A multi-cloud strategy benefits organisations in several very real, tangible ways: They can take advantage of innovations from a variety of cloud vendors. They can shift workloads among clouds to optimise efficiency, cost and compliance. And they can quickly leverage emerging technologies, from machine learning to IoT.
For most companies, a multi-cloud strategy is the foundation for digital transformation. With the right multi-cloud strategy, they can digitise processes to rapidly meet the needs of their customers, employees and suppliers. In particular, a multi-cloud strategy empowers application developers: They gain the flexibility to pick the right environment as they work to quickly develop new modern apps at scale.
But managing an infrastructure of multiple private clouds, public clouds and edge environments is messy. As Ray O’Farrell, executive vice president and general manager of VMware’s Modern Applications Platform Business Unit, explains: “Many enterprises are dealing with a somewhat chaotic situation. They have multiple clouds, and they wonder if they have to bet on one. One cloud might have a really good database and another has a really good service. They wonder how to combine those advantages. They’re facing a world of new types of applications that are highly distributed, leveraging multiple databases and many pieces of interconnected infrastructures.”.
So, how can businesses fully capitalise on multiple clouds for speeding the delivery of modern apps while also reducing the complexity of management?
Consistency is key. “Our goal is to provide a common, consistent approach to application management that will take you from edge devices to private cloud, all the way into public cloud,” says O’Farrell.
Consistent management also enhances flexibility. With a consistent approach, businesses can avoid being locked into one particular type of cloud or one particular type of infrastructure.
VMware is focused on delivering enterprise solutions that help businesses build, run and manage modern applications in a multi-cloud world. These solutions provide a consistent approach that reduces the complexity of managing applications across multiple clouds while giving developers the independence and agility they need.
The VMware 2019 acquisition of Pivotal helped lay the foundation for VMware’s build-and-run strategies. The cloud-native Pivotal Platform enables enterprises to rapidly build and deploy modern applications while decreasing operational complexity. It has been integrated into the VMware Tanzu portfolio as part of a modern software supply chain that helps increase developer velocity.
According to O’Farrell, the acquisition of Pivotal gives VMware “the ability not just to help clients build new microservices apps, but to make sure that the processes of building, deploying and working with these apps are distilled throughout an enterprise.” Services from VMware Pivotal Labs have helped hundreds of companies modernise their existing applications and quickly move to cloud.
Bitnami is another VMware acquisition that has contributed significantly to VMware’s build-and-run strategies. The new VMware Tanzu Application Catalog is powered by the Bitnami collection of production-ready open-source software, which developers can customise and deploy in the world’s leading cloud environments or their private repositories.
VMware designed its run strategy to give businesses the freedom to deploy their apps across private clouds, public clouds and edge environments, without constraints. To provide that freedom, VMware has made some significant enhancements to the VMware vSphere server virtualisation platform. For example, Kubernetes is now embedded into the control plane of vSphere 7, making it the optimal environment for all applications, both containerised and virtualised. This rearchitecture of the platform enables organisations to accelerate the development of modern apps on vSphere while continuing to take advantage of existing investments in technology, tools and skillsets.
By their nature, apps are—and should be—highly dynamic. They must be able to scale up and scale down quickly. Businesses might need to expand an app instantly using additional public cloud resources. Or they might need to move app components from a private cloud to the edge to meet real-time access constraints.
VMware offers an expanding collection of solutions to help enterprises manage the dynamic nature of apps while operating in a distributed environment. VMware Tanzu Mission Control is a centralised hub that helps operators run, manage and secure a multi-region, multi-cloud Kubernetes platform. And the VMware Tanzu Observability by Wavefront tool provides metrics-driven analytics at massive scale. Developers and operators can observe the real impact of code in production and automatically optimise performance.
From financial institutions and telecom providers to healthcare organisations and retailers, organisations today are becoming software businesses operating in a multi-cloud world. That world offers tremendous opportunities for digital transformation, but organisations must find ways to reduce the management complexity.
VMware solutions are geared toward helping organisations build, run and manage both traditional and modern applications across a wide range of infrastructure and cloud environments. By reducing complexity and enhancing flexibility, these solutions help businesses not just survive but thrive in a multi-cloud world. ▪