VMware Confirms Its Amazon Web Services Competitor, Hybrid Cloud Services, To Be Led By Bill Fathers From Savvis

VMware today announced Hybrid Cloud Services, a new business unit that puts it in closer competition with Amazon Web Services for enterprises’ cloud service needs. It also announced that the unit would be headed up by Bill Fathers, who left his role as president of Savvis this month after announcing the news in November 2012. Now he will become VMware’s SVP and GM in charge of the new unit, which is due to launch in the second half of 2013.

As part of the move, VMware says it is merging its vCloud Networking and Security product line its Nicira Network Virtualization Platform into a single product and a common framework, which it is calling the VMware NSX. The news comes on the back of VMware also confirming its intention to spin out Pivotal, its big data/cloud JV with EMC, and eventually take it public. Pivotal is 69% controlled by EMC and 31% by VMware.

Last week, VMware announced that Cloud Foundry, the open-source platform-as-a-service started by VMware, would become part of Pivotal.

VMware has been talking about doing battle against AWS for a while now, sometimes very vocally, so this move is not too surprising in that regard.

Some of its positioning has been downright arrogant. “I look at this audience, and I look at VMware and the brand reputation we have in the enterprise, and I find it really hard to believe that we cannot collectively beat a company that sells books,” COO Carl Eschenbach said earlier this month at a VMware conference.

Amazon has been equally cocksure. “As long as people see us as a bookstore, we are fine :)” noted Amazon CTO Werner Vogels in response.

The news of VMware’s new service was made by CEO Pat Gelsinger during a company meeting with institutional investors today. This is one group (customers and partners being two other key groups) that will need to be convinced that VMware has what it takes to create a cloud services business to compete against Amazon. For its part, Amazon has been making significant strides in the market in part by discounting its services heavily, using the the scale-first, margin-later strategy that marks so many of Amazon’s business initiatives. AWS also has a much wider suite of services: they include compute and networking solutions (including EC2), storage and CDN services, database and application services, and deployment and management solutions.

This is a big leap for VMware, which has otherwise spent much of its life as a company focused on its namesake of virtualization — which is one step towards, but not a full implementation of, cloud solutions.

Indeed, VMware’s foray into cloud by way of Cloud Foundry is seen by some as half-hearted.

“VMware tried with Cloud Foundry, but they didn’t want to be the main host. They wanted others to build it, and they wanted to say in the software business rather than become the arms providers,” says Aaron Levie, CEO of Box. “But we know how Amazon exploded and Openstack has seen a lot of support. Cloud Foundry just didn’t creat the space that VMware wanted to have, so they have had to take matters into their own hands.”

To bring along those who know the company better for the V in VMware, the company today is presenting its cloud solution as a way to “extend the benefits of virtualization to all areas of the data center.” this will include network, security, storage and management services, much like Amazon does.

Products are only one aspect of the changes that VMware has been seeing in the past year. Others have included the changing of many of its C-level executives, with the most recent being the CMO.

Releases below.

VMware Outlines Corporate Strategy, Innovations Across Software-Defined Data Center, Hybrid Cloud and End-User Computing

Company to Expand Hybrid Cloud Business with New Services, Appoints Former Savvis Leader Bill Fathers to Executive Team

NEW YORK, March 13, 2013 –At a Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors today, VMware (NYSE: VMW) CEO Pat Gelsinger outlined the company’s strategy, revealing more details about its plans to deliver the software-defined datacenter, expand its hybrid cloud offerings and empower the multi-device era.

“VMware’s vision is to empower people and organizations by radically simplifying IT through virtualization software,” said Gelsinger. “Our customers are looking to us to help them solve some of the toughest challenges in IT in simple and elegant ways thereby delivering new levels of efficiency, control and agility. To do this, we will continue to introduce new innovations and offerings that will empower IT as a broker of services that drive speed of business and competitive advantage.”

