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However, while the priority of building SDDC architectures as a foundation for cloud computing is clear, it should not mean that VMware or its channel partners will ignore the importance of hardware, VMware's Eschenbach said.
"I have one thing to say: If anyone can find a way to run software on software, let me know," he said. "I say that tongue-in-cheek. [But,] software is driving hardware innovation."
And, VMware is driving SDDC innovation starting with its vCloud Suite integrated cloud architecture solution, which Eschenbach said has done very well in the channel since its integration last Fall.
"Thank you for driving the adoption of the first software-defined data center implementation," he said.
Partners who are more focused on building virtualized environments for clients using VMware's vSphere application should also be stepping up to the company's new vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) technology, which Eschenbach said not only adds management capabilities to vSphere but also provides significant profit and margin opportunities for partners.
Solution providers will also be on the front lines of SDDC deployment with their compute, networking and storage services expertise, Eschenbach said.
"Someone needs to integrate that for the customer," he said. "And no one is better positioned to do this than you are."
Solution providers also need to make hybrid clouds a priority because customers want to take advantage of both private and public clouds, Eschenbach said.
However, for most customers, the public cloud is really just another silo of the extended data center, which means they will need standardized framework on which to move workloads to and from public clouds, he said.
For that reason, VMware on Tuesday introduced cloud credits, which let customers purchase prepaid credits from their solution provider that can be exchanged at a cloud service provider to acquire infrastructure-as-a-service capacity for use at a later date. Because customers purchase the cloud credits from their preferred solution provider, that solution provider then gets up-front revenue for public and hybrid clouds.
The third priority for VMware and its channel partners is end-user computing, which includes virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobility, Eschenbach said.
NEXT: The Importance Of End-user Computing