The worlds of on-premises and cloud environments are steadily growing closer and closer together. Today’s businesses are looking for streamlined, powerful, robust environments that span from on-premises to the cloud. They want a seamless experience for their production workloads to be able to run “anywhere” and without issues. While this may have seemed like a “pie in the sky” dream only a couple of years ago, that idea is getting to be much closer to reality than ever before. With every announcement and solution released, vendors and the major cloud players have certainly shown an interest in making this conceptual idea reality or much closer to being the reality.

Amazon’s on-premises offering called AWS Outposts will allow organizations to have two solutions moving forward with Amazon infrastructure on-premises. One solution provides native Amazon services and products such as EC2 instances on-premises and the other represents the partnership between Amazon and VMware by bringing the VMware Cloud on AWS down to the on-premises environment.

Let’s take a closer look at Amazon AWS Outposts Offerings for On-Premises Environments and see how this is a game-changer for the industry.

Why AWS Outposts is a Big Deal

Amazon is quite simply the most influential cloud vendor. They are the pioneers of cloud in the enterprise, being the first vendor offering “public” cloud to customers. Everyone looks at what Amazon is doing and they certainly carry a lot of clout in the industry. Amazon touts the most cloud revenue of the public cloud vendors and certainly is arguably still the public cloud vendor of choice when organizations are first looking to migrate workloads to the public cloud.

It is apparent that the big vendors today are seeing the importance of on-premises environments. VMware Project Dimension offers a fully managed Infrastructure-as-a-Service where VMware manages your hardware and vSphere software in your edge environment. This means that Project Dimension customers no longer have to worry about the infrastructure. The VMware team takes care of all the heavy lifting in the environment from management, patching, upgrading, and lifecycle management standpoint. Customers only have to worry about and manage their applications and services running on top of that infrastructure.

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VMware seems to have been ahead of the curve and is no doubt keeping a close eye on trends that are developing in the industry. The fact of the matter is that the cloud is not the end-all solution to every technology problem. There will most likely always be reasons to have some workloads on-premise, due to latency and other concerns that will exist until we understand how to break the now known laws of physics and solve data gravity issues.

With Amazon Outposts, Amazon is following this train of thought that customers are highly interested in running their on-premises infrastructure the same way they are utilizing the Amazon public cloud environment. Amazon is betting on customers having the desire to have the same management and control plane for their environments that exist both on-premises and in the cloud as well as having the same APIs to be able to interact with between either environment. The possibilities this opens up from management, automation, and configuration management perspective are certainly exciting.

VMware has certainly done a nice job of making strategic alliances here. Amazon, being the major player in the public cloud, is certainly the vendor of choice to have aligned with from a powerplay perspective. VMware has a really great position here with Amazon that simply extends the relationship formed with the VMware Cloud on AWS offering. With Amazon Outposts, VMware Cloud on AWS can run on-premises on the Outposts hardware! VMware certainly has an “in” with customers with the tremendous familiarity that organizations have with VMware vSphere. They have used, know, and trust VMware for years now to run production workloads in the enterprise. When the perhaps most trusted on-premises enterprise hypervisors meet up with the most trusted cloud provider, good things are bound to happen from a business and solutions perspective.

We certainly could be seeing the transition of “on-premises only” and “cloud-only” software and hypervisors to the “hybrid hypervisor” infrastructure that runs everything and allows managing on-premises and cloud environments as they are one and the same. That seems to be the end goal from both standpoints.

Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of the Amazon Outposts offering and the various flavors that customers have to choose from.

Amazon Outposts Native Variant and VMware Variant

There are two paths that customers can choose from with the Amazon Outposts platform – the Amazon AWS native variant and the VMware variant of AWS Outposts.

Let’s look at the differences between the two.

The AWS native variant of the AWS Outposts solution allows you to run the same Amazon EC2 and AWS EBS store instances by way of the same APIs and control plane that you are used to running in the native AWS public cloud environment. The AWS Outposts allows you to launch and manage a wide range of AWS services such as Amazon ALB for load balancing, Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS for containers, Amazon EMR for big data, and Amazon RDS for databases, with more to be added in the future.

The VMware variant is the variant of the Amazon AWS Outposts solution that allows running VMware Cloud on AWS locally, on-premises, using the same VMware Cloud on AWS control plane and API interactions that customers are already familiar with in the current VMware Cloud on AWS environment in the AWS public cloud. This VMware variant runs the same SDDC software stack that customers are already familiar with utilizing for compute, storage, and networking. Such VMware solutions as vSAN and NSX are baked into the VMware Cloud on AWS solution and will also be delivered via the AWS Outposts solution.

Additionally, with the VMware variant, customers are able to tightly integrate with their existing VMware on AWS environments and burst traffic from on-premises to the VMware Cloud on AWS environment in the case of DR or other demands that warrant relocating resources from on-premises to the cloud.

Streamlined, Single Management and Control of AWS and VMware

The beauty of the entire solution is that customers get a single point of entry for management and control. Customers using the AWS Outposts solution will be able to see and manage their VMware SDDC and their AWS resources, whether they are on-premise or in the public cloud as if they were all in one location and one physical network! This unified management plane of the hybridized environment is the key to the solution’s success among customers.

The pairing of Amazon AWS and VMware on-premises seems to be a match made for success and one that offers a load of features and capabilities to many organizations today who are heavily invested in both the VMware and Amazon ecosystem of products and services. We are certainly seeing a new age of hybrid compute, storage, and networking emerging as customers are driving the demand for these very powerful, streamlined management platforms and underlying infrastructure.

Takeaways

We are no longer in the age of the “cloud” but rather the age of “hybrid”, full-on. Hybrid cloud environments have been the talk of most organizations that haven’t found the perfect fit of all cloud or on-premises. Now that the major players are seeing the need to place their focus back to on-premises solutions, we will no doubt see a great deal of momentum driving this initiative moving forward.

Amazon AWS and VMware is certainly a powerhouse pairing of the leads in their respective markets. Good if not great things should come out of this continued partnership with the industry’s leading enterprise hypervisor and the industry’s leading public cloud vendor. Amazon AWS Outposts is truly a game changer and will certainly allow enterprise environments to rethink the way resources are housed, positioned, managed, automated, and protected.

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Amazon AWS Outposts Offerings for On-Premises Environments
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