The Decoder Ring For VMware’s Multi-Cloud Offerings And Offers ‘As A Service’

By Patrick Moorhead - April 29, 2021

I have written on many occasions that hybrid cloud, the combination of private (either on-premises or hosted in a colocation facility) and public cloud infrastructure, is here to stay.  VMware wants to be the vendor that supplies you with the software that enables developers to build and deploy applications to any cloud and I believe will be one of the key players in the future. 

Late last month, VMware launched two new products, VMware Cloud and VMware Cloud Universal, with the promise of a single operating model that runs across any cloud.  

This article will provide you with a decoder ring that explains VMware's new offerings and sometimes-confusing product portfolio. 


VMware Cloud

VMware Cloud is a multi-cloud deployment and management gateway. 

VMware envisions an environment where you can deploy applications anywhere across a multi-cloud environment. That includes the traditional data center, edge, and any public cloud.

VMware Cloud is a single platform to deploy applications across a distributed cloud with the ability to move applications freely to the best cloud with consistent operations and security.

VMware Cloud consists of a combination of two existing portfolios; Tanzu and VMware Cloud Foundation. Tanzu automates the delivery of containerized workloads based on Kubernetes and proactively manages apps in production. 

The VMware Cloud Foundation is a hybrid cloud platform for managing VMs built on full-stack hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). In January 2021, VMware had already enabled a single platform to run both VMs and containers with VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu, making this part of the announcement something of a rebranding exercise.

VMware Cloud Universal

VMware Cloud Universal is a new flexible subscription service for the multi-cloud that offers deployment options across private, edge, and public clouds. 

It works like a stored-value card. You pay ahead to build credits to be used any time during a one- or three-year term. The program includes VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud on Dell/EMC, and VMware Cloud Foundation.

It also includes Success 360, VMware’s personalized guidance program designed to get the most from VMware’s products. 

So here is where it gets confusing. VMware vRealize Cloud Universal has been in the market for the last ten months.  vRealize is a cloud management solution that provides automation, operations, log analytics, and lifecycle management on-premises. VMware plans to keep both products in the market with VMware vRealize Cloud Universal pulled under VMware Cloud Universal's umbrella. Credits accumulated in VMware Cloud Universal will be valid for VMware vRealize Cloud Universal. 

VMware Cloud Console

VMware Cloud Console is the foundation for VMware Cloud Universal and all VMware cloud services. It is the same console that has been in the market since introducing VMware Cloud on AWS. Through this console, customers can redeem credits, for example, to stand up 240 CPUs of VMware Cloud Foundation or to order a new rack of VMware Cloud on Dell/EMC.

VMware Success 360

Included in VMware Cloud Universal is VMware Success 360, a program designed to ensure customers are successful. The goal is to help customers realize VMware technology investment's total value, including a Health Scorecard to track progress. Success 360 includes planning, ongoing adoption guidance, design workshops, and proactive support.  

VMware App Navigator

VMware App Navigator is a new service offering for assessing and prioritizing application transformation initiatives across the enterprise based on the value of each application.  VMware will analyze your application portfolio and develop a roadmap for application modernization depending on your target infrastructure and business objectives.

App Navigator uses automated tooling and hands-on experimentation to get started and quickly scale application and cloud initiatives. Customers work alongside VMware practitioners to rationalize the application portfolio, identify modernization strategies and environments for different apps based on business and IT goals, and build an outcome-oriented roadmap. 

VMware vRealize

VMware vRealize is a suite of products designed to manage a hybrid cloud environment. vRealize Automation delivers self-service automation, configuration management, and network automation. vRealize Operations provides continuous performance optimization, efficient capacity and cost planning and management, app-aware intelligent remediation, and integrated compliance. vRealize Log Insight is an analysis tool with actionable dashboards, analytics with third-party extensions. vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager delivers application lifecycle and content management.

Wrapping up

If you are in the multi-cloud camp, which I think most of you are, then VMware Cloud provides a simple single cloud operating model. That is good news for both developers and IT operations. 

The main advantage is the removal of cloud silos resulting in portability. 

With VMware Cloud, you can deploy applications to VMware Cloud Foundation running in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud; on VMware Cloud on Dell EMC; and across hundreds of VMware Cloud Verified partners

The new VMware Cloud Universal subscription will provide greater flexibility to those customers with variable cloud migration timelines or cloud bursting requirements. The option to buy once and deploy any eligible service at any time during the one or three-year contract can also provide flexibility for customers transitioning to multi-cloud by leveraging existing investments in VMware perpetual licenses towards VMware Cloud Universal credits.  

Finally, supporting this new subscription is VMware Cloud Console, delivering end-to-end visibility and control of all VMware Cloud infrastructure across on-premises, cloud, and edge environments. Cloud Console is an integrated portal where customers can better allocate, manage, and optimize all VMware Cloud resources. Through Cloud Console, customers can redeem credits, deploy VMware Cloud Universal eligible offerings, and reach out to VMware support organizations.  

Putting aside the confusing naming conventions, VMware provides accurate end-to-end visibility and control of the entire VMware cloud infrastructure across on-premises cloud, edge, and public cloud. The ability to provide through a single console new services, whether it be VM-based applications as well as modern, Kubernetes-based, container-based applications, in a consistent way, is very compelling.

If you reside in the VMware camp, this announcement has to be good news. 

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.

Patrick Moorhead
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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.