VMware is launching a new Cross-Cloud architecture geared toward improving software-defined data center (SDDC) and hybrid cloud deployments, the company announced on Monday at the 2016 VMworld conference in Las Vegas, NV.

According to VMware documents, the new architecture could extend the company’s current hybrid cloud strategy by more effectively allowing customers to run apps in multiple clouds, within a common operating environment. This includes apps running in public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

The architecture “enables consistent deployment models, security policies, visibility, and governance for all applications, running on-premises and off, regardless of the underlying cloud, hardware platform or hypervisor,” according to a VMware press release.

SEE: VMware’s next play: Managing all clouds for enterprises (ZDNet)

The two core components of the Cross-Cloud architecture are the VMware Cloud Foundation platform and a new set of Cross-Cloud services.

The Cloud Foundation is an integrated SDDC platform that combines the compute, storage, and networking and security layers. In VMware’s case, that means vSphere, VSAN, and NSX. VMware’s Alberto Farronato said that the platform will be able to “support any kind of application,” including traditional apps that run on VMs and cloud-native apps that rely on containers.

According to VMware, the goal of Cloud Foundation is to be able to “provision cloud infrastructure like you provision VMs.” The VMware Cloud Foundation is available on-premises and available as a service from certain cloud services providers.

IBM will be the first public cloud provider to act as a partner, with general availability in Q3 2016, while vCloud Air availability will happen in Q4 of the same year. For private cloud, integrated systems will be available through VCE, and VSAN-ready nodes will be available from Dell, HPE, and QCT.

Cloud Foundation’s management component is the SDDC Manager, which Farronato said is “a tool for cloud admin to build and maintain the cloud.” The SDDC manager is focused on day zero to day two operations, and can help users build out a cloud in a few hours, Farronato said.

A big part of the SDDC Manager is its automation capabilities. Farronato said that it automates storage configuration, cluster configuration, and virtual and physical network configuration as well. The idea is that this would simplify SDDC deployment and free cloud admins up to focus on areas outside of installation.

The VMware Cloud Foundation will integrate with VMware vRealize Suite, VMware vSphere Integrated Containers, VMware Integrated OpenStack, and VMware Horizon.

A new set of Cross-Cloud services were also announced and demoed at VMworld. The services include: Discovery and Analytics, Compliance and Security, and Deployment and Migration.

SEE: Virtualization policy template (Tech Pro Research)

Additionally, VMware revealed vCloud Availability for vCloud Director, a family of products that offer cloud-based disaster recovery services for vSphere. According to a VMware press release, it enables “further monetization of existing VMware cloud environments based on VMware vCloud Director’s multi-tenant cloud management capabilities.”

A new Hybrid Cloud Manager also made a debut on Monday, which uses a software-defined WAN to add vCloud Air to a cloud environment. A Vmware slide deck said that it provides easier migration of large workloads between vSphere and vCloudAir.

VMware’s move toward hybrid cloud and SDDC makes sense, with Gartner predicting hybrid as the most popular form of cloud deployment by 2020, and the popularity of SDDC continuing to climb. The company comes into the shift with growing revenue and solid profits, but it remains to be seen how the Dell and EMC merger will affect its business.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. VMware announced a new Cross-Cloud architecture at VMworld 2016, strengthening its focus on hybrid cloud and SDDC.
  2. The VMware Cloud Foundation, SDDC Manager, and Cross-Cloud services all play a part in helping customers “provision cloud infrastructure like you provision VMs.”
  3. VMware’s move to hybrid cloud and SDDC makes sense given current trends, and the company is moving forward from Q2 with strong revenues.