VMware has brought its hybrid cloud service to Europe, with a promise to meet European legal and privacy demands whilst providing a means to ease cautious cloud customers from their private-cloud-only attitude.
VMware’s vice president for hybrid cloud, Bill Fathers, told VMworld in Barcelona that the vCloud Hybrid Service, which was launched in the US earlier in 2013, will be launching in multiple countries globally but the UK is first because it is VMware’s biggest European market. The service will be available as a private Beta in the fourth quarter of 2013 and will become available early in 2014. Both Bill Fathers and Pat Gelsinger (VMware CEO) downplayed suggestions that the move might alienate VMware’s existing cloud partners.
Fathers would not say whose data centre would be used in the UK, but given that he joined VMware from hosting company Savvis, which operates a data centre in Slough, it would be an educated guess that Savvis is involved in the project. Future plans involve France and Germany, whilst the UK’s hybrid vCloud will use space and equipment provided by a partner. “Sovereignty is the keyword,” said Gelsinger, putting emphasis on the cloud service that would meet requirements for local data and also for the European Data Protection Directive. The idea of meeting these requirements was not new to VMware, he said, because VMware has been building private cloud data centres for years: “That’s what we’ve been doing since the beginning, so this is a very natural extension.”
When asked if VMware would annoy its existing partners, he said there was room for everyone: “Our strategy is to continue to make as many of our partners successful as possible. They can really differentiate themselves. It may be seen as competing, but this is a vast market.” On top of the vCloud, Gelsinger announced an online marketplace which includes 3,800 applications pre-qualified to run on the service. The company has also incorporated its cloud management solutions in the form of the vCloud Hybrid Service, including vSphere web client and vCloud Application Director.
In Gelsinger’s keynote speech, Thierry Breton, a former French IT minister and current CEO of Atos, endorsed VMware’s model and linked it to the European cloud strategy: “The software defined data centre has transformed our company,” he said, claiming that a private cloud had enabled Atos to apply its policy to abolish internal email communication. “Before, we were running IT to reduce cost, now we can focus on change management and growing opportunities…We believe as Europeans that it is time to build a single market for cloud. We are trying to adopt the same regulation across Europe. It is not about protectionism, it is the exact opposite.”
[Image via: cloud watch]