VMware, Carpathia join forces on new cloud offering

VMware and Carpathia have formed a partnership that will leverage both VMware's dominance as a virtualization provider and Carpathia's public cloud infrastructure.

VMware and Carpathia have formed a partnership that will leverage both VMware's dominance as a virtualization provider and Carpathia's public cloud infrastructure.

The two are launching a joint offering: VMware vCloud Government Service provided by Carpathia, and yes, that is a long name, but the strategy behind it is rather straight-forward.

The service is a hybrid cloud offering that will help agencies quickly deploy applications and workloads to the cloud, as executives with the two companies explained to me in a briefing ahead of today’s announcement.

The vCGS service is a public cloud built on VMware technology and will let agencies connect to the cloud through their data centers and other infrastructure running VMware.

“It’s the quickest path to the cloud for government customers using VMware,” said Lynn Martin, vice president of public sector for VMware.

The service is built on VMware vSphere, which agencies are using to optimize and manage their data centers.

She describes it as a “natural evolution of what they are already doing.”

Martin and Carpathia CEO Peter Weber emphasized ease of use as a major benefit of the service.

“It’ll be as simple as dragging and dropping what you want to move to the cloud,” Weber said.

Carpathia does about half of its cloud hosting business in the government market, and the alliance with VMware should expand that base. As part of the agreement, Carpathia will have greater access to VMware’s network of resellers and systems integrators.

“They are hungry for a solution like this,” Weber said.

One reason for that hunger is the expense of moving to the cloud when using other public cloud providers because applications and infrastructures need to be rebuilt, he said.

That doesn’t happen with vCGS because the VMware technology is both in the data center and in the cloud, Weber said.

This also helps avoid what he jokingly called the “Hotel California” effect, because there are a lot of concerns about using public clouds and the difficulty and expense of getting your data back out again if you want to move your workload to another solution.

The classic Eagles song has the line, “You can check-out any time you like/But you can never leave.”

Martin said vCGS is a lower risk offering because of the common VMware architecture in the data center and the cloud. And because of the ability to move workloads back and forth, the service also offers a lot of flexibility for users.

The two companies are submitting vCGS for FedRAMP approval and while that process can take time, it won’t limit the ability to sell to customers who don’t require the certification, particularly in the state and local and education markets.

Weber said he sees a lot of opportunities for development and test work in the cloud as well as delivering software as a service.

The way the two connected is a story in itself, but in a nutshell, VMware ran its own request for proposals process, narrowing down potential partners to just four. Then it went out and talked to 30 public sector CIOs. Carpathia’s technology and reputation carried the day, Martin said.

With the dominance of VMware’s technology in the data center being somewhere in the 90-percent range, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly this offering takes off.

With mandates such as cloud first and data center consolidations and closings and the push to drive down overall IT costs through offerings such as software as a service, the market for services such as vCGS is measured in the billions of dollars in the federal space alone.