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It’s no secret that many IT organizations in the age of the cloud have lost control of the applications being developed and deployed in public clouds. The primary reason for this is that each public cloud is an island of networks on to itself.
Network virtualization (NV) overlays now present an opportunity for IT organizations to regain control of their IT environments by building network bridges that provide the foundation on which a new generation of extended enterprise systems will be built.
The concept is at the core of an alliance forged between VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) that promises to bring NV in the form of NSX to the AWS cloud as part of a larger VMware cloud on AWS, which will be managed by AWS. Of course, AWS has had its own software-defined networking (SDN) environment for a very long time. But deploying NSX on AWS makes it feasible to create a hybrid NV environment that enables applications to move freely between a public cloud and a private cloud hosted in local data center.
AWS CEO Mike Jassy said at the recent AWS re:invent 2016 conference that AWS had been essentially forcing customers to choose between AWS and instances of VMware software running on-premises. For AWS, that effectively narrowed the number of workloads that AWS could run.
“Every enterprise in the world is virtualized on VMware,” Jassy said.
Now AWS is committed to becoming an extension of VMware sites primarily because there will be a common layer of network, server, and storage virtualization software across both public and private cloud infrastructure.
At that same AWS re:invent conference, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said that response to the Lighthouse program that AWS and VMware have created to onboard VMware customers has been strong. Customers using this program, which include Liberty Mutual, Merck, and McDonalds, said Gelsinger, will be able to move code between AWS and VMware environments on-premises, at will. Plus, the system transforms the way disaster recovery is managed.
“The capital budget for DR [disaster recovery] should be zero,” said Gelsinger. “For the CIO this alliance is a strategic game changer.”
Of course, IT organizations also have the option of taking advantage of a VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture to deploy VMware software on any cloud of their choosing. In fact, as cloud computing continues to mature it’s clear to all concerned that most IT organizations will soon be operating in a multicloud universe. Managing all those cloud computing environments becomes a substantially simpler endeavor when they all share a common layer of network virtualization software.
Going forward, it’s going to become more difficult to tell where one cloud begins and another one ends. As NV software becomes more pervasive, the line between one cloud and a multicloud environment disappears.