VMware Expands Deals with Intel, IBM, as Partners Find Private AI 'Extremely Attractive'

VMware says there's “significant enthusiasm" around its AI strategy from both partners and customers.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

November 7, 2023

2 Min Read
VMware's Chris Wolf talks Private AI at VMware Explore Barcelona 2023
VMware's Chris Wolf on stage at VMware Explore, Barcelona, Nov. 7, 2023.

VMWARE EXPLORE BARCELONA — VMware says private AI is creating opportunities for partners to “differentiate and add value.”

Chris Wolf, VP, VMware AI Labs, said since announcing Private AI at VMware Explore Las Vegas alongside Nvidia, there has been “significant enthusiasm around our AI strategy and its value from both customers and partners.”

VMware said Private AI aims to balance the business gains from AI with the practical privacy and compliance needs of organizations.

“Customers are excited by the flexibility we provide through our growing open ecosystem,” said Wolf at VMware Explore in Barcelona on Tuesday. “They highly value our ability to offer centralized management and operations for both AI and non-AI workloads, as well as our ability to enable them to virtualize and share their in-demand GPU resources. Both of which can lead to a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Private AI 'Extremely Attractive' to Partners

While most organizations use combinations of both public and private AI service stacks, there are use cases for running AI compute and models adjacent to where enterprise data is created, processed or consumed, said VMware. Common emerging use cases include code generation, contact center resolution, IT operations automation and advanced information retrieval.

Wolf said VMware’s focus on private AI infrastructure has made the vendor “extremely attractive” to AI independent software vendors (ISVs).

“We are offering them a differentiated platform to reach customers while not directly competing against their core business. Systems integrators are lining up to help accelerate AI use case adoptions on VMware Cloud Foundation to meet customer demand and address top use cases," said Wolf.

The architectural approach was in the spotlight, too, at VMware Explore 2023 Barcelona Tuesday, where AI topped the agenda, along with multicloud. There, the vendor unveiled several new and expanded partnerships that it said demonstrate momentum. This included two additional SI partners for private AI: IBM Consulting and Kyndryl.

“Our growing partner ecosystem is critical to our success, and we are excited about the new and expanded partnerships announced in Barcelona,” said Wolf.

Private AI Partnerships with Intel, IBM

Additionally, VMware is expanding its longstanding partnership with Intel to private AI. The companies are designing a VMware Private AI reference architecture that will enable customers to build and deploy private AI models and reduce TCO by using the Intel AI software kit, processors, and hardware accelerators with VMware Cloud Foundation.

VMware is also partnering with IBM to enable enterprises to access IBM watsonx in private, on-premise environments, and hybrid cloud for the training and fine-tuning of their models with the watsonx platform. The architecture built on VMware Cloud Foundation and Red Hat OpenShift will enable organizations to deploy watsonx AI functionality for MLOps, data management, and governance.

The organizations will also be able to access IBM-selected open-source models from Hugging Face, as well as other third-party models and a family of IBM-trained foundation models to support GenAI use cases.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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