The high cost of VMware cloud offerings can drive businesses toward repatriating their data from the cloud or toward hybrid options. But repatriation is as time-consuming and expensive as moving to the cloud in the first place.
VMware Cloud on AWS provides VMware customers with access to many AWS services and functions. VMware and AWS have gone to great lengths to ensure that feature sets align between on-premises VMware and the cloud. However, this might lead some admins and management to treat VMware Cloud on AWS and other VMware cloud offerings just like on-site environments. This can create financial problems: Although the cloud can scale to any size, an organization's budget can't.
Budgeting VMware Cloud on AWS to avoid a return from cloud
VMware presents VMware Cloud on AWS and its other cloud offerings as seamless, with little difference between on-site and cloud environments. From a technical perspective, the differences are minimal. However, the costs of each vary drastically. Even if a customer can properly assess and estimate cloud costs before adoption, nothing in IT stays static for long. New applications or add-ons can push the expansion of resources and quickly become too expensive.
Most businesses can face budgetary challenges like this. VMware Cloud on AWS poses limits on hardware resources, which means organizations can quickly lose control of the cloud resources they consume. Operational costs cease to reflect true costs as expenses grow slowly over time at a pace that might not set off alarm bells -- a scenario known as "usage creep."
Organizations should weigh their operational costs against cloud gains. Oftentimes, a hybrid approach that leaves certain data and operations on premises can ease the transition to cloud and help mitigate costs. Application profile analysis can help businesses decide which workloads should run on premises versus on VMware Cloud on AWS. If an organization tiers storage data, it should similarly tier its VMware workloads.
Hardware to support VMware cloud repatriation
If an organization elects to move data from VMware Cloud on AWS back on premises, that organization might lack its old hardware, since many businesses move to the cloud when their hardware reaches end of life. In this event, businesses can consider adopting hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to handle significant amounts of data and applications coming back on site.
HCI technology enables organizations to reduce storage frames, and HCI networking infrastructure can support hybrid cloud environments. Although HCI starts out expensive, the footprint, ease of configuration and good performance prevent end users from seeing a difference in services during and after the transition, and it earns its value the longer an organization keeps using it.
What should an organization repatriate?
Certain applications might work better in the cloud versus on premises. For example, storage costs for a large-scale legacy file server might lead an organization to house that server on premises, but certain critical-use applications that require additional cloud services might be ideal for VMware Cloud on AWS.
Rather than looking at VMware cloud options as a complete replacement for on-premises VMware, organizations can consider VMware cloud as an extension to an on-prem environment that provides additional flexibility.