VMware Cloud On AWS Is Available Now On A By-The-Hour Basis, AWS Channel Chief Says It Will Reach 'Hundreds Or Thousands' Of Partners

VMware Monday unleashed its eagerly awaited VMware Cloud on AWS with initial availability on an hourly on-demand basis and one- and three-year subscriptions coming at a later date.

VMware Cloud on AWS is available starting Monday on an hourly basis via the U.S. West 2 region of Amazon Web Services, said Mark Lohmeyer, vice president of products for VMware's Cloud Platform business unit. He did not have a date on when the one- and three-year subscriptions will be available for channel partners to sell.

VMware was scheduled to roll out specific pricing details on VMware Cloud on AWS at the opening day of its annual VMworld conference, which kicks off Monday in Las Vegas.

[Related: VMware Cloud For AWS: The Tech Groundwork Is Laid, Partners Look At How To Adopt]

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VMware Cloud on AWS is the strategic relationship that VMware and AWS signed in October under which VMware-based software-defined data center workloads will be able to run natively on Amazon Web Services.

Terry Wise, vice president of worldwide alliances, channels and ecosystem at AWS, told CRN that larger systems integrators such as DXC, Deloitte and Capgemini and other similar companies, all of which have invested in key VMware and AWS technologies, are likely to be the initial adopters of VMware Cloud on AWS. "[But] we will rapidly expand to hundreds or thousands of partners," he said.

VMware and AWS architected the whole relationship to make it available to the two companies' channel partners, Wise said. "The initial offering is sold and supported by VMware," he told CRN. "But the vision over time is to pretty quickly open this up to partners in both ecosystems. Those that are experts in AWS, and those who are experts in VMware."

Customers are asking to have VMware and AWS integrated with native AWS capabilities, Wise said. "There's a huge win just running VMware on the AWS cloud," Wise said. "The bigger win is when you integrate it with the native AWS services for machine learning, data analytics, IoT and so on."

Wise declined to speculate whether ordering a VMware instance in the AWS cloud might be as simple as using a credit card online in the way some customers currently configure an AWS instance, and said that is a question best answered by VMware.

"Right now, the service is operated and supported by VMware," he said.

There will be partner certification programs wrapped around VMware Cloud on AWS, Wise said. Any such programs likely will come from the VMware side of the relationship, he added.

VMware Cloud on AWS is slated to 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.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings together everything customers love about VMware with the flexibility and scalability of AWS, Lohmeyer said.

"We bringing them together in a way to make it consistent for customers," he said.

With VMware Cloud on AWS, customers can run the entire VMware software-defined data center stack, which includes vSphere compute virtualization, vSAN software-defined storage and NSX software-defined networking, as a service on AWS bare-metal platforms, Lohmeyer said.

It is a totally elastic service, he said. "You ask for resources, and they show up a few seconds later," he said.

VMware Cloud on AWS has been in beta testing with about 50 customers who have already talked to VMware about several use cases, Lohmeyer said. Those use cases include maintaining private clouds while providing rapid access to public cloud resources, the ability to consolidate data centers or even move away from owning data centers completely by easily migrating current workloads to AWS, and the ability to build a whole new class of hybrid applications, he said.

VMware also has worked with partners in such areas as DevOps, migrating, networking and security, and data protection to make VMware Cloud on AWS widely applicable to customers, Lohmeyer said.

"[This] will really accelerate the adoption of this service because customers can take advantage of their existing applications and tools," he said.