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Four top use cases of VMware Cloud on AWS

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Since its release in 2017, VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) has seen an uptick in interest and adoption. The drivers contributing to this growing interest are scalability, strategic IT initiatives, and cost savings. Current trends in VMC usage show that companies of all sizes across industries – from tech and financial services to education and healthcare – are interested in VMware Cloud on AWS. Let’s take a closer look at why these companies are turning to VMC.

Why are companies using VMware Cloud on AWS?

Many organisations using – or considering a move to – VMware Cloud on AWS have been running a traditional data centre, likely on VMware. They’ve spent a decade or more securing, hardening, and operating in a VMware environment. They’re looking for a way to flatten the learning curve associated with moving to the public cloud and leverage existing skills to reduce operational overhead and expedite cloud adoptions.

VMware Cloud on AWS eases that transition to public cloud by providing consistency between on-premises VMware and VMware Cloud environments. By not changing hypervisors, workload portability is easy. VMC also takes advantage of native AWS services’ power while allowing the use of existing and new apps within the VMware construct.

Faction surveyed over a thousand cloud professionals and found that the top business initiatives for using or considering using VMware Cloud on AWS are data centre extension, cloud migration, AWS integrated applications, and disaster recovery.

Let’s look at the appeal and value of these four popular use cases:

Use case 1: Data centre extension

Companies are extending their on-premises data centre into the public cloud to address a number of challenges and opportunities. For some, they want to scale compute and storage resources quickly without overprovisioning. Cloud offers on-demand capacity, with the ability to handle seasonal spikes in demand or unplanned, temporary capacity needs. Other companies need data centre capabilities in a specific geography to improve application performance or remain compliant with data sovereignty rules but do not want to invest CapEx in building out a new data centre. Finally, data centre extension is an excellent use case for customers who need to perform test and development activities in a cloud environment that’s operationally similar to on-prem environments. The value of this use case comes from reduced upfront investment costs and a compelling total cost of ownership (TCO), the accelerated speed of provisioning, and the reduction in complexity made possible through consistent architecture and operations on-premises and in the cloud.

Businesses are selecting VMware Cloud on AWS for data centre extension because it allows them to augment their existing on-prem data centres with cloud resources that look and feel like their own on-prem VMware environments. Data centre extension is the leading use case for companies using VMware Cloud on AWS today, as reported by 49 per cent of respondents; 39 per cent of those considering VMC cite data centre extension as the top use case.

Use case 2: Cloud migration

VMC allows users to move from on-prem into the cloud in an efficient, frictionless manner. Migrating to the cloud is smooth and straightforward from a software perspective, with high-speed onramps that allow efficient data centre moves. Of those using VMC today, cloud migration is reported as the top use case by 46 per cent of respondents; 19 per cent of those considering VMC cite cloud migration as the top use case.

Cloud migrations may wholly or partially replace existing on-prem and colo data centres. Businesses who want to consolidate data centres or eliminate on-prem data centre real estate, heating and cooling, and staff expenses can choose complete evacuations of their existing data centres and move to VMware Cloud on AWS.

Partial migrations to the cloud are suitable for phased migrations that utilise the cloud’s scale, tooling, and elasticity to increase application performance. A phased migration can also help companies avoid expensive hardware or infrastructure refreshes while leveraging cloud consumption models.

In these scenarios, cloud migrations are valuable because they accelerate IT transformation initiatives, minimise re-tooling disruptions, improve internal client satisfaction, drive costs out of the business, and enable strategic IT, which can be an enabler for the business.

Use case 3: AWS integrated apps

Companies can take advantage of tools that can deliver early predictive analytics to their organisation by utilising the potential of AWS. The powerful combination of AWS and VMC can improve workload resilience, which is why AWS integrated applications are reported as the top use case by 35 per cent of respondents using VMC today; it is a top use case for nine percent of those considering VMC.

Using VMware Cloud on AWS to tap into the power of AWS integrated apps enables companies to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to exploit unstructured and semi-structured data and provide predictive analytics to the organisation. AWS integrated apps can leverage AWS native tools to enhance application capabilities and performance. Finally, these integrated applications provide seamless integration, giving developers the environments they need to rapidly deliver new applications that are portable into a controlled VMC infrastructure.

AWS integrated apps offer customers several benefits: accelerated development, cost-effective workloads on VMC, IT oversight and compliance, innovation through access to AWS, and domain expertise.

Use case 4: Disaster recovery

Disaster recovery (DR) is something that all businesses need, but it is often invisible until it’s urgent. Therefore, obtaining leadership buy-in and an adequate budget can be challenging. Secondary physical DR sites are expensive to build and maintain. Using the cloud for DR can be transformational, scaling and moving workloads seamlessly. Cloud-based DR can be brought online within seconds or minutes compared to traditional DR sites, which means your business doesn’t miss a beat. Among current VMC users, 33 per cent cite disaster recovery as the top use case; 32 per cent of those considering VMC name disaster recovery as their top use case.

VMware Cloud on AWS is ideal for customers who want to implement a disaster recovery solution for the first time, reduce the costs of and modernise their existing DR solution, or protect specific application workloads with a cloud-based DR solution. With the ability to support multiple types of DR scenarios, VMware Cloud on AWS can provide customer value by reducing secondary DR site costs, accelerating time to protection, increasing business resiliency, and simplifying DR operations.


The benefits of hybrid cloud and the four use cases above are triggering a significant migration to VMware Cloud on AWS over the next two years. The Faction 2019 VMware Cloud on AWS Market Survey, showed that of those respondents planning to migrate to or deploy VMware Cloud on AWS, 23 per cent anticipate doing so within the coming year, with another 25 per cent planning to migrate in 12–24 months.

Additional technical details about each use case are provided in the free webinar “4 Killer Use Cases for VMware Cloud on AWS.”

Duan van der Westhuizen, SVP of Product and Marketing, Faction

Duan van der Westhuizen is SVP of Product and Marketing at Faction. Duan has more than 20 years of experience in IT, cloud, and managed services.