The VMware Cloud on AWS is available in the Americas, EMEA and APJ. Quite a thing, since VMware struggled in the past to have a true hybrid or public cloud story. With the AWS partnership, this is quite a milestone. VMware customers want the service, and the migration times into the cloud using HCX are unbeatable – so it’s certainly the simplest way to gain a foothold in the cloud. . Not being a techie, however, I had not initially grasped the full extent of the collaboration. I had viewed it to 90% as a VMware development. AWS provides the space and the generic hardware in its data centers, while VMware uses the facilities to install and operate its Solution Stack, returning the favor by offering a well-lit back door emblazoned with a huge sign stating “AWS NATIVE SERVICES”. Anyone looking to move data even faster to the AWS data center can simply use the AWS Direct Connect or the legendary Snow Mobile.
Now I have a better picture of which side is actually responsible for the individual contributions. One might say it’s 60% VMware and 40% AWS. But the dovetailing and integration of VMware Cloud Foundation, i.e. VMC, in the native AWS Services have actually progressed much further than I was able to grasp with my limited perceptual horizon. One example is the “Elastic vSAN” enabled by integration within the AWS EBS or the Encryption Services. Accompanied, of course, by outstanding availabilities due to automatic Host Remediation (automated, proactive host switch, e.g. if problems appear likely, naturally live with Elastic DRS) and the Stretched Cluster feature across all data centers within one AWS region.
The biggest news in relation to AWS and VMware? It is most definitely the announced AWS Outposts. This means that AWS is moving into the data center. But let’s backpedal for a moment first: AWS does acknowledge the existence and underlying sense of maintaining proprietary data centers. That will be a relief to many customers: It is not necessary to shift everything into the cloud, and the future will be hybrid, in the medium term at least. The Outposts are AWS “mini data centers” that allow customers to use native AWS Services in their own data center – ahhh: wasn’t there once talk of Azure On-Premises as well?
Back to VMware/ AWS: The Outposts are optionally available with AWS Cloud Foundation. This means that customers can also use VMC on the AWS Outposts – on-premises. That’s something I find really exciting.