Customers and partners driving new VMware Cloud updates

Updates to VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware vCloud Director, and CloudHealth by VMware, as well as increased access to Cloud Foundation-based services via new VMware Cloud on AWS regions.

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VMware this week announced a handful of advancements to VMware Cloud that company CTO Chris Wolf said have been driven by its customers and partner ecosystem.

Touted by the company as furthering its vision for delivering the foundation of its customers' and partners' digital transformation, cloud advancements include updates to VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware vCloud Director, and CloudHealth by VMware, and increased access to Cloud Foundation-based services via new VMware Cloud on AWS regions in Canada, Paris, and Singapore.

"We are very focused on doing a significant amount of co-innovation with our customers," Wolf told ZDNet. "In our Office of the CTO, we spend a lot of time engaging with our customers and our customer leaders to understand: Are we bringing the right technologies to market for their needs? Is the timing right? Where are some gaps that we need to solve? So these [enhancements] are in direct response to that."

See also: Pat Gelsinger on the future of VMware

VMware announced VMware Cloud Foundation 3.7 is expected to be available on Dell EMC VxRail in VMware's Q1FY20

"If you think about Cloud Foundation in general, I think that one of the problems that every IT organisation has to solve is standing up infrastructure for their applications," Wolf explained.

"So if we can make that infrastructure piece for them just modular and turnkey, it allows them from a business perspective to spend less time building infrastructure and more time building solutions that can actually provide more business differentiation."

Additionally, the new Cloud Foundation 3.7 release supports fully automated deployment of VMware Horizon 7 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Reach of the VMware Cloud on AWS has also been extended, with AWS Canada (Central), AWS EU (Paris), and AWS APJ (Singapore) regions now generally available.

VMware and Amazon Web Services hope to have the service in all major AWS regions worldwide by the end of calendar year 2019.

Read more: Pat Gelsinger: Dell a fan of VMware-AWS partnership

CloudHealth, which VMware added to its repertoire through an acquisition in August, has also received an update, with new features mainly around cost management and analytics across AWS, Azure, and GCP.

Through integrating the offering with Wavefront by VMware, the CloudHealth platform also allows customers to access Wavefront cloud performance metrics via their CloudHealth platform.

The new VMware vCloud Director 9.7 release -- a product predominantly sold to cloud service provider partners -- has also received new services centred on global cloud management, with Wolf noting that the idea is to essentially "just make it simple for them".

"Getting beyond cloud providers like AWS, Azure, or Google, there's thousands of other service providers out there that count on it -- it's actually more than 4,500 service providers specifically that count on VMware as their back end for their cloud services, with more than 150,000 customers," Wolf told ZDNet.

"That's one of the largest clouds in the world when you look at that entire VMware Cloud partner network."

Wolf said the company isn't just listening to what its customers require, with partners also driving enhancements to VMware's offerings.

"It's really important to sit and understand their key issues and how we can solve many of their problems," he said.

"The pipeline about innovation ideas that we get directly from our partners -- that's helped us with things like expanding the requirements for vCloud Director, a better understanding where we need to go from a multi tenancy perspective; some things like security audit and logging capabilities for their partners; and then also just driving more improvements in our stack."

Wolf said through VMware Cloud on AWS, the company has seen a four-times reduction in the number of software updates in its stack that would "otherwise require a human".

"And we think we can even take that much further down," he said.

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