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VMware Cloud for AWS goes live in Amazon’s UK datacentres as hybrid cloud demand grows

Technology tie-up between VMware and AWS continues to go from strength to strength as the pair confirm a European expansion of their combined hybrid cloud-enabling service

VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are ramping up the geographical availability of their joint hybrid cloud-enabling service, with instances due to go live today in Amazon’s London datacentre region.

Further instances of the VMware Cloud for AWS service are also set to go live in Frankfurt and the Asia-Pacific region later this year, in recognition of enterprise demand for locally hosted and low-latency cloud services, the pair confirmed.

The VMware Cloud for AWS offering made its debut as a technical preview in October 2016 as a means of easing the migration of vSphere-based private cloud workloads into the Amazon public cloud, before entering general availability in August 2017.

Speaking at a pre-launch press conference, Joe Baguley, vice-president and chief technology officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) at VMware, said that having a London-based instance of the service should widen the pool of customers who can benefit from using it.

“A lot of European and Emea customers are already using the US-based service, but there are two important factors as to why you would want to launch locally, and it’s the same reasons why AWS and Amazon have launched locally in London and across Emea sites – it’s location and latency,” said Baguley.

“Another reason is to do with data privacy and regulation. We have customers that operate in certain markets where their data has to reside in a certain country. We work with governments and the UK government, and they also have a requirement for their data to reside in a particular place.

“So moving to have a London instance of VMware Cloud on AWS just really increases the choice for our customers.”

VMware Cloud on AWS: The use cases

VMware Cloud for AWS is designed so that organisations with vSphere-based software stacks running in private datacentres can use the same VMware application programming interfaces (APIs) to manage their on-premise and cloud resources in the AWS cloud, while tapping into the wide variety of functionality if offers.

Mark Lohmeyer, vice-president and general manager of VMware’s cloud platform business unit, said three key use cases for the service are starting to emerge, as enterprise adoption continues to grow within their joint customer bases.

In particular, the pair are seeing a strong appetite for VMware Cloud on AWS from organisations wanting to migrate on-premise workloads to the public cloud, either as part of a datacentre infrastructure refresh project or as part of a push to close their server farms down completely.

Expanding the reach of their existing datacentre infrastructure is the goal for some users, as the service gives them additional capacity for development and test workloads. The London region roll-out also paves the way for enterprises to expand into new geographies and untapped markets, said Lohmeyer.

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Disaster recovery is another popular use case for the service, as it allows users to replace backup datacentres or to put in place additional data protection measures for new and emerging workloads. “This is an ideal architecture for this, because it’s completely consistent with their existing private cloud footprint, and leverages their existing tools and technologies,” he added.

As well as the international expansion of VMware Cloud on AWS, the companies have also announced a number of new additions to the service, including improved access to high-storage capacity workloads for users, and support for VMware-based virtual desktop environments.

Collectively, the announcements mark a continuation of VMware’s push to position itself as a provider of software and services that can help enterprises manage multi-cloud environments, as well as their existing on-premise datacentre resources.  

This is a strategy that the virtualisation giant kicked off in earnest at its VMworld US 2016 conference in August 2016, with the preview release of its Cross-Cloud Services (CCS) offering, which is designed to help enterprises manage and monitor their use of Amazon, Microsoft and Google cloud resources.

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