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IBM, VMware to jointly develop services for hybrid clouds

IBM and VMware expanded their long-held partnership with a deal to provide hybrid cloud services and consulting to IT pros in regulated industries.

IBM and VMware strengthened their partnership to jointly develop hybrid cloud offerings that they say will make it easier for users to modernize mission-critical workloads.

The two companies will largely target regulated industries including financial services, healthcare and telecommunications to not only address complexity but also ensure that IT services meet the fast-changing regulations in those industries.

The costs associated with refactoring applications for the cloud puts such projects out of reach of some organizations. IBM officials believe the partnership's upcoming offerings will provide more flexibility for digital transformation projects.

"In their longstanding relationship, [IBM and VMware] have never had this level of joint development," said Frank Dzubeck, president of Communications Network Architects Inc. "This is an important step for each company. More than anything else, it's a business deal, something users wanted to see them make."

IBM and VMware have never had this level of joint development. This is an important step for each company. … It's something their users wanted to see them make.
Frank DzubeckPresident, Communications Network Architects Inc.

Expanding the co-development relationship doesn't come as a surprise to some, given the similar view each company has of the future of hybrid clouds.

"The vision each company has of hybrid clouds is very closely aligned," said Charles King, president and principal analyst with Pund-IT. "Also, IBM's purchase of Red Hat and focus on open source makes it easier for companies like VMware to buy into IBM's strategy. They know they aren't getting led into a walled garden."

IBM officials note the importance of solid security and trust as part of the new services, said Howard Boville, head of IBM's Cloud Platform.

"By working together, we can provide our mutual clients with technologies that more easily leverage hybrid cloud services in whatever ways they want to use them," Boville said.

The deal makes the IBM Consulting division a member of VMware's Global System Integrators (GSI) program, a network of partners providing managed cloud services for popular hybrid and/or multi-cloud environments. IBM Consulting will provide the migration and modernization services.

The deal also calls for the expansion of the VMware and IBM Joint Innovation Lab, formed in 2018, that to date has produced about 20 hybrid cloud, AI-based projects that work with the IBM Cloud. The agreement grows the lab's innovation pipeline for another three years and is funded to develop joint products over that time.

One of the projects the IBM-VMware lab teams are collaborating on enables the IBM Cloud Satellite for VMware users, IBM said. For those workloads that must remain on-premises, Cloud Satellite will support VMware workloads in any environment they currently run in.

IBM's Cloud Satellite management platform, released last year, centralizes hybrid cloud management. It provides a unifying layer of cloud services for users in any environment.

As an Editor At Large for TechTarget Editorial, Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and reporting breaking news, news analysis and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting corporate IT professionals.

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