VMware Starts to Deliver on Cloud Promise

    VMware at the VMworld 2017 conference today made good on a promise to make a version of a stack of software on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in addition to delivering software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that can be applied to multiple clouds.

    VMware announced that VMware Cloud on AWS will initially be available on data centers residing in the U.S. West region of AWS located in Portand, Oregon. Over the course of the remainder of 2017 and 2018, Mark Lohmeyer, vice president of products for the Cloud Business Unit at VMware, says VMware plans to make VMware Cloud on AWS available globally. The next region in which VMware will make VMware Cloud on AWS available is on the east coast region service provided by AWS.

    VMware Cloud on AWS runs on bare-metal servers hosted by AWS, but is managed by VMware in that all updates to the platform are delivered by VMware versus an IT organization deciding what release of VMware software to deploy in production at any given time. Customers also have the option of paying for VMware Cloud on AWS on an hourly basis or signing up for one- to three-year subscription licenses.

    In total, VMware claims there will be over 4,500 applications of all types on VMware Cloud on AWS, including a data protection offering from VMware-sister company Dell EMC.

    VMware is also committing to delivering network services that will enable tighter integration between applications workloads running on VMware Cloud on AWS and various cloud services provided by AWS. In addition, Lohmeyer notes IT organizations that employ AWS Cloud will have a common pane of vCenter management software for managing VMware-based services in the cloud and on-premises.

    “There will be one logical view provided through vCenter,” says Lohmeyer.

    In addition to making a full stack of its software available on AWS, a suite of seven VMware applications collectively known as VMware Cloud Services based on VMware NSX network virtualization is now being made generally available. The SaaS offerings being made available under that umbrella include:

    VMware App Defense: Built on top of VMware vSphere and network virtualization software, VMware AppDefense provides IT organizations with greater visibility and control over applications running on the VMware stack of software. AppDefense is designed to allow IT organizations to reliably determine what elements of an application should be running versus what’s actually deployed. Any discrepancy is then identified as a potential security breach.

    VMware Cost Insight provides access to a cost monitoring and optimization service for multiple public and private clouds to analyze and optimize the cloud.

    VMware Discovery is an automated inventory service designed to identify instances of shadow IT by identifying what types of workloads are running where on multiple public clouds.

    VMware Network Insight provides a network and security analysis service for both public clouds and software-defined data centers. Network Insight provides insight into traffic flows to enable cloud security planning and network troubleshooting.

     VMware NSX Cloud is an implementation of VMware NSX network virtualization software that can be implemented on AWS to microsegment a cloud network. That implementation can be managed using the same console VMware provides to manage instances of NSX running on a local private cloud.

    Wavefront by VMware provides a metrics monitoring and analytics platform designed for cloud-native applications that is based on technologies VMware acquired earlier this year.

    While the majority of workloads in the enterprise continue to run on premises, it’s clear that multiple public clouds are now being at the very least considered, if not employed by IT organizations of all sizes.

    In the meantime, VMware continues to invest in multiple on-premises technologies. VMware today announced that VMware Integrated OpenStack 4 will be based on OpenStack Ocata release to provide greater support for applications based on containers. There’s also a new scale-out edition of vSphere optimized for Big Data applications, an update to VMware vRealize automation software that adds tighter integration with VMware NSX network virtualization software, and an acceleration kit intended to make it simpler to build hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems based on VMware vSAN storage software.

    VMware is trying to remain relevant by making its software stack available on multiple clouds. The challenge VMware faces, however, is that not only are IT organizations embracing multiple clouds, developers are increasingly showing a preference for building applications employing a microservices architecture based on containers such as Docker running on lightweight distributions of Linux. Most containers in the enterprise are deployed on top of virtual machines. But as IT organizations become more familiar with open source container orchestration tools, that might not always be the case.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.
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