Realizing the Vision: Accelerating the Multi-Cloud Future

“For every company considering and planning for a multi-cloud future, there is a common endgame,” said Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer, Products and Cloud Services. The goal is to be able to develop and deploy any app, old or new, on any cloud and any device.

A VMworld 2017 keynote presented by Raghuram, Guido Appenzeller, chief technology strategy officer (CTSO), Cloud and Networking, and Mark Lohmeyer, vice president and general manager, Cloud Platform Business Unit, centered on how VMware can help simplify and accelerate that journey for enterprises worldwide.

Assessing Applications
Businesses are sending two clear signals about the critical role applications play in their cloud strategies. The first is that digital transformation is forcing an assessment of their application portfolios to understand where their applications best fit in a multi-cloud future.

The options are to keep certain apps in the data center while modernizing the underlying infrastructure, modify them for moving to cloud, develop new cloud-native applications, or turn apps over to software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers instead.

The second signal, according to Raghuram, is that “every company is adopting more than one of these initiatives.”

Vision and Strategy
VMware’s vision, Raghuram said, is to enable organizations to embrace the best combination of these options by enabling them to work with and on any app, any cloud, and any device.

To realize this vision, VMware needed to answer a central question: How do you enable customers the freedom to choose from any of these options while not adding complexity and risk to the environment? “That is the central dilemma,” said Raghuram. To resolve it requires increasing organizational agility while simultaneously reducing complexity and risk. Getting this balance right is the focus of VMware’s strategy for simplifying and accelerating customer strategies for moving to a multi-cloud model.

VMware’s solution is twofold: provide consistent infrastructure and enable consistent operations across any cloud, including the physical data center.

Consistent Infrastructure Across Both Worlds
The core of VMware’s infrastructure strategy is the software-defined data center (SDDC). VMware Cloud Foundation™, which brings together VMware vSphere® (compute), VMware vSAN™ (storage), and VMware NSX® (networking) provides the foundation for public and private clouds. It creates a consistent architecture that allows organizations to manage, secure, automate, and operate on any device or cloud while using the same set of tools.

VMware Cloud™ applies this infrastructure strategy to cloud. VMware Cloud provides the infrastructure services, cloud operations, and application services to create the optimal, stable infrastructure environment to allow organizations to work across both private and public clouds.

Consistent Operations Across Both Worlds
The second aspect of VMware’s strategy is to provide consistent operations across any cloud. VMware ensures this in two ways. Every cloud environment has a core set of IT requirements that must be delivered for the enterprise to be successful. Among these are visibility, operations, automation, security, and governance.

Between VMware vRealize™ comprehensive cloud management portfolio and a new set of VMware Cloud Services, VMware offers customers a consistent set of operational models across any cloud. This eliminates the chance of cloud silos, yet still gives customers the opportunity to leverage any cloud while managing complexity and risk.

A Broad Range of Cloud Strategies
By giving customers the broadest set of cloud options, through the VMware Cloud Provider Program, more than 4,400 partners in 103 countries are already using  VMware infrastructure to create and deliver cloud services.

At VMworld 2017, Amazon Web Services (AWS)— the largest cloud service provider—further reinforced VMware’s cloud strategy by announcing the launch of VMware Cloud™ on AWS.

With VMware Cloud on AWS, organizations are given a complete set of VMware Cloud infrastructure options, along with a cloud management platform to manage the two clouds. It ensures customers consistent operations as they use the same tools and dashboard to manage their workloads and applications in the AWS cloud that they use to manage their on-premises operations. The extension is seamless. “Everything is consistent across both worlds,” Lohmeyer said.

VMware Cloud on AWS addresses a broad range of use cases. On-demand capacity means organizations can maintain and expand their cloud usage in response to changing conditions including seasonal and cyclical capacity requirements. Cloud migration is both simplified and accelerated because, as Lohmeyer noted, “everything stays the same.”  Workloads migrated to the environment then have access to the native cloud services offered through AWS, enhancing and enriching the applications.

But working across clouds still poses challenges. “Clouds are the new silos,” said Appenzeller. To answer this challenge, VMware offers VMware Cloud Services. Offered through a SaaS model, they target specific problems that hinder cloud migration and operations.

Appenzeller closed the showcase keynote by highlighting the key role of Pivotal Container Services™ (PKS). Appenzeller said it provides the final piece of VMware’s strategy because it allows organizations to expand their investments in next-generation applications while providing operational support for containerized apps.

“With PKS, we realize our vision of any app on any cloud on any device,” Appenzeller concluded. And by doing so, VMware provides the solution for simplifying and accelerating any organization’s multi-cloud strategy.