Extending Born in the Cloud Innovations to the Data Center

Next Generation of Hybrid Cloud:
Extending Born in the Cloud Innovations and Delivering “as a service” for the Data Center

This week at AWS re:Invent, VMware and AWS announced a further expansion of our strategic relationship, announcing innovative new options for how customers can support the needs of their applications in a hybrid cloud environment. Focused on AWS Outposts – new fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware, our combined offerings will allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises and seamlessly connect to AWS’s broad array of cloud services. Together we’re delivering a new, “as a service” model for on-premises data centers, helping customers eliminate operational overhead of managing infrastructure and providing access to innovative cloud services while enabling self-service scalable infrastructure.

This new chapter in our strategic relationship extends the definition of the hybrid cloud model we pioneered two years ago by delivering innovations born in the cloud back to the data center. Together we are further merging these two environments and creating an even stronger portfolio of options for customers to match the needs of their applications to uncompromising infrastructure resources from the data center to the cloud.

For the past year VMware and AWS have been operating a premier hybrid cloud solution built upon VMware Cloud Foundation, a fully deployed Software Defined Data Center in the AWS global cloud and consistent with the infrastructure and operations proven over decades of on-premises customer environments. Today, that service operates globally, supporting the most demanding business critical applications, and delivering all the key certifications and standards you would expect from VMware and AWS. By the end of 2019 we’ll offer VMware Cloud on AWS from every one of the AWS global availability zones.

Because it offers the same core infrastructure that has been trusted in the enterprise for decades, it has helped customers accelerate their cloud strategies, migrating large volumes of applications and even entire data centers to the cloud with the least amount of cost, effort or risk of any solution on the market, delivering disaster recovery solutions from the cloud and supporting next-generation app strategies.

Take for instance Playtika, one of the world’s largest global online gaming companies offering 24/7 entertainment online. The success of their platform meant their data centers quickly reached capacity. Playtika needed to rapidly migrate 650 VMs to the cloud, uninterrupted, while retaining all of the tools, policies and management tools in place. Today they are operating a full hybrid cloud on VMware Cloud on AWS, with a consistent dev/test environment and the ability to scale seamlessly as demand increases.

And in Japan, a region that just came online, we’ve seen pent up demand for VMware Cloud on AWS. When we launched our service, Zenrin Data Com, the top mapping provider and dominant mapping information provider in Japan joined us to discuss their plans to use VMware Cloud on AWS to complement their on-premises VMware presence and eliminate the cost and effort of migrating apps from their data center to native cloud providers. VMware Cloud on AWS is giving them a less costly, less complex path to the cloud and is expected to significantly accelerate their strategy.

Expanding Definition of Hybrid Cloud:

Customers continually tell us they want the freedom to match the needs of the application to the underlying infrastructure, whether that be in the cloud or in the data center. And to freely move these applications based on the needs of the business. And the more that we can provide consistent infrastructure, management tools, data models and APIs, the more successful our customers can be.

Earlier this year, we worked with AWS to expand the definition of hybrid cloud, bringing AWS Greengrass and RDS technologies on-premises on VMware’s cloud infrastructure. This is a great example of VMware and AWS collaborating for real customer value, bringing technology proven in the public cloud to the data center, supported by VMware Cloud infrastructure solutions.

RDS for VMware can help remove a lot of the pain of managing databases, helping customers automate provisioning and operations of their on-premises databases, enabling low-cost, high availability hybrid deployments, database disaster recovery to AWS, read-replica bursting to RDS in the AWS Cloud, and long-term database archival in S3. On Monday, November 26 we opened up the preview of Amazon RDS for VMware, so customers can use it today. We’re looking forward to hearing about your experiences with this offering.

But we didn’t stop there. At VMworld US in Las Vegas this year we previewed “Project Dimension”, a new service that extends VMware Cloud Foundation to deliver SDDC infrastructure as an end-to-end service across the data center, cloud, branch and the edge on industry-leading hardware from Dell, and Lenovo.

