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Executive Summary

Shifting to the “work from home” model poses a lot of immediate challenges for Enterprises. VMware powered hybrid clouds (VMC) enables a rapid VDI deployment. However, with applications still residing on-premises and consumed by VDI users in the cloud, unforeseen latency and network degradation might ruin the end user experience. VMC and VMware HCX offers a flexible, secure, and rapid way to transfer only required application workloads to the cloud without “lock-in” and redesign, providing full control over resource utilization and with ability to perform a reverse migration to on-premises or other cloud if needed.

The Challenge

The current global pandemic and the uncertainty that comes with it brings numerous new challenges for enterprise IT. The most critical of those challenges is that of timing. The inability of organizations to provide timely resolutions poses a huge risk to the entire business, leading to suboptimal decisions and wasting of already limited resources and budgets. The requirement to enable new approaches to access internal IT resources in the shortest time possible while maintaining security, performance and usability for end users is one example of the often-overwhelming challenges. Many organizations turn to the benefits of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and applications virtualization technology to alleviate this struggle.

Providing a net new (or even expanding currently available) VDI infrastructure to accommodate possibly all company employees is challenging when using only on-premises datacenter resources. Therefore, many enterprises consider leveraging hybrid deployment models. Some of the benefits which can be derived from a cloud-based VDI architecture include:

  • On-demand available compute resources.
  • Leveraging geo-locality to bring remote desktops and data closer to end users.
  • Robust cloud networks which can accommodate large numbers of incoming connections.
  • Drastically shortened deployment times as the underlying physical infrastructure is already prepared. For example, with VMware Cloud on AWS you can have a new infrastructure up and running in the cloud in under 2 hours across any of the 17 AWS Regions worldwide.
  • Secure and reliable connections from the cloud to on-premises infrastructure.

However, moving VDI to the cloud also shifts (even if temporary) the applications access pattern – instead of being consumed within the same physical datacenter, the application traffic is now traversing networks connecting hybrid clouds together. This introduces additional network latency and might degrade the user experience, especially when considering scalability.

An obvious resolution would be to move applications, including business critical workloads, to the public cloud as well. While initially appearing attractive, the effort requires significant resources as well as considerable time and budget to re-architect applications to be capable of efficiently functioning in public clouds. Also, the effort may introduce a non-desired “lock-in” to a particular public cloud provider, requiring the continued leveraging of public cloud resources even when the necessity has diminished. Time constraints are especially important as the need to execute an application migration is immediate.

The Solution

The real value of a hybrid cloud architecture becomes apparent under these circumstances. VMware based hybrid clouds (VMC) and Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) offer the unique ability to satisfy current requirements while drastically shortening the time to migrate and avoiding vendor “lock-in”. Combining a VDI solution on VMware Cloud Platform with application workload migration offers tremendous benefits including:

  • Simplified migration to the cloud in the short period of time without redesign of the application itself.
  • Alleviation of network latency issue introduced by overused connections between on-premises and public cloud.
  • Enhanced security and micro segmentation.
  • Cross-cloud migration capabilities (if the VDI platform must be migrated between different public clouds).
  • Dynamically adjustment of the set of applications supporting VDI workloads depending on the time of the day and application access patterns by migrating VMs hosting application workload to and off the cloud.
  • Drastically shortened application deployment times in the cloud compared to the effort of a migration to a native public cloud environment.

And last but not the least – if the situation changes and normal IT operations resume, VMs hosting applications could be easily migrated back to on-premises infrastructure without having to rework or refactor the application, freeing up cloud resources.

Summary

VMware powered hybrid clouds give enterprises a required flexibility in thse uncertain times while preserving full control over the applications deployment. Running your critical VDI workloads on VMC can preserve one of the most important resources – time – by able to react to the changing situation quickly, without “lock-in”, reskills or rework.