As VMware Expands Its Multi-Cloud Reach and Toolsets, It Will Benefit from Sharper Articulation of Its DevOps Support and Flexible Consumption Options

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Additions to VMware’s multi-cloud portfolio reinforce the company’s ability to serve enterprises that require a mixture of cloud environments, including on-premises private clouds and two or more public clouds.
  • To succeed in an increasingly competitive market, VMware needs to continue innovating its developer and DevOps tool sets, as well as in relation to things such as price and flexibility.

VMware recently announced several enhancements to its multi-cloud solutions portfolio, which include the latest version of its hybrid cloud stack, VMware Cloud Foundation, and updates to multi-cloud management tools such as VMware vCloud Director and CloudHealth. The company also announced a growing number of go-to-market partners and the launch of the VMware Cloud in Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers in Canada, Paris, and Singapore, increasing the total number of AWS data centers where VMware Cloud solutions can be offered to 13 globally.

In addition to these portfolio updates and an expanded market reach, VMware announced a new hybrid cloud appliance, which will run on Dell EMC’s VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure. The new appliance will make it quicker and easier for mutual customers to deploy hybrid cloud environments. It also further illustrates the deepening collaboration between VMware and its parent company.

Together, the latest additions to VMware’s multi-cloud portfolio reinforce the company’s ability to serve enterprises that require a mixture of cloud environments, including on-premises private clouds and two or more public clouds. VMware’s ultimate goal is to deliver a consistency that extends to its customers’ IT infrastructure (spanning data centers, the cloud, edge environments, VMs, and containers), their IT operations (management and automation), and their developer experience.

VMware’s multi-cloud strategy places a growing priority on providing tools and capabilities for developers and DevOps teams. However, this priority is emerging as an important battleground for vendors targeting multi-cloud opportunities, with competitors such as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and HPE all committed to offering multi-cloud solutions that also include extensive support for developers and DevOps personnel.

For example, Microsoft recently announced a further expansion to the range of Azure Cloud capabilities that are available via its on-premises Azure Stack solution. One important new Azure Stack feature, currently in preview, is support for Kubernetes. Users will be able to deploy Kubernetes clusters using the same resource manager templates as in the Azure cloud. This means that applications built using containers can be deployed both on-premises and in the Azure public cloud, while using the same code across each platform. In addition, developers will have access to Azure’s existing service fabric, simplifying migration to and from the public cloud.

Meanwhile, IBM’s planned acquisition of Red Hat can be understood, partly, as a move to shore up IBM’s developer tools, with perceived benefits to IBM’s cloud stack including key DevOps technologies such as Red Hat’s Kubernetes solution via CoreOS. IBM has pitched its acquisition of Red Hat in terms of its potential to make it a global leader in the provision of hybrid cloud solutions.

To succeed in this increasingly competitive market, VMware needs to continue innovating its developer and DevOps toolsets, while also innovating around cost and flexibility. In recent months, VMware has sought to provide increased flexibility for enterprises that purchase and consume its solutions, with examples including a commitment to a broader range of licensing and consumption models for traditional solutions like vSphere and the introduction of new SaaS-based solutions (see VMworld 2018 Europe: Having Hammered Home Its Commitment to Hybrid Cloud, VMware Now Needs a Stronger Multicloud Message,” December 20, 2018). Going forward, there is room for further innovation around flexible consumption and delivery. In addition, VMware needs to ensure that it clearly articulates the full scope of its multi-cloud, DevOps, and flexible consumption capabilities to new and existing customers.

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