VMware Cloud Service Provider Licensing: Distributors Say Yes
VMware (NYSE: VMW) Service Provider Licensing, which cloud services providers (CSPs) frequently leverage, is gaining critical mass among technology distributors. The latest example: Westcon Group is now VMware distributor in Australia, offering pay-as-you-go licensing to channel partners. Similarly, Ingram Micro Cloud in North America is an established VMware Service Provider Partner (VSPP) aggregator.
What are the implications for all parties?
1. For VMware… service provider licensing is important for attracting cloud services providers (CSPs) on the company’s virtualization platform. Rival platforms like Citrix Systems, Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), and Kernel-based Virtualization (KVM, upon which RHEV is built) are also reaching out to CSPs.
2. For distributors… the shift from shrink-wrap software to pay-as-you-go offerings ensures long-term relevance. Most distributors are trying to become cloud aggregrators, offering online malls where VARs and MSPs can broker a range of services for end-customers.
3. For VARs and MSPs… Most VMware channel partners have helped businesses to consolidate their physical servers onto virtualized systems. With service provider licensing, VARs and MSPs can help cloud services providers to do the same.
As of this time last year (July 2011), VMware said it had more than 5,200 VSPP partners in 45 countries. How has that figure grown in the past year? I suspect we’ll get an update from VMworld 2012 (Aug. 26-30, San Francisco).
I also wonder if we’ll see consolidation among VMware’s service provider partners — especially as big IT vendors, CSPs and MSPs each pursue M&A strategies.
Either way, we’ll be checking the health of VSPP partners at VMworld.