VMware's Horizon Cloud will support workloads on Microsoft Azure

The move is part of VMware's push to offer managed desktops across multiple public clouds.

VMware announced Tuesday that its Horizon Cloud will support desktop and application workloads on Microsoft Azure.

As part of the deal, Horizon Cloud customers can choose to run a fully-managed public cloud infrastructure from VMware, public cloud infrastructure from Microsoft Azure, or a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) alternative that lets customers blend their own on-premise infrastructure and appliances.

"The addition of VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure puts VMware in a unique position to offer customers several infrastructure options for virtual desktops and applications with the flexibility to move between different platforms," said Sumit Dhawan, SVP and GM of end-user computing at VMware, in a press release. "This is an example of VMware executing against its cross-cloud strategy and bringing innovation to the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) category it pioneered in 2009."

The move is part of VMware's push to offer managed desktops across multiple public clouds, but it also represents a shift in prioritized partnerships. VMware inked a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services last October that set up AWS as the primary public cloud infrastructure partner for hosting VMware-based services.

The Amazon deal was particularly noteworthy given VMware's antagonistic relationship with AWS just a few years prior. In 2013, VMware CEO Patrick Gelsinger stressed the importance of owning corporate workloads and told partners that if "a workload goes to Amazon, you lose, and we have lost forever." VMware appeared to hold a similar view against Microsoft, but clearly that's no longer the case, perhaps due to increased interest in Azure.

Looking ahead, VMware said it will support application-based workloads on Azure first, with general availability expected in the second half of 2017. Virtual desktop support will follow some time in early 2018.

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