It's Official: VMware, AWS Announce Public-Private Cloud Partnership

VMware and Amazon Web Services on Thursday unveiled a new strategic partnership under which VMware's complete software-defined data center offering will run on the AWS public cloud.

Under the relationship, which has been the subject of rumors for over a week, the two companies have collaborated on a new platform called VMware Cloud on AWS that their top executives said takes away the binary decision of whether to run a private or a public cloud.

With VMware Cloud on AWS, customers will be able to run applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments using their existing VMware software and tools for a full range of storage, database, analytics and other services.

[Related: vCloud Where? VMware Forms New Hybrid Cloud Alliance With IBM SoftLayer]

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Available in mid-2017, VMware Cloud on AWS is slated to be available in mid-2017. It will be delivered, sold, and supported by VMware. Pricing is not yet available.

The new strategic relationship means that customers no longer have to make the decision of whether to run an application on or off premises, or on a private or public cloud, said Amazon Web Services Chief Executive Andy Jassy, during a Thursday press conference.

"Of course, you don't have to make this binary decision," Jassy said.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who appeared on stage with Jassy, said that many customers run their IT infrastructures primarily on-premises, but want the flexibility of using the cloud, while others want to exit the data center but maintain the enterprise capabilities of VMware.

"We see that we could bring together the best of both worlds," Gelsinger said. "The best of public cloud and the best of private cloud are coming together."

With the introduction of VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS is now VMware's primary public cloud partner, while VMware is AWS' primary private cloud partner, Gelsinger said.

VMware Cloud on AWS is based on VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware's software-defined data center platform that integrates VMware vSphere server virtualization, VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) software-defined storage, and NSX software-defined networking into a unified platform.

The two vendors said they both invested in developing the VMware Cloud on AWS offering which will run on bare metal AWS infrastructure. Customers can purchase services via their existing VMware commercial agreement and may be eligible for additional loyalty discounts.

To bring VMware Cloud on AWS, the service will be optimized to run on "dedicated AWS infrastructure purpose-built for this offering," wrote Mark Lohmeyer, vice president of products for VMware's Cloud Platform Business Unit, in a blog post on Thursday.

"It will deliver the power of VMware’s SDDC infrastructure software across compute, network, and storage (with vSphere, VSAN, and NSX) while providing access to advanced AWS services, backed by an integrated customer support experience," Lohmeyer wrote.

VMware already has partnerships with public cloud providers. The company early this year unveiled a strategic partnership that lets customers migrate workloads back and forth between VMware-based private clouds and the IBM SoftLayer public cloud.

Additional reporting by Joseph Tsidulko.