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Running VMware workloads (almost) in the Public Clouds

ByDecember 22, 2017
At VMworld 2016, VMware launcHybrid Cloudhed the concept of VMware native workloads running on bare metal (using vSphere/vCenter) in the Amazon AWS public clouds.

At VMworld 2017, this service went live in the AWS US-West region, and more recently in US-East.

I have often said (and blogged on this site) that there is not much value in going through the pain of migrating VMware workloads into the public clouds (and the virtual machine conversion required) “just because.” You need to be moving them for some pretty good reasons (and maybe you have).

It makes a lot more sense to have those VMware VMs be able to take part in a forward-looking transformation, that will no doubt involve many of the new shiny things available in the public clouds.  Perhaps your business is looking at new ways of developing and scaling applications, or the use of containers and container management, such as Kubernetes, or even machine learning, AI, server-less and even database-less computing — you name it.

Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has been talking about the possibility of running VMware workloads on bare metal within Azure data centres. VMware retorted by saying that they would not support this. Microsoft has since responded by saying that they are working with one or more VMware Cloud Provider Program partners who will run Cisco/NetApp Flexpod systems in co-location within or adjacent to the Azure data centres.

So, is this something new? Not really. Here at iland, we’ve been doing this with our customers for quite a while — and we offer several ways of doing it.

From the outset, we’ve chosen data centre partners who are carrier-neutral. They provide on-net connectivity with many telecoms providers for swift on-boarding, and then provide high-speed, low latency connectivity where it’s needed. In many of our data centre locations, we are in the same building or campus as the hyperscale public cloud providers, and it is easy to obtain a fibre cross-connect between our tenant edge and the public cloud tenant edge.

In terms of capability, iland offers:

  • Multi-tenanted public cloud based on VMware vCloud Director using our innovative cloud console
  • Private cloud using vCloud Director with dedicated blade servers and dedicated storage access
  • Bare metal blades and private shared storage to run VMware vSphere as if on-premises
  • Co-location capability to ‘bring your own servers’ to include hyper-converged infrastructures, such as VXrail or Nutanix
All this can then be a couple of network hops away from the public clouds, using either IPsec VPN over the internet (but a very short distance), or taking advantage of DirectConnect or ExpressRoute as discussed above.

As I suggested in my recent blog post, 2018 looks to be an interesting year for multi-cloud services, but remember that it might be wise not to put all your eggs in one basket, when leveraging cloud services.
Richard Stinton

Richard Stinton

Richard is an Enterprise Solutions Architect for the iland EMEA business and has over 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, most recently in the Cloud space with iland, Microsoft Azure and VMware. Starting out in Engineering CAD/CAM and GIS systems with McDonnell Douglas and EDS, he moved to mainstream IT and Systems/Service Management with HP, BMC Software and Mercury Interactive, before joining VMware in its early days. Richard has a breadth of experience having worked in customer support, sales, partner management and product marketing. In his current role as EMEA solutions architect, Richard works with customers to implement and optimise cloud technologies.