VMware's Project Arctic aims to make hybrid cloud the default operating model

In addition to showcasing Project Arctic, the next evolution of vSphere, VMware this week is rolling out a more robust cross-cloud portfolio to serve customers' multi-cloud strategies.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

VMware on Tuesday announced Project Arctic, a technology preview of a new architecture for its vSphere virtualization software. Project Arctic effectively makes hybrid cloud the default operating model. It natively integrates cloud connectivity into vSphere, allowing customers to leverage cloud services for any workloads running on vSphere, including on premise ones. 

Customers will be able to leverage unlimited cloud capacity on demand and access VMware cloud services through vCenter.

Project Arctic showcases how VMware is evolving its products to support customers' multi-cloud strategies. Enterprises are increasingly building a "unified approach to all clouds," Matt Morgan, VMware's VP of marketing in the cloud infrastructure business group, said to reporters.

"Multi-cloud is all about embracing a single platform and single set of cross-cloud services that can add value across heterogeneous infrastructure," he said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for VMware."

VMware made several announcements at the start of its VMworld conference related to its cross-cloud strategy. It laid out enhancements to vRealize Cloud Management, including auto-recognition of more than 200 applications, integrated Kubernetes/Tanzu provisioning and monitoring and NSX Federation support for improved network operations. 

Meanwhile, the new Tanzu Services will be available at no additional charge as part of VMware Cloud on AWS beginning in the third quarter of FY 2022. It's a fully-managed service delivering Tanzu, allowing VMware to deliver Kubernetes clusters to developers in minutes. Other VMware Cloud offerings will be supported in the future. 

VMware Cloud on AWS is also benefiting from enhancements to Cloud Disaster Recovery and an advanced security add-on.

In the local cloud arena, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts will also be available in the third quarter of FY 2022. "We're delivering the rich VMware Cloud stack as a service on premise," Matt Morgan, VMware's VP of marketing in the cloud infrastructure business group, said to reporters. It's been performance-optimized for the AWS Outpost hardware stack with Nitro-based instances.

The company is also expanding VMware Cloud Universal --  its flexible subscription offering for infrastructure -- to deployments of Tanzu. That means customers will be able to apply credits acquired via the program to Tanzu.

Meanwhile, VMware is also launching a new Sovereign Cloud initiative to help customers work with trusted national cloud service providers to meet local regulatory requirements around data. The first VMware Sovereign Cloud designated partners are UKCloud, OVHcloud, AUCloud, Datacom, NxtGen, Noovle, Telefonica, TietoEvry, Telmex and ThinkOn. 

"When you look across the global landscape, we can easily see the rise of data regulations and locality restrictions," Morgan said. "Overlay that with security concerns, and data has become a real linchpin for cloud strategy."

In addition to Project Arctic, VMware is showcasing three other tech previews that give a look into the future of VMware Cloud: Project Capitola is a software-defined memory implementation enabling memory-intensive application. Project Cascade is a multi-cloud consumption service powered by Kubernetes that provides a common declarative consumption interface for both infrastructure and containers. Project Ensemble is a single control plane for VMware Cloud that takes stovepipe services and brings them together.

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