VMware to comply with government’s demand to localise data


VMware, one of the largest enterprise software companies, says it has no problem with the demand by the Indian government to localise the servers used by big service providers to store users’ data. The $7.9 billion revenue company, which has tied up with Amazon to offer Public Cloud services on its Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), stresses there had been demands and they have no issues in complying with local laws, whenever such a demand is made.

Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Customer Operations at VMware told a small group of visiting Indian journalists to “VMWorld 2018” that “we don’t go into a country with the idea of taking advantage of local laws. In general, we have to watch them and conform to them”.

A panel by the Indian government is currently working on the guidelines to ensure that data generated locally must be stored within the country.

According to Rajiv Ramaswami, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Products and Cloud Services at VMware, “We can operate in the region with data being kept there and not exported. We will be happy to provide the government with the information they seek”. He said what VMware does is to help the big Cloud providers with governance and compliance issues, guiding them to build in security in their solutions. “But if the local laws provide for getting details from big Cloud operators, they would move to comply,” Ramaswami added.

Poonen, who was born in Kerala, said China and India were very important economies for VMware operations and the company’s largest research and development (R&D) centre was in Bengaluru, from where some cutting-edge products come out.

The VMware workforce in India was set to grow, he informed. “We think there’s a very big opportunity unfolding in India and it is a logical place for AWS and VMware to be in,” Poonen said, adding that he does not see any sense in Indian companies setting up Private Clouds, especially for disaster recovery.

“Shut it down, if you already have such an infrastructure and move to AWS/VMware. We would make your service just as efficient and cheaper,” Poonen asserted on the sidelines of the company’s annual conference. “Anybody in India who’s doing business of disaster recovery should do it,” he stressed.

There was a great movement towards digitisation in India, said Poonen, and the Narendra Modi government had shown a lot of interest in getting investments from big tech companies. Poonen had met some ministers and top bureaucrats from the country who had all been enthusiastic about.

He said top Indian-origin executives in various Silicon Valley companies always got together to hosts ministers from India who often were eager to get investments into the country.

“The problem, as we all know it, is the bureaucracy and the corruption. If one can labour through that, it would be worthwhile,” Poonen said.

When asked whether going with one company like Amazon would not keep VMware limited, he replied that at the moment, they are just one year into the relationship and have joined hands with the top player in the market with 40 per cent market share. In the future, they may go with other players with whom they are always talking – Microsoft, Google, IBM – who have set up big Public Cloud and are expanding their business. VMware may also go with Alibaba in China in the future though, at the moment, nothing concrete has emerged.

Ramaswami said there are early days in the demand for VMware/AWS Cloud services in India but most of the companies want to embark on the journey of virtualisation.

“The organisations like State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel and BookMyShow are really the ones ahead of others but adoption of Public and Hybrid Clouds is on the way,” he noted. Talking about desktop virtualisation, Ramaswami said VMware was ahead of its competitors who have been doing piecemeal work.

His company offers a complete package in its “Workspace ONE” project which integrates the desktop, laptop and mobile services across all platforms. “Workspace ONE” is a digital platform that simply and securely delivers and manages any app on any device by integrating access control, application management and multi-platform endpoint management. “We are leading the workspace journey here. We see very good opportunity in India where customers are into desktop virtualisation or mobile management, not both,” Ramaswami informed.

He said that the parent company Dell Technologies would be coming out with “Workspace ONE” integrated into its computers in future, thus giving a major advantage to the clients.


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