Protect Your VMware Investments While Moving into the Cloud

As I spent time on the show floor at VMworld 2017 talking to technicians about their cloud journeys, two common themes emerged, despite the varied industries these attendees represented.

The first: it’s no longer a matter of if businesses are going to the cloud, but when and how. Second, concern that administrators and engineers have spent years learning and investing in VMware, and don’t have the time and resources to learn AWS, Azure or Google Cloud Platform.

Despite these concerns — I felt them myself when I was on the customer side — I was surprised at how cloud-positive everyone felt. Not only were people excited to head toward a cloud-enabled future, they wanted to know how best to leverage the tools to get them there.

Many of my conversations dove deeply into how vSAN, NSX or vRealize automation could help them effectively consume cloud resources. The ability to provision hardware quickly and simply added to their excitement.

When you face a procurement lead time of three or more weeks, cloud computing can revolutionize the way you do business. And while just a few years ago, cloud computing seemed scary and new, almost everyone I spoke to at VMworld wanted to get out of the datacenter business and migrate to the cloud.

The VMware vision promises “any application, on any device, on any cloud.” Through its focus on VMware Cloud Foundation, the VMware Cloud Partner Program and VMware Cloud on AWS, Rackspace is more prepared than ever to help organizations tackle the multi-cloud future.

Two new Rackspace offerings

Rackspace made two major announcements coinciding with VMworld 2017: Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware, and our intention to support VMware Cloud on AWS, likely by early 2018. These offerings helped answer those two big questions many attendees had: How do I get to the cloud, and how do I hang on to my investment in VMware?

Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware leverages VMware Cloud Foundation to deploy a full VMware software defined data center, or SDDC, environment. VMware Cloud Foundation deploys ESXi, vSAN, NSX, vCenter and vRealize Suite, giving engineers access to a full stack of VMware tools. Deployment and initial configuration are completed during the build process. Once the build is complete, your team can create storage policies, build vRealize Automation blueprints or configure NSX services and logical networking. The same vCenter server GUI and APIs we’ve all come to love are available, keeping your workflow changes to a minimum.

Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware utilizes certified compatible hardware to help ensure proper operation and allow seamless upgrades throughout the product lifecycle. While we adhere to the VMware Cloud Foundation Compatibility Guide, Rackspace offers a wide range of choices and flexibility for hardware sizing. Our architects build the environment to fit your requirements, without “t-shirt size” servers. This change in architecture and flexibility in sizing is significant, but it can also be daunting. That’s why, from the time you start designing your architecture, to migration and through the operation of your environment, VMware Certified Professionals at Rackspace are here to help you.

Our intention to support VMware Cloud on AWS seemed to create the most hype among VMworld attendees, and for good reason. VMware is taking VMware Cloud Foundation and deploying it in the AWS cloud. This combines the technology we all know so well with Amazon’s best-in-breed cloud services. This service has a lot of potential, since traditional VMware virtual machines sit “next to” cloud-native services like Relational Database Services and S3 object storage. Your ability to leverage RDS as a database for latency-sensitive applications hosted in VMware is truly a game changer for application architectures, giving engineers and architects more options for how to design petabyte scale databases.

With more choice comes more complexity, and VMworld 2017 definitely presented some new choices to attendees. Fanatical Support for VMware on AWS helps you navigate the multi-cloud landscape. Our VMware and AWS expertise provide expert design, capacity management and migration assistance between the Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware and AWS.

Whichever cloud — or combination of cloud and dedicated managed hosting — is right for your business, Rackspace can manage it for you. Learn more about the benefits of the cloud on VMware, the platform you know and trust, or Rackspace support of VMware cloud on AWS, which will be available early in 2018.

Thom Greene is a VMware Cloud Solution Architect with over 10 years of enterprise and consulting experience. He has achieved multiple industry certifications including VMware VCAP, VCP, Microsoft MCSE, and other infrastructure and networking certification. He has also been recognized as a vExpert for two consecutive years and is a founding leader of the Lexington, KY VMUG. His interest revolves around VMware, public cloud infrastructure, and traveling to Walt Disney World.

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