Making the case for VMC – VMware Cloud on AWS

If you are in the data center industry, you probably already heard about the partnership between VMware and AWS. The excitement around all of VMware’s cloud initiatives was palpable at VMworld 2017. As I rode the shuttle back to the hotel from VMworld, I overheard a common theme- customers talked about how VMware’s newfound vision would help them adapt to the changing data center landscape.

A couple of days later, as I started dropping in on discussions on the web, I realized that there was a lot of confusion on what VMC it is and what it isn’t. On a LinkedIn discussion, there were many admins who were comparing the price of running a VM in AWS to that of VMC. If you are asking this question- you probably misunderstood the value of VMC.

VMC is not meant to compete against AWS’s native offering. Rather, it is offered as a low resistance, immediate path to adopt the elasticity of AWS, without having to retool and relearn new skills. Here is a recap of the three main use cases of VMC:

  1. Maintain and Expand: Some customers looking to continue maintaining their DC and to expand services into the cloud. If some developers need access to native AWS services like Lamda or Kinesis, this is a really fast way to provide them with all of AWS’s offerings, without having to learn how to manage an AWS environment at scale. There are other use cases such as DRaaS which are appealing.
  2. Consolidate and Migrate: Some other customers are looking to consolidate their data center and begin a migration process to the cloud. Many smaller customers are freezing their DC spend and expanding into the cloud. This may make sense depending on the size of the footprint & the type of data they handle. Even small data centers need a team comprised of security, virtualization, networking  and storage skill-sets. Smaller businesses could see significant savings of OpEx and CapEx by adopting a public cloud strategy. Migration of existing data center workloads is not a trivial problem. This solution will take them one step closer to that goal.
  3. Capacity Flex: This is another great use case for a customer that needs seasonal capacity. Rather than invest in data center hardware that may otherwise remain idle for large periods of time, they can cloud burst into AWS, but manage their environment with the same  familiar tools and operational overhead- vSphere, vROPs, LogInsight etc.

The key takeaway here is the ability for a business to be able to benefit from an AWS footprint without having to re-architect their application, learn new skills and review deployment models.

DR as a Service alone is such an important feature of VMC; it is very unique and will appeal to IT operations staff. How many businesses today are confident of executing their DR run book? The answer based on the conversations I have had, lies in the low 20-30%. Imagine having an on-demand DR site, where you don’t have idle capacity that is adding to your OpEX (not to mention CapEx),  but it can be summoned in the case of a DR event. When I paint this picture to the VP of IT Operations, their eyes literally light up!

Having the ability to extend IP spaces from your data center to the cloud will take away the hassle of re-IP-ing workloads. Your DR strategy just became super simplified.

In my opinion- if you have a cloud native workload, whose life-cycle is completely in the public cloud – it is better off on AWS EC2. If there are existing applications that were designed for your VMware private cloud but needs the flexibility or services of a public cloud, this is a good candidate for VMC.

This is the value that VMC brings. So, next time if you are asking the question “How does it compare in cost to AWS?”, you are asking the wrong question.

For additional information on VMC please go to- https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws

Posted in DC migration, NSX, VMC

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