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Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy (left) and VMware CEO Patrick Gelsinger, introducing a partnership between the two companies in October 2016. (GeekWire photo)

In what would be a strategy shift for Amazon Web Services, the public cloud market leader is apparently thinking about working with VMware on a data center product for hybrid cloud users, according to a report.

The Information reported Monday that the two companies, which struck a partnership last year to develop a cloud version of VMware’s software for AWS users, are working on a different product that would run inside private data centers. It’s not exactly clear from the report what the product would actually do, but it seems most likely that it would be a bridge between private data centers and the AWS cloud.

For several years, AWS barely acknowledged the relevance of on-premises workloads. The public cloud pioneer has focused on convincing companies running workloads in their own data centers that they are better off running those workloads in the public cloud, and that message has resonated with a lot of companies.

But in 2017, it’s becoming increasingly clear that despite a few exceptions, the biggest corporations aren’t ready or interested in moving everything to the cloud. Instead, they’re looking at public cloud services as the venue for any workloads that see unpredictable spikes in demand, or for brand-new applications they develop.

Microsoft acknowledged this with Azure Stack, which it announced last year and which is finally ready to order from hardware partners like Dell EMC (VMware’s parent company) and HPE. Azure Stack lets companies take advantage of a lot of the features that are native to cloud software development in their own data centers, moving workloads to Azure as makes sense for their application and their business.

It’s also something VMware has been pushing for a long time as one of the top software vendors among companies still managing their own data centers. Public cloud growth has been quite strong for several years, but Gartner and other market research companies are predicting that growth will slow toward the end of the decade, which means a sizable number of companies will continue to own and operate data centers for some time.

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