VMware brings vCloud Hybrid Service to Japan

Virtualization vendor inks deal with SoftBank's telecom and IT reseller subsidiaries to offer its infrastructure-as-a-service offering in Japan, making it the first Asian market to offer the VMware service.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

VMware has inked a deal with SoftBank to bring its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) public cloud offering to Japan, which will include compute, storage, networking, and security services. 

The country is the first Asian market and third in the world where the virtualization vendor is deploying its vCloud Hybrid Service. A beta program is immediately available, with general availability scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter, said VMware in a statement Tuesday. 

The service will be delivered by Japanese telco SoftBank Telecom, and the group's reseller subsidiary SoftBank Commerce & Service. A VMware vCloud Datacenter Services Service Provider Partner in Japan since 2100, Softbank Telecom will provide the data center facilities, network, and sales force to support the new IaaS offering. Softbank Commerce & Service is a VMware authorized distributor and aggregator, and will support the vendor's partner network in Japan comprising more than 7,000 resellers. 

The IaaS offering in the country will initially offer compute, storage, networking, data protection, and disaster recovery services. Other capabilities will be added later, VMware said. It added that currently has a network of almost 200 vCloud Service Provider partners in Japan that operate clouds based on VMware's software. vCloud Hybrid Service, though, is fully owned, operated, and supported by the vendor. 

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said in the statement: "VMware vCloud Hybrid Service is growing quickly in the U.S. and U.K., and the capability we are talking about today addresses Japan's data locality, privacy, security, and sovereignty challenges. Customers are looking for a way to seamlessly extend their applications to the cloud and we are excited to extend these capabilities to the Japan market. More such deployments will follow, each tailored to suit the needs of key markets in Asia-Pacific."

The cloud offering is available in five U.S. sites and two U.K. locations, and VMware said it was planning to add new sites in the Asia-Pacific region and EMEA. 

Also coming soon to China

In a separate announcement Monday, the vendor said it had signed a deal with China Telecom's cloud computing unit to build a hybrid cloud service that will be ready for launch next year. Once ready, it will support the delivery of IaaS in the Chinese market, while other services such as desktop and disaster recovery cloud services may follow at a later stage.

Sanjay Mirchandani, VMware's Asia-Pacific and Japan senior vice president and general manager, said in a blog post that these offerings will be operated by China Telecom. "VMware has been pursuing a strategy of partnering with key Chinese technology, distribution, and service provider partners to produce Chinese solutions for Chinese organizations. In that regard, China Telecom is the nation's biggest cloud service provider. It operates an extensive telecommunications network and serves the largest Internet user base in China," he said. 

The Chinese service provider will look to deliver the hybrid cloud service to large and midsize enterprises as well as government agencies, including financial, transport, insurance, and healthcare industries, Mirchandani noted, adding that VMware's China office was established in 2005 and the vendor currently has presence in 30 cities across the nation.

The vendor is following in the footsteps of other foreign cloud players that have China in their sight, including U.S. operator Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, which have inked partnership deals with local cloud players. China's regulations mandate foreign cloud providers must partner infrastructure companies to do business in the country.

VMware in April also said it was investing up to US$500 million to boost its operations in India, which houses its second-largest research and operation facility. Last year, it invested US$120 million in the country to lease a 420,000 square-foot building in Bangalore. Its local team includes engineers who help build several key components in the company's vCloud Hybrid Service.  

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