VMware has added a subscription option, dubbed VMware Cloud Universal, that makes consuming its offerings simpler for enterprise IT organizations. The new subscription option also offers a console that allows IT teams to monitor and manage instances of VMware Cloud running on-premises or in the cloud.
VMware has also unveiled a new offering, the VMware App Navigator, which is a set of professional services that VMware engineers can use to assess workloads that might be ready to move to the cloud based on the value of the application.
VMware claims 300,000 organizations have built and deployed more than 85 million workloads on VMware. However, not all of those workloads make use of the various offerings that are included in the VMware Cloud suite. Large numbers of instances of VMware virtual machines and the workloads that run on them in an on-premises IT environments are managed using tools and frameworks provided by other vendors.
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VMware in the last few years has been narrowing that gap. The challenge VMware faces is that many of those workloads are now moving into public clouds. VMware is making a case for more seamlessly moving applications to public clouds that run VMware software. However, all the major cloud providers also provide services based on open source software that is less costly than VMware Cloud. Many enterprise IT organizations are opting to refactor applications to run natively on virtual machines provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and others.
The launch of VMware App Navigator is an effort to exercise more influence over those decisions. VMware is also clearly hoping IT organizations will be willing to pay for that advice. VMware App Navigator requires VMware personnel to assess application workloads and then make a recommendation, notes Dormain Drewitz, head of product marketing and content strategy for VMware Tanzu, the Kubernetes-based platform that is part of the VMware Cloud portfolio. “It’s a service engagement,” she said.
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Too Much, Too Late?
Third-party IT services providers have been making those types of assessments on behalf of customers for years now. VMware may not have always fully appreciated those recommendations, but there are not many organizations at this point that have not at least evaluated moving existing applications to the cloud. There may be a greater sense of urgency about making that shift now in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the bulk of workloads continue to run in on-premises IT environments for many reasons other than cost.
It’s still not certain how relevant VMware will be in the age of the cloud. VMware will always be a force to be reckoned with, but the days when it dominated on-premises IT are all but over, especially as new classes of applications based on microservices that can run on any instance of Kubernetes emerge. VMware is making a strong case for Tanzu as part of a portfolio that can run both existing monolithic and microservices-based applications, but many IT organizations have already decided to head off in multiple different directions.
A subscription to VMware Cloud might lock more customers into the VMware portfolio in a way that is ultimately more affordable than it is today. It’s just that it might be a case of too much now being offered too late.
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