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The Continuing Evolution of VMware Cloud on AWS – And Why It Matters

Customer perceptions of VMC on AWS have changed since the offering was first released.  Originally, customers didn’t understand the value prop behind bringing VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center software to the AWS Cloud, enabling customers to run production applications across private, public, and hybrid cloud environments, with optimized access to AWS services. In its earliest days, they were more focused on asking if it helped generate revenue, or how it would contribute to the business-critical apps or line of business applications that were in use by their organization. VMC on AWS is an operational efficiency play in terms of speeding time to delivery  – it is not strictly speaking, a reduce overhead service – which is a common misconception.  

New Use Cases Provide New Perspectives 

For customers that are not quite ready to leverage public cloud and go cloud native, they see VMware on the public cloud  as a great option for Disaster Recovery. Rather than having to pay for and maintain their own secondary site, they fully understand and value having a partner like VMware to provide a solution that is available ondemand and can be scaled up as needed. Especially since it relieves nearly all of the operational burden and most of the capital expenditures off of them for Disaster Recovery.  

Additionally, customers who are evacuating a Data Center rapidly who don’t want to have to manage their on-prem anymore, are also leveraging VMware Cloud on AWS as a way to exit the Data Center. In many cases, they have expiring data center contracts, or their hardware or software has reached the end of its useful life and there is no reason to renew and re-deploy. Moving their existing applications to VMware Cloud on AWS is an easy and effective alternative. 

Why It “Pays” To Never Underestimate Adopting VMC on AWS 

While some may look at the cost of VMware Cloud on AWS directly and compare it to what their most recent capital expenditure was for hardware or for software licenses (or their colocation contract with their data center), it’s easy to overlook that this is a fully-managed service.  That means many of the things that folks are used to dealing with within the various VMware software layers (or the hardware itself), are no longer their responsibility. It’s all taken care of by VMware and database for them. And that doesn’t even take into account the rapid-scaling that VMware Cloud on AWS provides. The fact that you can procure and deploy additional nodes to expand your compute-and-storage footprint within minutes is a far cry from the weeks (or even months!) that it has taken to do these things in an on-premise data center.  

Additionally, VMware Cloud on AWS brings much more flexibility in terms of capacity management for customers – and so they can be much more optimized than they used to be – rather than trying to predict what they’re going to need for the next 3-to-5 years, they can provision only what they need NOW, scale UP as needed and even scale DOWN if there’s a period of demand that has diminished and is no longer needed.   

The Best Is Yet to Come 

Just over the horizon, we can anticipate seeing  improved and enhanced services for Disaster Recovery, as well as better ability for customers to “purchase capacity” –  buying licenses that can be used either on-premises or VMware Cloud On AWS, that will allow customers to have the flexibility to decide where their workload should land – without re-purchasing those capabilities. There are plenty of exciting new features coming, too. VmWare makes the entire road map for VMware Cloud on AWS publicly available – they put it on their website – so you can easily see what they’re working on and what the future is looking like.  The fact that they are very open and transparent makes it fun for customers to keep up-to-date.

What Makes VMware Cloud on AWS the Preferred Offering

VMware Cloud on AWS was the “original” VMware public cloud solution. It is still the only one that has ever been developed first-party by VMware and was co-engineered by AWS. Other hyper-scalers have realized the value of providing potential solutions in their cloud and have worked with VMware in partnership to develop something on their own cloud. But none of them are identical to one another – even though they all share very similar architecture. VMware Cloud On AWS certainly remains the most mature offering.  It’s also seen the most updates and it has been shared the most.  Other solutions are sure to see adoption increase. And we expect them to mature just as well, and we expect some features to catch up to VMware Cloud On AWS. But we are also confident VMware Cloud on AWS will maintain its position as the premier offering. 

The AHEAD Enterprise Cloud Advantage 

As VMware’s top partner in the nation, AHEAD is best positioned to bring our expertise and experience to all of the VMware offerings and services of VMware Cloud On AWS.  

AHEAD enjoys the privilege of having been involved in the exclusive “Project Lighthouse,” which was VMware Cloud on AWS in beta form. These advantages allow AHEAD to bring our expertise in other VMware products and portfolios to bear in a customer’s VMC Journey. That means we’ve seen all the networking involved with things like NSX (VMware’s Software Defined Networking Platform), and many other operational tools around intelligent operations and automation that can be leveraged against VMware Cloud On AWS. 

Also, our robust AWS capability is unrivaled.  Especially for customers looking to bridge to cloud native.  If you want to leverage more than just VMware Cloud on AWS, including all of those native AWS services, AHEAD’s expertise and experience will ensure you can realize those benefits in full measure.   

Customers who would like to refactor and re-platform their apps into the cloud native services that partners like AWS provide, but don’t necessarily have the skills or time to do it immediately, can leverage VMware Cloud on AWS – without having to learn any new operational skills or application development skills.  This also adds the benefit of not having to run both an on-premises environment and a cloud environment at the same time. By being to operate out of the data center quickly, they can get rid of the data center expenses while maintaining their familiarity with operational and application toolsets – which is obviously a big win-win. 

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