Dell Technologies, in collaboration with VMware and Google, today advanced its hybrid cloud strategy by making its CloudFS storage system available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and adding support for VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and VMware Cloud Foundation 4 to its VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platforms for on-premises IT environments.
Varun Chhabra, vice president of product marketing for Dell Technologies, said both moves are part of Dell’s ongoing effort to provide IT organizations with a consistent cloud operating model spanning both on-premises IT environments and public clouds.
In the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dell is more aggressively making a case for reducing IT costs by consolidating the management of multiple clouds.
Kit Colbert, vice president and CTO for the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware, said current spending levels on multiple cloud platforms are unsustainable. However, that doesn’t mean IT organizations should consolidate clouds. Rather, he said, organizations need to streamline the management of multiple clouds to reduce costs.
VMware has been making a case for deploying its VMware vSphere platform both on-premises and on public clouds from Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and others to make it easier to build and deploy application workloads as organizations best see fit. Just because an application workload was created on a specific public cloud, for example, it doesn’t follow that workload needs to be deployed on that platform, Colbert said.
At the same time, VMware has been making a case for deploying cloud-native workloads based on Kubernetes on top of VMware vSphere as well. VMware Cloud Foundation 4 provides access to a complete stack of infrastructure software that includes a distribution of Kubernetes that has been embedded in the latest update to VMware vSphere. VMware also provides a VMware Tanzu cloud service that can be employed to build, manage and deploy containerized applications across multiple distributions of Kubernetes.
In effect, VMware and Dell are pushing to extend a management plane that is already widely deployed in on-premises IT environments to encompass both monolithic and microservices-based applications running in the cloud. There may be more workloads moving into the cloud than ever, but Colbert noted the bulk of application workloads and data still reside in on-premises IT environments.
While Dell and VMware may have an advantage because of the number of IT organizations that already rely on its platforms to manage IT, every provider of a rival platform is making a similar hybrid cloud computing case. AWS, for example, is enabling VMware vSphere to run on its cloud while simultaneously pushing adoption of its infrastructure in on-premises IT environments as an alternative to platforms from Dell and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE).
It may be a while before IT organizations define their hybrid cloud computing strategies. Most IT organizations today continue to manage IT environments in isolation from one another. However, the pressure to reduce the number of specialists required to manage each IT platform is mounting. Most IT organizations are being directed to do more with less regardless of how complex the IT environment becomes. The challenge now is figuring out how best to automate the management of what by any measure is now a confusing mix of platforms and workloads.