VMware Fulfils Promise To Bring vCloud Hybrid Services To The UK

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A UK-based vCloud will please the EU and offers users a chance to stop buying servers

VMware has brought its hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering vCloud Hybrid Services (vCHS) to the UK, with partners and customers lining up to test its ability to ease their IT burdens.

The vCHS product was launched in the US last year, and it offers something like the Amazon Web Services (AWS) IaaS service, but managed with the same VMware tools that many firms use to handle their on-premises IT. Users including Cancer Research UK and BetFair exulted that this allows them to have one cloud environment, and move workloads at will between the public cloud and their on-premise systems, without having to reconfigure them or employ multiple staff specialised in different flavours of the cloud.


Last October, VMware announced vCHS was coming to Europe, with a beta trial in the UK, and it’s no surprise that the commercial launch is also happening here first, although VMware also promised data centres in other countries in Europe during the eventual roll-out.  VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger (pictured) was on hand in London to launch the service.

Ninety percent of VMware’s business is done through partners, and the beta trial included Computacenter and Softcat. For them, it offers a chance to sell cloud services as an add-on for on-premises customers and (maybe) vice versa. Other partners on board include Kelway and Insight UK.

 Bill Fathers, who recently joined VMware from data centre provider Savvis  to run its hybrid cloud business unit, said that although using VMware’s vCloud suite is “not a pre-requisite” to use vCHS, users will get more value from it if they do. Using precisely the same tools to manage both parts of the hybrid cloud is the big plus of the service, he said.

Mick Briggs, head of infrastructure at Cancer Research UK said he does not have to “carry the agility” he needs, meaning he can use the public cloud for short-term requirements such as fundraising campaigns, without having to have a silo of Amazon Web Services applications, or have a lot of on-premises servers at the ready. “We stretched our Layer 2 into VMware’s,” he said. “This was just ‘our cloud’.”

With vCHS, any service provider can provide a hybrid cloud service, but there is still plenty of scope for differentiation, said Ed Dolman, head of channel for UK and Ireland at VMware. They can provide virtual servers at different prices and different conditions, with varying contracts, and their abilities to handle the on-premises part of the system will also vary, as will the kind of consultancy they offer around the deal.

This first appeared on TechWeekEurope UK. Read the original story here.

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