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VMware Channel Chief: 'We Want To Own -- We Want To Crush -- The Private Cloud'

Frank Rauch told XChange attendees that today's disruptions in the data center echo 2004, when VMware changed the game with its virtualization platform.

"I don't know about you, but I love disruption," Frank Rauch, vice president of VMware's Americas Partner Organization, said Thursday at XChange Solution Provider 2016.

"It normally means growth, and normally means margin. That's what I'd be thinking about in your seat," Rauch told partners attending his keynote at The Channel Company event in Los Angeles.

The opportunity today is much like it was in 2004, Rauch said, when VMware disrupted the data center with the ESX hypervisor that led to the vSphere virtualization platform.

[Related: Hewlett Packard Enterprise SMB Sales Chief Describes Shift To Data Center Management]

An emerging multi-cloud environment is resulting in data centers that are once again underutilized and overprovisioned, just like they were when VMware revolutionized the industry more than a decade ago, he said.

The next wave of technologies that will drive operational efficiencies revolve around cloud management, orchestration and software-defined networking and storage capabilities, he said.

"Our strategy is pretty simple," Rauch said of VMware. "We want to own -- we want to crush -- the private cloud."

The virtualization leader is going after that goal by extending into a managed cloud environment, helping partners secure, manage and automate a broad array of cloud functions.

Essentially, "you need to offer software-defined Data Center-as-a-Service," Rauch told partners.

VMware entered that space in 2012 with the acquisition of Nicira, which became the backbone of NSX, its software-defined networking solution.

The product is growing fast, Rauch said, and it's important to remember that the ecosystem around NSX is much broader than VMware.


Another area of disruption that partners can benefit from is the advent of hyper-converged systems, Rauch said.

Storage technologies like NAS and SAN are in decline. But hyper-converged sales are growing at a clip of 60 percent year over year, he said.

On that front, VMware is offering customers a virtualized storage platform by going to market with partners like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell, Fujitsu and EMC.

Joe Blackmon, CEO of KKI Technologies -- a small managed service provider serving customers around Oklahoma and Kansas that implements a lot of virtualization software -- said he agrees with Rauch that the industry is surely shifting toward a multi-cloud environment.

And the overhead of trying to manage, secure and configure those multi-cloud environments would be prohibitive without software-defined capabilities, Blackmon told CRN.

Blackmon said the software-defined data center is groundbreaking because it makes it possible for partners to move and reconfigure entire environments with a click of a button, including all regulatory compliance and security features that were built in.

"Just the ability to move between private, public, wherever, and most important security that went with it, that's huge for the industry. That's huge for everybody. That’s huge for the end user," Blackmon said.

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