VMworld 2018

VMware + Amazon is Now a Two-Way Street

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 27, 2018 — I’ve left the Day 1 General Session at VMworld for the past few years feeling genuinely underwhelmed. But we may have turned a corner. I think I’m more excited about the announcements made at VMworld this year than I have been for the past 3-4 years.

My favorite piece of news coming out of VMworld 2018 on Day 1 is the announcement of Amazon RDS on VMware. This service is going to be neat, and I’ll explain more about it below, but what’s really important to me about it is what it signifies. To date, VMware has managed to inject some VMware into AWS (via VMware Cloud on AWS). Conversely, today’s announcement is an injection of some AWS into VMware.

This is a potentially monumental milestone in the development of the relationship between VMware and AWS. With VMware being the on-premises data center powerhouse that it is and AWS being the cloud counterpart, it could be a really big deal if this relationship becomes a two-way street in the way that Amazon RDS on VMware shows that it may.

When VMware announced VMware Cloud on AWS at a prior VMworld, I really felt like it was a concession. It seemed to signal that VMware had lost the cloud wars and would, over time, become a small part of the cloud ecosystem led by AWS and others (rather than the market leader they’ve been for the past decade). VMware attempted to directly compete with Amazon as a cloud provider with the vCloud Hybrid Service and vCloud Air and such, and it just didn’t really work out. So, when the next plan was to allow customers to run vSphere in AWS, it really felt to me like giving up.

Today’s announcement gives me a different perspective. The long-term vision was probably always there with the VMware and Amazon leadership teams; I just didn’t see it. If the principle that Amazon RDS on VMware illustrates (which is a bidirectional integration) is applied broadly to Amazon and VMware products and services, that joint offering is the platform upon which you can build the hybrid cloud of your dreams.

Now, a few details about what we can expect from the first AWS -> VMware integration:

Amazon RDS on VMware

Relational databases support practically all of the world’s business-critical systems operating on-premises. Provisioning, patching, backing up, cloning, restoring, scaling, and monitoring these databases is tedious, expensive, and risky – any mistake can lead to extended application downtime. And, it is even more difficult to set up and manage databases for high availability, replicating data across multiple nodes. Self-managed databases in VMware environments face these same challenges, plus for every database, customers need to create the database image, install the operating system, install packages, and set up the database. Supporting multiple versions and patching becomes cumbersome across an organization, especially as versions, configurations, and extensions drift with the growth of business. When security, compliance, and auditing requirements are added, the time spent on database fleet maintenance becomes a significant cost and distraction.

What you can do with Amazon RDS on VMware. Source: https://aws.amazon.com/rds/vmware/

For the past nine years, Amazon RDS has been alleviating the pain of database management for hundreds of thousands of AWS customers, delivering high availability, durability, and security for databases running in AWS. Amazon RDS on VMware will bring this same experience to VMware-based data centers. Amazon RDS on VMware manages databases “from ground to cloud,” enabling access to AWS through a single, simple interface. Amazon RDS on VMware automates database provisioning, operating system and database patching, backup, point-in-time restore, storage and compute scaling, instance health monitoring, and failover. Customers can also use Amazon RDS for VMware to enable low-cost, high-availability hybrid deployments, database disaster recovery to AWS, read replica bursting to Amazon RDS in the AWS Cloud, and long-term database archival in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

For more information about Amazon RDS on VMware, check out the official press release and the official product page.