October 09, 2012, 10:50 AM — In what some analysts are calling a dramatic shift in strategy, VMware today rolled out new features to its vCloud Suite management software that allow customers to migrate workloads to non-VMware cloud environments, including on Amazon Web Services.
In July, VMware surprised many cloud-watchers when it purchased DynamicOps, a company that allows users to easily manage workloads across multiple hypervisors and cloud platforms. VMware said at the time it is committed to a enabling its users to access multiple services from different vendors. Today, the company followed through on its promise.
"They're making some pretty strong changes," says Gartner analyst Ronni Colville. "DynamicOps was a major shift in VMware not just saying it will work outside its comfort zone, but really doing it."
Nearly three months after closing the acquisition of DynamicOps, VMware is officially rolling out the intellectual property it bought from the company. At VMworld Barcelona, which begins today and runs through this week, VMware is announcing integration of vCloud Automation Center 5.1 into the vCloud Suite. That will allow IT organizations to manage virtual machines across heterogeneous cloud and physical environments.
VMware Application Director, also part of the suite, provides a similar functionality for applications that can now be run on VMware clouds or in AWS's elastic compute cloud (EC2). vCloud Connector allows hybrid cloud connectivity, or the ability to scale from one cloud to another. VMware is extending its management capability to include not only VMware-based clouds, but also physical infrastructure, Amazon Web Services and mutli-hypervisor environments.
In enabling this capability, VMware is ceding some control of the infrastructure and banking on the notion that customers will want to centrally manage workloads across multiple clouds or hypervisors, says Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti. VMware initially attempted to provide a public cloud options for customers through its vCloud Director ecosystem of public cloud providers, but Bartoletti says that has been slow to catch on, so these moves could be an acknowledgement of that. Or, looked at another way, it points to the strength of AWS's standing in the market. "If you can't beat them, manage them," he says.