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Microsoft, VMware Reportedly Collaborating Around Azure

A report this week from subscription technology site The Information suggests that Microsoft and VMware are drafting a deal that would make it much easier for enterprise customers to move VMware workloads to the Azure public cloud.

The historical rivals are jointly working on the integration and could be within weeks of an announcement, according to article author Kevin McLaughlin, who attributed the information to "a person with direct knowledge of the project and six others who have been briefed on it."

The arrangement reportedly involves VMware's server virtualization software. Neither Microsoft nor VMware are commenting. If true, it represents another example of Microsoft setting aside long-running competitive fights -- in this case, between VMware hypervisor technology and Microsoft's own Hyper-V offerings -- in favor of attracting increased workloads to the Azure public cloud and positioning Microsoft better for the more strategic fight with its larger public cloud rival, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

VMware already has a similar arrangement with AWS.

"While it is already possible to move computing jobs running on VMware inside private data centers to Azure, it requires extensive technical work. The new software Microsoft and VMware are developing aims to significantly speed up this process, making it cheaper for them to accomplish," the article by Kevin McLaughlin stated.

The deal follows a controversial move by Microsoft in November 2017 to build software on its own to allow VMware computing jobs to run on Azure, a move that VMware challenged at the time.

One interesting personnel detail in the article that supports the idea that the companies are working together is the presence of Ray Blanchard, identified as the former VMware executive in charge of the partnership with AWS. Blanchard joined Microsoft a year ago.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 27, 2019 at 9:12 AM


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