Dell Technologies and Microsoft expand partnership through VMware

The tech giants launch new Azure VMware Solutions and Microsoft and VMware reveal they're working together on digital workspace offerings and future cloud integrations.

Dell Technologies lays out its hybrid cloud plan with a heavy dose of VMware Dell Technologies' crown jewel in its portfolio is VMware and the technology giant is now making it the glue that holds its portfolio of companies together.

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During day one of Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas on Monday, CEO Michael Dell announced his company had expanded its partnership with Microsoft in a bid to address a wider range of customer needs.

Joining Dell on stage was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to detail how the expansion of the partnership will focus primarily on VMware, with the companies announcing the delivery of a fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure.

Additionally, joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory.

See also: Dell Technologies makes VMware linchpin of hybrid cloud, data center as a service, end user strategies  

VMware will also extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

Back at Dell's annual conference for the first time in four years, Nadella said that what is needed to drive a business forward where innovation is concerned is great infrastructure.

"Being able to bring that VMware Cloud Foundation into Azure, customers are quite excited about it ... we heard lots of demand for it," Dell said.

Dell Technologies World 2019

Satya Nadella, Michael Dell, and Pat Gelsinger at Dell Technologies World 

Image: Supplied

"We're thrilled to see the momentum and customer interest from the VMware perspective," VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who also joined Dell and Nadella on stage, added. "They want this hybrid solution. We're looking forward to getting this into the hands of customers and giving them that."

Reflecting on the partnership his company has had with Microsoft since its inception, Dell said previous collaborations have been "all about the PC", noting however now the pair are talking about cloud resources and all the innovations that follow.

"Ever since you started Dell, we've been working together on the core agenda of empowering employees," Nadella said. "I believe we can take what we've done historically to the next level.

"At Microsoft, we're focused on empowering customers in their digital transformation journey, through partnerships that enable them to take advantage of the Microsoft cloud, using the technologies they already have.

"Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions to open up new opportunities and meet their evolving needs."

According to the Dell chief, both companies are working together to simplify customers' entire technology environment.

"Our goal is to provide a single view from edge to core to cloud -- an integrated platform for our customers' digital future," Dell said, reiterating his company's motto.

"These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value, provide more flexibility to accelerate their hybrid multi-cloud and multi-device journey, and accelerate the digital transformation of their business," Gelsinger said.

"It really is a hybrid world where public, private will work together ... overall we see a hybrid, multi-cloud world."

See also: Pat Gelsinger on the future of VMware

The Azure VMware Solutions are built on VMware Cloud Foundation and deployed in Azure. With these solutions, Dell Technologies said customers can capitalise on VMware's cloud infrastructure while experiencing the power of Microsoft Azure.

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Azure VMware Solutions will allow customers to migrate, extend, and run existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to Azure without the need to re-architect applications or retool operations.

The companies said customers will be able to build, run, manage, and secure new and existing applications across VMware environments and Microsoft Azure while extending a single model for operations. Additionally, the pair said that for some of the more popular customer scenarios Azure VMware Solutions will support are app migration and data centre expansion, disaster recovery and business continuity, and modern application development.

Also under the agreement announced on Monday, mutual Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to use Workspace ONE to manage and secure the powerful productivity features of Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory.

Through the new Dell Technologies Unified Workspace offerings, customers can also leverage the integration of Microsoft Windows Autopilot and Dell Device Provisioning and Deployment Services, such as Dell ProDeploy .

In addition, following Microsoft's recently announced Windows Virtual Desktop, VMware will extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

Initial capabilities are expected to be available as a tech preview by the end of calendar year 2019.

Microsoft and VMware said they are also exploring initiatives to drive further integration between VMware infrastructure and Azure such as integration of VMware NSX with Azure Networking and integration of specific Azure services with VMware management solutions.

The announcements follow Dell Technologies on Monday detailing how VMware is clearly becoming the glue that holds the portfolio of companies together

Dell Technologies outlined a hybrid cloud strategy that aims to knit its data centre and hybrid cloud technologies with public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and IBM Cloud with more to come. The effort is dubbed the Dell Technologies Cloud.

VMware also launched VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, which will include vSphere, vSAN and NSX running on Dell EMC's infrastructure. 

In addition, Dell Technologies is launching a data center as a service effort where it manages infrastructure in a model that lines up with cloud computing 1-year and 3-year deals. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is also designed for companies running their own data centres, but want a cloud operating model. Dell Technologies data centre as a service effort is built on a VMWare concept highlighted last year called Project Dimension

Disclaimer: Asha McLean travelled to Dell Technologies World as a guest of Dell Technologies