New service, pricing features from the vendors give MSPs more tools for courting SMBs
VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are making enhancements to their joint cloud offering to make it easier for channel partners to get started with the technology and to bring it to midsize customers.
The Lowdown: The new capabilities were among a number of features the two companies added this week to VMware Cloud on AWS that will benefit both partners and end customers.
The Details: Key among the new channel-focused improvements is VMware Cloud Director, a service that reduces overhead costs for MSPs by offering a pay-as-you-grow model. This will free up MSPs to pursue more SMB customers. The service also will enable managed service providers to offer greater flexibility in terms of the pricing and size of their VMware Cloud deployments by dividing their VMware Cloud on AWS software-defined data center (SDDC) environments into multi-tenanted resource pools.
In addition, it includes granular control of resource allocations and support for different consumption models. Using the tools, MSPs can quickly respond to customer needs by changing resource pools across hosts and leveraging diverse regions to support global expansion for clients. They also can help reduce operational overhead.
Another capability for the channel is new two-host clusters, which enable MSPs and other partners to offer clients a smaller minimum environment for production workloads, making it easier for them and their customers to get started on VMware Cloud for AWS. The two-host cluster offers a 33% lower starting cost than the current three-host clusters.
Other new capabilities introduced for VMware Cloud on AWS include:
> i3en.metal instance: Based on Intel’s 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable processors, the new host type is designed for storage-dense workloads that have high-performance requirements. The new instance offers up to four times the raw storage capacity at about half the cost per gigabyte of storage per host of current services and comes with low-latency NVMe solid-state drives (SSDs).
> VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid: Customers can use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid – VMware’s Kubernetes platform – to deploy and manage containerized applications on VMware Cloud on AWS.
> VMware Transit Connect: The technology, which is in preview and available to select customers, is a high-bandwidth, low-latency, resilient connectivity solution that will bring automated provisioning and controls, making it easier to bring a connectivity fabric across VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs, Amazon Virtual Private Clouds, and on-premises environments. It’s based on AWS’ Transit Gateway service.
The Impact: Enterprise and SMB adoption of the cloud has only accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic, opening up opportunities for MSPs and other partners to help end customers with their migration to the cloud. In the first quarter, spending on public cloud data center hardware and software was up 3% even as spending on data center resources dropped 2%, according to Synergy Research Group. About 500 channel partners have VMware Cloud service competency.
The Buzz: “The VMware Cloud Director Services is a key capability that many of VMware’s managed service providers and VMware Cloud provider partners take advantage of today on top of their own VMware-based data centers to provide multi-tenant services to their end customers. We’ve now enabled that same capability as a service,” said Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice president and general manager of the cloud services business unit for VMware, during a press briefing. “The real value here is that it enables our MSP and VMware provider partners to provide a service to their end customers in a multi-tenant way, which effectively allows them to service many more customers at a lower cost.”
“Customers want cloud services that are available anywhere they operate in the world, can deliver real business value and financial savings, and support their needs instantly as priorities change,” said David Brown, vice president of EC2 at AWS.