We are fast moving into the digital era, the dynamics of how and where a workload would be executed is also changing at a rapid pace. Customer expectations, agile requirements, and the inability of primitive technologies/methodologies to scale and meet the frequently changing customer demands, are some of the reasons. According to an analyst firm, 70% of organizations are looking to transform digitally with an intent to move away from the primitive IT methodologies.
The cloud deployment model is fast becoming the pillar of any digital transformation and as per an estimate about 80% of workload is anticipated to move to cloud by the end of 2021, for different contributing factors. This demand and supply forecast has triggered a visible change in cloud models with focus shifting to agility, mobility, IoT, and AI/ Machine learning features than the cost economics alone.
Most of the top industry players realize that they would need to come together in order to achieve this progression cycle. Hence, there are alliances at an unprecedented pace among the top industry players to be the first to bring these agile solutions. One such alliance between VMWare and Microsoft is being looked upon with much expectation and for different dimensions of the cloud adoption journey.
VMware has been a clear leader with 80% share in the cloud market for over a decade in different technology tracks and they hope to do the same with cloud base as well. It would be collaboration with other market leaders like Azure that can keep both of them in the leadership position (moving further) and not alone is the market reality realized early by them. This conjunction led to the birth of a dynamic offering which allows you to consume and run your VMware workload on dedicated bare metal Azure Cloud infrastructure by the name of AVS (Azure VMware Solution).
With AVS, Microsoft has taken a position of VMware cloud provider/partner with an aim to seamlessly extend and redeploy the on-premise VMware workload natively by leveraging the underline bare metal Infra on Azure. This IaaS hardware stack is certified by VMware cloud and is said to be comprised of Bare metal servers powered by vSAN. VMware is ensuring verification and endorsement for the underlying infrastructure which is also an indication to remain engaged at all the layers and pushing partner adherence to compliance, security, and appropriate support models for streamlined day two operations.
AVS promises to provide enterprise grade resilience and integration with other Azure offerings and capabilities. On Microsoft’s side, AVS not only unifies the cloud and tools but also aims to simplify the way consumers interact with the resources and systems with respect to the VMware cloud workloads.
Some of the popular use cases for AVS are listed below:
Lift and shift of high TCO workloads to avail benefits of cloud economics.
- Elevate non-compliance challenges
- DC exit strategy
- End of life workloads migration
- Disaster recovery enablement
- Application modernization
- Mitigation of capacity bursting
This alliance also brings the commercial benefits of cloud economics model, global coverage, and the reach of VMware on Azure native services closer to organizations. Customers can look at some distinct features and advantages of this solution as below:
Deep Integration with VMware on Azure: It enables you to reap the benefits of SDDC (Software defined data center) platform delivered as an on-demand service on cloud (extend the environment) where one can leverage the existing investments for tools, technologies, licenses, and skill sets for on-premise VMware ecosystem. AVS also allows low-level access to VM to further integrate with third-party tools.
Native Azure Integration: Features a seamless access to Azure native services and ecosystem enabling the customers to overcome the digital divide and leverage the latest cloud capability and services like Azure CDN , Azure AD, API Management, IoT hub, and similar others.
Flexible Commercial Constructs: AVS allows you to pick different type of billing cycles to create and experiment with your private cloud clusters. For example you can run test and development workload via aggressive per hour rate with the monthly consumption model, whereas your production and QA workloads will spur 50% opex benefits via one-third yearly commitment consumption model.
Pre-baked License: To avoid complex licensing construct, Microsoft enables you to leverage existing Licenses via AHUB. For VMware it offers BYOL of other than NSX-T, HCX, vSphere and vSAN) example vROPS, VRO, VRA, and VRI.
There are a number of ways one can leap in to AVS adoption journey. Here, HCL takes a pivotal role with its deep engineering expertise and being a strategic partner of both VMware and Microsoft for years. HCL is part of the beta as well as other programs from the very start and has contributed to the exploration, improvisation, and GTM of this offering.
HCL is one of the early adopters of AVS and has tested & validated number of customer use cases and features hence creating a rich set of documentation that forms part of a huge repository of knowledge base. This was instrumental in chalking out a defined lean design and delivery blueprints, which helps to elevate the overall customer experience. This is complemented by our proven expertise to seamlessly integrate our IPs and third-party products to ensure optimum technology is served at every layer. Lastly, HCL has invested in state of the art labs and experience centers to make sure that the customers can experience before they buy.
The CoE team ensures that we have the right resources available at all times to cater to any demand. A ‘train the trainer’ approach is being followed in this case as we get more demand. Next steps target automation modules, orchestration components, and knowledge management and a reporting layer – all tied together in an ITSM-based framework to enable a holistic customer experience at every stage of AVS journey.
Indeed, this offering aims to simplify the adoption journey and will help customers reach the end state in just few clicks limiting the cumbersome, complex, and time-consuming efforts of VM provisioning, network configurations, and other dependencies of the past.