Companies that want to shift their on-premise applications running on VMware to the cloud can save significant costs by deploying VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS says Nathan Wheat, Head of VMware Cloud on AWS (ANZ) at Amazon Web Services.

By identifying applications that aren’t materially enhanced by the shift from on-premise to cloud due to the nature of what they do, companies can use VMC to eliminate some of the obvious drivers of cost.

According to Wheat, “If there’s an application made up of ten pieces, moving it from a VMware-based on-premises environment to a cloud-native environment means not only converting the machine but also all the internal operating system drivers and the way that it interacts with its hardware. This all has to be checked and changed. Especially so if there are old workloads.”

Such processes start to rack up man-hours pretty quickly, says Wheat.

“You might have a team of five people involved who need to take the time over a weekend to do the change window, run up the application, check the ten other components and make sure they all still tie together nicely.”

All of this takes time, and all that time converts directly as a cost for the business.

As companies plan their migration to the cloud it is important to apply different treatments to different application sets and workloads, he says.

Business Drivers

“The reason that people want to go to the cloud is often because they want to re-architect and re-factor in ways that enable them to take advantage of capabilities like scalability which allows you to more rapidly respond to changing demands and business peaks.

“But most of the applications might not need the full migration treatment, as they just convert directly to run the same workload. Many applications simply end up being converted or re-hosted to run on the cloud platform as-is, and do not undergo any further innovation or modernisation.

“In a typical case, each of these workload migrations might run to a few thousand dollars to get onto the cloud. That’s because it needs to be re-networked and converted, and tested. Then the application owners need to run it and make sure that it hasn’t been broken in the move.”

For a larger organisation with perhaps a thousand workloads, the reality is that a good proportion of the applications won’t be materially changed by the shift to cloud — but the investment in change is still required.

And this, says Wheat, is where VMC makes a huge difference. 

“With VMC all that effort and cost can be avoided. VMC keeps everything operating exactly as it was before, and it’s that reduction in an effort that delivers an order of magnitude reduction in the cost.

“We’re not changing the format of the machine. We’re not changing its network context. VMC reduces the effort and risk management, and the need for the application owner to go through all of that validation.”

“The Forrester TEI report on VMware Cloud on AWS (Aug 2019), found that for a $4.1M cost base, customers avoided $2.7M in application re-architecture due to the rapid migration capabilities of VMC, in addition to other cost savings around operations labour, facilities and hardware. That means, for a customer planning a $5 million spend on a cloud program, it might knock off a million dollars from the cost of the program by just running applications that are fundamentally not changing on VMC.”

More importantly, he says, those savings can be applied to applications that are more direct drivers of business benefit.

Partnership payoff

All of this is possible because of the tight integration between AWS and VMware, says Wheat.

“The unique thing about the AWS VMware collaboration is that it’s a service we built together — where people from both sides were working jointly on all the changes.

“That meant collaborating on the AWS infrastructure to support VMware directly as a technology stack. And likewise, with changes made to the hypervisor to support AWS hardware and also to support the methodologies.”

The business benefits of VMC on AWS are described in a new whitepaper called Fast Track Your Transformation with VMware on AWS Download it today


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