Now that instances of VMware are starting to become available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a DevOps ecosystem is starting to emerge around the management of applications workloads moving into and out of AWS.
Among the more than 4,500 applications that VMware claims already support VMware Cloud on AWS are those from Blue Medora, CA Technologies, Chef, Cloudbees, Dynatrace, Jfrog, Puppet, SaltStack and the Ansible arm of Red Hat.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger told attendees at the recent VMworld 2017 conference that VMware and AWS are just now scratching the surface of what they plan to accomplish together. AWS CEO Andy Jassy added that, unlike other alliances, which consisted mainly of marketing, engineers at both companies are working closely together to deliver VMware globally across all AWS availability zones. At present, VMware Cloud on AWS is available in the AWS availability zone hosted in Portland, Oregon. The service soon will be extended to the east coast of the United States, followed by rest of the world over the course of 2018.
The availability of VMware Cloud on AWS should force several DevOps issues within enterprise IT organizations that have deployed the VMware stack of software mainly on-premises. Many of those organizations have also been employing public clouds such as AWS. But because those environments are based on different hypervisors, it was never easy to migrate workloads between the two platforms. There are plenty of options for running VMware software in the cloud, but because AWS is the largest provider of public cloud services, there are many customers who want to seamlessly move workloads between their on-premises IT environments and AWS via a common stack of VMware software.
In many organizations the desire to shift applications workloads into AWS will bring many DevOps issues to a head, as VMware and AWS use has occurred in independently of each other. There could be many workloads running on each platform, but for all intents and purposes, IT organizations have managed both platforms in isolation. Now that VMware is becoming available on AWS, all the challenges associated with moving workloads between a public and private cloud come to the fore.
Most of those DevOps issues will be focused first on moving some classes of workloads running on VMware into AWS. Application workloads that don’t need to run constantly will be among the primary candidates followed by a slew of data protection applications that will enable IT organizations to back up and archive massive amounts of data inexpensively. Next up will be applications that need to be distributed globally to increase availability.
At the same time, a lot of VMware shops will be moving application development into the cloud. But just because an application is developed in the cloud doesn’t mean it will stay there. Many IT organizations have already discovered that when it comes to long-running applications, the total cost of deploying them on-premises is less than deploying them on a public cloud. The DevOps tasks ahead, of course, will start with figuring out which VMware-based applications make the best candidates from a financial and availability perspective to be deployed on AWS.