LAS VEGAS—In a move to accelerate hybrid cloud adoption, IBM and VMware today announced a strategic partnership designed to help enterprises take better advantage of the cloud's speed and economics.
The new agreement, announced at the IBM InterConnect 2016 conference here, will enable enterprise customers to easily extend their existing workloads, as they are, from their on-premises software-defined data center to the cloud. IBM and VMware have jointly designed an architecture and cloud offering that will enable customers to automatically provision preconfigured VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) environments, consisting of VMware vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN on the IBM Cloud.
With this SDDC environment in place, customers will be able to deploy workloads in this hybrid cloud environment without modification, due to common security and networking models based on VMware.
With nearly 100 percent of Fortune 100 customers utilizing VMware technologies, this partnership will help preserve and extend customer investments across thousands of data centers. Customers will be able to leverage VMware's proven technologies with IBM's growing footprint of 45 Cloud Data Centers worldwide, helping companies scale globally while avoiding retooling expenses, development risks and reducing security concerns.
"This partnership, an extension of our 14-year plus relationship with IBM, demonstrates a shared vision that will help enterprise customers more quickly and easily embrace the hybrid cloud," said Pat Gelsinger, CEO at VMware, in a statement. "Our customers will be able to efficiently and securely deploy their proven software-defined solutions with sophisticated workload automation to take advantage of the flexibility and cost effectiveness of IBM Cloud."
IBM and VMware will provide the expertise, solutions and cloud infrastructure to help customers manage and scale their IT resources running in private and public clouds, using the tools, processes and APIs with which customers are already familiar,
IBM will use its extensive CloudBuilder tools and workload automation capabilities to automatically provision preconfigured or custom workloads to the cloud, validated by VMware's design patterns for Software Defined Data Center architectures. In addition, VMware has extended vRealize Automation and vCenter management tools to deploy and manage environments on the IBM Cloud, as if they are part of a customer's local data center.
The two companies also will jointly market and sell new offerings for hybrid cloud deployments, including seamless workload migrations, disaster recovery, capacity expansion and data center consolidation. The IBM Cloud will be a showcase platform in the VMware vCloud Air Network cloud provider ecosystem.
"We're enabling each other's channels to sell the services, as we're trying to make this as seamless as possible," said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud. "We are reaching a tipping point for cloud as the platform on which the vast majority of business will happen. The strategic partnership between IBM and VMware will enable clients to easily embrace the cloud while preserving their existing investments and creating new business opportunities."
Additional key benefits for customers when the new offerings are available will include sophisticated workload automation, where clients will have the ability to quickly provision new or scale existing workloads to the IBM Cloud.
Moreover, companies will have additional reach and scale to more easily start locally and scale globally with cloud capabilities, and also comply with data residency and other regulatory mandates. And VMware customers will be able to use a flexible, monthly-based consumption pricing model that makes it more cost-effective for users by enabling a simple pay-as-you-go option.
Carl Eschenbach, president and COO of VMware, who was on hand at the IBM InterConnect conference, said even prior to IBM's acquisition of SoftLayer that VMware had a strong partnership with SoftLayer and used the company's cloud infrastructure and bare metal servers. So today's announcement is an extension not only of VMware's 14-year relationship with IBM, but also of its relationship with SoftLayer, which is now an IBM company, he said.
"Early reactions from our customers and employees have been very favorable" regarding the deal, Eschenbach said. "We don't have 45 data centers around the world—this is one more reason for us to partner with IBM."
Eschenbach noted that the joint IBM/VMware cloud capability is alive and available today and that users can expect to see an expansion of the capabilities as the companies continue to collaborate.
"The capability is there today," Eschenbach said. "We've been working on this architecture for quite some time."
"We're doing joint work to empower this partnership," said LeBlanc. "You'll see continual value from this partnership."