Did VMware Just Reinvent Itself?

I was fortunate enough to speak at and attend this year's VMworld USA conference in Las Vegas last week. I caught a small announcement there that I found absolutely intriguing, and feel it could be a revolution in the world of VMware and on-premises virtualization.

Last week, they quietly announced that Amazon Relational Database Services (RDS) will soon be able to be used on your on-premises VMware environment. Very few other details were released, but the RDS web page has a signup form for preview program.

The power of the cloud is largely in the automation that it provides. Our experience has shown that most organizations have fantastic on-prem virtualization but lack the automation to provide a solid end-user self-provisioning platform. The automation in the cloud is one of the primary drivers for cloud adoption.

Did VMware Corp. just expand to become the on-premises extension of Amazon to allow corporations to gain the power of Amazon cloud automation but on their existing on-prem IT investment?

Is this the first service of many to be offered?

Microsoft Azure Stack was an absolute game changer when it launched. I love every bit of it, and we use it in a number of shops to contribute to DevOps initiatives to help IT move as fast as the business. The only downside to Azure Stack is that it must be deployed for production purposes on certified hardware, and that list is small and rather pricey. Consistent hardware is a bonus when keeping the experience constant and predictable, but most organizations are not able to leverage their current IT platform investments to deploy Azure Stack because it is not completely certified for Azure Stack. The expense of a new investment in equipment is most likely hurting adoption.

I've been thinking about this for years now. I actually thought that this would happen in a daydream over two years ago. What if the Amazon automation deployment doesn't require special hardware to run when on-prem? What if it will run on a certified and supported VMware deployment, of which there are millions of such deployments worldwide? How does this change the private cloud game?

Only time will tell. We're eagerly watching this one. I can't wait to see if anything new will be announced at Microsoft Ignite in a few weeks!