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Running VMWare on AWS: What You Need to Know



In 2016, VMWare and Amazon announced a partnership that would make VMWare Cloud available on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This partnership brought the capability for organizations to run their software both on their on-premises data centers and on the AWS cloud to create a true hybrid cloud or make it easier to move to the public cloud.

Those who have had experience running software on AWS in the past may have found it easy to spin up an Amazon Machine Instance to start working on. Using VMWare Cloud, however, is a bit different, and there are things that you need to know before you start moving data and applications over.

Running VMWare on AWS Extends Availability

Customers of VMWare Cloud have the ability to run their entire virtualized infrastructure, to include computing, networking, and data storage, within the software defined data center (SDDC). Running this on top of AWS extends their reach exponentially because of the number of data centers that Amazon offers. Not only does the web of data centers make it easier for organizations to include redundancy and optimize for performance based on location, but for those facing GDPR regulations, instances hosting European data can remain in Europe for compliance.

There Are Many Use Cases for VMWare Cloud on AWS

Individually, VMWare and AWS are utilized by IT departments for a number of different solutions. When these technologies are combined, they provide you with some rather robust solution sets that include:

  • Simplified data migration to the cloud.
  • The ability to extend and scale data centers and on-demand capacity of your SDDC in minutes.
  • Development and testing environments for application development that integrate with automation tools to speed up delivery times.
  • A cloud-based disaster recovery solution across multiple data centers to ensure uptime.

You Are Able to Utilize AWS Security Features

Your SDDC will use one of two types of networking that VMWare provides for AWS: VMware NSX for vSphere or VMware NSX-T. The type of networking you are using will determine the security features available on the VMWare Cloud side.

In addition to these security solutions, AWS provides you with solutions on their end to help enhance your security posture. Some of their offerings cover:

  • Infrastructure security that provides firewalls built into the Amazon VPC as well as web application firewalls, encryption in transit across all services, and the ability to create private, dedicated connections.
  • DDos mitigation through autoscaling, Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Route 53.
  • Ease of data encryption through the AWS key management service and other solutions provided.
  • Tools for monitoring and logging to provide greater visibility into your environment.
  • Identity and access management, multi-factor authentication, and directory services integration to help control who is accessing what on your environment.

Though running VMWare on AWS provides you with a number of different options and solutions to run your organization more efficiently and more securely, adding any technology into your environment always comes with certain risks. These risks are the result of human error.

When any IT team is tasked with implementing a new technology into their environment, there is always the likelihood that something will be misconfigured or mismanaged, which could lead to security vulnerabilities or a downtime due to things not operating properly. Not only are these risks a possibility, but relying on novice help may prevent you from obtaining the maximum benefit possible from these solutions.

To combat this, many organizations turn to a trusted partner that can help guide them through the maze of decisions and implementation processes that they need to know to be successful. Having an experienced and knowledgeable partner working with both the organization’s IT staff and business stakeholders helps to ensure that the project is successful and welcomed by those who rely on it to get their jobs done.


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