Today, VMware and AWS, once rivals, show a technology preview of VMware Cloud on AWS. The new offering will allow VMware’s existing customer base utilize its familiar tools along with the AWS cloud environment. Previously, VMware relied upon its vCloud Air for its public cloud offering. With the new VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS is now becoming the preferred public cloud provider. For infrastructure/ consulting firms (e.g. IBM) that had been pushing vCloud Air, this is certainly a major blow. On the other hand, this is clearly a move to counter Microsoft’s Azure cloud offerings.
VMware ESXi for virtualization, vSAN for storage, and NSX for networking are all available on AWS infrastructure.
The infrastructure is managed using a standard vSphere Client. One can also use features such as vMotion to live migrate workloads from a company owned VMware deployment to AWS cloud infrastructure.
VMware has been a leader in the enterprise data center for over a decade. As with many aging business models, times change. Cloud providers like AWS utilize open source virtualization to provide virtualized data centers without paying for VMware licenses. As a result, AWS is extremely price competitive with expensive VMware installations. Over the past few years, AWS has clearly been rapidly growing in popularity. VMware has seen many customers migrate workloads to the AWS cloud. We recently used Google Trends to see the rise in AWS popularity and the decline in VMware.
Overall this is an exciting announcement as we have seen enterprise IT move from on-prem and company owned solutions to the AWS cloud. With billing options ranging from hourly to reserved instances the flexibility of the solution is certainly attractive. You can read more about this announcement on the AWS blog.