How to run business critical apps on VMware Cloud on AWS: Mitigating major concerns

As detailed in a breakout session at VMworld 2018, admins must overcome performance concerns, vendor support issues, and differing levels of effort.

What VMware Cloud on AWS means for infrastructure pros

While the public cloud offers much promise for the enterprise, it's still a scary concept when it comes to migrating and managing mission-critical apps.

Virtualization is the de facto method for running many critical apps, and in many cases it acts as an inroad to the cloud--if a business can overcome the main concerns it brings. For virtualization giant VMware, its VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) provides a unique way to quickly extend or migrate a VMware environment to Amazon's cloud.

At the 2018 VMworld conference in Las Vegas, VMware staff solutions architect Deji Akomolafe explained how to mitigate some of the biggest challenges to bringing business-critical apps to the cloud with VMC.

SEE: Cloud migration decision tool (Tech Pro Research)

The first step is defining a business- or mission-critical app for your organization. Akomolafe recommends asking the following five questions:

  1. Do business processes depend on it?
  2. Is its outage impactful?
  3. Is its outage easily survivable?
  4. Is it easily recoverable?
  5. Will it be missed?

Once the mission-critical apps are defined, IT leaders have to understand the top concerns that they'll encounter. The first concern is that around performance.

Performance concerns will see your employees asking how stable the apps will be in the cloud, how large an instance can be brought to the cloud, and whether or not the end user will be impacted.

For the question of whether or not the cloud can it handle the workload, Akomolafe said the short answer is "yes." VMC has enough power to handle what is done by the majority of application servers that are on-premises. It can handle up to 128 CPUs and 6128 GB RAM per VM per maximum configurations, Akomolafe said.

It's also worth noting that the vSphere web client for VMC offers the same capabilities as the on-premises version, Akomolafe said, and the performance is also the same. If the application can be supported by the on-premises version of vSphere, it can be supported by VMC as well.

The next question is on vendor support--whether or not VMC is certified for the workload and who (VMware or the application provider) offers support. VMware provides support itself, but also has partners that offer support for VMC, including SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, and more, Akomolafe said.

In terms of how much effort it will take to make the change, the process is pretty simple. Existing workloads can be migrated with a few simple clicks, Akomolafe demonstrated at the session. Applications do not need to be re-factored, and the platform is optimized for scalability. Interested engineers should run a demo test for their stakeholders to better display the process.

The price depends on your particular situation. Pricing is available on-demand, or in 1-year and 3-year subscriptions. More information can be found on the pricing page here.

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