VMware and EMC are leveraging the acquisition of Virtustream to create new hybrid cloud products for the enterprise and in the process adding another layer of complexity to the recent Dell/EMC/VMware deal.
Earlier this year, EMC bought privately held Virtustream, a company with a portfolio of tools that aid in the migration of complex in-house apps -- such as SAP S/4HANA or mainframe apps -- to multitenant cloud environments. EMC said it would make Virtustream's product line part of its Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution, so workloads for those apps could be run either in-house or in the cloud without needing separate management solutions.
VMware said elements from all three companies -- VMware's vCloud Air Infrastructure-as-a-Service business, EMC's Cloud Managed Services and Storage Managed Services, and Virtustream's Infrastructure-as-a-Service business -- are combined in the project: VMware will provide the virtualization, EMC the managed services for storage and cloud, and Virtustream the IaaS for running apps.
This is not the first time VMware has offered a hybrid cloud solution. In 2013, the company announced plans to use its software as the common denominator between private and public data centers. But vCloud Air, the public option, hasn't measured up to Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, so it's no surprise VMware is now offering customers room for growth by taking apps not designed for a hybrid cloud and deploying them in that manner.
Most hybrid clouds involve a public component maintained by a third party, a private component maintained by the customer, and a measure of seamless integration between them. Every hybrid cloud executes on this differently. Microsoft uses Windows Server and Azure as the underlying fabric and banks on existing enterprises' investments in the former. Google uses application-containerization technology -- Docker and Kubernetes -- as the medium.
VMware, meanwhile, has pushed its virtualization technology and spin-off products. But now that VMware-style virtualization is a commodity, the company must add new functionality on top of its core product that will be of value to enterprises -- for example, using VMware's cloud functionality for disaster recovery or continuity of business solutions.
The plan is consistent with VMware's focus on containers and infrastructure rather than simply VMs and virtualization. A new segment within VMware, the Cloud Provider Software Business Unit, has been formed to help providers set up VMware-powered hybrid solutions.