Manish Bhuptani is VMware’s Director of Service Provider Product Marketing, and Tracey Murphy is VMware’s Senior Partner Marketing Manager of Global Cloud Services
Tracey: Manish, can you give our readers an example of how service provider partners can realize cloud-based (or as-a-service) revenue using VMware?
Manish: Of course. As a member of the vCloud Air Network Program, cloud service providers have an opportunity to offer several cloud-based infrastructure and value-add services to their customers, depending on their business models. A service provider can offer a very robust infrastructure as a service [IaaS], leveraging VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter Server. In simple terms, it is a collection of compute and storage resources provided to customers. These resources have to be provisioned consistently (policy-based), securely (access control) and efficiently (automation).
The powerful virtualization, networking, high availability and automation capabilities built into VMware products enable service providers to offer a dedicated (single tenant) cloud with the above qualities. While many considerations go into deploying an efficient IaaS, one particular point I have heard from service providers again and again is the need for efficient storage management. VMware vSphere 6 provides a capability called Virtual Volumes that simplifies storage operations and improves utilization of storage resources.
Tracey: If what you've described is a stepping stone, what other services can help partners accelerate their cloud-based revenue?
Manish: There are several ways. While a cloud is a collection of compute and storage resources, a service provider can start adding differentiation in several ways. Differentiation leads to higher margins, either through higher levels of service (that is, an increase in revenue) or cost avoidance (more efficiency), or, typically, through both.
One area of differentiation is operations. What if a service provider could better manage operations for their customers across infrastructure and applications, regardless of the type of environment (physical or virtual) or location (on-premise or cloud-based on vSphere, Hyper-V or Amazon Web Services)? VMware vRealize Operations does just that by providing service providers or their customers with complete control over capacity, configuration, performance of environments with predictive analytics and policy-based automation.
Tracey: This is great, Manish. Can you offer another example for our readers?
Manish: Another area to look at is network virtualization. A service provider could provide their customers with better control over networking in their cloud environment using VMware NSX. The product reduces the time it takes to provision a multi-tier network and enables service provider customers to “stretch” their data center with all its security rules and policies. By leveraging the distributed firewall and other fine-grained security policy capabilities that are part of NSX, a service provider can create inherently more secure cloud environments. This leads to higher revenue--customers are willing to pay more for security, for compliance, for a peace of mind that they can extend their data center to the cloud with all its rules and policies intact. Obviously, the topic of security can take up several blogs on it is own. We will cover it more in-depth in future.
Tracey: How can a service provider get easy access to these products?
Manish: Service providers get access to these products by becoming a member of the Program at Professional or higher level. We even have discounted bundles of certain key products. The above products are available through several bundles, so service providers have a choice as to how they mix and match products to get the best discount for their situation.
Tracey: What about other services?
Manish: There are many services possible. They all build on the IaaS I described above. Some examples are:
- Public/hybrid cloud service that enables multi-tenant, self-service public clouds
- Desktop as a service that delivers fully customizable virtual desktops and applications to end users on any device, anywhere
- Backup, replication and disaster recovery as a service that enables data recovery and business continuity
- Storage as a service that transforms local storage and enables “application-centric” storage for hosted desktops, enterprise workloads and test/dev environments
Tracey: How can service providers learn more?
Manish: They can visit our VMware Service Provider page for more information. A “Learn More” section highlighting solutions available for service providers is coming soon, as well as a follow-up blog post, so keep an eye out.
We look forward to being in touch.
Manish and Tracey