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Microsoft is gunning for VMware and AWS with the announcement of two new services today that are designed to let enterprises bring more workloads to Azure.

The company announced a beta service for its customers today that runs VMware’s virtualization technology on top of Microsoft’s bare metal servers. It’s supposed to help customers move applications that rely on VMware’s stack to Microsoft’s cloud so that they can reap the benefits of services in those datacenters without having to rework systems that are already perfectly fine.

That special deployment of VMware tech on Azure will be colocated with other Azure services, so that customers can then connect those applications to higher level services in Microsoft’s cloud. Corey Sanders, the director of compute for Azure, said in a blog post that the service is slated for general availability next year.

It’s a clear shot at VMware Cloud on AWS, a service those two companies put together to let customers run VMware workloads on bare metal hardware in Amazon’s cloud. That service, which was announced roughly a year ago and entered general availability earlier this year, is a key part of Amazon’s strategy to help bring enterprises to its cloud platform.

On top of that, Microsoft unveiled another service that’s supposed to make it easier for people to bring VMware workloads to the cloud without using to a special service.

Called Azure Migrate, the new service will be available for free starting next week. When customers deploy it in their private datacenters, the system will analyze all of the VMware workloads running and then provide enterprise administrators with a way to move their applications to the public cloud using the Azure Site Recovery service.

In addition, it’s also supposed to help businesses integrate on-premises applications managed by VMware with Azure cloud services. For example, Azure Migrate will help businesses set up Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery for backup and disaster recovery services.

All of this comes a week before AWS’ major re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, where the company is expected to unveil a host of new services and features for its cloud platform.


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