Modernizing with VMware Cloud on AWS
VMware Cloud on AWS transforms modernization into a steady, consistent marathon you can win on your first attempt
Modernization is something most businesses want to do, but it often takes a backseat to other business priorities. When leaders consider short term quick wins through application migrations vs longer term modernization initiatives – the appeal of speed frequently wins the decision making process.
However, much like training for and running a marathon, successful modernization requires gradual activity over a long period of time, as well as a high level of persistence – you can’t train for a marathon by running 400 meter sprints 6 times a day 3 months before the start. If you do try to make IT Transformation a sprint, you may fast-track the wrong priorities and end up with high costs, stressed staff, and poor results.
Expanding your options
Let’s say your organization has only a six month window to modernize due to an upcoming data center contract expiration. You believe it will take you a full year to modernize 100% of your workloads – potentially faster with accelerators like an influx of capital or a new CIO joining the company. What do you do?
In this scenario, you usually have two choices:
- Attempt to accelerate the modernization or try to “sprint” without misjudging priorities
- Reluctantly sign the renewal and ask to extend the timeline to a year to give yourself the best chance to succeed
Fortunately, VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS offers a far better third choice:
- Do not sign the renewal, and instead remove cost from the business by rapidly and safely moving your workloads to a like-for-like technical home within the six-month window
A rapid migration with long-term results
Recently, one of our global enterprise customers had to evacuate a data center in three months. Their lease renewal was coming up and they did not want the long-term commitment. With the exit date set in stone, VMware Cloud on AWS was the best option for hitting their goal of cancelling the data center contract.
With the flexibility needed to analyze each workload to the depth required, they successfully evacuated the data center in time and secured an additional 12 months to migrate over to native AWS. As a result, the company saved $1.8 million over a span of 18 months.
VMware Cloud on AWS allows you to migrate applications quickly with very low risk, with the opportunity to modernize over a longer period of time.
Analyzing the best execution venue for workloads
Ideally, you should be analyzing the best execution venue for your workloads on a regular basis. However, most IT professionals only consider the technologies currently available. While the venue may never change, it is important to be both aspirational and pragmatic about this analysis to ensure you are exploring all possibilities.
Taking the time to evaluate your best execution venue can help you find the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) with the maximum business value. For example, your analysis may reveal that VMware technology that is reliable, performant, and well-supported is a better choice than microservices with event-driven compute and orchestrated containers.
In the data center renewal scenario above, if 100% of the applications are running in VMware Cloud on AWS and it is possible to perfectly map the utilization requirement, you may find that 75% are eligible for a complete refactoring. This would dramatically increase performance and reduce cost, leaving the remaining 25% of applications running as a dependable baseline.
Common roadblocks to modernizing applications
During a marathon, there’s a big difference between stubbing your toe and falling down. A small misstep won’t prevent you from continuing on. But if you hit the ground, picking yourself back up and staying in the race is a lot harder. The same is true with a modernization project.
Working with an experienced partner can keep you running smoothly along your path to modernization. Here are three common pitfalls to watch for:
1: Out of Scope Responsibilities
Have you ever heard someone in IT say, “That’s not my responsibility?”
Companies that try to tackle modernization on their own end up managing numerous vendors across departments. When an issue arises, vendors can often only confirm whether the issue is their responsibility. If it falls out of their scope, it is then up to the business to figure out how to solve the bigger problem.
This comes up often on troubleshooting calls. Someone will inevitably claim they can’t help because it is outside of their scope (“That’s a networking issue, and I’m a database guy so you’ll have to talk with someone else”). The statement may be factual, but it also reveals whether a vendor is a true partner to your organization – or simply passing the buck.
Make sure you find a trusted partner that strives towards business outcomes, and will assume responsibility as broadly as needed to get your issues resolved.
2: Forgetting about the Use Case
Organizations often start a migration or transformation by drilling down to the lowest common denominator of CPU/ RAM/Storage. However, beginning modernization with an understanding of what your users require will result in a solution that meets their needs.
In addition, if you are only considering CPU/RAM/Storage and then try to pick up your application and put it on top of the cloud, you may miss critical business considerations such as licensing and networking. Remember, not everything maps one-to-one from a migration point of view compared to on-premises.
Take time to evaluate what your workload truly needs before starting to modernize. This will ensure a smarter architecture and ensure a better user experience.
3: Underestimating the Benefits of VMware Cloud on AWS
VMware Cloud on AWS is an essential strategic solution for any organization utilizing VMware and embracing modernization. You may want to rush to the latest cloud native technologies, but gaining access to innovation requires thoughtful planning and execution.
VMware Cloud on AWS can accelerate your digital transformation, making you more efficient, more secure, and more productive in the long run.
Slow and steady wins the modernization race, and having the right team on your side can ensure you get across the finish line. Learn more about VMware Cloud on AWS.
Tom Spalding is Chief Growth Officer at Effectual, Inc.