Over the last decade, businesses looking to maximize the value of their computing resources have had to choose between on-premises virtualization of servers and the IaaS offerings of cloud providers like Amazon Web Services. Those considering a move to the cloud have to make a difficult decision of whether or not to make the leap, which would mean leaving their previous infrastructure behind and adapting to completely new technologies.

While hybrid cloud options allow for a balance between the two, they have typically involved a complex setup process and a lot of work for IT departments. But after a recent partnership between VMware and Amazon Web Services, that process has become much easier with their new offering: VMware Cloud on AWS.

The former rivals joined forces last week to offer a hybrid cloud solution that lets companies run VMware seamlessly across internal servers and Amazon’s public cloud infrastructure. Companies can now get the best of both worlds, leveraging the flexibility and economic benefits of public cloud while still retaining the customization, speed, and control of a private network.

Furthermore, they won’t lose the investment they’ve made in hardware, skills, and training: IT departments already familiar with VMware’s setup and management solutions will find the same features in this native, fully managed cloud environment. They can simply deploy and manage VMware workloads across all of their on-premises and AWS environments as usual.

As a result, they won’t have to go through the work of buying new custom hardware, rewriting applications, or training new hires on both components.

According to VMware, “Customers will be able to run any application across vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments. It will be delivered, sold and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service and customers will be able to leverage the global footprint and breadth of services from AWS.”

Not only will companies be able to deploy the same VMware environments, but they will also gain the benefit of AWS’s huge range of services in computing, security, analytics, and more. As with AWS’s other offerings, this new service can be accessed with either a subscription or an hourly, on-demand option.

The partnership comes at an ideal time, as more and more companies look for a better way to incorporate cloud services into their existing operational model. By reducing the challenges and inefficiencies involved with moving workloads back and forth between private data centers and the public cloud, this new offering becomes an attractive new entry to the list of available IT infrastructure options.

The field of cloud computing is still evolving rapidly. Fierce competition between Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Amazon – the undisputed king of the hill – is pushing innovation forward, and with this latest development, the list of tradeoffs companies have to make between the public cloud and private servers grows even thinner. And as the big names in cloud technology fight for dominance, the rest of us can’t wait see what comes next.

[This post was originally published on Switchfast.com]