1. Fast cloud migrations
Generally speaking, moving workloads to the cloud can be a time consuming. Organisations need to think about application compatibility, database considerations, service access, latency and downtime of critical applications.
Migrations may take month or years. Often, organisations simply do not have the time to retrain, asses application dependencies and plan for downtime and an easy solution is the adoption of VMware cloud on AWS. Currently, the only footprint required in the cloud is a three-node cluster, though we expect to see the first two node cluster unveiled soon. Customers can scale up back down if/when needed.
Because the ecosystem of the applications essentially remains the same from the perspective or hypervisor, resources, backends, management tools, etc. there is minimal disruption during a migration. Organisations have been known to migrate hundreds, or even thousands of VMs over just a few days with none or negligible downtime. Most importantly, the risk is minimised in a way that no other platform or migration strategy can offer. Familiar tools such as vMotion can be used for migration and there is no need to re-architect or refactor applications for the cloud.
2. Seamless cloud disaster recovery
With challenges to budgets and CAPEX, some of our customers are looking at closing down multiple datacentres and focusing their expertise, staff and budgets on a single on-premises option, using the cloud for disaster recovery.
The advantage of VMware Cloud on AWS is you use time tested technologies such as VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere replication for DR. As opposed to having to train and understand third party or cloud-based replication technologies. The added bonus is that you can start small with a three-node cluster (soon to be two node) and scale up if and when required. The DR environment can also be used for test and dev, as with any on-premises DR environment.
3. Datacentre extension
Often organisations are forced to take on services, businesses or extend capabilities. Examples could be mergers of public sector organisations like health and local government – the IT services of one organisation may have to support those of another. Mergers and acquisitions are another example.
The decision by businesses to explore the adoption of PaaS services and serverless technologies for business critical applications is another example. In such cases a non disruptive solution would be to extend the datacentre into cloud and provide extended services from there, while decisions are made for a more permanent solution.
For example, investing in more on-premises hardware, having a larger, more permanent environment in the cloud, or moving services from IaaS to platform and serverless once due diligence has been carried out in the VMware Cloud on AWS cluster.
4. Next Gen Applications
A methodology we have seen our customers adopt when modernising applications is a three-stage approach:
- Move applications in a risk free manner to the cloud (VMware Cloud on AWS is a great fit for this use case)
- Create resources on VMware Cloud in AWS for test and dev
- Carry out due diligence and begin to expose data sets to platform services and serverless technologies in an effort to modernise applications.
For example on the last point, a common first step is to move VMs that house relational database backends, web front ends and an application mi layer to IaaS using VMware on AWS. This stack can then be copied into a test and dev environment. Finally, AWS services such as RDS, Amazon Redshift, and webapp and mobile apps can be leveraged as well as serverless technologies such as lambda to modernise the stack, allow easier management and cost savings.
Coupled to this is the ability for different application tiers to scale separately to cope with high levels of demand like the web front end. Technologies like Tanzu (formerly known as Heptio), from VMware can assist in the adoption of technologies like containers and Kubernetes so that organisations moving from a VM based environment can take safe and easy steps towards microservices and containers to unlock the potential of AWS native services.
Finally, another example is exposing the data within relational databases such as SQL and Oracle to big data services and analytics services such as Amazon Athena and Amazon EMR to unlock crucial insights and business intelligence.