Yesterday's joint announcement from Amazon and VMWare about VMWare on AWS is potentially a very exciting one, and one that I must admit, took me by surprise.

It shouldn't have for two reasons.

  1. It makes perfect sense.
  2. I read Duncan Epping's blog post, Hyper-Converged is here, but what is next?, a couple of days previously, which teased us of this announcement.

So what does this announcement actually mean?

There isn't loads of information our there just yet, but Frank Denneman of VMware fills in some of the technical gaps here. To summarise, essentially what's on offer here is a fully managed private vSphere cluster - ESXi running on bare metal, with VSAN for storage and NSX for networking.

You can run this as a standalone cluster, in hybrid mode with your on-premise cluster, or in cloud-to-cloud mode.

The hybrid mode in particular is likely to be of interest to existing on-premise VMware customers looking for an easy entry point into the cloud, although one thing that might prove to be a barrier to entry for many, is the requirement to run NSX on their local vSphere cluster.

I'm a huge fan of NSX, it's a phenomenal product in my opinion, but I have no idea what proportion of customers who run vSphere also run NSX. Based purely on anecdotal evidence (i.e. chatting to other tech's I know), I'd guess the percentage is comparatively low at the moment though.

There are no details on pricing yet, so it might be that to stimulate adoption, VMWare will give on-premise vSphere customers an NSX license if they also buy VMWare on AWS. (That could be wishful thinking on my part of course)

No doubt we will hear more in time.