Solving Challenges of Extending Data Centers to Public Cloud

To maintain valuable data centre infrastructure, organizations are turning to hybrid IT strategies. But before seeing the benefits, businesses must first integrate their on-premises data centres with the off-premise cloud. This article identifies and solves 5 common data centre extension challenges organizations face.

Solving Challenges of Extending Data Centers to Public Cloud
Solving Challenges of Extending Data Centers to Public Cloud. Photo by Taylor Vick on Unsplash

Table of contents

The public cloud offers many advantages to the organization
Challenges of extending data centres to the public cloud
Challenge 1: Interoperability between environments
Challenge 2: Incompatible skills, tools, and processes
Challenge 3: Management of disparate infrastructures
Challenge 4: Bi-directional application mobility
Challenge 5: Consistent security and governance
Conclusion

The public cloud offers many advantages to organizations

Organizations will continue to benefit from their data centre investments – infrastructure, people, processes – for the foreseeable future. Many of these organizations are also looking for the unique advantages offered by the public cloud that cannot be cost-effectively delivered with today’s static data centre environments, including:

  • Access to unlimited on-demand compute and storage capacity
  • Usage-based pricing
  • Global data centre footprint
  • Availability of innovative cloud services

89% of organizations still expect to have a meaningful on-premises footprint in three years. – HYBRID CLOUD TRENDS SURVEY, THE ENTERPRISE STRATEGY GROUP, MARCH 2019 (N=309)

Challenges of extending data centres to the public cloud

Before reaping the benefits of public cloud, organizations must successfully integrate their on-premises data centres with the off-premises cloud, which is no easy task. There are many technical, process, and skill differences required to leverage these environments. Explore how VMware CloudTM on AWS helps to address these five common data centre extension challenges:

Challenge 1: Interoperability between environments

  • Existing applications running in on-premises data centres are not designed to run on public cloud infrastructure and require redesign before migrating.
  • Most applications must be rearchitected, machine formats must be converted, and everything must be thoroughly retested.
  • Networks must be integrated and reconfigured, data must be transferred, and storage must conform to capabilities available in the public cloud.

The Solution: VMware Cloud on AWS VMware Cloud on AWS extends your on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, and therefore no redesign is required to migrate applications.

The same industry-leading, proven and mature vSphere hypervisor that runs tens of millions of workloads is available on dedicated, bare-metal infrastructure in the AWS Cloud.

Challenge 2: Incompatible skills, tools, and processes

  • Native public cloud infrastructures are built on proprietary technologies that are unique to each cloud provider.
  • Infrastructure and operations teams must learn new skills, acquire different tools, and change existing processes to maximize the benefits of public cloud integration.
  • Inability to leverage existing skills, tools, and processes creates inefficiencies and increases costs of operating two separate environments.

The Solution: VMware Cloud on AWS VMware Cloud on AWS offers the same VMware infrastructure as you are using on-premises, enabling you to leverage familiar and proven VMware skills, tools and processes.

Your organization does not need to invest in new skills or additional people to immediately take advantage of public cloud capabilities.

Challenge 3: Management of disparate infrastructures

  • On-premises data centres are managed through a variety of feature-rich tools developed over many years.
  • In contrast, public clouds have their own unique management tools that have been developed to manage applications running on a shared, multi-tenant infrastructure.
  • Both toolsets work in isolation to manage their respective environments.

The Solution: VMware Cloud on AWS VMware vCenter, a widely-used and proven management tool used by infrastructure administrators across the world to operate their on-premises vSphere infrastructure is the management tool for VMware Cloud on AWS.

Hybrid Linked Mode connects the vCenter managing VMware Cloud on AWS with all your on-premises vCenters into a single pane of glass for administering both infrastructures.

Challenge 4: Bi-directional application mobility

  • Alternate machine formats between on-premises data centres and public clouds make migration a slow, one-way journey even for simple applications.
  • For more complex workloads, the rework required to make the leap is costly and time-consuming.
  • Once applications move to the public cloud, it is virtually impossible to move them back on-premises without a significant reverse rework.

The Solution: VMware Cloud on AWS Applications require no redesign to migrate to VMware Cloud on AWS, saving migration costs, time and increasing the likelihood that your cloud integration project will succeed.

VMware Cloud on AWS offers the option to move applications at large scale without any downtime both from and back to your on-premises data centre.

Challenge 5: Consistent security and governance

  • Organizations give up a certain degree of control over their infrastructure in the public cloud. Security policies and practices must be updated to conform to this new model.
  • The differences between on-premises and public cloud infrastructure limit the reuse of established security and governance procedures and tools.
  • Public cloud infrastructure has different consumption patterns. Governance models need to be updated to control how cloud resources are acquired.

The Solution: VMware Cloud on AWS VMware Cloud on AWS enables you to leverage established existing on-premises enterprise security, governance and operational policies and 3rd party solutions in the cloud.

Customers can migrate their current on-premises security solution along with established configurations, rules and policies. Further, VMware vRealize Suite provides a platform to establish a consistent governance model.

Conclusion

Integrating data centres with public clouds involves a significant number of person-hours, an assortment of tools and substantial risk, not to mention the actual time required to move applications from one environment to the other. Lack of familiar management tools that can administer both environments, the need for different skillsets, and inconsistent security postures dampen the speed, flexibility, scale, elasticity, and global reach benefits of the public cloud.

VMware Cloud on AWS offers the best of both worlds, allowing organizations to seamlessly integrate their on-premises data centre infrastructure with a VMware environment running on elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure delivered as a service.

Source: VMware

Thomas Apel Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.