VMware is making it easier for its customers to use Microsoft’s cloud, but still considers Amazon its ‘preferred partner’ as AWS hosting for its product shoots up 130% (VMW, AMZN, MSFT)

  • At its big conference on Tuesday, VMware launched the next generation of its Azure VMware Solution tool, which allows customers to easily extend or migrate their VMware applications to Microsoft Azure.
  • VMware still says that Amazon Web Services, which it has worked with since 2016, is its preferred partner and that VMware Cloud hosting on AWS has risen 130% year-over-year.
  • VMware COO Sanjay Poonen says the company has been working to become a “multi-cloud” company to make it easy for customers to work with AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and other clouds.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

VMware, largely known for selling virtual machines and data centers, didn’t have a core cloud strategy until 2016, when it announced a partnership with Amazon’s cloud.

Since then, VMware has made other strides forward, partnering with third parties to make sure its customers can use its products regardless of what cloud hosting they use. It’s now making it easier for its customers to work with Microsoft Azure, the firm announced at its VMworld conference on Tuesday.

The next generation of its Azure VMware Solution will allow customers to easily extend or migrate their VMware applications to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Customers will also be able to easily use VMware or Azure tools on one platform.

Deeper partnership with Microsoft Azure aside, VMware says that AWS is still its preferred cloud partner, meaning that it will promote Amazon’s cloud to its customers to consider first. VMware says that hosting on VMware Cloud on AWS rose 130% between August 2019 and 2020.

For decades, VMware has largely sold private data centers for companies to store their data. The rise of cloud could’ve spelled trouble for VMware, but it decided to take a different approach of partnering with cloud companies instead.

“We embraced Amazon,” VMware COO Sanjay Poonen told Business Insider of its initial foray into the cloud. Then, one by one, the other cloud companies also approached it and asked to build their own “bridges,” so that customers could move their existing VMware products “like a mobile home on wheels, from a private cloud to Amazon or Azure or Google.”

Poonen says VMware has become more of a “multi-cloud” company, which has helped customers this year adapt to remote work.

The pandemic has only accelerated the move to the cloud, says Edward Hieatt, senior vice president of services and support at VMware.

Read more: A top VMware exec explains how it avoided getting crushed by Microsoft in its early days — and the lesson startups can learn from it

“What we’re seeing is more demand for helping them go faster,” Hieatt told Business Insider. “In my mind there has been a reluctant move to the cloud and a paralysis in the last three to five years. They’re reluctant to make a change. That’s blown up this year. Suddenly we’re getting approached by all these customers.”

Besides new capabilities for customers to work with Microsoft Azure, VMware has launched a variety of other tools to make it easier for customers to work with different clouds.

“Banks, telco, healthcare, manufacturing, and many of the biggest brands in the world have embraced that stack for running private and public cloud,” Poonen said. “We bring that same benefit to applications and workloads that customers want to move to Amazon and Azure.”

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