[EN] Why (and how) Microsoft is circling its hybrid-cloud wagons
Microsoft, long-time champion of the public/private/hybrid cloud approach, is stepping up its hybrid-cloud rhetoric. Here's its latest pitch.
Mary Jo Foley
October 13, 2016
If expectations pan out, Amazon and VMware will announce today a tie-up that will give Amazon a hybrid-cloud computing play (at long last).
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Microsoft, which has been touting hybrid computing as a key differentiator for the company for years, is stepping up its hybrid-cloud rhetoric as of late.
For years, Amazon officials referred to private cloud as the "false cloud," claiming that any and every workload should be in the public cloud. For just as long, Microsoft officials have made the case that users should be able to decide which of their workloads belonged on premises, in the public cloud and/or in some type of hybrid configuration.
More than a few Microsoft watchers have insisted that Microsoft's hybrid-cloud messaging has been one of convenience. Because Microsoft still makes and sells lots of on-premises enterprise software -- SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, Windows Server, SQL Server, etc. -- of course Redmond can't advocate that its customers go all cloud, the pundits pundify.
However, many Microsoft customers don't see things that way. Like a number of Amazon's business customers, they don't feel every workload could and should be moved to the cloud and want ways to run some applications entirely or at least partially on-premises.
At its recent Ignite conference, one of the loudest messages from the Microsoft brass was that hybrid means more than simply connecting public cloud to private cloud. (Of the 1446 sessions at Ignite, close to 500 of them touched, if not focused on, hybrid-cloud topics.)
Hybrid, according to Microsoft's ever-evolving definition, involves sharing application programming interfaces, user interface elements, and various technologies across its computing stacks.
As Microsoft's hybrid offerings diagram embedded in this post above (from a company blog post from October 12) indicates, Microsoft has on-premises complements to its cloud services all the way up and down the stack. Microsoft is advocating users deploy and use both, i.e., both Azure and Azure Stack; Dynamics 365 and Dynamics on-premises; Office 365 and Office on-premises; Exchange; and SharePoint. In some cases, Microsoft is encouraging this with offers like the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit and the recent offer to purchase System Center in conjunction with Operations Management Suite.
The on-premises complement to each cloud service will not offer as robust or up-to-date sets of features, but the company's goal is to keep the pairs aligned to the extent possible. Microsoft is planning to continue to develop and release more versions of on-premises SharePoint Server, Windows Server, and other variants of its on-premises enterprise software, officials have said. (Exactly how many more and for how much longer, I don't know.)
All this hybrid talk aside, make no mistake that Microsoft is continuing to try to get more users on Azure.
Just yesterday, Microsoft announced Azure Active Directory Domain Services hit general availability. The idea of Azure AD Domain Services -- which provides managed domain services like domain join, group policy, LDAP and Kerberos/NTLM authentication that are fully compatible with Windows Server Active Directory -- is to help customers "lift-and-shift" their on-premises apps to Azure.
Microsoft, IBM, Google Brace For Amazon, VMware Cloud Partnership
Microsoft, Google, IBM and other cloud-computing rivals of Amazon Web Services are bracing for an AWS "partnership" announcement with VMware expected to be announced Thursday.
The big questions are how far-reaching the alliance between AWS, part of Amazon.com, and VMware will be, and when products will be ready. Fortune first reported that VMware, now controlled by Dell EMC, would announce a deal with AWS.
VMware forged a cloud alliance with IBM in February. AWS, though, is by far the leader in infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), with Microsoft No. 2 and Google No. 3.
Deutsche Bank says Google's cloud computing unit could be a bright spot when Alphabet reports earnings on Oct. 27.
Diane Greene, a co-founder of VMware, now heads Google's cloud business. VMware's virtualization software, which lets servers share computing workloads, is widely used in corporate data centers.
VMware is competing with Microsoft, Red Hat and other rivals to be a key part of next-generation data centers as companies shift business workloads to hybrid, private-public cloud infrastructure. In the IaaS market, companies access remote computing resources — servers and data storage — via the web.
One goal of the AWS-VMware partnership will be making it easier for customers to run VMware software on Amazon's public cloud infrastructure.
While VMware apparently is mending fences with archrival AWS, it's also warming up to Cisco Systems, says a recent Morgan Stanley report. "The once combative posture between Cisco and VMware in the SDN (software defined networking) space has given rise to greater collaboration in recent months," said the report.
VMware and Amazon 'to team up on compatibility initiative'
The companies want to make it easier to run VMware on AWS, according to rumours
10 Oct, 2016
VMware and Amazon are set to announce a partnership that would see the former's virtualisation solutions work better on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The initiative will make it easier for VMware customers to run their software on both internal servers and Amazon's cloud service, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.
Although no one has formerly put forward any information about the plans, sources told Fortune the announcement will be made in San Francisco on Thursday by Amazon. AWS's Andy Jassy and VMware's Pat Gelsinger will both be present, although it's not clear to whom the project will be announced.
It's an agreement many cloud companies, including Google, would be eager to be part of. However, it seems despite their tumultuous past, Amazon has managed to win the prize.
Three years ago, VMware warned partners that any workloads pushed to Amazon would be lost to VMware, essentially warning them not to use the platform.
"We want to own corporate workload … we all lose if they end up in these commodity public clouds [AWS]," Gelsinger said. "We want to extend our franchise from the private cloud into the public cloud and uniquely enable our customers with the benefits of both. Own the corporate workload now and forever."
But as AWS becomes the biggest public cloud provider, it seems VMware had no choice but to cosy up to the company if it wants to continue building its customer base.
The agreement would add to VMware's rapidly growing strategic partnerships, ensuring its software runs on its preferential platforms. Back in February, the company announced a tie-up with IBM Softlayer, which would help customers run the two technologies together.
