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How VMware and IBM offer choice with consistency

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There are still questions about the strategic partnership between VMware and IBM announced back in February.

Many centered around two things: How much IBM will invest to ensure this partnership can scale and provide real value to both existing and new customers, as well as how the partnership would fit into the IBM vision of cloud.

Fast forward six months later to last week’s VMworld event in Las Vegas and those questions now have solid answers.

At the VMworld general session, IBM Senior Vice President of Cloud Robert LeBlanc shared the stage with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger to announce that IBM is the first company to be recognized as a certified partner in VMware Cloud Foundation an on-demand software-defined data center (SDDC) for hybrid cloud deployments.

Concurrently, Forbes.com ran a story about the partnership and IBM’s overall investment. To date, IBM has more than four thousand service professionals training in the technology stack to support customers. In addition, the company has multiple beta clients making us of this new offering, with use cases ranging from disaster recovery to cloud bursting. To say that IBM has “invested” might be a bit of an understatement.

So what is Cloud Foundation?

Simply put, it is the automated, hyper-converged deployment of three central VMware offerings: Vsphere for virtualization and management, Vsan for software-defined storage and NSX for software defined networking.

What would once take weeks to stand up a new environment has been reduced to less than twelve hours through automation developed jointly by VMware and IBM. Once initially provisioned, scaling becomes even easier, with the ability to deploy new capacity in both directions in under an hour. All aspects of the offering are provided as a service, from licensing all the way down to the hardware satisfying all requirements of cloud for the customer.  With the additional capabilities of NSX, such as micro-segmentation, policy and host based controls, and the decreased dependency of enterprise storage hardware through VSAN, customers will gain a bevy of benefits with the click of a button on their browser.

In a world with multiple public cloud providers all vying for supremacy in the market, customers are faced with tough decisions. The complexity of transforming workloads makes the journey to cloud difficult, as most enterprise consumers are still running millions of legacy workloads that don’t necessarily fit the born on cloud model.

However, there is a bright spot. Most enterprises are predominantly virtual, with the largest share of those workloads running on VMware software. IBM can ease the stress of migration through this hybrid model. With more than 40 data centers worldwide, the build out of the Cloud Foundation on IBM Cloud makes a perfect solution for customers begin, advance and facilitate their cloud journey without having to reinvent the wheel.

As Jason Mcgee, CTO of IBM Cloud Platform wrote, “Hybrid is a not transitional state; it’s a destination.” This partnership clearly reflects the principles of “choice with consistency.”

For more information on the VMware and IBM partnership please click here.

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