VMware Cloud on AWS implementation best practice: How to accelerate benefits with upfront planning
By now, most businesses have made or are at least planning to make the shift to the cloud. As the benefits of a hybrid and multi-cloud environment become well-known, organisations are turning to VMware’s hybrid cloud platform: VMware Cloud on AWS.
VMware Cloud on AWS offers organisations scalability, support for strategic initiatives, and cost savings for use cases like data centre extension, disaster recovery (DR), and more. Organisations across varied industries—especially tech services, financial services, education, and healthcare—are prepared to embrace VMware Cloud on AWS.
Moving to VMware Cloud on AWS simplifies cloud adoption and reduces the disruptions associated with other cloud initiatives. By evaluating the fit, identifying organisational benefits, and being mindful of the elements involved in making the move, you’ll further reduce the risks that hinder large IT infrastructure transformation projects.
For any organisation considering VMware Cloud on AWS, think about the following five key aspects. These will help ensure that you leverage all of the benefits and ultimately realise a seamless migration.
Define business objectives and success criteria
Before embarking on your cloud journey, identify the business objectives that cloud will help your business achieve. Organisations across industries turn to the cloud in order to:
- Deliver consistent global operations
- Cost-effectively expand their data centre footprints
- Leverage cloud-native tooling to enhance data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to improve market and business performance
- Improve business resiliency from natural disasters, cyberattacks, ransomware, and power outages,
- Reduce costs associated with building and managing data centres
- Increase elasticity
If your business objective is to deliver consistent global operations, which cloud locations offer your proximity and low latencies between applications, storage, and users? If your business objective is to improve business resiliency, how quickly do business-critical applications need to be restored after a disaster event?
Once you understand your goals for cloud adoption or migration, learn from others who have similar use cases.
Match business objective to primary VMware Cloud on AWS use cases
Organisations are adopting VMware Cloud on AWS to satisfy four primary use cases. The first use case, data centre extension, allows businesses to augment their existing on-prem data centres with cloud resources and add test/dev capabilities without building out a physical data centre. VMware Cloud on AWS offers these companies a cloud environment that’s operationally similar to their on-prem VMware environments.
The second most popular use case is cloud migration. Transition your on-prem data centre into the cloud in an efficient, frictionless manner. Migrating VMware workloads from on-premises to VMware Cloud on AWS avoids the hidden costs of refactoring applications and re-skilling your workforce. Wholly or partially replacing existing on-prem and colo data centres lowers facilities, cooling, and labour costs, freeing up funds for strategic business initiatives.
Another popular use case is leveraging AWS integrated apps to perform early predictive analytics, access artificial intelligence (AI), and utilise machine learning capabilities to develop unstructured and semi-structured data to yield actionable market and business analysis. VMware Cloud in AWS opens up integrations and reduces latency between your applications and Amazon Native services.
Finally, disaster recovery (DR) rounds out this use case quartet. Cloud-based DR can be brought online within seconds or minutes—much faster than traditional DR sites. VMware Cloud on AWS is a perfect fit for companies that want to implement a DR solution for the first time, modernise their DR solution, reduce DR costs, or protect specific application workloads with a cloud-based DR solution.
VMware Cloud on AWS provides a stepping stone to the cloud. Immediately realise benefits from moving VMware workloads into the cloud with minimal retraining, then focus on more intensive applications that require additional time and effort.
Plan your ideal migration
As you plan your move to VMware Cloud on AWS, heed the lessons learned about configuring network, storage, and compute resources from others who have paved the way. First and foremost, use the tools and expertise you already have in-house. You may already have the necessary tools in-house such as site recovery manager (SRM), hybrid cloud extension (HCX), Double-Take, and hybrid linked mode.
Next, choose the right connectivity. Plan, document, iterate, and consult with your experts. It will be worth the up-front investment of time. Know your application’s limitations and abilities when connecting to any other environment (e.g., extending Layer 2, VPNs, direct connect, re-IPing of VMs, and geographical locations).
Phase your migration to reduce risk. Document compliance requirements; implement a corresponding security baseline; and automate the set-up of the environment for running secure, scalable workloads to minimise errors.
Boost your cloud environment
Once you’ve completed the first few phases of your migration, look for opportunities to boost your cloud environment. An organisation that is extending or migrating its data centre could evaluate the powerful AWS services that are now available.
Take advantage of direct integrations of AWS and VMware Cloud on AWS, such as leveraging AWS Key Management Service to store VMware Cloud on AWS encryption keys; CloudFront for CDN; application and network load balancer for traffic flow and SSL offload; and RDS and Dynamo DB or managed SQL and NoSQL databases. Meanwhile, an organisation that implements cloud-based DR could leverage underutilised resources for test/dev activities.
Consider VMware Cloud on AWS for business resiliency
Downtime outages don’t choose convenient times for your business or customers. Traditional DR requires considerable capital and effort to build secondary sites, replicate data, proactively test, and staff the environment.
Cloud-based DR offers multiple advantages, including geographic diversity, rapid scale-up using on-demand services, annual DR testing, and DR software that automates and orchestrates rapid recovery for lower recovery time objectives (RTOs) and less risk.
The five types of cloud-based DR (cold standby, pilot light, warm standby, scaleup active-active, and full active-active) provide a spectrum of services, with many choices. VMware Site Recovery, which is built right into VMware Cloud on AWS, is an integrated option that includes needed on-prem components.
Get measurable, repeatable value from your cloud migration with VMware Cloud on AWS and a clear blueprint that advances from proof of concept to AWS native integrations for DR, test/dev, and production workloads.