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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)

LAS VEGAS — Amazon Web Services and VMware surprised a few folks last year when they agreed to a sweeping partnership after years of sniping, and the two companies are unveiling a few new services Tuesday at re:Invent 2017 that give AWS customers running VMware a few new options.

VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension is a new service that makes it easier for VMware customers running its virtualization software on their own infrastructure to move workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS, the product that kick-started the partnership between the two companies. VMware Cloud on AWS allows companies that bet on VMware’s brand of virtualization long ago to run their apps on AWS infrastructure, and this new extension makes that migration easier by allowing those companies to keep the networking settings they’ve already tweaked to perfection, said Ivan Oprencak, director of product marketing for VMware.

“These are new capabilities that enable our customers to confidently run production workloads at scale,” Oprencak said. VMware announced VMware Cloud for AWS at its VMworld conference this past August, and Hybrid Cloud Extension is “the most effective and efficient connection you can get between these sites,” he said.

VMware also plans to introduce a new service that allows companies to use VMware Cloud on AWS as a disaster-recovery option, Oprencak said. Ensuring that a business can recover from a disaster — like the effects of the WannaCry ransomware outbreak earlier this year — is one of the most important tasks on a CIO’s list, and this gives companies already standardized on VMware another option.

There’s still an inherent tension between VMware and AWS. VMware makes most of its money when customers run applications on their own infrastructure, and AWS, of course, looks at the world very differently. Of course, they need each other to some extent: VMware has relationships with an awful lot of the large enterprise companies AWS would like to see on its customer list, and AWS gives VMware a cloud strategy to sell to its customers after VMware failed to establish its own public cloud competitor.

It’s certainly a closer relationship than VMware and Microsoft enjoy, especially after last week. Microsoft’s announcement of an Azure service similar to VMware Cloud on AWS appeared to rile a few feathers at the virtualization company, who did not authorize or participate in developing the service, according to ZDNet.

“Microsoft recognizing the leadership position of VMware’s offering and exploring support for VMware on Azure as a superior and necessary solution for customers over Hyper-V or native Azure Stack environments is understandable but, we do not believe this approach will offer customers a good solution to their hybrid or multi-cloud future,” wrote VMware’s Ajay Patel, senior vice president of product development for cloud services, in a rather pointed blog post last week.

Still, the hybrid cloud is here to stay, and VMware has clearly aligned itself with the market leader in the public cloud. VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension will be available by the end of VMware’s next quarter, in February, while the disaster-recovery service is immediately available.

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