How AWS Partners Can Speed Up Customer Cloud Migrations with VMware Cloud on AWS
By Jackie Vendetti, Content Developer, VMware – AWS
Are you an AWS Partner that wants to show your customers how easy it is to migrate VMware workloads to the cloud?
The VMware Cloud on AWS Try & Buy Program empowers you to help customers overcome common migration hurdles so they can start modernizing their business.
VMware Cloud on AWS addresses common cloud migration concerns for VMware customers to get VMware workloads to the cloud quickly. It decreases cloud migration complexity and shortens the time it takes to move to the cloud while enabling the continued use of systems during the migration (known as a live migration)
VMware Cloud on AWS also provides access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) technologies post migration for easier application modernization.
Recent studies have given further proof that VMware Cloud on AWS helps customers speed up VMware workload migrations to the cloud. According to a 2021 IDC study, VMware customers using VMware Cloud on AWS migrate to the cloud 46% faster than with other solutions.
AWS Partners have told us they need a way to demonstrate to customers that VMware Cloud on AWS does what it says it does. That’s why we created the Try & Buy Program—so you can give customers the hands-on experience with VMware Cloud on AWS you’ve been asking for. Plus, the first 30 days of your program membership is on us.
What is the Try & Buy Program for VMware Cloud on AWS?
The Try & Buy Program offers a 30-day funded environment of VMware Cloud on AWS. This gives AWS Partners a cost-effective opportunity to work closely with customers to demonstrate all the benefits they can achieve using VMware Cloud on AWS.
You can also give your customers the opportunity to test VMware Cloud on AWS within their own environment. A trial engagement essentially gives the customer a chance to try the product in their “own home” and verify it meets their use cases before purchasing the service.
Figure 1 – VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagement architecture.
The most common use cases for VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagements are cloud migration, data center extensions and exits, disaster recovery, and modernizing your business with easy access to 200+ AWS services.
We’ve highlighted seven use cases that can be tested during a VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagement:
- Data center extension: Prove VMware Cloud on AWS software-defined data center (SDDC) can be integrated into the customer WAN and interoperate with the existing VMware environment.
- Workload mobility: Prove it’s possible to stretch Layer2 VLANs into AWS infrastructure to facilitate bi-directional workload migration without transformation cost or complexity by utilizing services like VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX).
- Live migration: Prove applications can migrate without disruption to the business by utilizing VMware Hybrid Linked Mode (HLM) or VMware HCX.
- Hybrid cloud: VMware Cloud on AWS customers can use their existing VMware software and tools to leverage the AWS global footprint and breadth of services in a seamless way, using the same set of tools to manage both the on-premises and cloud environments.
- Disaster recovery: Prove that VMware Site Recovery (SR) can respond to service impacting incidents while meeting or exceeding the availability requirements of business stakeholders.
- Elastic scaling: Prove you can rapidly scale an SDDC in response to changing business requirements far quicker than an on-premises infrastructure.
- Enterprise applications: Increase the value of enterprise applications by offloading the storage and compute-heavy portions of an enterprise application to other services on AWS. This frees up a user’s time to focus on solving the business problem rather than spending their time managing the day-today infrastructure. For example, many customers offload their analytics to Amazon Redshift or extend their capabilities with advanced services including AWS artificial intelligence services, serverless computing, and containers.
These success factors display firsthand to the customer all of the capabilities of VMware Cloud on AWS. You can validate these use cases, and others, to demonstrate the benefits to customers in a clear way. You can also contact us for use case ideas, or to collaborate on a particular customer use case.
Trial engagements of VMware Cloud on AWS have been used successfully for the last two years by AWS Partners to demonstrate critical business use cases and speed customer migrations to the cloud. Let’s take a look at some of the use cases and successes that partners have experienced with a VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagement.
Use Case #1: Hybrid End User Computing Deployment
A U.S. multinational and omnichannel ecommerce company realized it needed to scale its customer care agent call center platform by 10x for the 2020 holiday season.
The client was anticipating a large increase in online shopping due to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions. The company was also forecasting an earlier than usual holiday season, so it needed to move to a cloud solution in a compressed time frame.
AWS Premier Consulting Partner Presidio suggested VMware Cloud on AWS to the client. Presidio chose a cloud solution because the compute, storage, and network capabilities of the client’s current on-premises IT hardware couldn’t meet the spike in demand it would face.
The company’s current call center was deployed on-premises in a VMware ESX environment running an older version of VMware Horizon for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) access. VMware Cloud on AWS would give the client the ability to expand and ensure business resiliency during peak retail seasons.
In addition, VMware Cloud on AWS would enable the client to quickly relocate its applications and not have to perform the time-consuming application analysis for “right-sizing.” It could meet the company’s tight turnaround time to move to a new VDI environment with the simpler lift and shift technique that VMware Cloud on AWS enables.
To validate this choice, Presidio suggested a trial engagement so the client could test the VMware Cloud on AWS solution for themselves. Funded by AWS, the trial engagement showed the client that VMware Cloud on AWS could deliver on its promises of increased scalability and resiliency, ease and speed of migration. This was all at no outward spend on the part of Presidio’s client.
