Google Cloud will more broadly support VMware workloads, an important step in CEO Thomas Kurian’s enterprise plans.

Jeffrey Burt

July 30, 2019

4 Min Read
Two cloud-shaped hands shaking among other clouds in the sky.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) this week took another step in CEO Thomas Kurian’s efforts to grow the cloud provider’s enterprise base by offering broader support for VMware workloads.

The expanded partnership between Google Cloud and VMware also is a nod to enterprises’ growing embrace of hybrid cloud and multicloud environments, with Kurian writing in a blog that “both Google Cloud and VMware believe that customers want to run workloads in the cloud that works best for them. At Google Cloud, we are committed to offering solutions that let our customers to do just that.”

In particular, the new agreement between the two companies means that enterprise customers will be able to port VMware Cloud Foundation, a software-defined data-center bundle deployed on public or private clouds, onto the Google Cloud environment. The solution that Kurian announced July 30 was developed by CloudSimple, whose platform enables VMware technologies to be run as a service in public clouds. By doing so, enterprises can move vSphere, NSX and vSAN software from VMware off their own data-center infrastructure and onto a CloudSimple platform in Google Cloud.

The solution will be available on the Google Cloud Marketplace later this year.


Google Cloud’s Thomas Kurian

“Users will have full, native access to the full VMware stack including vCenter, vSAN and NSX-T,” Kurian wrote. “Google Cloud will provide the first line of support, working closely with CloudSimple to help ensure customers receive a streamlined product support experience and that their business-critical applications are supported with the SLAs that enterprise customers need.”

VMware COO Sanjay Poonen said that with “VMware on Google Cloud Platform, customers will be able to leverage all of the familiarity and investment protection of VMware tools and training as they execute on their cloud strategies and rapidly bring new services to market — and operate them seamlessly and more securely across a hybrid cloud environment.”

This is an expansion of a years-long partnership between Google Cloud and VMware. Google Cloud already offers integration with VMware’s NSX Service Mesh and SD-WAN by VeloCloud, which the CEO said gives organizations improved visibility into workloads running in hybrid clouds. There also is a plug-in for VMware’s vRealize Automation hybrid cloud management platform to make it easier for customers to deploy and manage Google Cloud resources via the VMware platform.


VMware’s Sanjay Poonen

In addition, VMware played a role when Google Cloud in April unveiled Anthos, which enables enterprises to run Google Cloud applications and services in their on-premises infrastructure, part of a push by cloud providers to extend their reach into private data centers to take advantage of the trend toward hybrid clouds. VMware’s vSphere was part of Google Cloud’s effort to make as broad am industry play as possible with Anthos.

Partners will play a key role in bringing the CloudSimple solution to enterprises, Kurian wrote, saying that Google Cloud is “committed to working closely with our partners to deliver the solutions and products customers need to solve business issues and innovate in new areas.”

Google late last year brought in Kurian, a longtime Oracle executive, to run the cloud business, a distant No. 3 global cloud provider behind behemoth Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Google executives earlier this month said that the cloud business – which includes both Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G Suite – hit a run rate of $8 billion, twice the $4 billion announced in 2018.

Kurian has been vocal about the need for Google Cloud to grow its …

… number of enterprise customers if it wants to continue to compete with AWS, Azure and others. The expanded VMware partnership is a step in that direction, putting Google Cloud on par with its rivals, including AWS, which has broad partnerships with VMware.


Moor Insights’ Patrick Moorhead

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights and Strategy, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

“GCP says it is doing many of the things I believe will help it grow,” Moorhead told Channel Futures. “It has to execute on those things, but I don’t think it has a great track record of listening to enterprise customers and executing on it. Time will tell.”

Still, he added that the news from Google Cloud and VMware is positive, though “for now, AWS will be getting all of VMWare’s new features first. Adding VMware capabilities to every public cloud will be a requirement as VMware is the enterprise, on-prem standard for virtualization. I see this as a good sign for Google Cloud, but it is still 10 times smaller than AWS, four times smaller than Azure, with fewer availability zones, and is known as harder to do business with limited enterprise experience. GCP is known to be a reliable cloud vendor.”

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