The secret vendor that could be the key to success for VMware’s cloud future

The stars are aligning for a closer VMware-Google partnership in the cloud

VMware Google cloud

VMware basically just broke up with Virtustream, so it’s looking for a new date in the cloud. Who could it be?

How about Google? Let’s just think about this proposition, and why it would make sense for both companies.

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VMware is looking to build up its public cloud credentials. Building out this capacity itself is extraordinarily expensive. (AWS says it adds enough new server capacity every day to power retailer when it was a $7 billion company).

Meanwhile, Google is looking to increase its play in the enterprise market. While the company is frequently seen as one of the “big three” in the IaaS market, it is usually seen as the third option behind AWS and Azure.

But here’s the real kicker: Who did Google just hire to head up its entire cloud platform? Someone who knows a thing or two about VMware: Diane Greene, the co-founder of the virtualization giant.

VMware’s looking for public cloud; Google’s got cloud and is looking for enterprise customers. Former VMware exec now heads up Google’s cloud. Starting to make sense? It gets even sweeter.

The two companies already have a partnership in which VMware customers have access to Google public cloud services, like storage, BigQuery analytics and DNS, right from VMware management tools. The partnership still seems like its in its infancy though.

We asked Google if there are plans to increase ties between the two companies in 2016. Without answering the question specifically, a spokesperson noted the extent of the partnerships already underway and added, “It's fair to say we're staying the course.” VMware declined earlier this week to discuss further details of the Virtustream deal, other than noting it would continue is vCloudAir public IaaS cloud strategy. 

If there is anything holding back this agreement it could be VMware’s parent company, EMC/Dell. EMC is backing Virtustream all the way, according to reports. EMC, and soon Dell, own VMware. Would EMC/Dell really want VMware + Google competing in the market with its EMC + Virtustream cloud business unit?

The reality is EMC/Virtustream and VMware/Google would likely go after different use cases. And the cloud is a big enough market for multiple vendors.

One thing is clear: After the messy, and ongoing, breakup between VMware and Virtustream (although they say they’ll remain partners), another shoe seems like it will drop related to VMware’s cloud plans.

My bet is it will involve Google.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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