VMware Decides to Move Data Center Cloud Over to AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS is architected with engineering, operations, support and sales resources from both companies. It will run on dedicated AWS infrastructure.

SAN FRANCISCO—VMware and Amazon Web Services, major IT players that often aren't mentioned in the same sentence because many of their products compete in the same markets, revealed a new partnership Oct. 13 that will result in all of VMware's cloud infrastructure software being hosted on AWS.

For the IT and software development sectors, the deal will mean VMware mainstays such as all its software-defined data center ware—vCenter, NSX, vSphere, VSAN and others—will run on AWS instead of VMware's own cloud. Like any other cloud deployment, the partnership enables VMware to focus on developing its products and not have to deal with the issues around hosting them, which has never been its primary business.

In fact, VMware has made the same decision—to have its services made available on a major internet hosting service—as thousands of companies have made, since AWS rejiggered the idea of ASPs (application service providers) and started the cloud-services boom with S3 (Simple Storage Service) in 2006.

The new service, to be called VMware Cloud on AWS (VMware is being intentional about the branding) is currently in the tech preview process. VMware said an invitational beta program will begin early next year and will likely continue until mid-2017, which would indicate a general availability about a year from now.

VMware Running the Show; AWS Hosts and Supports

VMware Cloud on AWS will be run, marketed and supported by VMware, like most typical cloud deployments. However, the service will be integrated with AWS's own cloud portfolio, which provides computing, databases, analytics and a few different levels of storage, among other features.

VMware Cloud on AWS is a jointly architected service that represents a significant investment in engineering, operations, support and sales resources from both companies. It will run on dedicated AWS infrastructure.

Mark Lohmeyer, VMware's vice president of products in the Cloud Platform Business Unit, listed the following as the key benefits of the new service:

--Best-in-class hybrid cloud capabilities: Features enterprise-class application performance, reliability, availability and security with the VMware technologies optimized to run on AWS.

--Operationally consistent with vSphere: With VMware Cloud on AWS, a private data center integrated with the AWS public cloud can be operated using the same vCenter UIs, APIs and CLIs that IT managers already know. With vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode, they will have a single pane of glass for managing on-premises and VMware Cloud resources on AWS.

--Seamless integration with AWS services: Virtual machines running in this environment will have access to use AWS' broad set of cloud-based services, including storage, database, analytics and more. This will enable a new set of solutions only possible with VMware environments co-existing on the same infrastructure as AWS cloud-based services.

--Seamless workload portability: Full VM compatibility and total workload portability between the data center and the AWS cloud is part of the deal. No complex and time-consuming application re-platforming is required. "Whether users want the cloud as a disaster recovery site, to migrate a whole data center, or simply burst to the cloud, they can be confident that the applications will work," Lohmeyer said.

--Elastically scalable: The service will let users scale capacity according to their needs. Capacity can be scaled up and down by adding or removing hosts.

--No patching or upgrades: The service will remove the burden of managing the software patch, update and upgrade life cycle for the user. Operating as a service means VMware will take responsibility for ensuring that the environment is always up to date.

--Subscription-based consumption: Customers will be able to purchase dedicated clusters that combine VMware software and AWS infrastructure, either on-demand or as a subscription service.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...