Google Cloud will begin to support VMware workloads after the two firms expanded their existing partnership to give Google a similar capability to that of its cloud rivals.

The two companies are already partners, after Google in April took the wraps off its open platform Anthos, which allows organizations to run IT systems across multiple clouds without the need for manual modifications.

But under this new deal, VMware's Cloud Foundation can now be easily ported across onto Google's public cloud, so organizations can opt to stop using their own corporate servers and data centers.

VMware and Google
– Google


The new partnership has been in discussion for a number of months.

There are currently tens of millions of VMware enterprise workloads globally, allowing for Google Cloud to be a potential platform choice for these enterprise customers.

This “means customers can bring all their existing VMware tools, policies, practices from a private cloud on premise to Google Cloud,” Thomas Kurian, the division's CEO told Bloomberg in an interview. “Customers were asking us to make it easy to protect their investments in VMware.”

“Our partnership with Google Cloud has always been about addressing customers’ needs, and we’re excited to extend the partnership to enable our mutual customers to run VMware workloads on VMware Cloud Foundation in Google Cloud Platform,” Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer of customer operations at VMware, said in a blog post.

“With VMware on Google Cloud Platform, customers will be able to leverage all of the familiarity and investment protection of VMware tools and training as they execute on their cloud strategies, and rapidly bring new services to market and operate them seamlessly and more securely across a hybrid cloud environment.”

The software was engineered by CloudSimple rather than VMware itself. "We wanted to get the fastest route to the market,” Kurian said.

It appears that VMware will also not directly sell the software integration with Google, unlike its partnership with Amazon, which VMware has described as its key cloud ally since its 2016 deal between the two firms.

Later this year, customers will be able to buy the product in Google’s cloud marketplace. Google and CloudSimple will then deal with any customer service inquiries should something go wrong.

VMware’s partnership with Microsoft Azure is structured in a similar way.

Hybrid cloud

Other than the virtualization software, VMware customers will also be able to run networking tools through Google’s cloud.

Kurian described the VMware partnership as his company’s third step into hybrid-cloud functionality, but ruled out the possibility that Google could follow AWS and Microsoft by offering hardware for customers to put in their data centers, describing it as “the surest way to create friction.”