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VMC on AWS: The simplified cloud infrastructure for businesses

The journey to the cloud can be a complex one, especially in deciding which cloud infrastructure works best for an organization. As more industries look to move their workloads to the cloud, having a cloud infrastructure that can support their existing on-premise workloads can be challenging.

Regulated industries want to leverage the cloud’s flexibility but they need to ensure they can meet all regulatory requirements before moving workloads to the cloud. Other industries may find it less complex but still, need to have a proper framework at hand when moving to the cloud.

VMWare Cloud (VMC) on AWS is a hybrid cloud solution that allows businesses to extend their on-premises virtual machine environments to the AWS Cloud. A recent IDC whitepaper found that customers adopting VMC on AWS realized annual revenue gains of USD9.6 million per organization on average. These gains resulted from increasing staff productivity, operational resilience, and business agility.

For David Lim, APJ Head of VMWare Cloud on AWS, the best way to make use of these savings is to re-invest them into upskilling the workforce, enabling data center employees to have a smooth transition into the cloud. Employees previously tasked with managing virtual machines on-premises should be upskilled with cloud skills to allow them to focus on driving business innovation instead.

And this is what managed services provider (MSP) Cloud Kinetics has done with multiple enterprises, FSIs, and educational companies in the region. Tech Wire Asia caught up with Ted Aravinthan, CRO, and Ng Wen Chi, CTO of Cloud Kinetics as well as David to understand more about how businesses can benefit from VMC on AWS.

In this first part of our interview series, David, Ted, and Wen Chi explain why picking the right cloud infrastructure is a prerogative for businesses looking to move to the cloud.

Why should organizations opt for VMC on AWS?

David – Businesses are looking to move from on-premises to the cloud. VMware allows them to have these additional conversations on their cloud journey. Previously, customers had to transform their entire business. VMC allows them to move to the cloud without having to rearchitect their business strategy. It gives them the option to move quickly onto the AWS cloud.

A recent example of this is the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, which is responsible for the qualifications of thousands of students in New Zealand. They need to move to the cloud quickly as their data center was closing. And they have to move applications to the cloud but maintain only support for examinations as well.

Through the AWS partnership with VMware, they could leverage the hybrid cloud extension on VMware to remotely move 10 applications into VMC. The entire process was completed over a weekend and didn’t disrupt any users.

As such, using VMC on AWS, they can support more business demands and spend less time worrying about hardware. They could even take a day out of a week from server maintenance and focus more on app modernization. VMC allowed them to do the entire process remotely and quickly during the pandemic.

There are also several non-public reference companies like banks and financial services. Despite being highly regulated, they are under a lot of pressure to innovate. They leverage VMC to move legacy applications and hardware to the cloud. Over time, they will be able to transform and modernize more services.

What are the challenges organizations have when moving to the cloud?

Ted – I think the biggest challenge industries face is that no one size fits all. One of the common things we see is businesses not knowing what they don’t know, especially when it comes to their cloud infrastructure. And this relates to the skillsets required. Companies hire skilled resources and move for sake of moving, without knowing the vision. The lack of vision is where we come in and help them derive this. Some customers want to do things tactically in their cloud journey, and we help tactically as well.

In Southeast Asia, most of the larger customers are used to the on-premises world. They want immediate returns without considering the fact of moving workloads at first and seeing which ones work pragmatically. No big bang approach to the cloud makes sense. It takes a multi-layered approach to the cloud.

They need to look at two to three years and put a plan or run a few workloads and make a decision if they want to go full-blown. They can be experimental or strategic. It’s a path that businesses need to take and an outcome that they need to look into.

Can businesses be experimental on the cloud?

Ted – Yes, they can. They’re already used to a VMware environment. They’re already used to a VMware environment. Now, all they need to do is move a couple of workloads to the cloud and it’s the fastest way to do it.

When you look at VMS on AWS, it’s leveraging existing VMware assets or skillsets on demand. Customers can move workloads to the cloud, take network and security operations and enhance it with cloud security and network, and upskill them. If they don’t like it, they can just move it back.

This works best for regulated industries. Banks and finance need this due to compliance. VMC allows them to be experimental, especially when it comes to moving workloads and testing. It only takes about 90 minutes to set up and the entire process can be done in two hours. It is much faster than any other way.

David – This is also a perfect opportunity for non-regulated industries. VMC cloud is an extension of their software-defined data center running on AWS infrastructure. They can do it quickly.

How does picking the right cloud infrastructure help deal with skills shortages?

Wen Chi – There is definitely a talent shortage and MSP helps them expedite the process. We have a few hundred migrations and our customers have had a smooth experience moving to the cloud.

Ted – MSP is important but the whole VMC proposition on cloud on AWS is important as well. The customer is already using VMware. They have people that know how to use this on-premises. They are used to the tools. With VMC, it doesn’t matter what’s under the hood, be it cloud or both. They just need to use the skillsets and move.

If you’re doing it without VMC, you need to start from scratch. With VMC, it is all about agility. For folks that are not regulated, if you are VMware customers with the right skills, this is an ideal opportunity for them with the minimal amount of additional skillset and risks involved plus the fastest pace of migration to do this.

But the same also applies to regulated customers. For banks, they only need to see if they can use the cloud and run workloads, as the rest of the tool stacks are VMware. As long you tick the right boxes on the cloud, and this is the most tested and validated way of doing it.

Wen chi – This is why VMC is the perfect solution to mitigate the issue. Customers can use their existing talents and skillset to move to the cloud and slowly build new cloud-native skillsets as well.