IBM and VMware Partner on Hybrid Cloud

IBM will provide VMware-based cloud services to channel partners to boost their hybrid cloud offerings, the company announced Tuesday. IBM Business Partners will now be able to sell VMware Cloud Foundation and help clients extend existing VMware environments to the IBM Cloud.

The new integrated services allow IBM partners to provide a “one-stop shop” for migration of on-premise VMware platforms to the cloud. IBM says its VMware-based fully automated service for VMware Cloud Foundation is a market first.

“Enterprises need fast and easy ways to deploy and move workloads between private and public cloud environments,” said Zane Adam, VP of IBM Cloud. “By being the first to market with channel partners and VMware, IBM is enabling organizations to scale and create new business opportunities while making the most of their existing IT investments in a hybrid cloud environment.”

Clients and partners can automatically provision pre-configured VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) environments. The platform provides infrastructure flexibility by integrating VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and SDDC Manager.

“IBM and VMware share a common goal of empowering organizations to quickly and easily extend their workloads to the cloud,” said Ajay Patel, senior vice president, Cloud Provider Software, VMware. “Through the IBM and VMware strategic partnership, customers can easily move and implement enterprise applications and disaster recovery solutions across a global network of cloud data centers.”

The announcement further builds on the strategic partnership announced by the companies a year ago to ease enterprise adoption of hybrid environments, and VMware Cloud Foundation, which the company introduced in August to sell a single platform cloud stack as a subscription service supported by IBM cloud.

VMware also partnered with Amazon to sell its data center automation software on the AWS cloud to enterprises in October. VMware has been shifting steadily toward a role of providing connections and management for multi-cloud environments, and CEO Pat Gelsinger discussed the impact of changing infrastructure technology on channel partners with the WHIR in June.

At the IBM Interconnect cloud and mobile conference this week in Las Vegas, the companies announced an architecture and cloud offering they jointly designed that will enable VMware Software-Defined Data Center (or “SDDC”) environments, consisting of VMware vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN.

VMware SDDC is the company’s unified hybrid cloud that works across public, private, and managed clouds.

Under the partnership, IBM will use its “CloudBuilder” tools and workload automation capabilities to automatically provision pre-configured and custom workloads to the cloud that are validated by VMware’s SDDC architecture design patterns. Additionally, 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 will also be jointly marketing and selling new offerings for hybrid cloud deployments, including workload migrations, disaster recovery, capacity expansion, and data center consolidation. Customers will be able to quickly provision new or scale existing workloads to the IBM Cloud. Through IBM’s international network of data centers, they also have the additional reach and scale to start locally and scale globally while also complying with data residency and other regulatory mandates.

Many enterprises faced with the difficulty of moving their on-premise applications to a public or private cloud are pinning their hopes to a hybrid cloud model that promises the best of both worlds. Hybrid cloud adoption is set to triple over the next few years, according to a recent report.

“We are reaching a tipping point for cloud as the platform on which the vast majority of business will happen,” IBM Cloud senior vice president Robert LeBlanc said in a statement. “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.”

To boost its hybrid cloud capabilities, IBM has been engaging in partnerships and acquisitions, having picked up hybrid cloud specialist Gravitant late last year.

VMware and IBM, however, are competing for hybrid cloud leadership against a host of other alliances such as Microsoft and Red Hat. When it comes to the hybrid cloud market, it seems that going alone isn’t always the best option.