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VMware Upgrades Platform Used By Cloud Provider Partners Looking To Seize Multi-Cloud Business

The latest VMware Cloud Provider Platform will speed provisioning of services across public clouds, and offer unified VMware management tools that span those environments.

VMware Friday revealed another big step in enabling partners to drive revenue from multi-cloud deployments by extending the capabilities of its VMware Cloud Provider Platform.

The update will give MSP partners access to an expanding portfolio of VMware services that work seamlessly across public clouds, such as monitoring, costing, reporting, log management, incident response, and compliance tools. It also will better enable those partners to access VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid cloud services, Rajeev Bhardwaj, vice president of product management for VMware's cloud provider software business unit, told CRN.

"We are empowering our partners to monetize the multi-cloud market opportunity," Bhardwaj told CRN.

[Related: VMware Earnings Beat Expectations In Q2 As Cloud Services Feed Back Into On-Prem Business]

New features on the platform include VMware Cloud Provider Hub, a portal for provisioning VMware-based infrastructure from multiple providers; and VMware Cloud Pod for rapid generation of operations guides. VMware also introduced vCloud Director 9.5, a release that upgrades the cloud management platform with deeper integration with NSX networking technology.

A global network of more than 4,000 partners in the VMware Cloud Provider Program rely on the unified product suite to deliver consistent infrastructure and operations through capabilities including multi-tenancy and service-management layers, rapid on-boarding, and simplified consumption.

When the latest Cloud Provider Platform hits the market in the fourth quarter, those partners will be better positioned to offer niche services and address data sovereignty requirements in local markets while tapping larger providers to expand into new regions and offer managed services around specialized capabilities, Bhardwaj told CRN.

"There's not one cloud that fits all. We provide flexibility and choice for them to provide customized services to meet each customer's requirements," Bhardwaj said.

The landscape has been changing in recent years, he told CRN.

"Multi-cloud is becoming a reality, and more customers are embracing a multi-cloud approach. There is no single cloud that can meet a diverse set of requirements for customers," Bhardwaj said. "Customers are looking for best-in-class."

At the same time, the multi-cloud landscape adds complexity, with each cloud creating its own silo and operating model, he said.

The upgraded platform looks to enable the thousands of VMware cloud providers to build managed services that help customers manage that complexity with VMware features designed to work natively across hyper-scalers Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

"Our innovations focus on giving partners flexibility and choice to manage multi-cloud transitions that best meet their operational requirements," he said.

The latest platform release also looks to modernize the partner clouds for an improved customer experience.

A key component introduced in the latest release is Cloud Pod, a rapid deployment tool that automates the design and generation of design and operations guides uniquely tailored for each partner's VMware-based infrastructure.

Through that portal partners can choose components, policies, and addressing, then run an installer to deploy that environment on selected infrastructure, Bhardwaj said.

Faction, a VMware Cloud Provider Program partner based in Denver, has been extending its own facilities across eight sites by leveraging VMware's reach into the public cloud.

Over the past two years, Faction has focused "on ensuring that we look at the whole cloud ecosystem," John Drake, Faction's vice president of strategic alliances, told CRN.

While VMware offers a comprehensive tool set, there are unique differentiators on each public cloud, he said.

"By looking at feature sets being developed in each of these clouds, you see places where workloads can run in all of them. You see a best fit for each of those clouds," Drake said.

But migrating data between providers "is kind of a nightmare."

As a managed services provider that focuses on innovating around unified storage, VMware's platform enables Faction to centrally store customer data and tap all three hyper-scale providers with low-latency connections for the "ability to do some arbitrage easily across all these cloud providers," Drake said.

VMware encouraging interoperability with other cloud providers, all running its hypervisor, helps Faction build tightly integrated solutions without burdensome lifts-and-shifts, he said.

"Them becoming more open only benefits us," Drake said.

The latest VMware Cloud Provider Platform is currently undergoing field trials with select partners before general release, Bhardwaj told CRN.

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