VMware blues banished with Microsoft Azure lifeline

Like worry free VMware with your Microsoft Azure cloud? You’re in luck. Finally.

Dell and Microsoft have announced a native, supported and certified VMware instance running on Azure under an “expanded partnership”.

The Azure VMware Solutions will deliver the ability to redeploy or port VMware workloads to Azure dedicated hardware without needing to rebuild or re-factor code.

It means VMware-based applications should – in theory – run natively and plug into Azure services such as Azure Active Directory, AI and IoT.

Under the covers, your VMware based applications can also now run on such tried-and-tested staples as Windows Sever and SQL Server, that have been built by Redmond to work with the elastic computing infrastructure of the cloud fabric that underpin Microsoft’s cloud.

Microsoft cloud and enterprise group executive vice president Scott Guthrie blogged here: “This integration also enables organisations to tap into Azure’s massive scale, security and fast provision cycles to innovate and modernise applications while improving performance.

“Some of the more common customer scenarios include datacentre reduction or expansions, disaster recovery and business continuity and modern application development.”

The path to this virtualised bedchamber wasn’t exactly free of trial or tribulation.

VMware in 2016 entered into what was, then, regarded as a rather curious relationship with cloud juggernaut AWS – a relationship that saw the on-prem king pick the Jeff Bezos giant as its primary public cloud provider. Apparently, seeing the opportunity of VMware on its cloud and smarting from VMware’s partnership with its rival, Microsoft in November 2017 announced its own preview of VMware running on Azure. This was a bare-metal package slated to run a VMware stack on Azure hardware co-located with other Azure services with VMware certified partners.

VMware did not approve.

“There are clear limitations to a hosted VMware solution. This is what led us to partner with AWS to deliver VMware Cloud on AWS,” VMware blogged rather curtly here.

VMware rather unsubtly directed virtualisation fans towards “properly validated and supported” cloud ventilation partnerships IBM, OVH, Rackspace, Virtustream and others as they became available.

Much has changed in the years since those acrimonious days, with Dell – one of Microsoft’s biggest allies on Windows – having taken a majority steak in VMware. It was Dell that announced and headlined the expanded partnership with Microsoft at its Technologies World conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.