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VMworld: Partners Await Pricing, Availability Details For VMware Cloud On AWS

Joseph F. Kovar

Solution providers attending next week's VMworld conference in Las Vegas will be closely looking at what VMware's strategic relationship with Amazon Web Services means for their businesses.

VMware is expected to provide additional details on VMware Cloud on AWS – including pricing, availability and how the sales process for the offering will work in the channel. The new offering allows VMware software-defined data center workloads to run natively on Amazon Web Services.

VMware Cloud on AWS would allow customers 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: VMware Cloud For AWS: The Tech Groundwork Is Laid, Partners Look At How To Adopt]

Until now, VMware has not provided information related to the availability of the offering, how it will be priced, and how channel partners can take advantage of it. The company could reveal all of that information, in addition to new details about an offering that allows customers to build on-premises AWS-based clouds, partners said.

VMware declined to comment on questions relating to its strategic agreement with AWS.

One major U.S.-based VMware channel partner told CRN under the condition of anonymity that his company has yet to see pricing and availability for VMware Cloud on AWS, but that he is not surprised.

"There are a lot of complexities related to how the offering can be priced and sold," the solution provider said.

The solution provider is also waiting for word on details about an expected plan for infrastructure that will let clients run an AWS cloud on-premises using VMware technology.

"I expect it will run on a Dell EMC hardware stack, because of Dell EMC's ownership of VMware," the solution provider said. "VMware always says it doesn't care which hardware customers use to run its technology. But for this offering, VMware will probably need something designed specifically for running AWS. And Dell EMC will likely be first."


Availability and pricing questions are one thing, but even more important is what the strategic partnership can do for channel partners, said Matt Darlington, senior director of solutions and services at BlueRange Technology, a Morrisville, N.C.-based solution provider which works with both VMware and AWS.

"First, we need to know what's technically possible," Darlington told CRN. "What [problem] a solution can solve is always the top question. If it doesn't solve the customer's problem, it doesn't matter what the cost is."

BlueRange Technology has no vested interest in taking customers to the cloud for the cloud's sake, Darlington said.

"We're looking at the opportunity," he said. "I expect VMware Cloud on AWS to be cost-competitive to running a similar infrastructure in the customers' data centers. This should be a really good offering for partners. But if you are focused on the price, you're not selling your value."

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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