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VMware taps ex-Ciscoer as channel chief

The channel is the key to Virtzilla's impending vCloud Hybrid Service

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Just ahead of the formal launch of VMware's "Project Zephyr" vCloud Hybrid Service public cloud on Tuesday, the company has appointed a new channel chief. And the timing is not accidental, with VMware's channel being a key component of its hybrid cloud strategy.

It's easy to see why VMware wants to build its own public cloud based on the ESXi hypervisor and the vCloud extensions to its vCenter management console that turn it from virty infrastructure to an orchestrated cloud. The 220 service providers in the world that are part of the VMware Service Provider Program and that have built ESXi-compatible clouds are not competing effectively against Amazon Web Services.

If VMware wants to maintain that data center customer base that has 480,000 customers and their 36 million virtual machines, it has to build a public cloud that will allow customers to burst workloads out to it more seamlessly than the service providers have done to date.

In addition – and here's the key bit – all of the 55,000 channel partners that resell ESXi, vCloud, and other tools will be enabled to sell capacity on the vCloud Hybrid Service, and thus help VMware chase the $14bn opportunity it sees for supporting ESXi shops that want a slice of public cloud to go along with virtualized servers in their data centers.

To that end, VMware has just tapped Dave O'Callaghan to be senior vice president of global channels and alliances. That means O'Callaghan gets to herd the cats of solution providers, service providers, distributors, OEMs, system integrators, outsourcers, and independent software vendors who all want a piece of the VMware revenue stream.

O'Callaghan has been running his own consulting business for the past two years helping customers tweak their manufacturing, distribution, and reseller channels and has also been an adjunct professor at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver for the past five years. He spent a dozen years at Cisco Systems, most recently as vice president of its worldwide commercial sales and with a lengthy stint of nearly six years as head of Cisco's distribution channel and inventories.

In his three decades in the IT distribution racket, O'Callaghan spent 11 years as VP in charge of the western district for Hitachi Data Systems, which made both mainframes and disk arrays at that time. He also worked at Memorex Telex, which among many other things made mainframe-compatible disk and tape arrays back in the day. ®

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