Together, Presidio and the client determined three top priorities the pilot needed to validate:
- Expansion of Horizon VDI environment: Configure SDDC and extend on-premises data center to VMware Cloud on AWS. Configure Horizon VMware on AWS in a Cloud Pod. Configure desktops to allow user validation of Cloud Pod.
- Horizon and VMware Cloud on AWS scalability for seasonal workers: Utilizing the Cloud Pod architecture, validate and prove scalability of hosts and desk. Test and validate expansion of clusters.
- Existing knowledge of tools: Provide access to VMware Cloud on AWS management tools, including vCenter, NSX, and vSAN. Validate ease of integration and existing knowledge of the VMware Cloud on AWS and Horizon management tools.
For the trial engagement, Presidio deployed a single VMware SDDC with four nodes. They created a comprehensive network and security design to utilize the client’s existing third-party service for firewall, load balancing, and application performance monitoring.
Due to Presidio’s deep expertise around third-party networking and security solutions and long-standing history with complex enterprise networks, they were able to take the existing network architecture and cohesively connect it to the newer modern hybrid cloud-network design.
After the trial engagement was determined successful, Presidio was able to move the client directly into production. As a result, the client’s entire VDI environment was migrated to VMware Cloud on AWS in just four months.
The Presidio team designed a multi-pod, multi-site SDDC architecture that would provide flexible scaling and a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in the event of a service interruption. The newly built SDDC and Horizon Cloud Pod was able to scale to 10x their normal demand, enabling the number of care agent users to go from 350 to over 4,000.
The VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagement proved to be a valuable tool in this implementation.
Use Case #2: Live Migration and Data Center Exit
An international fruit grower had an impending hardware refresh of aging equipment in a colocation facility. It also needed to re-platform a business-critical application.
The company had aggressive timelines for implementation and wanted to ensure minimum disruption to the business. Given the significant investment in new hardware, the cooperative decided to look at the economics of migrating to the cloud.
The fruit grower engaged AWS Advanced Consulting Partner Converge Technology Solutions to help it understand the potential total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits that could be realized by migrating to the cloud.
Converge suggested VMware Cloud on AWS as the best option because the client wanted to migrate quickly to the cloud and wanted minimal disruption to operations. Converge suggested to move forward with a VMware Cloud on AWS pilot to give the client hands-on experience with its value.
For the client, there were three main proof points the VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagement was looking to validate:
- Realize operational consistency with their on-premises SDDC.
- Attain seamless large-scale workload portability
- Get direct access to AWS-native services.
Phase 1 was focused on the business-critical application and included up to three VMware virtual machines no larger than 500GB.
Success criteria included:
- Authentication to Citrix servers.
- Deployment of VMware HCX site pairing and Layer 2 extension.
- Deployment of VMware vCenter HLM between on-premises vCenter and VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC vCenter.
- Routing from on-premises through AWS Direct Connect to VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC.
- Attach Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC.
Phase 2 was focused on migration and disaster recovery capabilities consisting of approximately 15 VMs and starting 1-3 weeks after Phase 1.
Success criteria included:
- Backup and restore VMs utilizing Veeam.
- Successfully migrate VMs from on-premises with bandwidth constraints to VMware Cloud on AWS.
Working closely with VMware, AWS, and customer technical teams, Converge was able to execute a 14-day trial engagement, with a complete TCO analysis detailing the migration by implementing VMware Cloud on AWS. Based on the success of the trial engagement, the fruit grower determined a VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid cloud solution would meet their business goals and drive TCO savings.
After the trial was complete, Converge migrated two of the fruit cooperative’s data centers to VMware Cloud on AWS within a month.
The fruit grower is also able to use AWS native services including AWS Direct Connect, Amazon S3, and AWS Marketplace as part of the VMware Cloud on AWS implementation. One of the main services they access through the AWS Marketplace is Citrix, to deliver centrally hosted applications and resources to mobile and desktop clients.
By moving from a self-managed infrastructure with hardware and software to VMware Cloud on AWS, the fruit grower will experience a savings of 25% in cost over three years. The trial engagement played a pivotal role in showing the customer the value of VMware Cloud on AWS.
Getting Started with the Try & Buy Program
The VMware Cloud on AWS Try & Buy Program offers multiple ways for you to grow your business as an AWS Partner.
First, there is a huge market for VMware Cloud on AWS. In another report from 2019, IDC put the partner addressable market opportunity for VMware Cloud on AWS at $3.1 billion. That means there are still 70 million virtual machines operating on premises that would benefit from a move to the cloud.
In addition to the sizeable market opportunity, trial engagements give AWS Partners an opportunity to earn customer trust, help them validate use cases before jumping into a production environment, and speed up customer migrations.
VMware Cloud on AWS trial engagements are built to be durable, meaning that once the trial is complete the customer can quickly transition into production through AWS. Some of the most difficult work is completed and verified in the trial phase, saving you time and money by getting your customers to the cloud in a shortened time frame.
With a trial engagement, AWS customers will learn how quickly they can migrate VMware workloads to the cloud. Once they’re on VMware Cloud on AWS, they’ll realize how easy it is to use other modern AWS services to upgrade their applications.
Interested in signing up for the VMware Cloud on AWS Try & Buy Program? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also watch this on-demand AWS webinar titled Accelerating Partner Opportunities Through the Try & Buy Program for more details.