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The hybrid cloud run by VMware will launch in the UK with a new data center, but then get cultural slant for new European locations.
15 October 2013 by Penny Jones - DatacenterDynamics
VMware is extending its hybrid cloud service offering into Europe with a new data center in the UK that will be the first to deliver services tailored to local business regulatory requirements from Q1 next year.
Ex Savvis president and VMware SVP and general manager for Hybrid Cloud Services Bill Fathers said the vCloud Hybrid Service facility will be procured under a wholesale arrangement from a provider in Slough, just outside of London.
Equinix, Infinity, NTT and Savvis are just some of the operators that have data centers in the Berkshire borough, which is close to London’s M25 ring road and is known for its strong fiber connectivity.
Fathers said the data center will be VMware’s first cloud facility for Europe.
It plans to open more data centers to meet rising demand for local data services which correlate with concerns over data security and privacy and increasing regulations being brought in by European countries around data sovereignty and governance.
“We will start at a Beta program in here [in the UK] in November. This will be available to clients all over Europe, but we will roll out across the rest of Europe in due course,” Fathers said.
“I hope to come back in a year’s time and talk about new European clients.”
Saying ‘hola’ to the Cloud
The UK is one of VMware’s largest markets and one of the largest Software-as-a-Service markets, Fathers said, explaining the company’s decision to start targeting cloud clients there first.
But VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said the need for data sovereignty means other European locations cannot be ignored.
Gelsinger heavily emphasized sovereignty when he made his keynote speech at VMworld Europe today.
He said VMware will be tailoring cloud services for each region it provides cloud services from.
“The idea of us coming to Europe and setting up local data centers to meet security and privacy concerns and to meet all regulatory requirements is similar to what we have been doing since our foundation,” Gelsinger said.
“We will do this uniquely, for say Benelux, France, Germany. It will be extension of what we are doing today, and it is what we have been doing since the beginning operating with our partners.”
VMware first introduced its vCloud hybrid services in the US in May and went into general availability with the offering in September.
In the US VMware already offers services out of three locations to customers including Harley-Davidson Data Systems and Columbia Sportsware.
Harley Davidson is using the cloud service to roll out new applications for its retail branches and Columbia to test and develop applications.
VMware as a service provider
Since it first announced its intention to become a cloud service provider, basing infrastructure on its own technology, VMware has been criticized for entering a market its own service provider competitors play in.
Fathers said VMware, however, will create an even playing ground by offering all of the same technologies it uses inside its own cloud data centers to key partners and customers.
He said he believes competition in future in the cloud market will not lie with underlying technology but instead with levels of innovation in service provider workshops, with a focus being on new service offerings.
“Yes, we have great service offerings but there are myriad ways service providers with vast data center assets can really differentiate themselves in segments of our enormous client base,” Fathers said.
“On one level it may be seen as competitive offering but it’s a vast market.”
VMware president and CTO Carl Eschenbach said he believes VMware’s channels are in a unique position right now to take advantage of the hybrid cloud.
“They have become very apt at selling not just hardware infrastructure but software, and they are in a unique position to help customers migrate to the public cloud,” Eschenbach said.
“VMware’s go-to-market is by resellers and distributors. All channel partners now have the option to sell vCloud Hybrid Services into our data center. They can also add value services on top to make more margin.”
FOCUS will be talking with other providers throughout the event to find out there view on VMware’s services entering the European market. We will also have more on VMware’s new vCloud management capabilities and online marketplace