IBM dumped a mass of cloud-related announcements today at VMworld Europe 2017 related to the tech giant’s cloud partnership with VMware. This includes a new hybrid cloud service with Vodafone, cloud infrastructure with Dell EMC and SAP, and application portability software with VMware.
IBM became the first cloud provider to partner with VMware in February 2016. Today at the VMware show in Barcelona the two companies said more than 1,400 enterprises spanning multiple industries are extending their VMware environments to the IBM Cloud. The partners also named a couple high-profile customers: Honeywell and Vodafone.
Late last month VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said his company scored a “huge win” with Vodafone as a new network functions virtualization (NFV) customer. On an earnings conference call, Gelsinger described it as “our largest-ever telco deal” and “a huge step forward in our NFV initiative.” However, the companies have yet to provide additional details about the deal.
Honeywell today said it used VMware workloads running in the IBM Cloud to develop industrial automation technologies including a platform that enables users to build and test engineering processes.
And in addition to running its own VMware workloads in the IBM Cloud, Vodafone today said it’s offering a hybrid cloud service that allows enterprises to move their VMware workloads between Vodafone-hosted private clouds and IBM’s cloud.
Vodafone-IBM Cloud Deal
“The end state for most enterprises is going to be hybrid or multi-cloud,” said Don Boulia, IBM’s GM of Cloud Developer Services. “This connection allows them to transition workloads to a cloud-based environment using a combination of the VMware toolset and the offerings we [IBM and Vodafone] have in our areas.”
It also gives Vodafone customers access to IBM services including Watson and its analytic capabilities.
The new service combines Vodafone’s network and VMware-based hosted private cloud with IBM’s global cloud data center footprint. It uses VMware NSX network virtualization as a bridge of sorts between the clouds. This allows companies to use a single management portal and gives them burst capability across a geographically diverse data center footprint.
It also makes applications more portable, allowing Vodafone customers to deploy and move VMware-based workloads between on-premises data centers and the IBM Cloud without retooling applications and redesigning security policies.
Additionally, the larger cloud footprint will help Vodafone enterprise customers reduce latency by locating applications closer to users, according to the companies. IBM’s global cloud footprint spans 59 data centers across 19 countries.
This will also benefit enterprises that must meet compliance and data residency regulation by giving them more flexibility to move workloads to the appropriate region.
Dell EMC, SAP Partnerships
Also today at VMworld Europe, IBM and Dell EMC announced a deal under which Dell EMC will resell VMware services on IBM Cloud to its commercial customers.
Dell EMC will start by offering VMware vCenter Server on the IBM Cloud. This provides a centralized management platform for vSphere environments, running in on-premises data centers and public clouds. The goal here is to make is easier for enterprises to move workloads to the IBM Cloud.
Additionally, IBM today launched new cloud infrastructure-as-a-service and VMware configurations to support business applications powered by SAP HANA.
SAP tested and certified new IBM Cloud bare metal servers to help enterprises run large, data-intensive workloads. Enterprises can now provision an SAP-certified bare metal server configured with VMware. This enables customers running applications on SAP HANA in a private VMware environment to move these workloads to the public cloud without having to retool the application.
App Portability SaaS
And finally, IBM said it is one of two VMware cloud partners — OVH is the other one — to offer VMware’s HCX technology.
This new software-as-a-service allows enterprises to move applications back and forth between private VMware-based clouds and public clouds such as IBM’s and OVH’s. It enables large scale application migration and portability with zero application downtime or retooling required, according to the companies.