Inc.’s (AMZN) public cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is reportedly considering a large-scale effort to develop software for corporate data centers in partnership with former rival VMware Inc. (VMW).

Such a deal threatens to disrupt the enterprise software space, simultaneously working to expand AWS’ already booming customer base and help network virtualization and cloud infrastructure leader VMware retain its customers. Since news of the deal broke Monday, shares of Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware have gained about 3%.

Targeting Large Customers

Last October, Amazon and VMware announced a hybrid cloud partnership that surprised the Street and sent VMware’s shares rising as the ecommerce giant proved to be a greater-than-expected force in the public cloud space, with a handy half decade or so head start on the competition. The companies plan to launch VMware virtualization software, which will run atop the AWS cloud, by mid-2017, yet the Information reports the release may be delayed to the end of this year or the beginning of 2018. (See also: VMware to Rally 20% on Amazon Partnership: Baird.)

The software deal would reflect a move past the two companies’ current cloud-only partnership and AWS’ first large-scale effort to develop software for corporate data centers. The new product would make it easier for enterprises to move on-premise apps to the cloud and recover data from Amazon in case of disasters. In the past couple of years, Amazon has added various cloud support services and related offerings for on-premise data centers.

Amazon’s major move into the space comes as public cloud competitor Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) refines its similar on-premise data center software for Azure and Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) partners with Nutanix Inc. (NTNX) to do the same. (See also: Amazon Could Be Apple's Size Within 12 Months: Analyst.)

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