CloudNews & Analysis

VMware Bets Big on Multicloud at VMworld 2021


At VMworld 2021, cloud major VMware has announced its strategy to help customers navigate the multi-cloud era with the launch of VMware Cross-Cloud services. The US-based company unveiled a slew of multi-cloud innovations to help customers move to the cloud faster and more safely, accelerate app modernization, and adopt a cloud operating model.

As companies face challenges in building applications that are more reliable, secure, intelligent, and adaptive and must deliver them faster, at scale, and across any cloud, this group of integrated services will help deliver a faster and smarter path to cloud for digital businesses – and in the process offering them the freedom and flexibility to better manage and secure their apps across any cloud.

Raghu Raghuram, Chief Executive Officer, VMware

“Multi-cloud is the digital business model for the next 20 years, as industries reinvent themselves,” said Raghu Raghuram, Chief Executive Officer, VMware, as he emphasized, “It’s no longer about a ‘cloud-first’ approach –it’s about being ‘cloud-smart’.

Raghuram believes enterprises are in phase two of their digital transformation journey. According to him, “In phase one, they were able to use the cloud successfully to build their business applications and deliver the digital offerings for their customers. Based on the success of phase one, companies across sectors are now looking at their entire application portfolio and modernizing it, thereby adopting a strategy of being cloud-smart instead of being cloud-first.”

“The essence of the cloud-smart strategy is to be able to deploy the right application in the right cloud-based upon the technical and business factors, and they are doing this to be able to accelerate their digital transformation,” he said.

“With our cloud-agnostic approach, we are uniquely positioned to meet our customers where they are and take them where they want to go. We give every organization the power to accelerate their innovation and control their own destiny in the multi-cloud era,” added Raghuram.

VMware noted that the average organization is running roughly 500 applications to drive their business and those apps are distributed across clouds today. Seventy-five percent of VMware customers are relying on two or more public clouds, and 40% are using three or more. This multi-cloud approach increases app velocity and innovation and allows organizations to be much more agile and resilient, it says.

However, a multi-cloud environment is far more diverse, complex, and distributed than anything organizations have managed in the past. This complexity often forces trade-offs between moving fast and managing risk, resulting in slower execution while increasing costs.  VMware’s strategy is built to help customers eliminate the tough choices and challenges by giving them a powerful combination of freedom and control in their multi-cloud business.

Richard Villars, group vice president, IDC said, “During the past year, organizations fully embraced digital transformation as they were forced to respond to many dramatic changes, accelerating their innovation timelines at record paces.”

He added, “Organizations rely heavily on cloud technologies to evolve and scale as they pivot to competing in a digital-first economy. VMware’s multi-cloud-focused strategy puts it in a strong position to help enterprises take full advantage of multiple clouds and their resources in their own data centers to improve resiliency and the trusted use of technology for delivery of better experiences and business outcomes.”

To help customers navigate the multi-cloud era, VMware Cross-Cloud services will deliver three key advantages: an accelerated journey to the cloud, cost efficiency, flexibility and control across any cloud. VMware Cross-Cloud services expands the capabilities of VMware’s product portfolio for a multi-cloud world and will allow customers to pick and choose the services needed on the desired cloud to meet evolving business demands.

The Cross-Cloud services will also work across all major public cloud environments – including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Oracle and Alibaba.

At VMworld 2021, the company also introduced advances to its VMware Tanzu portfolio to enable management and operation of applications at scale and provide developers with the autonomy to build and deploy apps on any cloud. The other innovation was the debut of VMware Edge, a product portfolio that will enable customers to run and manage edge-native apps across multiple clouds, anywhere.

The company also announced new security innovations to deliver end-to-end Zero Trust architecture inside and across cloud and app environments, which, according to Raghuram, provides more visibility into and control over app access, and a data loss prevention feature to help protect against data leaks and ensure compliance with data privacy laws.

VMware President Sumit Dhawan said the company has invested in the India market as it sees tremendous growth potential in its multi-cloud solutions in the Indian market. In 2018, VMware had announced plans to invest $2 billion in India over a five-year period to expand operations and workforce.

VMware also announced several new partner program innovations aligned to its customer first, partner-led strategy, including VMware Cloud Universal enabled for reseller partners, and VMware Success 360, which allows partners with master services competencies (MSCs) to, for the first time, offer their own customer success services for all the stages of the customer journey with VMware solutions. In addition, new and refreshed VMware Customer Lifecycle Incentives are designed to fuel partner growth in services and cloud.

The demand for multicloud is accelerating in the enterprise, especially in the wake of the global pandemic that has reinforced the critical importance of businesses being agile enough to scale up despite fluctuations in demand. IDC has earlier predicted by 2022, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will be relying on some kind of multicloud strategy to meet their infrastructure needs.

The research firm earlier touted 2021 to be the year of multi-cloud, with the vast majority of enterprises deploying combinations of on-premises, off-premises, public, and private clouds as their default environments. From that perspective, VMware’s value proposition is strong because as more organizations are driven by the urgency to go fast and digitize, VMware takes the multi-cloud route to help customers move to the Cloud with flexibility and speed.

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at