VMware has created a new business unit focused entirely on hybrid cloud services. The new VMware Hybrid Cloud Services business unit will be led by Bill Fathers, the former president of Savvis who resigned his position at the end of November.

The virtualization company outlined to investors its corporate strategy, which will be three-pronged approach related to software-defined data centers, an expansion of hybrid cloud offerings and empowering the multi-device era. It's big news for cloud computing, and as part of the news, VMware unveiled plans to launch the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service later this year.

The service, which does not yet have an exact launch date, will extend VMware's software-defined data center strategy, which will involve extending virtualization benefits to all areas of the data center. The hybrid cloud service is being designed to enable customers to reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing existing applications. Customers will also be able to use a common management, orchestration, networking and security model, the company noted.

"Enterprise adoption of cloud services is ramping exponentially, and VMware is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise of hybrid cloud," said Fathers, who has assumed the role of senior vice president and general manager of the Hybrid Cloud Services business unit, in a prepared statement. "I look forward to leading the new Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit and partnering with our ecosystem to provide customers the ultimate flexibility in how they deploy existing and new applications -- on-premise, off-premise, or through whatever combination works best for their business needs."

VMware's plans to launch the vCloud Hybrid Service later in the year will put the company in more direct competition with Amazon Web Services and other public cloud platform providers. It's a bold move for the virtualization company, and it should make waves within its customers base of approximately 480,000.

There will also be opportunities for VMware's channel partner ecosystem. According to the company, it will make vCloud Hybrid available through its existing channel partners and work with partners to accelerate customers' "journey to the cloud."

VMware didn't go into great detail about what this new service will include, but as it gets closer to launch, expect more information to surface.