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VMware to help customers manage multiple cloud vendors

As more work is done on the cloud, VMware's trying to cut through the confusion, the CEO told CNBC on Monday.

The technology company announced Monday a new operating environment that would let customers run and manage their applications across clouds and devices. It comes as businesses find themselves with an average of eight different cloud providers to deal with at any given time, VMware CEO Patrick Gelsinger told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday.

"How do they manage across that complex environment?" Gelsinger said. "That's exactly what cross-cloud is about."

Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer of VMware
Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer of VMware

Cloud computing — which lets businesses save money by moving away from storing their databases, software and files in on-premise servers — has become a fast-growing and competitive focus of companies from Amazon, to Microsoft, to IBM, Cisco and Oracle.

Amazon is the dominant player in the space. But rather than choose just one of those companies — say, VMware itself — businesses may want the freedom to juggling multiple cloud services, Gelsinger said.

"Since it extends the current products, it's something that our customers are really quite excited about," Gelsinger said.

The announcement, which coincided with the company's U.S. conference VMworld, comes while VMware mounts a transition as EMC's "federation" combines with Dell. But Dell and VMware have a clear "coo-petitive" relationship, Gelsinger said, regarding how they are both cooperative and competitive with each other.

"We're choosing different partners — we have a broad ecosystem," Gelsinger said. "That's an important expectation on the part of our customers, mutually — that we do work together ... to solve some of today's most challenging multi-cloud problems in the industry."