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AWS does hybrid cloud with on-prem hardware, VMware help

News Analysis
Nov 29, 20183 mins
Cloud Computing

Amazon Web Services announces Outposts, a hybrid-cloud offering that uses the same hardware AWS uses in its cloud and can be upgraded with the latest hardware and next-generation instances to run all native AWS and VMware applications.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) took square aim at the data center this week by tying in VMware technology and rolling out two new services and on-premise hardware to help customers build and support hybrid clouds.

The new service, called Outposts, lets users choose between on-premises servers and storage, which they can order in quarter, half, and full rack units. Outposts can be upgraded with the latest hardware and next-generation instances to run all native AWS and VMware applications, AWS stated. A second version, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, lets customers use the a VMware control plane and APIs to run the hybrid environment.

“The AWS native variant of AWS Outposts allows you to use the same exact APIs and control plane you use in the AWS cloud, but on premises. You will be able to run Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Amazon Elastic Block Store on Outposts,” AWS wrote on its website.

“The VMware variant allows you to run VMware Cloud on AWS locally on Outposts to use the same VMware control plane and APIs you use to run your on-premises infrastructure. This variant delivers the entire VMware Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) — compute, storage, and networking infrastructure — to run on-premises using AWS Outposts and allows you to take advantage of the ease of management and integration with AWS services,” the company said.

The idea with Outposts is that customers can use the same programming interface, same APIs, same console and CLI they use on the AWS cloud for on-premises applications, develop and maintain a single code base, and use the same deployment tools in the AWS cloud and on premises, AWS wrote.

Analysts said the AWS/VMware services are a step in the right direction for customers blending public and private-cloud entities.

“It’s no secret that AWS wants to rule the IT world, and this is one more step in that direction,” said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research. “The significance here is that lots of applications and workloads are going to remain on premises for latency, legacy and security reasons, and Outposts will let customers more easily move between public and private clouds. It is not an easy back-and-forth now in those environments.”

The announcement  is an extension of the VMware/AWS partnership.  In 2017 the companies teamed on VMware Cloud on AWS which tied together VMware’s enterprise class software-defined data center to the AWS cloud. VMware said that hybrid cloud service lets customers migrate VMware-based workloads to the cloud. 

The companies also recently announced Amazon Relational Database Service on VMware. Amazon Relational Database (RDS) on VMware which is aimed at making it easier for users to set up and run databases in VMware-based software-defined data centers and hybrid environments, VMware said.  In addition, the  companies this November extended the partnership to new regions such as AWS EU (Ireland), AWS West (N. California) and AWS East (Ohio).

VMware CEO Pat  Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy made the Outpost announcement together at AWS re:Invent and Gelsinger also referenced the company’s growing relationship with AWS in its Q3 2019 earnings call this week saying: “Our partnership with AWS is expanding rapidly, and these offerings extend VMware’s hybrid cloud vision with consistent infrastructure and operations for all VMware and AWS customers.”

AWS said Outposts are in private preview, with public general availability in the second half of 2019.