In 2013, VMware will execute against three growth priorities:

Redefining Infrastructure: The Software-Defined Data Center
Through the software-defined data center VMware will extend the benefits of virtualization to all areas of the data center – network, security, storage and management. Today, the company revealed its intentions to merge the VMware vCloud Networking and Security™ product line with the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) into a single product family based on a common technology foundation, to be named VMware NSX.

Expected to launch in the second half of 2013, VMware NSX will represent the full potential of network virtualization by working across VMware and non-VMware hypervisors and cloud management systems, as well as any underlying networking hardware. Additionally, VMware NSX will provide an open framework for the integration of ecosystem services for networking and security. By virtualizing the network, VMware NSX will allow customers to accelerate application deployment, lower both capital and operational costs and transform network operations in a non-disruptive manner ( read the blog).

Delivering the Hybrid Cloud
Today VMware announced its plans to extend the software-defined data center with a hybrid cloud service offering that will allow its 480,000 customers to reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing their existing applications while using a common management, orchestration, networking and security model.

VMware expects to launch VMware vCloud® Hybrid Service™ later this year and intends to make it available through its existing channel, working with its extensive partner ecosystem to accelerate customers’ journey to the cloud. VMware has created a new Hybrid Cloud Services business unit, appointing cloud services veteran Bill Fathers as senior vice president and general manager ( Read the press release).

Empowering the Multi-Device Era
At today’s event, VMware demonstrated how it is helping customers connect end-users to their data, applications and desktops with the newly released VMware Horizon™ Suite. A comprehensive platform for workforce mobility, the VMware Horizon Suite uses virtualization to transform silos of data, applications and desktops into centralized IT services that can be easily provisioned, managed and delivered to end-users on the devices of their choice. Introduced in February 2013, the VMware Horizon Suite is empowering VMware customers to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce without sacrificing control and security.
EMC Corporation and VMware, Inc. are holding their 2013 Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The live video webcast and agenda for the day is available on EMC’s and VMware’s Investor Relations websites at: http://www.emc.com/ir and http://ir.vmware.com, respectively. The webcast replay of the event will be available on the above websites within 24 hours following the event.

VMware Strengthens Executive Leadership, Appoints Former Savvis President to Head New Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit

Veteran Cloud Services Leader Bill Fathers to Accelerate Growth of VMware Hybrid Cloud

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 13, 2013 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced the appointment of Bill Fathers as senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s newly-formed Hybrid Cloud Services business unit.

“Bill understands how to drive adoption of enterprise cloud services and has a clear vision to build and strengthen our newly-formed Hybrid Cloud Services business unit,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware. “With his expertise and proven ecosystem mindset, VMware and its partners will deliver the richest set of complementary cloud offerings and empower our customers to achieve maximum value from their hybrid cloud investments.”

At a Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors today, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger outlined the company’s strategy, including plans to extend the software-defined data center with a hybrid cloud service offering, and the creation of a new Hybrid Cloud Services business unit to be led by Fathers ( read the press release).

“Enterprise adoption of cloud services is ramping exponentially, and VMware is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of hybrid cloud,” said Fathers. “I look forward to leading the new Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit and partnering with our ecosystem to provide customers the ultimate flexibility in how they deploy existing and new applications – on-premise, off-premise, or through whatever combination works best for their business needs.”

Fathers joins the VMware leadership team from Savvis, a leading provider of cloud computing and managed hosting, where he most recently served as President overseeing sales, marketing, product development, global operations and all corporate functions in North America, Europe and Asia. Fathers brings more than 15 years’ experience scaling global services businesses from start up to more than $1 billion in revenues as well as deep ecosystem expertise from his years building partnerships across service provider, ISV and system integrator communities.
About VMware
VMware is the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable businesses to thrive in the Cloud Era. Customers rely on VMware to help them transform the way they build, deliver and consume Information Technology resources in a manner that is evolutionary and based on their specific needs. With 2012 revenues of $4.61 billion, VMware has more than 480,000 customers and 55,000 partners. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world and can be found online at www.vmware.com.

VMware and Hybrid Cloud Services are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions.