VMware announces Data Centre as-a-Service

The joint offering with Dell Technologies, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, is the realization of Project Dimension from last year’s VMworld, and is slated for limited availability in the second half of the year.

LAS VEGAS – One of the feature announcements on the opening day of Dell Technologies World here on Monday was VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, an extension of Dell Technologies’ recent emphasis on as-a-service offerings to provide a data centre as-a-service offering. The service consists of VMware compute, storage and networking software powered by VMware vSphere, vSAN and NSX running on Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure, and will be fully managed by VMware. It is entering beta now, and is scheduled for limited availability in the second half of 2019.

“Many people have gone to the cloud not because it was better, or more cost- effective but because it was EASIER,” said Pat Gelsinger, VMware’s CEO, onstage in the kickoff keynote. “Now we are bringing that to DellEMC.”

Gelsinger indicated that this is the technology that was previewed at last summer’s VMworld as Project Dimension

“The idea is that we can deliver this as a data centre as-a-service offering, that is fully managed, controlled and automated from the VMware cloud,” Gelsinger said. “It is a unique offering that takes thousands of variables and simplifies it. We are working on bringing this to market this year.”

“The idea is that we take the idea and model of the cloud, and apply it to on-prem, giving the benefits of cloud in an on-prem environment,” said Kit Colbert, VP and CRO, Cloud Platform Business Unit, VMware.

Colbert emphasized that the key here is turnkey ease of use.

“It’s a cloud service, not a managed service where you talk to humans and file tickets,” he said. “The customer doesn’t have to deal with infrastructure plumbing any more.”

“We are responsible for doing patching, lifecycle management, firmware, everything,” Gelsinger said.

As part of this operational simplicity, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC will feature an OPEX licensing model.

“The cloud consumption model with OPEX licensing will really help customers accelerate taking cloud as a model to on-prem environments,” Colbert said.

June Yang, VP, Product Management and Engineering at VMware, demoed the new offering onstage during the keynote.

“We will be able to bring the public cloud experience to customers in on-prem data centre and edge locations,” she indicated. “VMware and Dell work behind scenes to make sure everything is ready, and a fully configured rack will show up at the customer doorstep with Dell Technologies to deploy it on site. VMware will monitor it, and will be aware of any issues, and will be able to resolve them.”

The control plane, which provides visibility and management of all on-premises systems including monitoring the health of their racks, tracking the steps VMware engineers take to resolve service issues, and automatic patching and upgrading of systems end-to-end, stays on prem.

“This gives the ability to start as small as three nodes, making it perfect for edge and remote locations as well,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of products and operations, Dell Technologies. “Customers understand the VMware console and it’s a natural extension to be able to manage the cloud.”

Michael Dell himself emphasized that the new service will be a key partner play.

“We will bring all these capabilities with and through our partners,” he stressed. “The trend to multi-cloud and cloud-based services is unmistakable and partners are embracing that.”

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