Take the Shortcut to Hybrid Cloud—From Anywhere on Earth

With recent expansion to Asia-Pacific, VMware and AWS’ hybrid cloud solution now just about covers the planet. A VMware leader shares reactions to the global availability of VMware Cloud on AWS.

The cloud has come to represent breathtaking freedom in the business world: freedom to swiftly move, grow and transform as fast as the world changes these days. Top of mind among cloud providers is AWS, an innovative, trusted leader in the public cloud.

The AWS cloud is everywhere—available in 18 geographic regions around the world, to be exact. Still, not every business that wants to operate in the AWS cloud can. Many organisations have made strategic investments in on-premises data centres, in terms of technology, tooling and training. Moving all of this to the cloud used to mean changing everything.

Alister Dias, VMware ANZ leader, talks about the region’s hunger for hybrid cloud.

So, VMware and AWS got together to solve this problem for customers. The resulting, jointly engineered solution, VMware Cloud on AWS, brought the full VMware software-defined data centre to the AWS cloud. And now, VMware and AWS are marching on the path to bring this industry-defining hybrid cloud solution to every AWS region.

Most recently, VMware Cloud on AWS became available for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). The first coverage for the Asia-Pacific region, ANZ availability fulfils joint ambition to launch the hybrid cloud solution globally within 12 months.

Following the announcement, we spoke with Alister Dias, vice president and managing director of VMware ANZ, to understand more about what this means for businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

VMware Cloud on AWS officially launched in ANZ just a month ago. What are your initial observations?

Prior to the public launch, we started an early access program for a select group of customers, including Australian-based, digital-first bank, ME. You can hear ME’s general manager for IT strategy and architecture, Sunny Avdihodzic, in the video below. This program allowed us to get a real understanding for the market ahead of the official launch.

We already see significant market demand for this solution from customers and partners. With research showing that nearly half (44.6 percent) of businesses plan to use a hybrid cloud deployment model in 2018, we’re confident there are many more to support. A lot of the organisations showing early interest are already joint customers in some form. As awareness grows, we also have new organisations coming to us, in anticipation of what it could mean for their businesses.

ANZ is one of the most virtualised markets in the world. How might this impact hybrid cloud adoption in the region?

Many organisations in Australia and New Zealand have already modernised their data centres, and there’s not much scope to further virtualise or extract value from the data centre modernisation process. They are software-defined and now looking to take the next step, which is commonly to extend or rearchitect their IT infrastructures and applications for cloud.

Since many of these organisations already leverage most VMware technologies, it makes sense to start to bridge those investments with cloud-ready, modern app development and deployments of modern, cloud-based services. Commonly, we’re seeing interest from organisations ready to transition from traditional, on-premises apps, and they’re looking for more efficient ways to approach refactoring and migrations, which can be painstaking and disruptive to the business.

There’s also emerging interest in bringing public cloud services to the data centre, to the private cloud. These customers aren’t looking to get out of their virtualised data centres or to abandon their private clouds. They aim to augment these strategic, on-premises investments with the flexibility, agility and high availability of the public cloud.

What types of businesses are showing interest in VMware Cloud on AWS? Are any trends emerging?

The interest is coming from all industries, including government. In addition to customers that are highly virtualised, another type of customer very keen to engage with us is what we classify as a digital transformation leader. This type of organisation wants to be a pioneer in their industry and strategically invest in innovation.

They aren’t just interested in migrating and managing VMware workloads in the AWS cloud. They want to give developers seamless access to AWS services from VMware-based test environments in order to pump out new, modern apps.

Do you notice any differences between geographies or market sectors within the region?

We see similar demand for VMware Cloud on AWS across Australian states, across New Zealand cities and across industries. Companies showing interest come from a broad range of sectors—financial services, retail, healthcare, education and government.

What are some of the key VMware Cloud on AWS updates businesses in ANZ, and across the world, benefit from?

We recently revealed a number of updates to VMware Cloud on AWS. The ones that stand out to me relate to price, security, migration and optimisation: A lower price point, further integration with VMware NSX for security, an easier migration path with VMware NSX Hybrid Connect powered by vMotion and vSphere Replication, and new options to manage and optimise enterprise applications. In addition to these, there are a lot of cool new features like VMware vSAN stretched clusters and integration to AWS Elastic Block Store and AWS Relational Database Service on VMware. You can track all the developments on the publicly available roadmap: cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws/roadmap .

VMware Cloud on AWS is now available in the Asia-Pacific (Sydney) region, with plans to expand the global reach to other areas of Asia-Pacific including Japan, Singapore, India, Hong Kong and Korea in the next 12 months. Read other VMware Cloud on AWS announcements from VMworld 2018.