VMware expands AWS partnership with new migration and disaster recovery tools

Remember how VMware was supposed to be disrupted by AWS? Somewhere along the way it made a smart move. Instead of fighting the popular cloud platform, it decided to make it easier for IT to use its products on AWS. Today, at the opening of the AWS re:invent customer conference, it announced plans to expand that partnership with some new migration and disaster recovery services.

As Mark Lohmeyer, VP of the VMware cloud platform business unit pointed out, it’s only been a quarter since they made the original product generally available. The new products are designed to help ease the transition to the cloud.

One of the issues VWmare customers have struggled with, is simply moving their mission critical applications from their datacenters to the cloud. Lohmeyer says the new migration product is designed to move applications quickly with no down time and for a reasonable cost (although that’s probably in the eye of the beholder). If it works as advertised, it really gives IT the best of both worlds.

They can move their applications lock, stock and barrel from the datacenter to AWS and continue to monitor and manage them in the way they have been. If there truly is no downtime, this makes for an easy cloud transition, whether a company wants to start slowly and move an application or two or has plans to shut down the company datacenter and needs to move everything.

What’s more, VMware is sweetening the pot by offering reserved pricing discounts over the traditional hourly pricing model. That means if you sign up for a year or three years you get a discount, although the amount will vary depending on volume and other factors. They are also introducing hybrid licenses, which allow customers to continue to use their on-prem licenses when they move to the cloud. All of these factors could reduce the overall cost of transitioning to the cloud over standard pricing approaches.

VMware also announced a new disaster recover product. This enables IT to keep a copy of applications and data in the cloud on AWS. In the event of a disaster like a massive hurricane, power outage or other misfortune they can keep going with minimal disruption. “If you have a failure in your on-prem cloud, you can organize a restart on AWS,” Lohmeyer explained.

The disaster recovery tool also helps those companies that may be slow to move to the cloud to get more comfortable with the idea. If you can store your disaster recovery backup in the cloud, you may be ready to move the actual applications at some point too.

VMware was the company that popularized the virtual machine concept and today it is the premiere datacenter product. The problem for VMware has been that the future is moving out of the datacenter and into the cloud. Its first idea was to try to build its own public cloud service and compete with AWS. When that idea fizzled, VMware had a Plan B and that was to partner with the other cloud vendors. The biggest of those is of course AWS.

As Lohmeyer sees it, this partnership is good for everyone. “It’s good for customers because they can readily take advantage of the cloud model. It’s good for VMware because we are keeping the customers on our platforms and growing the workloads. And it’s good for AWS because there are more workloads running on their platform.”

If it works as described, that’s the ingredients for an ideal partnership.