Ensuring Consistency on the Path to Hybrid Cloud

by Aron Raj, Journalist

Rajiv Ramaswami, VMware Chief Operating Officer for Products and Cloud Services, has joint responsibility for all of VMware’s product and service offerings and centralised services, support and operational functions. During his session at the VMware CIO Forum, Rajiv highlighted the new paradigm for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud.

Businesses today need to have the right choice of cloud platform and cross-cloud networking and security. This includes being able to connect workload and data securely irrespective of where they are running. This, in turn, will enable developers to have more agility and innovation. Businesses will be able to govern, manage and secure multiple clouds without holding back the developers’ agility.

But more importantly, Rajiv pointed out that businesses need to consider the shifting customer expectations, accelerated disruption, increased complexity, budget and talent constraints and new security challenges in their path to transformation.

VMware’s Cloud Platform helps businesses accelerate their path to hybrid cloud. According to Rajiv, hybrid cloud is the best way to have a consistent infrastructure that spans across data centre, cloud and edge providing consistent operations across all clouds. It is also easier to build applications on and run them as well as make them portable.

DSA spoke to Rajiv exclusively to find out what is the cost or return on investment overhead of running VMware on top of platforms like AWS and Azure that already have their own cloud foundations in place.  

“All the major cloud providers are offering what we call metal as a service or bare metal. AWS provides servers, hardware essentially, and so does Azure. What we do in that environment, for example, with the VMware Cloud on AWS, we get the bare metal servers from AWS inside their data centres, and we put the VMware software stack on top of it, and then we operate it and manage it as a service.”

Rajiv added that there is an alternative which is the native cloud stack itself. “On AWS servers, they provide EC2 for example, which is a compute service and they provide the stack, which means they are looking at two side by side stacks. From a fundamental cost perspective, it’s a VMware stack or a native AWS or Azure stack that a customer is looking at. From a pricing perspective, they are very competitive and comparable in the marketplace. The cloud providers are pricing it by the virtual machines while we price it by the hosts”. There are some nuances he added, but the customer pricing is very similar across all of these.

“From a customer value proposition, what they can get with our solution is the compatibility. Compatibility across their on-premises infrastructure, in which they are largely using VMware, with the cloud environments, plus the freedom and flexibility to move back and forth. This is unique from VMware. If they use native cloud stacks, it’s much harder to get that.”

The hybrid cloud, Rajiv said, is the best way for cloud migration in terms of cost. It is much cheaper as it allows data centre consolidation and cloud to cloud migration through a platform like VMware Cloud on AWS. The hybrid cloud is also able to scale on demand, provide disaster recovery and backup, as well as handle seasonal demand spikes and incremental capacity for new projects. Multi-cloud operations can be unified to have a single way to manage all the clouds while developers will be able to build next-gen apps through cloud-native apps.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger highlighted in his keynote address at the VMware CIO Forum that the world is now in the era of the superpowers of technology. Following that, we asked Rajiv about the importance of maintaining partnerships in an era where technology dominance is key for businesses.

“It is absolutely important. VMware is always focused on building a platform, and the true value of a platform is delivered when you have a rich ecosystem around it. This is a world where it is increasingly a complex ecosystem. There are people in the ecosystem that we cooperate and compete with. It is very hard for you to succeed as a stand-alone player here. For us, the ecosystem is what enables VMware to be successful and our customers to realise the value of what they are getting.”

He added that VMware’s ecosystem is very broad. Using the cloud ecosystem as an example, he said VMware hopes to partner all the cloud providers in the future. From a hardware perspective, Rajiv said they partner with a lot of hardware providers to run on. In addition, VMware is also aligned with many technology partners including third-party security companies, endpoint detection and response companies, firewall companies as well as application delivery companies which are all running on VMware’s platform.

As Rajiv put it, having a broad ecosystem is vital for customers and VMware aims to provide “consistent infrastructure, consistent operations and the consistent developer experience.”

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