Many tech pundits make cloud migration seem straightforward. They point to the statistics that paint a picture of a world where data and apps in the cloud are the norm – no longer a curiosity or a business differentiator. But the journey to cloud is in many cases not straightforward, and in many cases more complex than companies realized going in.
In a recent ITWC webinar, AWS Senior Solution Architect Haider Witwit made a point of recognizing several of the main misgivings decision-makers still have about making the big move into cloud:
- Lack of workload portability: Uncertainty around workload/app portability and compatibility. Should you move all, or just some workloads to the cloud?
- Incongruence and inconsistency: Incongruence between on-prem and cloud leads to operational inconsistency, which can force organizations to adopt a complex cloud performance optimization strategy.
- Different VM formats: Organizations using a different virtual machine format and/or hypervisor from the cloud environment they are moving to may face issues around machine conversion – and this process is often far from seamless
Witwit adds security to that list of sticking points for companies considering a move, or a deeper move, into the cloud. “We hear of it a lot, this concern over maintaining consistent security in the cloud,” he said. But what AWS can offer is essentially a single pane of glass companies can use to monitor and maintain their hybrid cloud environments.
Witwit is referring to the VMWare infrastructure stack, now available on AWS and available in Canada in early 2019.
“We’re talking about something that is essentially the same as your on-premise environment,” said Witwit. “In most cases you wouldn’t even notice that everything is being run from the cloud.”
As to how difficult it will be for organizations to transition to VMWare Cloud on AWS: “You can launch a VMWare cluster when and where you need it — launch a cluster from scratch — in about two hours. To add more nodes to that cluster, you’re talking 10 to 15 minutes. This is true on-demand resourcing.”
Witwit was clear on the benefits of the stack:
- Simple and consistent operation: the ability to provision VMWare environments on AWS with just a few clicks, using familiar VMWare technologies to manage your hybrid environment between cloud and on-prem under a single pane of glass.
- Enterprise-grade capabilities: taking advantage of VMWare technologies optimized to run on next-gen AWS infrastructure, with optimized access to AWS services, the ability to leverage seamless workload portability at scale, and enterprise-grade security
- Flexibility and innovation: the ability to align costs to your specific business needs with flexible consumption options and investment protection
Through VMWare Cloud on AWS, organizations can access all available AWS offerings, allowing them to: run apps in the cloud without expensive re-factoring of code; increase the value of their enterprise apps by giving them access to a broad range of AWS services for integrated app modernization; and capitalize on cloud agility and scale in an operationally consistent and familiar way. To Witwit, however, perhaps the biggest plus is the ability to do something game-changing without it upsetting operations through downtime.
“We have demoed VMWare on AWS many times,” he said, “and yes, you can actually migrate to the cloud without needing to re-IP, without the need to plan an outage. It’s all available because of this combination of VMWare and AWS capabilities.”
Webinar moderator Gary Davenport, Past President of CIO Association of Canada, asked Witwit about the common challenges faced by customers before they can see benefits.
“I wouldn’t call them challenges as much as a need to prepare,” Witwit responded. “If you’re not familiar with AWS, or you’re getting to learn about AWS now that you’re launching VMWare clusters, I encourage you to work closely with your AWS team. Do some learning. Establish a point of contact with AWS, and have a team or resource help you plan out your cloud deployments.”
“These are not challenges, they are preparations to host your environment in the cloud, addressing accountability, security and compliance, and meeting connectivity requirements.
The VMware infrastructure stack is now available on AWS, and will be in Canada in Q1 2019.