Google on Thursday took the next step in its partnership with VMware, announcing an integrated first-party service that lets customers migrate or run VMware environments in Google Cloud. The new Google Cloud VMware Engine delivers a fully-managed VMware Cloud Foundation stack on dedicated Google infrastructure. With the new service, customers can connect to a dedicated VMware environment directly through the Google Cloud Console to migrate or extend their on-premise workloads to the cloud. "VMware and Google Cloud are working together to help power customers' multi-cloud strategies, and the new Google Cloud VMware Engine will enable our mutual customers to drive digital transformation and business resiliency using the same VMware Cloud Foundation running in their data centers today," Ajay Patel, SVP and GM of VMware's cloud provider software business unit, said in a statement. "Google Cloud VMware Engine enables organizations to quickly deploy their VMware environment in Google Cloud, delivering scale, agility and access to cloud-native services while leveraging the familiarity and investment in VMware tools and training."
A core pillar of Google Cloud's appeal was providing enterprises access to the same technologies that Google itself uses. In many cases, such as with data platforms such as BigQuery or Spanner, getting the most out of them required that customers change the way they structured their databases or formed queries by doing it Google's way. But Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian also wants to make GCP hospitable to lifting and shifting your existing workloads. Google is following in the footsteps of rivals such as AWS and Azure that are offering services to meet enterprise customers where they live – at least when it comes to application architecture. The strategy might best be characterized as "if you can't beat them, join them."
This week at VMworld 2020, VMware announced new innovations to help customers build, run, manage, connect, and protect any app on any cloud. According to the company, over 15 million enterprise workloads run on VMware in the cloud. "VMware has reached a major milestone in its plan to unlock the power of every cloud for every business. We now support customers' application strategies by delivering VMware-based services on every major public cloud provider and hundreds of VMware Cloud Verified partners worldwide," VMware chief operating officer of products and cloud services Raghu Raghuram said. "As we drive our strategy forward, we are expanding our portfolio of cloud infrastructure, operations, and security services to enable faster application migration and modernisation, and better business agility, and resiliency."
In July, VMware acquired Bitfusion, a company whose technology virtualizes compute accelerators with the goal of enabling modern workloads like artificial intelligence and data analytics to take full advantage of systems with GPUs or with FPGAs. Specifically, Bitfusion's software allows for virtual machines to offload compute duties to GPUs, FPGAs, or even other kinds of ASICs. The deal didn't get a ton of attention at the time, but for VMware, it was an important step in realizing its cloud ambitions. "Hardware acceleration for applications delivers efficiency and flexibility into the AI space, including subsets such as machine learning," Krish Prasad, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's Cloud Platform business unit, wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition. "Unfortunately, hardware accelerators today are deployed with bare-metal practices, which force poor utilization, poor efficiencies, and limit organizations from sharing, abstracting and automating the infrastructure. This provides a perfect opportunity to virtualize them – providing increased sharing of resources and lowering costs."
VMware has used the first day of VMworld in Las Vegas to announce a handful of innovations across its hybrid cloud portfolio of infrastructure and management software, pushing its multi-cloud business strategy as offering flexibility to customers. Newly announced is the vSphere Platinum Edition, a new release of vSAN to further ease hyperconverged infrastructure adoption, and new updates across the VMware vRealize cloud management platform, which VMware said will help customers deliver developer-friendly infrastructure from any cloud with more secure and consistent operations. As far and fast as cloud computing is embedding itself into the enterprise, there remain many cloud-resistant applications and services. Speaking with press ahead of the announcement, VMware VP and CTO for the Americas Cameron Haight said consistent infrastructure allows for the datacentre, the cloud, and now the edge to operate harmoniously. "We want to make sure we provide a consistent operation environment ... we want to make that digital foundation ubiquitous," Haight said.