Enterprises using VMware’s vCloud Air hosted service will soon have access to four Google cloud services as well under their existing service contracts and using their existing network interconnects.
The two companies on Jan. 29 revealed a partnership under which Google will make its BigQuery analytics, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud Datastore and Google Cloud DNS services available via VMware’s public cloud platform.
The partnership will give enterprises a way to take advantage of the scalability and price/performance benefits of Google’s public cloud while leveraging VMware’s traditional strengths in the data center virtualization space, officials from the two companies said Jan. 29.
Google’s cloud platform services will become available on vCloud Air sometime later this year, and the two companies are exploring the idea of introducing other Google cloud services on it as well.
“Our collaboration will provide customers with a unique hybrid solution that combines the power and efficiencies of VMware and the hyperscale of Google Cloud Platform,” said Murali Sitaram, managing director of Google Global Partner Strategy & Alliances, in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Enterprises will gain the benefit of both vCloud Air and Google’s cloud technologies in a single hybrid platform that will be fully compatible with their existing vSphere-based infrastructure, added Bill Fathers, executive vice president of VMware’s cloud services business unit.
The partnership could help boost the fortunes of both companies in the lucrative and growing market for enterprise cloud services. Google, which is a heavyweight on the consumer side, has struggled to convince businesses about the enterprise-readiness of its cloud services. If anything, CIO confidence in the company’s enterprise cloud services actually declined over the past year compared with offerings from other service providers.
For VMware, the challenge has been about providing foundational cloud services such as a truly scalable storage service and a “pay as you go” service model, said Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf in an analysis of Thursday’s announcement. As a result, interest in VMware’s vCloud Air platform has been confined largely to existing VMware customers looking to migrate virtualized environments to the cloud.
“In my opinion, this is a perfect marriage for these two providers right now,” Hilgendorf said. Both companies will benefit from each other’s capabilities, he said.
For Google, the partnership with VMware gives it some of the enterprise cred that it desperately needs. While Google has excelled at delivering computing, storage, network and security capabilities in the cloud, the company has lacked the support, services, management and DevOps capabilities that enterprises want from their technology partners. “Google’s problem is and has been relevance and trust among enterprise buyers,” Hilgendorf said.
For VMware, the partnership will dramatically boost its ability to give enterprise customers the object storage, cloud data analytics and low-latency DNS service that other major cloud players offer, he added.
But there are some big caveats. It’s too soon to say whether this arrangement will do enough to assuage concerns about Google’s readiness to handle enterprise workloads, Hilgendorf said. In fact, VMware could find itself in the uncomfortable position of fending off questions from its customers about Google’s reliability, the Gartner analyst said.
The two companies will also need to figure out a way to divvy up liability and service-level guarantee issues. “Cloud legalities are already messy, but they could be even more confusing with a single agreement but multiple providers in the value chain,” Hilgendorf noted.
For Google, the agreement with VMware is the latest in a string of recent moves to boost its appeal among enterprises. Earlier this month for instance, Google announced beta availability of a service that will let enterprises running in Google’s cloud environment keep an eye on the performance of Google Apps, Compute Engine and Cloud SQL.
More recently, the company began beta testing a new Google Container Registry that will let enterprise software developers host, share and manage private Docker images on Google’s cloud platform.