a complete end-to-end solution that does not burden our partners with additional unnecessary complexity and thus cost. Extending the VMware skills, technology and capability from a private data centre makes as much sense to partners as it does for customers when considering extending, or moving, from on-premise.