IBM & VMware Form Strategic Partnership on Hybrid Cloud

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IBM and VMware have announced a deal to help each other target businesses that plan on implementing hybrid cloud deployments.
The move to join forces and announce a partnership happened at IBM’s InterConnect 2016 conference that is underway in Las Vegas, NV. The move was announced by Robert LeBlanc, Chief of IBM Cloud.
The deal is expected to give both companies complete ownership of the ecosystem created by cloud.  While VMware’s products can help a business create a private cloud, IBM’s cloud services give enterprises the ability to extend out their infrastructure and do some really neat things.
IBM has also announced that they will provide a jointly designed architecture to run VMware software defined data center loads in the public cloud. This configuration would support VMware vSphere, NSX, Virtual SAN and the IBM Cloud.
IBM and VMware will utilize the CloudBuilder tool set to give businesses a way to preconfigure workloads that are deployable in the cloud. The two companies have set out a journey for businesses in which they can get all of their cloud products from the combination of the two vendors.
Cloud services that will be offered will include capacity extension, data center virtualization, workload migrations, disaster recovery and hybrid cloud deployments.
“Customers have embraced the software-defined data center approach as they move toward a more efficient and agile IT model,” mentions Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware.
“Our customers can efficiently and securely deploy their proven software-defined solutions with sophisticated workload automation to take advantage of the flexibility and cost effectiveness of IBM Cloud,” Gelsinger adds.
Analysts who attended the event said that while there was plenty of talk about IBM and VMware’s new strategic partnership, there was no direct mention of vCloud Air.
This leaves us to speculate: Is VMware moving away from its vCloud Air product lineup? Perhaps VMware plans on integrating existing customers into IBM’s Cloud? What does this announcement say about the future of VMware’s hybrid cloud product lineups?