Australians will wait until at least next year before a local instance of VMware Cloud on AWS arrives, despite the company going live with an availability zone in the US today.
VMware made the announcement during its VMworld conference in Las Vegas, nearly a year after first announcing its strategic alliance with AWS.
Its first location is the AWS US West availability zone in Oregon. Details on pricing are expected later in the conference.
The service will initially be available only on hourly billing – a signal that VMware has learnt from Amazon's flexible approach. Annual and three-year licences will be available at some point down the track.
The announcement follows a beta test with 50 customers and partners.
VMware is keeping mum on its timeline for further availability zones.
Mark Lohmeyer, VP of products, cloud platform business unit, claimed demand was "incredibly strong, including many Australian customers".
He said VMware intends to host the service "in many AWS regions around the world and have worldwide coverage throughout 2018", but would stagger the rollout to guarantee service levels.
"Technically the regions are very consistent around the world so there is not a high technical bar to being able to to do that, but we want to make sure we do it in a way that we can support customers coming onto this platform around the world," Lohmeyer said.
VMware Cloud on AWS brings together the vendor's three central technologies for software-defined data centre (SDDC) – vSphere hypervisor, VSAN for storage and NSX network virtualisation – and runs them on a single type of elastic bare metal server in AWS' public cloud that was jointly developed to run the VMware kit on AWS stack.
The AWS partnership is widely perceived as a response to the growth of Microsoft Azure, which has been pursuing market leader AWS. Microsoft recently launched its Azure Stack platform to offer customers the 'best of both worlds' between public and private cloud.
Customers running VMware Cloud on AWS will be able to use the same skills, tools and processes to manage private and public cloud environments, and the technology also promises "seamless, fast, and bi-directional workload portability between private and public clouds".
VMware claims users will be able to spin up an entire VMware SDDC stack in under a couple hours. Sitting side-by-side with AWS infrastructure means the service will have very low latency.
VMware also used the conference to launch six new cloud services: Discovery for analysing cloud utilisation; Cost Insight for accounting and cost optimisation across multiple clouds; NSX Cloud to create secure networks using micro-segmentation; Network Insight for compliance across cloud; Wavefront for monitoring and analytics; and AppDefence for governance and security.
Steven Kiernan travelled to VMworld as a guest of VMware.