GigaOm Sonar for VMware Global Clouds

An Emerging Technology Insight Report

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Report Methodology
  3. Overview
  4. Considerations for Adoption
  5. GigaOm Sonar
  6. Market Landscape
  7. Near-Term Roadmap
  8. Analyst’s Take
  9. About Alastair Cooke

Summary

The largest global public cloud providers all have services that provide customers with a vSphere cluster inside the provider’s data center. These services allow customers to deploy a vSphere cluster on-demand and run existing applications that are designed for enterprise infrastructure rather than cloud-native infrastructure. New cloud-native applications or features are built alongside the clusters and connected to these legacy applications.

One of the biggest challenges in moving existing applications to the public cloud is that public clouds do not offer enterprise infrastructure; they offer cloud-native infrastructure. Existing on-premises applications must be redeveloped to use cloud-native infrastructure, an expensive and time-consuming process, only to achieve the same functionality as the on-premises application. This time and money would be better spent building new features on cloud-native technologies.

A vSphere-on-Cloud platform offers the same Virtual Machine (VM) portability and enterprise infrastructure that exist on-premises. Existing applications can simply be moved to the public cloud where the new features are built. The use of vSphere-on-Cloud may be a transitory stage, with enabling application modernization with cloud-native services as the planned final state. Adoption might also be purely tactical, providing short-term resources without large capital expense as vSphere-on-Cloud services are billed on a monthly consumption basis rather than a big single initial purchase. Some organizations will use vSphere-on-Cloud as the core of their strategy to consolidate or eliminate on-premises data centers. Other organizations will adopt vSphere-on-Cloud as a VM mobility resource, such as for disaster recovery or portability between public cloud providers. The core of these services is the choice to run an unmodified application VM safely inside a public cloud platform or any other vSphere platform.

How We Got Here
For many organizations, their vSphere based VMs represent the IT that currently earns them money. The public cloud and cloud-native applications represent the IT they need to earn money in the future. Cloud-native applications are built using techniques that are completely different from those used for traditional applications, and there is seldom a direct upgrade path from VM-based applications to cloud-native. The biggest challenge for these organizations is how to jump the chasm between building on-premises applications and cloud-native applications. The ability to retain the vSphere VM applications while adding cloud-native elements is crucial to business success during this transition.

Several large cloud platforms offer VMware Clouds to provide a vSphere platform for these legacy applications inside the same public cloud data centers as the cloud-native services used to build new applications. The vSphere platform provides familiar enterprise features that are not available in the public cloud VM services, such as VMotion, vSphere HA, and fully customizable VM resource configuration. Locating VM-based legacy applications in the same data centers as newer cloud-native applications removes the usual higher network latency from the public cloud to on-premises.

The first VMware cloud service was VMware’s own VMware Cloud on AWS, which delivers a fully managed vSphere platform managed by VMware but located inside the AWS data centers. The first-party VMware service provides the suite of VMware products, including NSX networking, VMware’s DRaaS, and HCX for hybrid connectivity. Microsoft, Google, and Oracle each released their own version of a VMware cloud service within their own public-cloud data centers. These providers are public-cloud first and integrate their VMware service more with their cloud-native services. All of the services offer a simple wizard to deploy a vSphere cluster and familiar vCenter-based management for VMs. All of the services provide consumption-based pricing for the number of ESXi hosts deployed rather than the individual VMs on those hosts.

Inside the GigaOm Sonar Report

This GigaOm report is focused on emerging technologies and market segments. It helps organizations of all sizes to understand the technology and how it can fit in the overall IT strategy, its strengths, and its weaknesses. The report is organized into four sections:

Overview: an overview of the technology, its major benefits, possible use cases, and relevant characteristics of different product implementations already available in the market.

Considerations for Adoption: An analysis of the potential risks and benefits of introducing products based on this technology in an enterprise IT scenario, including table stakes and key differentiating features, as well as consideration on how to integrate the new product with the existing environment.

GigaOm Sonar: A graphical representation of the market and its most important players focused on their value proposition and their roadmaps for the future. This section also includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Near-Term Roadmap: A 12 to 18 month forecast of the future development of the technology, its ecosystem, and major players of this market segment.

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