VMware CEO says bolstering its Tanzu cloud platform is top priority

VMware has plenty of items on its to-do list now that its separation from Dell Technologies is complete, but CEO Raghu Raghuram said strengthening its Tanzu platform is priority number one as it works to position itself as a multi-cloud enabler.

Unveiled in 2019, Tanzu is VMware’s Kubernetes-based cloud-native container platform. Speaking during an investor conference, Raghuram explained the platform is a key part of its multi-cloud strategy.

“We are putting a lot of focus into Tanzu because application modernization is front and center and that is the tip of the spear if you will,” he explained. “If the [cloud] application doesn’t exist, there’s no need for infrastructure, our infrastructure or on-premise infrastructure, it doesn’t matter. So that is our first focus as a company.” Raghuram added VMware is also putting a lot of emphasis on fleshing out “our cloud infrastructure assets.”

The CEO noted VMware is already working with all the major cloud providers, naming Amazon Web Services as its preferred partner. “Our transformation to SaaS [software as a service] is being built on top of their infrastructure,” he said. “They’ve obviously been the early driver of cloud…and it's therefore most mature since it started the earliest.”

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He added it has a “strong” relationship with Microsoft Azure, through which Microsoft uses its software to provide a first-party service to its customers. “To a diehard Microsoft customer, VMware just seems like yet another Azure feature, so it’s very easy for them to adopt,” Raghuram said.

VMware is also growing its partnership with Google, with Raghuram noting customers tend to choose Google when they have workloads that can benefit from its unique artificial intelligence and data crunching capabilities. VMware’s work with IBM tends to be more focused in the financial services segment, he added.

While VMware is banking on a multi-cloud future, Raghuram said the shift from on-premises to the cloud won’t be an all or nothing transition.

“It’s going to be a highly fragmented environment for the customer because the customers are choosing to be what we call ‘cloud smart,’” he said. That means deploying applications across the private cloud, public cloud and edge based on performance, economic and security considerations. “This is what we’re going to see rather than all or nothing,” he concluded.