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YOU COMPLETE ME: Google and VMware in cloudy embrace

Web giant's best bits to fill VMware's online void

Google and VMware have forged a cloudy alliance that will see several of the former's services made available through the latter's vCloud Air service.

Google Cloud Storage; the BigQuery analytics and big data service; Cloud Datastore; and Cloud DNS will all be “tightly integrated” into vCloud Air.

The announcement about the deal claims “vCloud Air customers will have access to the new services under their current service contract and existing network interconnect, and simply pay for the Google Cloud Platform services they consume.” This will happen “during the first half of 2015,” according to VMware's post about the deal.

The two companies are also “... exploring extended management support for Google Cloud Platform as part of VMware's award-winning vRealize Cloud Management Suite.” VMware's veep for cloud services Scott Collison told The Reg the integration will appear in several Virtzilla tools, plus command line and web-based control freaks.

Interestingly, VMware will front this deal for its customers: signing up for vCloud Air will constitute sign-up for the Google services, too. And VMware will support the lot. The two companies will also integrate their networks so that data flows between their respective bit barns at pleasing speed, an important inclusion.

VMware's a mighty company but, with its most recent annual revenue just topping the US$6bn mark, it doesn't have the financial strength to match top-tier cloud providers who sign cheques for new bit barns with back-of-the-sofa money. The Reg's virtualisation desk therefore often fields suggestions that VMware will struggle to scale its cloud.

This deal with Google solves that problem with the stroke of a pen, as it gives vCloud Air users access to Google infrastructure. And, critically, gives VMware access to Google's cash hoard in a roundabout way.

Google gets a better hybrid cloud story. Lacking Microsoft's footprint in the data centre and therefore a natural hybrid cloud on-ramp, while also trailing AWS' market share, Google needs a way to steer more enterprise users its way. VMware's as good a route as any and Virtzilla knows it.

"Google do not have a hybrid cloud play and it is one of our strongest areas," VMware's Collison told The Reg. Google's reach is another of its cloudy strengths, but for now VMware will focus on its North American and European bit barns for this new tie-up. That decision, Collison said, was a result of "stick to your knitting" thinking.

Collison added that VMware doesn't fear being attacked by a third-party intent on carrying its on-premises users into rivals' clouds, as has happened with AWS' plugin for moving on-premises Hyper-V workloads to Azure from within Microsoft System Centre. Such arrangements, he said, are "like kissing through a veil" as the experience dulls important sensations. Working with Google, he reckons, will be rather more pleasant for VMware's faithful as they get to hop into bed with two well-developed partners who are committed to mutual satisfaction.

But VMware's also fluttering its eyelids at another, yesterday announcing Avaya's engagement-as-a-service offerings will be offered on vCloud Air, and in hybrid arrangements. ®

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