With the new VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) customers will now be able to purchase virtual resources from a VMware-operated cloud. For the last couple of years you have been able to purchase vCloud capacity from third-party cloud vendors, but vCHS is a VMware supported and sold offering. This will allow customers to use as a public cloud or connect with their internal resources to build a hybrid cloud. Typically customers purchase their licensing and services through a VMware partner. So I can’t help wondering: How will vCloud Hybrid Service affect VMware partners?
Does having vCloud Hybrid Service mean I can pop over to a web page, enter my credit card and – bada boom – have cloud capacity? Well, not exactly. The current direction of VMware is to enable their partners to sell vCHS capacity and services. This means that a traditional VMware partner will be able to sell you a base core amount of capacity, or provide a larger amount to start with.
This is good news for VMware partners, but I don’t know if in the future this will continue to be the only way that vCHS services and capacity can be purchased. Perhaps you agree but still ask, “What happens after I purchase the initial amount, but I want to purchase some additional capacity?” The MY VMware portal for your account that was used to purchase vCHS will feature a section that will have a new Subscription Services portal area.
From this area you will be able to manage your subscriptions, review your purchasing history, initiate self-service transactions, and control the renewal process for your subscriptions. This will allow for a quick and simple way to increase your capacity subscription while still keep your VMware partner relationship.
Beyond just purchasing capacity for vCHS, I would expect most partners to offer design, support, and migration services. This will allow partners to offer services that enable their customers to more easily consume vCHS resources. These services will likely vary widely based upon the abilities of the VMware partner. I work for a VMware partner as an architect, and I know there is excitement around the release of vCloud Hybrid Service.
If you compare the number of vCloud installs to the number of customers running vSphere there has to be a large delta. This means that there is also likely a lack of vCloud experience in most customer VMware teams, which provides opportunity for partners to assist customers with vCHS-related projects.