VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks at VMworld 2016 VMware
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks at VMworld 2016

VMware, AWS Expand Hybrid Cloud Capabilities, Go to London

Partners make enterprise workload migration to cloud easier, add high availability, cost control features

In the most recent round of improvements to their joint hybrid cloud capabilities, VMware and Amazon Web Services have expanded the VMware Cloud on AWS service to Europe and added new features meant to make hybrid cloud more seamless, cost-effective, and easier to manage for enterprise clients.

The two companies, which launched the hybrid cloud service six months ago, announced Wednesday that the service is now available in the AWS London Region, with plans to add Frankfurt in the near future, Mark Lohmeyer, VP and general manager of VMware’s cloud platform business, said during a conference call announcing the news.

VMware Cloud on AWS, which was previously available in the Amazon cloud’s US West and US East regions, will expand to Asia Pacific during the second half of 2018, he said.

Four New SaaS Products for Hybrid Cloud

The two companies also announced four new Software-as-a-Service capabilities they said will make it simpler for enterprises to migrate applications from own data centers to the public cloud.

A previously announced migration and portability service, called VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension, is now available. It promises to enable large-scale workload migration into the cloud with little or no application downtime while letting customers keep the same network, IP, and routing policies in place.

Enterprises can also use this service to migrate workloads between private clouds or private data centers, said Chris Wolf, VP and CTO of Global Field and Industry at VMware.

VMware has beefed up its virtual machine infrastructure monitoring service Wavefront by VMware. The new version adds 45 new integrations that provide enterprises even more visibility, the company said.

The new VMware Log Intelligence Service uses real-time log analytics and machine learning algorithms to scan for anomalies and allow enterprises to centrally troubleshoot any problems that arise in both in-house data centers and cloud environments, Wolf said.

Another Software-as-a-Service, called VMware Cost Insight, helps enterprises calculate the true cost of running applications in private or public cloud. It can go granular and provide insight on the impact of networking costs during a migration, Wolf said.

“This is an exciting capability that takes out a lot of the guesswork on cloud migrations,” he said.

The Hybrid Cloud Race

Top cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, and Oracle are all investing in hybrid cloud capabilities, either on their own or through partnerships. Amazon’s partnership with VMware, whose virtualization and cloud management software are ubiquitous in enterprise data centers, is key to its hybrid cloud efforts.

Wednesday’s announcement shows that VMware has a solid approach for helping its enterprise customers migrate to the public cloud and take a hybrid approach, Forrester Research VP and principal analyst Dave Bartoletti said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.

“What VMware is doing is smart. They are trying to be proactive and help clients more effectively move to the cloud and optimize data center costs,” he said. “VMware is expanding the management tools that their customers already know and love with new ones they acquired, such as Wavefront. What they are saying is: We want to give you the management tools to get to the cloud easier and faster, and once you get there, we will give you the visibility to optimize your use.”

New VMware Cloud on AWS features announced Wednesday include:

Improved high availability. Mission critical workloads are replicated across two AWS availability zones within an AWS region, Lohmeyer said. That means the cloud service provides enterprises with a “zero recovery point objective.”

“What that means is if there’s a blip on one availability zone, the data has already been replicated synchronously to a second availability zone, and we can rapidly restart that workload in the second availability zone,” he said.

More efficient storage resulting in cost savings. VMware Cloud on AWS now takes advantage of native VMware vSAN compression and deduplication on all-flash storage, which can cut storage costs in half. According to the company, a typical customer with 150TB of storage can save up to $1.2 million during a three-year period.

Automated capabilities. VMware Cloud on AWS will automatically check if firewall and network configurations in public and private cloud are correct, Lohmeyer said.

Virtual desktop services. VMWare is adding support for VMware Horizon, which will allow enterprises to host virtual desktops in VMware Cloud on AWS.

“Cloud Switzerland”

The expansion into Europe shows the value of VMware working with a cloud provider like AWS, Bartoletti added. “VMware doesn’t have to build clouds all over the world. AWS is already there,” he said.

During the conference call, Lohmeyer said VMware Cloud on AWS is seeing strong interest from three use cases: 1) Enterprises wanting to move workloads to the public cloud; 2) Cloud as data center extension, either leveraging the cloud to spin up capacity when demand increases, or to expand to new geographies; 3) To use the cloud instead of building disaster recovery sites of their own.

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, VMware also said that its Hybrid Cloud Extension Service is now available on IBM Cloud, another cloud provider VMware has partnered with.

The company says its strategy in the cloud market today is to be “cloud Switzerland.” It will continue building tools that will enable companies to use various cloud platforms and technologies available to them, regardless of which companies are behind those platforms and technologies.

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