VMware Arrives on AWS

Posted on 12. Aug, 2017 by in Cloud, Hosting, Increase Web Site Traffic, internet, Uncategorized

VMware Arrives on AWS

Since announcing a partnership with AWS late last year, VMware has sold its vCloud Air public cloud (to OVH in July), and has been working with AWS on a new hybrid cloud capability called VMware Cloud on AWS.

It will offer a single compute, storage and network experience across public and private clouds, with peering to enable smooth access to AWS’s other services.

VMware Cloud on AWS is expected in a month or two in the US, with a second US datacenter to follow soon after. The companies will address EMEA and APAC in 2018.

Customer Benefits

The hybrid cloud will allow VMware’s customers to consume cloud services from AWS using a single experience: account, portal and network.

Customers benefit from access to a greater range of public cloud services – at lower prices – than VMware could have achieved with vCloud Air.

Customers can use the public cloud for some workloads, private clouds for other workloads – all managed and controlled via a single interface, with AWS’s economies of scale.

VMware Benefits

VMware benefits by being able to retain, and grow with, customers currently using private clouds that are experimenting with the public cloud.

VMware has a large installed base to upsell, and a leading virtualization position it doesn’t want to lose to public clouds.

vCloud Air focused on three primary use cases – datacenter extension, datacenter consolidation and datacenter recovery – all designed to add value to VMware’s existing on-premises customer base.

But users wanted more: more services, more regions and more cutting-edge capability at lower price points.

AWS was the natural candidate to partner with VMware.

AWS Benefits

AWS benefits by being able to tap VMware’s customer base, and from having a hybrid cloud strategy to attract more enterprises.

AWS previously stated it believed in an all-public-cloud world.

However, over the past few years that message softened, as AWS realized enterprises want a mix of execution venues for different workloads, scenarios and objectives.

How it Works

AWS developed a bare-metal service that provides the underlying infrastructure for VMware Cloud Foundation software.

Cloud Foundation is VMware’s unified software-defined datacenter (SDDS) bundle, which encompasses virtualization, storage and network management via its vSphere, vSAN and NSX products, respectively.

Users will be able to spin up VMware Cloud instances from VMware’s web portal, which can be configured with resources to run VMware-based workloads without changes from the on-premises versions.

Key Value

Crucially, it will be possible to connect the VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure and VMware on-premises deployments via a software-defined WAN, powered by NSX, and to link them together in a common management portal.

451 Research believes this is where the key value in VMware’s proposition lies – by being able to ‘live-migrate’ workloads and build disaster-recovery products using a single experience, portal and set of tools.

VMware will manage the experience and billing for the AWS infrastructure; AWS is effectively a silent partner. VMware is providing the service wrap and the hybridity, while AWS provides only public cloud infrastructure.

However, VMware/AWS VMs will be able to directly consume AWS’s other services through a peering relationship.

Rather than having to route API calls out of the bare-metal infrastructure and back to AWS through the internet, there is a peer relationship between the VMware Cloud on AWS resources and AWS services.

This reduces the latency of calls, and more seamlessly integrates the services together.

For customers, this approach provides access to AWS’s newer and more differentiated services (such as Lambda) ‘locally’ to VMware on AWS, thereby removing a barrier to adoption.

The pricing model has yet to be announced, but 451 Research anticipates users will be charged on a per-server basis, probably billed by the hour.


Microsoft is the primary competitor.

Microsoft has offered hybrid cloud capabilities for years, but attached only to its own Azure public cloud. Microsoft’s Windows Azure Pack enables Azure-like services to be deployed on-premises with integration with Azure.

AzureStack extended this with on-demand, pay-as-you-go pricing. Its hybrid use case enables the transfer of on-premises licenses to Azure.

VMware might have an advantage in that it doesn’t have to commit to any particular cloud. In contrast, Microsoft will likely want to sell only its own public cloud services.

Now that VMware has sold its own public cloud, it can effectively broker AWS, Google, Microsoft and other vendors’ cloud services: This could eventually be a key differentiator vs. Microsoft.

Other Competitors

Vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell, IBM and Cisco want to enable hybrid clouds by providing hardware, software and services (as discrete products or hyper-converged) that allow consumption of third-party clouds.

There is also a raft of cloud brokers with management portals that provide a single pane for managing multiple clouds. Examples include RightScale, Red Hat, DXC Technology, Scalr, CA Technologies and BMC.

Research Opinion

VMware is wise to get on board with AWS. As market leaders in private and public cloud, respectively, it makes sense for the two companies to partner.

Enterprises want to choose the best execution venue for each workload, and the partnership will facilitate management of hybrid cloud deployments.

VMware will handle the customer relationship, support and billing, thus adding value through end-to-end management of the hybrid offering.

451 Research believes price will make or break VMware’s success, because cost comparisons between VMware and ‘direct’ AWS are inevitable.

VMware will need to prove its service is priced reasonably for the value it’s adding – and it has to be bold and clear in this justification.

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