Tech Data added another big arrow to its cloud quiver Thursday with VMware's vCloud Hybrid service.
The distributor will begin offering VMware's new hybrid cloud service to its VAR customers via the TDCloud business unit, which Tech Data launched two years ago to deliver cloud-based product and services to solution providers. Currently, TDCloud has around 50 cloud vendors on its line card representing products from backup and disaster recovery to CRM and ERP applications.
VMware launched the highly anticipated vCloud Hybrid service in May to help extend existing VMware-powered data centers into the cloud. Bharath Natarajan, director product marketing for TDCloud, said Tech Data began working with VMware soon after the launch to help bring vCloud Hybrid to TDCloud.
"This is very exciting for us because it's the first big brand infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] offering designed specifically for the channel," said Natarajan. "We can now have the kind of conversation with VARs about infrastructure in the cloud that we had in the on-premise world."
Natarajan said the addition of vCloud Hybrid service will enable existing VMware partners to start offering cloud services quickly and move their customers' virtualized environments into the cloud without having to make any changes. "Partners have invested a lot of time and money in the vSphere space," he said, "and now they can take that investment and move into the cloud without having to start from scratch."
Natarajan also said there's been strong demand from Tech Data customers for IaaS offerings, specifically from the growing number of VARs that have recently built up strong data center and virtualization practices. He also said the move toward cloud services will enable more solution providers to play in the data center without having to worry about carrying expensive -- and sometimes cost-prohibitive -- hardware.
"We've noticed in the recent past that there's been a radical shift from legacy hardware to the data center, where the IT equipment was very capital intensive," he said. "But now VARs are on a level playing field because they're focusing on services instead of spending money on the actual hardware."
Last fall Tech Data added VMware rival Amazon Web Services to TDCloud. Natarajan said that while the two compete and there is some overlap between their cloud offerings, he believes Amazon and VMware can occupy two different spaces in the cloud spectrum.
"I think this will be good for us because we might see more data center guys going with VMware," Natarajan said, "whereas Amazon might be for more born-in-the-cloud VARs."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 12, 2013