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VMware CEO Gelsinger On Disrupting The Security Industry, Pushing Subscriptions And Cracking The Code On The AWS Partnership

"Your customers are looking for more, and just giving them another warm blanket, expecting that's going to stop bullets doesn't do it," said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at the 2018 Best of Breed conference. "We've got to get more sophisticated capabilities."

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One of the bigger partnerships you’ve done over the past few years has been with AWS. What’s the real value for the audience to work with you and with AWS?

First, let’s dimensionalize this for the audience. How big is Amazon’s IS business going to be this year? $25 billion or so. And it’s experiencing a 40 percent growth rate. And the growth rate is not slowing down. This is a juggernaut and it just so happens we’ve now formed a strategic partnership with a juggernaut over the last two years. I made a very similar comment last year: if you haven’t figured out what your subscription public cloud strategy is… this is not a voluntary choice. Right? You have to figure our how to position yourself in the fact of that juggernaut. And that juggernaut has Azure chasing it, Google chasing it. This is large dollars, major shift in infrastructure. And if you don’t have your strategy in place for how you’re adding value in the face of that… it’s a juggernaut. So what we did is we have the public cloud juggernaut called Amazon and our position as the private cloud leader by far and we fused those two together. Now what we just announced at VMworld was that by the end of next year, every place there’s Amazon there will be a VMware cloud on Amazon. So we’ll have a global footprint. Any place your customers on the planet can take advantage of it, you can. Wow. That’s pretty powerful. We’re starting to demonstrate some really value-added capabilities. The one that really excites the industry is RDS on premise. Not only are we taking workflow to the cloud, creating this hybrid work environment between private and public clouds, but we’re also bringing Amazon services from the cloud back on premise. That to us really helps to set this strategic partnership that we’re really innovating in both directions. Things that we can bring back on premise, now customers can say “How do I manage my databases? I do it with RDS.”

Talk about how game-changing RDS is and how partners can take advantage of it?

The database is the killer application for so many customers and so many use cases. RDS is the fourth biggest service on Amazon. It’s been a very powerful, successful product for them. But the key issue was, “Now I can manage my cloud database this way but I can’t manage my on-premise database that way.” The idea that we have a common control play: common replication, common backup, life cycle management of my databases, Sql, Aurora, Oracle… we believe this is killer. We’ve gotten an extremely positive response. We expect this to be an extraordinarily successful service. And we’ve got a pipeline of services like that coming with Amazon.

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