Three prime scenarios for Amazon Web Services’ big reveal on Thursday
Oct 12, 2016
As Amazon Web Services prepares to make a “significant announcement” at a press conference in San Francisco Thursday afternoon, speculation is flying about what the leading public cloud unit of Amazon.com Inc. will unveil.
As SiliconANGLE reported last week, at least part of the announcement will involve a deal with longtime rival VMware Inc., whose software allows multiple versions of the same operating software to run on the same computers. Sources close to the situation say VMware customers will be allowed to run its software both in their private data centers and on AWS’s cloud in a setup known as hybrid cloud.
But the specifics remain murky ahead of the announcement by AWS Chief Executive Andy Jassy (above), which will be livestreamed starting at 1:30 p.m. Pacific. The event could involve a number of related announcements, such as the ability to run VMware’s NSX virtual networking software.
But the key impact could be on big data workloads, one of the fastest-growing workloads in computing today. They’re starting to move to the public clouds. Wikibon, the analyst community owned by the same company as SiliconANGLE, has identified the three most likely scenarios for how an AWS-VMware deal will affect big data workloads (subscription required for the full report with details of each scenario).
First, some background: On-premise and public cloud computing have largely grown up independent of each other. Although there are some high-level similarities in developer abstractions or administrative processes, creating hybrid applications has been extremely challenging, particularly between VMware on-premises and AWS in the public cloud.
These are the key scenarios that could come out of the partnership:
Hybrid scenario No. 1: AWS offers a separate VMware cloud alongside AWS. In this scenario, a pool of VMware-managed Infrastructure as a Service resources exists within the AWS cloud. Beyond common billing, there is limited integration between VMware in the cloud and AWS.
Hybrid scenario No. 2: AWS manages vSphere virtual machine (VM) in addition to the native Xen VM. In this scenario, AWS can manage its own Xen-based VMs as well as VMware’s native vSphere. AWS would probably accomplish this by hosting vSphere VMs inside Xen VMs.
Hybrid scenario No. 3: AWS extends the No. 2 scenario and manages on-premises edge appliances running the AWS stack with vSphere support. In this scenario, AWS provides VMware customers with an appliance similar to Microsoft Corp.’s on-premises Azure Stack. But in this case, the appliance would run infrastructure that AWS could manage in a hybrid configuration.
The upshot of all the scenarios is that big data professionals are finally going to have a more meaningful coexistence or a migration path from on-premises “private clouds” to the dominant and more fully automated public cloud run by AWS.
Prioritizing what to deploy on whatever path emerges starts with reviewing the type of workload and then the hybrid cloud configuration. Ephemeral workloads should see the largest total-cost-of-ownership savings, regardless of the hybrid cloud scenario. But the deepest integration between VMware and AWS, the third scenario, should yield the greatest savings.
IBM gets in retaliation before VMware flips to AWS
Big Blue moves to step on new hybrid cloud romance between Amazon Web Services and VMware
October 13, 2016
IBM is attempting to tackle VMware’s expected flit to Amazon Web Services by unveiling new hybrid cloud services, and trumpeting the progress of its recently signed alliance with VMware so far.
As reported on ChannelBiz last week, AWS is expected to unveil a new alliance with VMware in San Francisco this afternoon (9.30pm UK time).
The deal is around hybrid cloud offerings, and virtualisation and cloud watchers expect the pair to enable users of VMware software to handle their workloads in both their on-premises private cloud environments and also in AWS’ public cloud facilities.
This is only the broad proposition, with all revealed later as to the exact configurations and products and services involved.
But before AWS can reveal anything, IBM has jumped to shout at the world that it was “first to market” as a chosen VMware partner for more efficient hybrid cloud services and deployments.
Big Blue gushed: “In February, IBM announced a strategic partnership to accelerate hybrid cloud adoption through joint product development, sales and marketing. Since that time, we have seen significant momentum.
“1,000 joint customers are moving their VMware environments to the IBM Cloud including Marriott International, Monetize and Clarion to name a few. IBM has mobilised and trained 4,000 global service consultants to help VMware customers access and leverage the IBM Cloud.”
It went on about the love in: “We jointly developed VMware Cloud Foundation, which has helped clients move existing apps to the IBM Cloud in hours. By tapping into bare metal servers across IBM’s global footprint of 48 Cloud Data Centers, VMware customers can scale while avoiding re-tooling expenses, development risks and reducing security concerns.”
IBM says the partnership has “fuelled” a new ecosystem of partners that support IBM and VMware solutions, such as Intel, HyTrust, Veeam Software and Zerto.
“IBM Cloud is the de-facto cloud platform for users looking to extend their VMware investments, without the need to re-architect applications, enabling development teams to focus on innovation.”
Amazon Web Services PartnerNo doubt AWS will have something to say about that later. But IBM has driven its hybrid cloud offer further with the announcement of a new cloud object storage service that “redefines” the security, availability, economics of storing, managing, and accessing massive amounts of digital information across hybrid clouds, said IBM.
The company’s new IBM Cloud Object Storage package derives from IBM’s acquisition of Cleversafe, and its “significant portfolio of patents” which are designed to deliver clients “better value with industry-leading security”.
“As clients continue to move massive workloads to hybrid clouds there is a need for an easier, more secure and economical way to store and manage mounting volumes of digital information,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud.
“With today’s announcement, IBM becomes the leading cloud vendor to provide clients the flexibility and availability of object data storage across on-premises and public clouds.”
The storage-as-a-service offering is said to be “25 percent cheaper” when compared to similar capacities, environments and locations of a “competitive cloud” [wonder who owns that one].