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VMware announced the general availability of VMware vCloud Air services, which managed service providers can embed within their own larger practices without having to give up control over how and when those services are used.

Leveraging the investment that VMware has been making to build out cloud services means that MSPs can layer additional capabilities on top of the VMware vCloud Air service without having to stand up their own IT infrastructure, said Geoff Waters, vice president of the service provider channel for VMware.

VMware has 25 MSPs signed up for the program with a goal of adding another 75 to the program by the end of the year, Waters said.

Through  this program, MSPs can choose to either add VMware cloud service to their offerings if they don’t already have them, or extend existing VMware services into new geographies, Waters said. In some cases, solution providers may take advantage of the program to start offering VMware managed services without having to invest in any IT infrastructure at all, he added.

The best part is that the MSP still owns the relationship with the end customer, Waters said. “They don’t have to build out additional data center capacity, but they can still own all the terms of service to the customer.”

Besides building out all the backend services needed to enable MSPs to maintain control over the terms of service provided to each individual customer, Waters said, VMware has invested heavily in REST application programming interfaces (API) to make the entire hybrid cloud computing environment appear as a natural extension of any VMware environment.

While VMware has a huge base of customers running its software on-premise, its move into the cloud is still relatively nascent. That creates a lot of opportunity to serve emerging demand for hybrid cloud computing environments that span those on-premise implementations of VMware and the instances of VMware deployed in VMware data centers, Waters said.

While it remains to be seen how much money solution providers can make by standing up individual clouds, the one thing that is for certain is that as application workloads get more distributed in the age of the cloud, IT organizations are more likely to be looking for some outside expertise to manage them.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.