Customer Challenges Driving New Hybrid Cloud Opportunities

The hybrid cloud delivered by VMware Cloud on AWS has to date been effective for customers wanting to extend their current data center investments to the cloud. Many applications, however, must reside on-premises due to requirements such as latency, data gravity and ownership models.

We want to bring the advantages of the cloud – reduced infrastructure operational overhead; access to innovative cloud services; OPEX financial models; and self-service, scale on demand infrastructure – to all environments. Expanding “as-a-service” options gives customers flexibility in how they consume, deploy and manage their infrastructure from our traditional SDDC product offerings, hyperconverged solutions and growing hybrid cloud services, all with consistency of infrastructure and operations.

AWS and VMware Extend the Cloud to the Data Center:

AWS Outposts will, for the first time, bring AWS compute and storage racks on-premises, leveraging the same AWS-designed hardware run in the AWS cloud. And AWS will deliver the racks, help install them and maintain and replace the racks, if the customer chooses.

For customers leveraging AWS Outposts on-premises, VMware is offering two approaches to support their implementations:

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts: a jointly engineered solution that will eliminate the customer burden of managing on-premises hardware, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts will be a fully-managed VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) powered by VMware Cloud Foundation – compute, storage, networking, security, and cloud management.VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts will support both virtual machine, container, and Kubernetes-based applications across the hybrid cloud. It leverages the same software stack, control plane, API’s, and managed service as VMware Cloud on AWS and will be sold, provisioned, operated, and supported by VMware or one of its partners.

VMware Cloud on AWS for AWS Outposts will also leverage Project Dimension, extending this service to AWS custom built hardware and giving customers even further flexibility for how they deploy and manage their cloud infrastructure.

VMware Cloud Foundation for EC2: Customers who want to use the same APIs and control plane they run on AWS, but want to run EC2 instances and EBS volumes locally in their own data center, can deploy AWS EC2 on Outposts.

To integrate EC2 environments seamlessly into the on-premises data center, VMware will introduce VMware Cloud Foundation for EC2. Natively built for all EC2 workloads, VMware Cloud Foundation for EC2 will help unify critical areas of networking, security, cloud management, data protection and application development across EC2 environments, and enable customers leverage proven data center technologies as they move native AWS environments to on-premises data centers.

We’ll have many more details to share soon. But you can find additional technical details here.

Unique Value from VMware and AWS

VMware and AWS are at the forefront of defining and redefining hybrid cloud for the market based squarely on the needs of our customers.

Over the last two years, the two companies have worked to eliminate the inflexible boundaries that previously existed between on-premises and cloud environments, helping customers dramatically accelerate their cloud strategies.

Today we are taking another step forward with hybrid cloud, bringing together the best of the data center with the best of the cloud in a set of on-premises offerings. VMware and AWS customers will now have ultimate freedom to match the needs of EC2, vSphere and VMware Cloud workloads to the unique capabilities of their infrastructure without compromising how those applications are supported or managed.

AWS and VMware are uniquely positioned to deliver this. And we’re excited to hear how you take advantage of this growing portfolio of hybrid cloud services.


  1. Visit the website to indicate your interest to stay tuned for updates about these offerings
  2. To learn more about these offerings, read William Lam’s blog post
  3. To get started with VMware Cloud on AWS in the AWS Cloud, visit https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws/get-started

About the Authors

Raghu Raghuram

Chief Operating Officer, Products and Cloud Services at VMware

Raghu Raghuram joined VMware in 2003 and has responsibility for all VMware’s product and service offerings and centralized services, support and operational functions. During his tenure at VMware, Raghuram has held multiple leadership roles, most recently leading the company’s software-defined data center business as the executive vice president and general manager, where he was responsible for the division’s strategy, business and product planning and engineering execution. Prior to that he led the company’s cloud infrastructure and management business as the general manager, and led worldwide product marketing, product management and business planning for VMware's virtual infrastructure. Raghuram began his career at VMware running product management for ESX and vSphere.

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