Modern companies are moving in the direction of being both cloud-facing and cloud agnostic. From startups looking to reduce electricity bills and forgo tech update headaches every few years to global enterprises with legacy systems that are ready to modernize, organizations of all kinds are putting their workloads on the cloud rather than – or in addition to – on-prem data centers. With multiple public cloud providers, companies need to be flexible, agile, and able to offer compatibility and smooth operations no matter which public cloud they or their customers use.
VMware quickly recognized this challenge – and the opportunity it presented – and came out with various options for using VMware as a basis for interaction with all the various public cloud providers. For every need, VMware has a suite of tools that together comprise a broad, multi-cloud platform that provides a user experience that is unified across clouds. These include tools for everything from resources to policies and security:
- Storage – vSAN, enterprise-class storage virtualization software that provides the easiest path to HCI and hybrid cloud.
- Virtualization – VMware vSphere, based on ESXi installation on the physical servers of the cloud provider
- Networking – NSX, software-defined networking from VMware that confers communication abilities and firewall (both east-west and north-south)
- Management and Monitor – vROPS, which enables self-driving IT Operations Management across private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments with a unified operations platform that delivers continuous performance, capacity and cost optimization, intelligent remediation, and integrated compliance through AI/ML and predictive analytics.
- Automation – vRA, which allows IT teams to create and manage corporate private clouds with the integration of hybrid cloud models with the public clouds, without the need for complex manual processes.
All of these tools are provided as a service, and VMware handles all of the updates, incidents, troubleshooting, and more.
There are four broad use cases for which VMware’s multi-cloud approach is an ideal solution.
- Data center extension – Companies that already have the on-prem infrastructure but anticipate or would like to prepare for additional growth need to scale their resources, increase their infrastructure, test their features, etc. To achieve this, these companies can pull up VMware’s vSphere as a Service for any of the public clouds and “stretch” their on-prem network to the cloud. They’ll have all of the same management tools and the same experience that they’ve had on-prem, now with the scalable services that the cloud affords.
- Disaster Recovery as a Service – Many companies want to establish a Disaster Recovery site but prefer not to deal with co-location, hold property, or purchase the necessary hardware, all of which are costly relative to the frequency with which they are utilized. VMware on AWS/AVS/GCVE makes it possible to establish a DR site with a minimal footprint and to synchronize the VMs to the cloud. That way, you can bring up the relevant compute to the environmental sketch and support the workload that’s on the DR site only in the event of a disaster.
- Total Data Center Migration – For organizations that decide to move their infrastructure fully to the cloud, there are four different strategies they can employ – rehosting, re-platforming, and refactoring. While each one of these strategies has pros and cons, the fastest option is rehosting, also known as “lift and shift.” Because most large-scale organizations are based on VMware on-prem, migrating to the cloud using vMotion is the fastest and most risk-free approach to lift and shift and requires the smallest learning curve. By offering the same platform and experience on-prem and on the cloud, employing the same technology to implement the migration, and retaining the same existing technologies between on-prem and the cloud, teams are able to make a smooth and simple transition to cloud-based infrastructure.
- Modernization – Once a company has moved to the cloud, how can they be sure they are best taking advantage of everything the cloud can offer? To do this, they essentially need to re-platform their application – to take their databases, remove them from the virtual infrastructure, and put them on the managed service of whatever cloud they’re using. For example, they can use RDS (Managed Database as a service) from AWS for the SQL (processing) simply, thanks to the direct connection between the VPC (AWS Virtual Private Cloud) that hosts VMC (the managed service of AWS) and the VPC that hosts the RDS. Removing the databases and creating the communication line means that the application can work with very low latency and without traffic-related costs since everything is in the same region and the traffic stays within the same AWS data center. This same approach can be used to move to microservices and containers or to employ Lambda functions. Once a company is using the cloud ecosystem, it is easy for them to take advantage of the services offered, and the same VMware service can facilitate this in any of the public clouds.
By establishing this suite of services, VMware has made moving to and exploiting public cloud services smooth and seamless for their customers. As VMware continues to upgrade its offerings and push against the boundaries of its own technology solutions, the TeraSky team will likewise continue to ensure that our joint customers can make the most of what is possible in order to achieve their business goals.
Written by: Andrey Andreev, Solution Architect