Google buys a small cloud partner to make it easier for customers to use VMware on its cloud

Key Points
  • CloudSimple makes it easier for large companies to run applications in public clouds like Google's.
  • The start-up took venture capital from Microsoft, and its CEO previously worked at Microsoft.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Alphabet's Google Cloud, speaks at the Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco on April 9, 2019.
Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google has bought yet another small business to build its cloud-computing unit: CloudSimple, whose software enables companies to run computing workloads that are based on VMware's widely used server virtualization technology. Terms were not disclosed.

Cloud represents a growth opportunity for Google. The Google Cloud Platform has less market share than Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, according to research firm Gartner, but all three platforms are growing on an absolute basis. In July, Google said that its cloud unit overall, including the G Suite productivity software portfolio for businesses, had reached an $8 billion annualized revenue run rate -- that's double the run rate the company claimed in early 2018. Google tapped Oracle executive Thomas Kurian to replace former VMware CEO Diane Greene to run its cloud group last year.

Many large companies run their data centers with VMware tools, and VMware itself in recent years has made its systems available on top of cloud providers' infrastructure to ease cloud adoption. In July, Google had announced a partnership with CloudSimple to give customers better VMware support.

The deal follows the buys of data integration company Alooma, storage company Elastifile and cloud migration company Velostrata. Kurian's biggest deal to date has been the $2.6 billion acquisition of privately held data analytics company Looker, which, like CloudSimple, had been a partner prior to the deal. The Looker deal hasn't closed yet, however, and the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division moved to seek information from the two companies as part of a review, Bloomberg reported last month.

CloudSimple supports Microsoft Azure as well as Google's cloud, and had received venture funding from Microsoft's M12 division. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Santa Clara, California, with about 75 employees, according to LinkedIn. The start-up's CEO, Guru Pangal, was previously a general manager at Microsoft, and he co-founded a previous company, StorSimple, which Microsoft bought in 2012.

"We believe in a multi-cloud world and will continue to provide choice for our customers to use the best technology in their journey to the cloud," Rich Sanzi, a vice president of engineering at Google, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

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