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VMware on Wednesday unveiled its long-awaited public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, but the company went to great lengths to position it not as an Amazon killer, but a logical progression of its business that will make life easier for customers.
VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service, slated for launch in the second quarter, will allow VMware customers "to reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing their existing applications while using a common management, orchestration, networking and security model," VMware said in a press release.
VMware has also created a new business unit, called Hybrid Cloud Services, and hired former Savvis President Bill Fathers to lead it. Fathers, who stepped down as Savvis' president in November, is now a senior vice president and general manager at VMware.
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VMware made the announcements Wednesday morning in a conference with Wall Street analysts, which included the participation of parent company EMC and the Pivotal Initiative joint venture between the two vendors.
As CRN first reported last week, VMware is aiming to let customers move private cloud workloads to the public cloud while maintaining governance and management. VMware sees tools like DynamicOps and vCenter Operations' ability to monitor workloads in some public cloud environments as key differentiators from Amazon EC2, sources told CRN.
VMware parent company EMC is committing engineers to integrate vCloud Hybrid Service with EMC's Avamar backup and recovery products, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, sources told CRN last week.
VMware says it will sell vCloud Hybrid Service through its channel partners. Forrester analyst James Staten, in a Wednesday blog post, said many VMware partners "don't see more revenue at the end of the public cloud rainbow" and lack the skills and trust level to help their customers to make the transition from virtualized infrastructure to cloud computing.
"This requires consulting skills and real cloud experience and most VMware partners don't have either," Staten said in the blog post.