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VMware Cloud on AWS Launches, Presidio Sees Hybrid Cloud Opportunity

Vinu Thomas
Presidio CTO Vinu Thomas

VMware Cloud on AWS has reached initial availability in the AWS US West (Oregon) region, and will expand across additional AWS regions in 2018, the two companies confirmed during VMworld 2017 today. Among those testing the service: Presidio (PSDO), one of the world's largest IT solutions providers.

VMware Cloud on AWS is largely seen as an alternative to Microsoft (Azure public cloud services coupled with Azure Stack on-premises systems) and perhaps Oracle (which claims to move workloads seamlessly between on-premises Oracle systems and its own cloud). But it's too early to say if the VMware-AWS effort will become a big revenue driver for the virtualization company and its partners, especially since the service is only available on one AWS region at present.

Among those expressing optimism: Presidio, which has been beta testing the cloud service for the past three to six months, according to CTO Vinu Thomas. The IT solutions provider has been a strong VMware and AWS partner since before the joint service was announced in 2016, so Presidio essentially believed in the platform's vision early on.

VMware Cloud on AWS: Early Reactions

From a technology perspective, the VMware Cloud on AWS is well thought out, according to Thomas. Plus, integrations with such technologies as VMware's NSX will allow customers and partners to align the cloud service with key network virtualization and security capabilities, he adds.

Some skeptics have openly wondered if the cloud service is a Trojan Horse of sorts -- essentially setting the stage for Amazon to hijack more on-premises customers. Thomas doesn't see it that way. Going forward, customers will have the option to move their VMware workloads in a seamless way from on-premises systems to AWS -- and back to on-premises if needed, he notes.

At the same time, Presidio continues to work with a range of technology and cloud providers -- including Cisco Systems, Dell EMC, Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft Azure, among others, Thomas notes. Presidio also created a VMware farm in Equinix data centers, which connects to AWS.

VMware also has hedged its cloud bets. The company has cloud-oriented partnerships with IBM, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure -- though the services vary from cloud to cloud.

Meanwhile, channel partners still await specific details about how the VMware Cloud on AWS partner program will work -- in terms of the overall go to market strategy and associated prices.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.