Q&A: VMware’s delicately balanced partnership with AWS brings modernization to migration
In the world of hybrid cloud computing, VMware Cloud on AWS has proven to be a beneficial partnership. While managing its services on the AWS Cloud infrastructure, VMware Inc. is able to respond to customer problems in a more meaningful way, with access to additional AWS services.
And while the virtualization giant is making waves by taking the heavy lifting off of its customers’ plates with upgrades to hardware and better lifecycle management for VMware software, it is also launching a solution to do the same on-premises. Needless to say, VMware is leveraging the ecosystem, particularly Amazon Web Services Inc., in an effort to deliver better user experiences.
“I think both VMware and AWS believe strongly in understanding what customers are looking for and making sure we’re delivering that value to them,” said Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware. “This is one of the compelling new options that we’ve enabled for customers with VMware Cloud on AWS. We could take a migration project that would have previously taken three years, and we could do it in a few months.”
Lohmeyer spoke with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and John Furrier (@furrier), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the VMworld 2019 event in San Francisco. They discussed cloud migration and modernization, using multiple cloud platforms on the edge, and how VMware’s partnership with AWS is making things easier for customers (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)
Furrier: You’re managing all the VMware Cloud on AWS and Dell EMC, which was a big part of today’s keynote and, obviously, a big part of your investments. There’s obviously a lot of resources on the VMware side. Give us an update on what’s going on.
Lohmeyer: We’re really pleased with the momentum we’re seeing for that in the marketplace [with VMware Cloud and AWS]. We compared what it looks like today versus a year ago, and we’ve increased the number of customers by 4x on the service. We’ve increased the numbers of VMs on the service by 9x. That’s kind of interesting because it shows you that we’re adding both new customers and existing customers are expanding their investment. And it’s powered by a lot of the compelling use cases. You may have heard Pat [Gelsinger] or others talk about, most notably, cloud migrations.
From an investment perspective,
significant investment from both VMware as well as AWS into the service. We say it’s jointly engineered, and that is absolutely the case. I mean we literally have hundreds of engineers that are optimizing the VMware software to be delivered as a service on top of the AWS infrastructure.
Vellante: Help me square the circle with multicloud, which is highly heterogeneous. So, can I have my cake and eat it too? Can I have this unified vision of the world? This control, same compliance, government security … management, etc., and have all this heterogeneity?
Lohmeyer: It starts from what the customer would like to do. What we’re seeing from customers is it’s increasingly a multicloud world that spans private cloud, public cloud, and edge. It’s a challenge for customers, right? If you look at how VMware is trying to help sort of square the circle, I think that first piece is this idea of consistent operations. We have these management tools that you can use to consistently operate those environments, whether they’re based on a VMware-based infrastructure or whether they’re based on a native cloud infrastructure.
If you look at our CloudHealth platform, it’s a great example where that service can help you get visibility to your cloud spend across different cloud platforms. It can help you reduce that spend over time. That’s what we refer to as consistent operations, which can span any cloud. My team is responsible for the consistent infrastructures base, and that’s really all about how do we deliver consistent compute network and storage service that spans on-prem, multiple public clouds, and edge. So that’s really where we’re bringing that same VMware Cloud Foundation stack to all those different environments.
Furrier: I want to get your thoughts on what Pat Gelsinger said on the keynote. He said, “Modernize and migrate or migrate and modernize.” He also mentioned live migrate as a big feature. What does he mean by that? Give us some examples, and what’s the impact to the customer?
Lohmeyer: It varies a little bit based on what the customer’s trying to accomplish. The one thing I’ll say is that, historically, it was a little bit tough to have that choice. The thought was, hey, I have to re-factor and re-platform everything upfront just to be able to get it to the public cloud. And then, once it’s there, I can sort of start to modernize. I think that can be a multi-year process, right?
I think one of the really interesting opportunities that we’ve opened up for customers with VMware Cloud on AWS is you don’t necessarily have to re-factor everything just to be able to get to the public cloud. We could help them migrate to the public cloud very quickly without requiring any changes if they don’t want to. Then when they’re there, they can modernize at their own pace based on the needs of the business. Having that additional option is actually quite useful for customers that want to get to the cloud quickly, and then from there begin to modernize.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the VMworld event.