Google, VMWare Collaborating on Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Strategy

With VMWare seeking a larger cloud footprint and Google looking to tiptoe deeper into the realm of the enterprise, the two are joining forces that could spur them ahead of Microsoft and closer to Amazon Web Services in the competitive cloud services battle.

The agreement between Google and VMWare will provide enterprise customers a hybrid service that marries the scalability of the Google Cloud Platform and the power of VMWare’s virtualization, according to Murali Sitaram, managing director of Google’s Global Partner Strategy & Alliances division.

Last year, Google and VMWare announced a partnership to allow Chromebook computers to run applications designed for its rival Microsoft’s Windows operating system, bringing Chromebook to the enterprise that met with moderate success.

Experts believe that the recent cloud partnership can be a big win for both the companies as VMware gets the key Google services, including the powerful BigQuery analytics, to woo enterprise customers. While for Google it was about cozying up with enterprise customers, for VMware it’s about proving its leadership in the cloud computing space challenging AWS.

“Our collaboration will provide customers with a unique hybrid solution that combines the power and efficiencies of VMware virtualization and the hyperscale of Google Cloud Platform,” said Murali Sitaram, managing director, Global Partner Strategy & Alliances, Google. “As a result of this agreement, enterprise customers will be able to combine their VMware cloud environments with the security, scalability, and price performance of Google’s public cloud, built on the same infrastructure that allows Google to return billions of search results in milliseconds.”

The two companies are also working to make the Google services manageable via VMware’s vRealize management tools. This would allow IT managers to use a single console to manage both vCloud Air and Google cloud resources. Since Amazon is making a big play to make both cloud and on-premises IT resources manageable from its dashboard, this feature can certainly stand out to woo the enterprise.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Google, and offer customers the ability to use Google’s rich portfolio of services while running their mission critical applications on the vCloud air platform,” said Bill Fathers, executive VP and GM, Cloud Services Business Unit, VMware. “Through this agreement, customers will gain the benefit of both vCloud Air and Google Cloud Platform in a single hybrid cloud service, supported by VMware, and fully compatible with their existing vSphere-based data center infrastructure.”

With so much of development in the cloud domain, Amazon is also not resting on its laurels. According to sources, the cloud major is also adding enterprise features and functions to its cloud and is pulling more customers in the hybrid cloud market.

There’s no doubt that the cloud computing space is increasing becoming complex with greater competition unlike say half a decade ago when AWS was the only public cloud ruling the space. While Microsoft is now pushing its Azure to business customers, VMware has been aggressive about vCloud Air in recent times with its overall category of vCloud Air and SaaS products accounted for about 5 percent of total revenue, or about $85 million, for the quarter. What is not known is that Google is also surging ahead with its cloud efforts. Its cloud-based revenue for the year would be about $1.6 billion. But since Google’s other businesses are so massive the cloud business numbers often do not count.

A recent report from market research firm Markets and Markets reveals that the cloud market is expected to grow to $121 billion dollars by 2015: a 26% compound annual growth rate from the $37 billion value in 2010. By 2017, Gartner sees half of the world’s population embracing hybrid cloud. Another recent cloud survey notes that hybrid clouds are on the rise at 20 percent, up from 15 percent last year.

Today, hybrid cloud is almost as popular as public cloud (used by 23 percent) a clear shift from last year, when public cloud was at 27 percent. GigaOm Research states that hybrid is clearly an appealing strategy for enterprises because it offers the balance of economic and technical benefits of the public cloud with the control and security of a private cloud. From this perspective, it can be said that Google and VMware partnership can be a powerful one in the cloud space.

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