VMware Cloud on AWS and Mainstream Enterprise Cloud Adoption. A bridge to Crossing the Chasm?

By Gautam Thockchom, CTO, AkasiaCloud

The 2010s has been a decade of the Cloud.  The Cloud decade gave rise to born in the Cloud companies that would have never existed if not for the Cloud, tech start-ups who would not be viable if not starting in the Cloud, cutting edge technologies evolving in the Cloud – containers, server less computing,  AI and machine learning and the list goes on…

In addition to the benefits of transition from a Capex to Opex model, the Cloud provides elasticity, scalability and access to cutting edge technology that is unprecedented.  Yet, even with all these benefits why is the Cloud spend  a mere 5% (50 billion of a trillion dollar) technology spend?   What is in the way and what will accelerate this transition?

To answer this question let’s first look at Cloud adoption today. Majority of the Cloud spend comes from born-in-the-cloud companies, new startups, and new projects or initiatives in the enterprise.  And therein lies the nub –  the enterprise legacy applications continue to be the beasts that need to be fed and consume the 95% of tech spend.   Enterprises have wisely taken the hybrid path – they build new applications in the Cloud, connect with existing core legacy applications on-prem, and “transition” the on-prem infrastructure to Cloud over time.   Today there exists a chasm for the vast 95% of on-premise applications to make the move to the Cloud. Cloud providers are salivating and clamoring for this mainstream transition to the Cloud.  But for the enterprises to cross this chasm, three hurdles need to be crossed first:

  1. Migration – complexity and costs
  2. Post Migration Operations
  3. Operational Costs

 

Migration – complexity and costs:   Migration by its very nature is complex, and especially when you are talking about thousands of systems, it seems insurmountable.   Migration to Cloud today requires,  a) conversion of  systems – bare metal or virtual machines to cloud virtual machine format, b) move the data associated with these systems to the cloud.  CIOs are faced with – should I brute force lift and shift?  Or should I spawn new VMs, load my applications and go from there?   Or  re-architect and refactor my applications and start from ground zero?  Or should I leave it for the next guy to deal with it, while I focus on the fun new applications in the Cloud?

 

Post-Migration Operations:  Operations in the Cloud is a new paradigm and requires a new type of skillset.  Operational tools, methodology and differ from cloud to cloud and requires training and certifications.  Scarcity of skills is a huge challenge for enterprises.

 

Operational Costs:    Once paid for, on-prem infrastructure is ‘free’ regardless of how you use it.  In-Cloud, on the other hand, is pay-for-what-you-use, and a constant watch, and continuous optimization is the order of the day.  The industry is full of cases where a companies are moving back to on-prem because of runaway costs in the Cloud. It is crucial to proactively predict cloud costs prior to embarking on a migration. Akasia’s Cloud Planning SaaS applications allow to examine your on-premise VMware resources and predict granular costs for VMware Cloud on AWS and compare costs across AWS, Azure, Bluemix, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud.

 

VMWare on AWS a potential bridge to Crossing the Chasm

VMware with its new offering of VMware Cloud on AWS posits that it addresses the hurdles above.  In theory it does make sense.  VMware Cloud on AWS is essentially ESX servers available on demand in AWS, managed and sold by VMware and AWS.  Migration to VMware Cloud on AWS will be relatively less complex because you do not have to convert your on-prem VMWare VMs while moving it to AWS – you can provision the ESX servers in the Cloud and vMotion the VMs over a fast network.   Post-migration, customers can continue to manage the infrastructure with the familiar vCenter and vRealize tools without having to train armies of administrators.   Operational costs will be more predictable and will reduce runaway surprise costs because VMware Cloud on AWS charges by the hosts provisioned regardless of the number, and size, and runtime of the VMs within.  This is huge because VMware customers can continue the general practice of overprovisioning VMs, and countering by overcommitting CPU and memory, and letting vSphere deal with allocating resources to VMs as needed.

No doubt VMware Cloud on AWS will have its teething problems but does have the potential to address these three big hurdles. Mark Hurd of Oracle has declared that the Cloud spend will cross 70% mark of the total IT spend by 2025.  Given that most of the installed base runs VMware, VMware Cloud on AWS might very well be the bridge to Crossing the Chasm and open the floodgates to mainstream Cloud adoption.

Click here to register for our webinar on Sep 27th, 10am, to hear experts from VMware and Akasia discuss this announcement.