Who’s with whom in the world of cloud partnerships

The cloud infrastructure is rapidly changing the way organizations prepare their future strategies. Cloud technology has drastically improved the way applications are delivered, deployed, and managed to improve security, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. And due to these evident benefits, it is no surprise that cloud adoption is still on the rise even after such a long period. As per the research from Canalys’ Cloud Channels Analysis service, the global cloud infrastructure market grew 37.6 percent year-on-year in Q2 2019 to $26.3 billion. The top three biggest public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, in which AWS stands out in terms of maturity of its platform for its partners. Amazon Web Services, dominating in the race of leading cloud service providers, grew by 36.1 percent to over $8.3 billion in revenue with a whopping 31.5 percent share of the total market. The other major solution providers like VMware, SAP, Oracle, and Citrix are also not way behind in the race to cloud supremacy. Most of these vendors have recently gotten into partnerships that enable their products and services to be integrated with cloud infrastructure to leverage the full power of the cloud environment. In an increasingly integrated cloud ecosystem, it’s hard to keep track of all the cloud partnerships and alliances being formed. In this article, we look at some of the significant cloud relationships that have been formed in recent times and gauge who’s with whom in the world of cloud computing.

Dell, VMware, and Microsoft sign significant cloud partnership deal

In April 2019, during Dell’s annual user conference held in Las Vegas, a partnership was announced between Dell Technologies, VMware, and Microsoft Technologies that authorized Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing customers to use VMware’s virtualization software to manage their IT operations on Azure cloud. In this partnership, Dell owns a majority stake. The purpose of this cloud partnership is to develop a “hybrid cloud” that acts as a common operating platform for the users where they can seamlessly run and manage applications across the VMware environment and Microsoft Azure, with an additional layer of security. VMware customers will be allowed to deploy all their applications on Azure cloud without any hassle of making any significant modifications to their architecture, and without having to restructure them. The VMware Cloud Foundation, which builds the VMware stack on Azure cloud, is a suite of tools for cloud computing which includes vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and vCenter.

An additional benefit of this partnership is that it eliminates the extra coding efforts required to synchronize VMware applications with multiple services. VMware users can take advantage of Azure’s scalability, security, and faster performances to innovate and modernize applications via integration with a broad range of Azure services such as Azure Active Directory, Azure AI, and IoT-enabling innovative experiences.

Citrix’s emerging plans for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop

Citrix, the longtime virtualization partner of Microsoft, became a Microsoft Direct Cloud Service Provider (CSP) to deliver cloud solutions for a secure digital workspace. It provides customers a simplified way to buy Citrix Workspace cloud solutions on the Azure environment, directly from within the Azure marketplace. The combined Citrix and Microsoft solutions help in reducing efforts and costs of infrastructure configuration. It increases the efficiency of data centers with better performance and enhanced mobile capabilities, thereby improving user experiences and productivity. These solutions are also customizable, configurable and manageable by both Citrix and Microsoft service providers, enabling their customers to use a complete turnkey solution in a fraction of time without having them worry about multiple financial transactions to occur before deployment. As a result, customers can also move from purchase to production pretty quickly, leading to improved sales.

In Oct 2018, Citrix came up with the first end-to-end desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution in collaboration with Microsoft. They had developed Windows Virtual Desktop with Windows 10 OS, hosted on Azure, which allows customers to purchase and activate a virtual desktop in the Azure environment. The desktop-as-a-service includes several key features including secure remote access supported with multifactor authentication, an improved user experience, intelligent monitoring and management, and availability of Azure compute and storage resources as needed by the users. The automated management and deployment tools on the Azure cloud had been so simplified that a business unit can deploy the applications very quickly, as and when needed. The key element of this integration is the level of security that is implemented on the Azure cloud, which is one of the biggest challenges in today’s cyber-security world. The major components working behind the security of Citrix Digital Workspace Solution are Citrix Analytics and Azure Intelligent Security Graph, which are part of the larger Citrix Workspace offering. The integration of these two robust and highly effective products helps in monitoring the finest of user activities, greater visibility, detection and identification of potential threats, and better prevention of the applications from malicious attacks.

Google and SAP partnership

In March 2019, SAP National Security Services (SAP NS2), the independent U.S.-based arm of SAP, joined hands with Google Cloud Platform to harness Google cloud’s rich network infrastructure and machine learning capabilities by integrating it with SAP’s in-memory database and SAP NS2’s secure cloud delivery services. The deal enabled SAP NS2 customers running SAP HANA to jump into the array of cloud services offered by Google leveraging the full power of HANA in a secure and flexible cloud environment. The major beneficiaries of this partnership are the public sector businesses that can use robust cloud infrastructure having better scalability, security, flexibility, and advanced data analytics capabilities while meeting all FedRAMP compliance requirements.

SAP NS2 already has a similar partnership with Amazon Web Services, which was announced in June 2018. According to that deal, it combines SAP HANA cloud and Amazon’s GovCloud in a single tool stack allowing customers to transition workloads to the cloud while remaining in compliance with FedRAMP, ITAR, and DoD SRG requirements.

Microsoft and Oracle Partnership

In June 2019, two big IT giants, Microsoft and Oracle, announced a strategic partnership that focuses mainly on making their cloud computing services compatible with each other and works together to attract large businesses. Through this partnership, the communication between the two cloud computing services will be carried out using high-speed links set-up between their data centers and operated by Microsoft and Oracle. The partnership is considered as a jab at their biggest rivals and the leaders in the cloud computing world, Amazon Web Services and Google.

As a result of this partnership, the customers using Azure services like Analytics and artificial intelligence can now seamlessly connect to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database to run mission-critical workloads across both the clouds. Before this, while customers used to run Oracle software on Oracle Cloud and Microsoft software on Microsoft Azure, they can now have a completely innovative experience of running Oracle suite like Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle JD Edwards on Azure cloud, and Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata infrastructure in the Oracle cloud.

Cloud partnerships driving digital transformation

The biggest challenge for most solution providers is that the key operations require multiple provisioning tool-sets, data management processes, and teams to manage them. By using the combined strength of solution providers like VMware, Citrix, Oracle, and SAP with cloud service providers like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, customers can make use of virtualized datacenters with high efficiency and reduced costs. With the above collaborations and cloud partnerships, cloud computing is now available as a commodity, and its openness, flexibility, security, and scalability is driving digital transformation globally.

Featured image: Freepik

Twain Taylor

My interests lie in DevOps, IoT, and cloud applications. I began my career in tech B2B marketing at Google India, after which I headed marketing for multiple startups. Today, I consult with companies in The Valley on their content marketing initiatives, and write for tech journals.

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