VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy hug on stage at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas VMware
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy hug on stage at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas

VMware Cloud Accelerates Expansion to AWS Data Centers Around the World

VMware Cloud on AWS is accelerating the rollout of new availability regions • Instead of one new AWS site per quarter, VMware is launching three new regions this month • They will be hosted in California, Ohio, and Ireland, VMware said at VMworld in Barcelona

The VMware team that runs the company’s cloud out of Amazon Web Services data centers is expanding its footprint across the Amazon infrastructure, and the expansion is accelerating.

VMware Cloud on AWS has gone from launching one new availability region at a time to three. Before the end of this month, VMware expects to launch its cloud services in AWS data centers in Northern California, Ohio, and Ireland.

“We’ve never done that before,” Ivan Oprencak, director of product marketing for VMware Cloud on AWS, said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge. “We’ve done one region at a time.”

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger publicly committed the unit to launching at least one new region every quarter during his keynote at VMworld in Las Vegas this August. The European edition of the conference kicked off Monday in Barcelona, where the company announced the three new regions along with a host of other updates to the cloud platform.

Because it now has several launches under its belt, the team has learned the ins and outs of the process and can do it faster, Oprencak explained. “We tried it, we know what it takes; now we’re just scaling up that process,” he said.

VMware and AWS announced their decision to partner on cloud in 2016, VMware giving AWS an opening to go after its massive enterprise data center install base while getting in return a strong public cloud play after its past attempts at becoming a cloud provider withered.

The partners promise seamless integration between customers’ on-premises VMware environments with AWS for hybrid cloud. VMware runs its cloud infrastructure on bare-metal servers inside AWS data centers – which required a major joint platform re-architecture effort between VMware and AWS – and acts as the service provider.

The service launched last year in one availability region: AWS US West in Oregon. VMware then launched it in Northern Virginia, London, Frankfurt, and Sydney. The company expects to announce two more regions before the end of the year in addition to the three it’s launching this month, Oprencak said. According to the map below, they will be Tokyo and Gov Cloud US West (a region in Oregon dedicated exclusively to serving government agencies).

Here’s where else VMware Cloud on AWS is planning to expand to by the end of next year:

VMware

The VMware Cloud on AWS region rollout plan through end 2019

The cloud service has been quickly making in-roads in the enterprise market. According to a recent State of the Cloud survey by the cloud management company RightScale, VMware Cloud on AWS is already fifth among the seven largest providers of cloud services to enterprise users – ahead of Oracle Cloud and Alibaba Cloud in number of users, trailing IBM Cloud (fourth largest), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS (first).

While possible use cases for hybrid cloud also include things like elastic capacity (meaning new compute resources automatically spin up and down based on demand) and quick expansion of a customer’s digital infrastructure into new regions, the most common application for VMware Cloud on AWS so far has been disaster recovery. “This is the one that seems to resonate the most at this point in time,” he said.

That’s when a customer sets up applications hosted in their own data centers to failover to cloud infrastructure when their own sites fail. In such cases, the cloud replaces the need for customers to build or lease backup data centers of their own.

One other new cloud feature VMware announced in Barcelona was doubling of the amount of VMs its disaster recovery service on AWS is able to handle in a single deployment. It can now protect 1,000 VMs per Software Defined Data Center with Site Recovery.

Another new Site Recovery feature is the integration of the cloud disaster recovery service with VxRail, VMware’s joint hyperconverged infrastructure product with sister company Dell EMC. VMware is promising easy “push button failover” from VxRail on customer premises to VMware Cloud on AWS.

VMware also announced improved cloud migration, new security features, and new capabilities for its Horizon 7 virtual desktop infrastructure on AWS, among other updates.

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