VMware Cloud on AWS – Initial Thoughts

For the better half of the day yesterday, my Twitter feed and blog channels were filled with news of the partnership between VMware and Amazon Web Services. In short, VMware has dropped their own public cloud offering in lieu of a more strategic relationship with AWS. With VMware Cloud on AWS, traditional VMware SDDC workloads (ESXi, VSAN, NSX, etc.) can be run on AWS infrastructure using the same tools that administrators are comfortable with for their on-premises deployments. See Frank Denneman’s (@frankdenneman) blog post on the announcement. It’s packed with information and potential use-cases.


One of the most interesting things that jumped out at me while reading Frank’s blog is the mention (albeit, only graphically) of AWS GovCloud. AWS GovCloud allows US Government Agencies and contractors to run workloads in the cloud while maintaining necessary FISMA requirements. AWS GovCloud, since June of this year, has been authorized to run workloads that reach a High impact level. Prior to that, only the Moderate impact level was supported.


To me, this means that USG agencies and contractors can likely run a successful hybrid cloud deployment with much less effort. I’m sure that VMware Cloud on AWS itself needs to be approved by the Federal Risk and Management Program (FedRAMP). However, this process might be streamlined since AWS GovCloud already has a Provisional Approval to Operate. Assuming that the necessary components on-prem. have been configured to the proper level (i.e., DISA STIGs for ESXi 6.0, NSX, and vCenter Server), VMware Cloud on AWS can allow USG agencies and contractors a significantly more flexible approach to consuming IT resources.


Sure – this helps move existing Government workloads to the cloud. It doesn’t necessarily encourage the redesign of those workloads to be better-performing or more modern. My experience thus far has been that the USG is relatively slow to complete these tasks. It’s fair to say that there are a lot of hoops to jump through to do much of anything. Does this help facilitate keeping up with the times or is it more geared towards remaining where we are?

Share your thoughts!

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