Microsoft and VMware Team Up to Offer the Next Evolution of the Azure VMware Solution


Today’s CIOs and enterprise IT departments continue to look for ways to rapidly expand their critical infrastructure to the cloud. The next evolution of Azure VMware Solution, built by Microsoft and endorsed by VMware, makes it easier than ever for them to move to the cloud with the VMware technologies they know and trust.
We recently caught up with Eric Lockard, corporate vice president, Azure Dedicated at Microsoft, to learn why he’s more than bullish on Azure VMware Solution, how he sees the Microsoft/VMware partnership benefiting customers, and what he sees driving customers’ cloud demand for Azure. We also couldn’t help asking him what he thinks of an IT landscape that’s dramatically different from what it was just a few years ago.
“Cloud is a paradigm shift in more ways than one,” says Lockard. “Microsoft and VMware have emerged to become close partners determined to deliver a win-win for both companies and our shared customers. The very name of this solution – Azure VMware Solution – reflects just how collaborative this effort is across engineering, sales, and marketing functions in both companies.”
Azure VMware Solution enables IT teams to easily integrate their VMware technologies with Microsoft Azure and, in the process, take advantage of the many cloud services offered through it. And because it’s a solution engineered by Microsoft and endorsed by VMware, everything is integrated with the Azure Portal, ensuring that customers are able to maintain their native VMware experience with the tools they know in Azure.
Lockard notes that, as a result, it’s now far easier for customers who want to rapidly migrate to Azure or expand their use of VMware-powered applications to draw on Azure’s capabilities.
“We are laser-focused on making Azure the best cloud for VMware, and we engineered Azure VMware Solution with the expectation that customers can utilize it as just another flavor of Azure Compute, able to easily take advantage of the full breadth of Azure services,” Lockard adds. “It’s equally applicable to customers that want to be all native on one cloud while using their VMware compute platform, those that want everything on an abstraction layer to avoid any perceived constraints, and enterprises that know they will always be multi-cloud. In this way we’re also creating the multi-cloud choice that VMware makes possible.”
Moving to the Cloud as the Transformation to Software Continues
We also asked Lockard what is prompting customers to enhance their existing infrastructure with the cloud or, alternatively, motivating them to migrate to it completely.
“This is an evolution that’s been going on for years, and there are all sorts of reasons for people to embrace it,” he says. “Some want to pay by the day or the month. Others don’t want to manage hardware. Others want to take advantage of the ‘burstiness’ of the cloud and the ability it gives them to take on new projects, or want a backup or disaster failover to the cloud but not the investment in infrastructure that would otherwise be necessary.”
Regardless of the use cases and workloads prompting enterprises to look to the cloud, Lockard believes a more fundamental trend is ultimately fueling Azure’s growth.
“Every company is increasingly a software company,” he says. “Pharmaceuticals – that’s a software business. It is all about taking massive amounts of sample data and analyzing it with AI to quickly model and identify the right drug compounds for safe and effective patient treatments. That application of massive computing is happening in every industry, whether its optimization of manufacturing or e-commerce. A lot of this work is being done with VMware technology, and it’s this idea of taking an existing application estate and complementing it with native-cloud capabilities like machine learning and IoT that will continue to drive significant growth in the cloud.”
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