Vodafone and IBM partner on VMware workload cloud service

Vodafone has added hybrid cloud capabilities and a broader geographical footprint for its cloud services under a new partnership to move VMware workloads from its private cloud to the IBM Cloud.

IBM and global carrier Vodafone have announced a new service enabling enterprises to move their VMware-based workloads from the Vodafone Hosted Private Cloud to the IBM Cloud.

The IBM Cloud will be used to extend Vodafone's private cloud service footprint across the globe, Vodafone said at VMworld Europe 2017 in Barcelona on Tuesday, and will establish a new hybrid cloud offering for Vodafone's enterprise customers to be made available in 19 countries.

According to Vodafone, more than 500,000 enterprises run an estimated 50 million on-premises workloads -- and one of the biggest challenges is in finding a rapid, low-latency, secure, and cost-efficient way for shifting such workloads to the cloud.

"Working with IBM, Vodafone is helping its clients tackle one of the most pressing IT challenges for enterprises: Moving existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to the cloud without incurring the cost and risk associated with re-tooling operations, re-architecting applications, and re-designing security policies," Vodafone explained during VMworld.

As part of the service, Vodafone's global network will use VMware's NSX network virtualisation solution with a virtual datacentre based on VMware providing a "bridge" between Vodafone's private cloud and the IBM Cloud.

As a result, enterprises will have access to a footprint of geographically diverse datacentres that they can control via just one management portal, Vodafone said.

It will additionally "enable Vodafone customers to tap into IBM's hybrid cloud capabilities and relationship with VMware", the company said, which means they can access other IBM services such as IBM Watson.

"The combination of our network and our VMware-based Hosted Private Cloud with the global reach of IBM's capabilities gives customers more flexibility, more choice, and the possibility of a true hybrid cloud," Vodafone director of Cloud and Hosting Services Greg Hyttenrauch said.

The service will be charged on consumption-based pricing models, with Vodafone pointing out that enterprises will now also be able to easily comply with data residency regulations by moving workloads into the applicable geographies.

During VMworld, IBM also announced a partnership with VMware that will see the former send more than 1,400 of its client VMware environments to the IBM Cloud, with Vodafone among the businesses announcing the transition.

IBM and VMware first unveiled their cloud partnership back in February 2016, aiming to better integrate cloud offerings with hybrid datacentres.

Dell EMC and VMware launch NFV bundle for carriers

VMware also used VMworld Europe 2017 to launch a series of network-function virtualisation (NFV) products for carriers in partnership with Dell EMC.

The NFV platform includes Dell EMC cloud infrastructure hardware and VMware's vCloud NFV OpenStack solution for the purposes of reducing the cost and accelerating the deployment of virtualised networks for carriers ahead of 5G being launched.

"The Dell EMC NFV Ready Bundle for VMware helps make it easier for CSPs [communications service providers] to build their own operational readiness clusters and design their initial offerings for end user customers," VMware said on Tuesday.

"The pre-validated solution minimises adoption time and significantly reduces time to service."

The platform can also be customised to meet carriers' requirements, and contains open standards-based Dell EMC cloud infrastructure hardware for compute and networking; the VMware vCloud NFV platform with vSAN or Dell EMC ScaleIO; and "a large ecosystem of certified partner technologies" with more than 40 VNF partners having been certified on vCloud NFV so far.

Carriers can then choose whether to use virtual infrastructure manager VMware vCloud Director or VMware Integrated OpenStack Carrier Edition for their deployment.

"VMware and Dell EMC together are providing CSPs with the fastest path to OpenStack-ready production NFV solutions to support 5G roll out, accelerate new service delivery, and improve overall economics and operations," Shekar Ayyar, executive VP of VMware's Telco Group, said.

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