Microsoft Azure and VMware? Not so fast!

By | November 24, 2017

In August this year, VMware and Amazon announced that VMware Cloud on AWS was available! (Atleast from Oregon) Which essentially means VMware based infrastructure running on AWS hardware. And this was the highest attending session on VMworld this year, so the interest is quite huge!

And the path to cloud for many buisnesses need to start with something familiar, and not a complex beast like what AWS is, so for many it makes sense.  It is important to note here that this is a fully managed service. That is to say, VMware will install, manage and maintain the underlying ESXi, VSAN, vCenter and NSX infrastructure. Routine operations like patching or hardware failure remediation will be taken care of by VMware as part of the service. Customers will have delegated permissions to things like vCenter and will be able to use vCenter to perform administrative tasks but there will be some actions like patching which VMware will provide to you as part of the service. This means that VMware takes care of the core infrastructure in partnership with AWS.

Also during VMworld this year, VMware and IBM also announced a partnership and released a new product called HCX, which I’ve blogged more about here –> http://msandbu.org/more-info-on-vmware-hcx/ which also allows for seamless DR options as well.

So for VMware to partner up with AWS and the long time partnership with IBM makes sense. It provides customers with the ability to use the marketleading hypervisor (According to Gartner: The market remains dominated by VMware, however, Microsoft has worked its way in as a mainstream contender for enterprise use.) In a cloud scenario.

Earlier this week, Microsoft also had some big news to announce, seems like they want a piece of the cake…
https://azure.microsoft.com/nb-no/blog/transforming-your-vmware-environment-with-microsoft-azure/
Host VMware infrastructure with VMware virtualization on Azure. Most workloads can be migrated to Azure easily using the above services; however, there may be specific VMware workloads that are initially more challenging to migrate to the cloud. For these workloads, you may need the option to run the VMware stack on Azure as an intermediate step. Today, we’re excited to announce the preview of VMware virtualization on Azure, a bare-metal solution that runs the full VMware stack on Azure hardware, co-located with other Azure services. We are delivering this offering in partnership with premier VMware-certified partners. General availability is expected in the coming year. Please contact your Microsoft sales representative if you’d like to participate in this preview.  Hosting the VMware stack in public cloud doesn’t offer the same cost savings and agility of using cloud-native services, but this option provides you additional flexibility on your path to Azure.

So this means that we will be able to provision VMware Infrastructure on Azure as well, but note here that this is not done together with VMware and they issued a statement saying VMware does not recommend and will not support customers running on the Azure announced partner offering.(https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/23/vmware_refuses_to_support_vmware_on_azure)

There are a couple of things to consider on this part.

* If this is just running VMware infrastructure in a Azure datacentre and is following the VMware HCL and is following everything by the book, how can VMware deny support?
* How will the partnership work, will the partner be managing everything inside Azure such as VMware is doing with AWS?
* We know that this is entirely different from the VMonAWS setup

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I will bet that Microsoft will not have announced anything like this if they haven’t figured out stuff like support and management and such so stay tuned.

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