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VMware Cloud on AWS Gains Partner Program Support

VMware SVP Brandon Sweeney
VMware Channel Chief Brandon Sweeneey

VMware's cloud strategy, products and services got several major boosts today -- including partner program capabilities for VMware Cloud on AWS.

The moves are particularly timely. VMware is striving to keep the spotlight on its next-generation growth businesses -- software-defined networking, storage and cloud services. At the same time, VMware is doubling down on its Amazon Web Services relationship after selling off the vCloud Air business last year.

VMware Cloud on AWS launched in limited regions last fall. Now, the service has expanded to the AWS London Region. At the same time, VMware Partner Network has gained a new VMware Cloud on AWS Solution Competency, and expanded the VMware Solution Provider and Cloud Provider programs to include VMware Cloud on AWS.

Interest in the effort appears strong. More than 5,000 partners have signed up so far to learn how VMware is bring the AWS partnership to the channel, according to Brandon Sweeney, senior VP, worldwide commercial and channel sales, VMware.

And after a long, multi-year journey of discovery, VMware finally seems ready to fully and properly embrace MSPs as core members of its partner program. The company had labored, in some ways, to understand MSP go-to-market strategies and associated partner incentives, ChannelE2E believes. But progress has arrived.

The VMware Cloud Provider Program MSP model now includes tools, training and expertise required to develop and deliver managed services for VMware Cloud on AWS, Sweeney indicated in a blog. The program, he added, includes volume discount schedules for both new and existing VMware partners.

Presidio Embraces VMware Cloud on AWS for Customers

Presidio CTO Vinu Thomas

True believers include Presidio. The midmarket IT solutions provider is a launch partner and working with a handful of early access VMware Cloud on AWS customers, according to Presidio CTO Vinu Thomas.

Presidio appears to be the first company to achieve the new partner competency. The company has strong VMware and AWS practices, "so this is right in our wheelhouse," Thomas adds. 

Presidio has been working with clients on their multi-cloud initiatives -- exploring and identifying the right cloud services for the right workload based on performance, security, privacy and cost concerns, Thomas says.

"The VMware Cloud on AWS brings together the leader in virtualization/private cloud solutions with the Number One Public Cloud Provider and this allows Presidio to design solutions leveraging the best of both the worlds," he adds. Presidio was the first partner with the VMware/AWS competency and one of the initial beta launch partners. We are really excited to work on this solution leveraging our deep expertise in both VMware and AWS."

Additional VMware Cloud Services Milestones

VMware's cloud progress doesn't end there. The company also today announced:

1. New VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension Service for Private Cloud: This new SaaS offering can provide application mobility and infrastructure hybridity across different vSphere versions, on-premises and in the cloud. The Hybrid Cloud Extension allows enterprises management of secure application migration without modification and minimal to zero application downtime. Hybrid Cloud Extension services for both IBM Cloud and VMware Cloud on AWS customers can also extend their VMware based environments to the public cloud for on-demand capacity and geographical expansion.

2. Expanded Wavefront by VMware Service: Wavefront is a metrics monitoring and analytics platform that supports cloud-native and enterprise applications, and both public and private cloud infrastructure, including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and now it will also support VMware Cloud on AWS. Wavefront also now integrates with VMware vRealize Operations. This integration can provide rapid onboarding of Wavefront, agent lifecycle management and control, and shared visibility not only of the infrastructure but also for the applications that run on top.

3. New VMware Log Intelligence Service: Log Intelligence provides operational insights into VMware-based data centers and VMware Cloud on AWS. The service provides a way for IT to troubleshoot through a centralized log management provided across multiple clouds including VMware Cloud on AWS. Log Intelligence uses machine learning algorithms, real-time log analytics and rich dashboards to continuously scan for anomalies in data center and cloud environments, deliver high-performance log search and give IT visibility into application behavior and the health of underlying infrastructure.

4. Expanded VMware Cost Insight Service: Cost Insight can now deliver detailed assessments for migrating workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS, calculating the capacity and the cost of running apps in private or public clouds. Through this service, businesses can understand the actual cost of migrating through integration VMware Network Insight. Cost insight will include estimates on network egress and storage IOPS after the migration has taken place. The service will also provide recommendations on savings, alerts, and reports to help companies stay on budget.

VMware: Dell & Cloud Challenges, Opportunities

Amid all those milestones, VMware and its partner ecosystem still face challenges. Chief among them: We're curious to see if VMware Cloud on AWS offers enough revenue and profit margin to keep all parties (VMware, Amazon and third-party partners) interested in the service.

Moreover, VMware must remain focused on partners and R&D -- even while rumors about a potential reverse merger with Dell continue to surface.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger
Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell

Michael Dell and his advisors are exploring multiple options that could return Dell Technologies to public markets. The company went private in 2013, and took on a heavy debt load by acquiring EMC in 2016. That 2016 deal also gave Dell majority control of VMware, which continues to trade publicly.

Michael Dell and his advisors may require a month or more to reach a decision about the potential VMware reverse merger scenario, according to CNBC.

Circle the Date: Both Michael Dell and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger are scheduled to keynote Dell Technologies World on Monday, April 30. If a reverse merger or another major Dell-VMware move occurs, we suspect confirmed details or deeper information will surface at that time.

In the meantime, multiple Wall Street analysts are calling for Dell to avoid the reverse-merger temptation, because the skeptics don't want VMware's business saddled with a big legacy hardware business. Still, Michael Dell has a habit of navigating tricky financial deals...

As for VMware, the company must maintain its partner focus on cloud services. The latest VMware Cloud on AWS partner milestones sound like a solid start.

Additional reporting by Sarah Kimmel.