VMware has sold off its vCloud Air business to French firm OVH in a move it claims is an extension of its long-term partnership with the firm.
VMware announced the sale this afternoon, but financial details were not disclosed. It is due to close in Q2 of this year.
OVH is a French cloud giant with more than one million customers and 260,000 servers deployed.
In the quarter ending 31 December, VMware revenue rose nine per cent annually to $2.03bn (£1.63bn), and it remains publicly listed, despite being owned by private Dell Technologies. VMware did not specifically breakout vCloud Air revenue in its most recent earnings, but said it grew "robustly".
Once the deal has closed, it will be known as vCloud Air "powered by OVH", and the two firms will continue to work closely together on go-to-market and customer support.
"We are pleased to announce this next step in vCloud Air's evolution," said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. "We have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with OVH and view this acquisition as an extension of our partnership and a positive for our customers and partners. Customers will have access to OVH's global footprint, high-touch customer support, and still retain the VMware SDDC technology innovation to which they are accustomed."
Clive Longbottom, co-founder of analyst Quocirca, told CRN that the news was "a bit of a surprise" but that it makes sense.
"We had seen VMware was beginning to put a lot more interest into OpenStack as time went on anyway," he said. "So we thought they were going to deprecate vCloud Air, but they have found someone daft enough to pay for it, so so be it."
He said although vCloud Air had been a big focus for the firm, it was a minimal revenue stream, meaning it makes sense for them to offload it.
When asked if he thinks the new Dell ownership was behind the move, Longbottom said:
"I think VMware is far more under its own control. It's the only public part of the federation. Although Dell has a large holding in VMware, it's VMware which is calling the shots. I would imagine this is very much a VMware decision. But looking back to the mothership, Dell has very much been an OpenStack backer."
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