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Multi-Cloud

Accelerate Your Digital Transformation Journey With VMware Cloud Universal

During VMworld 2021, I sat down with Jim Smith, CIO of Riverside County and a VMware Cloud Universal customer. Riverside County is the fourth largest county in California and home to the Coachella Music Festival and Joshua Tree National Park. As one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, Riverside County has been looking to accelerate its digital transformation. Jim Smith, an industry veteran, is leading the county through this change and is aiming to address three key pillars: security and availability, innovation and fiscal responsibility.

Riverside County embarked on its transformation journey to build out a hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environment with the purchase of VMware Cloud Universal. Through this strategic partnership, we jointly architected an integrated solution to help the county achieve its goals:

  • Data center modernization with VMware Cloud Foundation: Riverside County will consolidate and replace the original hardware environment they purchased in 2016 with a new and secure VMware Cloud Foundation-based hyperconverged environment.
  • On-demand disaster recovery with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery: In the event of a disaster, Riverside County will be able to deliver continuity of operations and services and quickly turn on resources in the public cloud to deliver critical services.
  • Workload portability and consistent operations with VMware Cloud on AWS: Riverside County will securely extend to the public cloud for scalability, business continuity and workload portability, while improving control and mitigating risk through consistent and unified operations and governance.
  • Multi-cloud management with vRealize Cloud Universal: Riverside County will gain end-to-end visibility and control across multiple clouds with policy-based automation and optimization of costs, tiers, location, availability, security, compliance and SLAs.

With VMware Cloud Universal, Riverside County can flexibly consume VMware products and services as they navigate their transformation to hybrid and multi-cloud. The county will also save millions of dollars through server consolidation and licensing displacement, and up to 600 hours in software upgrades and maintenance.

Jim Smith commented: “A true hybrid cloud, multi-cloud environment has been a dream of mine for some time, and I am confident that we’ve architected a solution that will finally make that dream a reality.”

Market context and customer challenge

Digital transformation has reshaped virtually every industry over the past decade. Businesses have always had to disrupt themselves, but now, they must use digital technology to keep up with customer demands. The pandemic has brought digital transformation into even sharper focus, as companies have had to address the unprecedented surge in demand for digital-first services. For IT, this has led to the acceleration of two key trends: 1) cloud adoption is accelerating faster than ever, and 2) businesses are investing more heavily in app modernization.

While digital transformation has created new possibilities, it has also brought about complexities and challenges. Most companies today are already running distributed and heterogeneous environments. Today, the average organization is running approximately 500 applications.¹ Seventy-five of VMware customers rely on two or more public clouds, and 40% are using three or more public clouds.2 As a result, organizations are dealing with different applications that are at different stages of modernization, incompatible architectures between different clouds, diverse management and operating systems, and inconsistent security policies. Combined, the level of complexity and risk creates countless choices and forces compromises: Do you choose speed or control? Do you meet the needs of the business or the aspirations of developers? Do you evolve your past investments or start from scratch?

Companies should not have to choose between an option that accelerates innovation or one that delivers enterprise control and security. To achieve the topline goal of digital transformation, these options cannot stand on their own. The answer isn’t “either / or,” but rather “both, and.” Fortunately, VMware has been working on just such a solution: VMware Cross-Cloud services.

Introducing VMware Cross-Cloud services

At VMworld 2021, we announced VMware Cross-Cloud services.

With VMware Cross-Cloud services, VMware replaces the limitations of “or” with the opportunities of “and.” VMware Cross-Cloud services enables organizations to accelerate their journey to the cloud with cost efficiency, as well as flexibility and control across any cloud.

There are five core building blocks within VMware Cross-Cloud services:

  1. A state-of-the-art platform for building and deploying cloud-native apps
  2. Cloud infrastructure for operating and running your enterprise apps
  3. Cloud management for monitoring and managing the performance and cost of your apps across different clouds
  4. Security and networking that spans your entire multi-cloud operation to connect and secure all your apps
  5. A digital workspace to empower your distributed workforce and edge solutions to deploy and manage your edge-native applications

VMware Cross-Cloud services expands the capabilities of VMware’s products and services for a multi-cloud world, while allowing customers to choose the services they need on the cloud of their choice.

VMware Cloud Universal: A flexible consumption offering for VMware Cross-Cloud services

VMware Cloud Universal is a new offering that simplifies your purchase and consumption of VMware Cross-Cloud services. There are five key benefits VMware Cloud Universal delivers:

  1. Choice and flexibility: With a single commitment, you can freely consume any of the eligible products and services within the offering. We are continuing to expand the set of products and services that are available within VMware Cloud Universal.
  2. Central visibility and control: Through our self-service portal, the VMware Cloud Console, we provide a single pane of glass for all your multi-cloud subscriptions. You can self-deploy and configure your services by accessing a rich set of APIs, SDK and CLI automation tools, all exposed through common endpoints for infrastructure and application management. The console also features the VMware Cloud Launchpad, a consolidated landing page and starting point to help customers explore the complete VMware portfolio of multi-cloud solutions.
  3. Portability and convertibility: We offer portability within our cloud management products and convertibility from an on-premises infrastructure subscription to a VMware-based cloud subscription. You can flexibly deploy your cloud management as SaaS or on-premises with a single license, toggling back and forth and moving workloads between clouds without repurchasing. Furthermore, you can convert a VMware Cloud Foundation subscription at any time during your subscription and apply the residual balance toward a new VMware Cloud on AWS or VMware Cloud on Dell EMC subscription. 
  4. Investment protection: Through our Cloud Acceleration Benefit, we address your cloud migration bubble by allowing you to bring your perpetual licenses and receive value back for your investment, including any unused Support and Subscription (SnS).
  5. Comprehensive success offering: VMware Success 360 is a key component of VMware Cloud Universal. Through VMware Success 360, we guide you through all stages of your journey and help you maximize the value of your services.

VMware Cloud Universal has gained considerable momentum since our launch in March 2021, and we are seeing several key use cases emerge:

  • Hybrid cloud architecture: Many customers, such as Riverside County, want to build a hybrid cloud architecture, where they will have a mixture of on-premises and public cloud resources in their environment. VMware Cloud Universal is a perfect fit for these customers because it allows them to customize their journey to hybrid cloud, balancing their investment across different environments as they move at their own pace and seamlessly transition to a more integrated solution.
  • Flexible cloud migration: We also see a lot of customers who are committed to moving to public cloud but often embark on the project with extended or uncertain timetables. They may rely on existing real estate or facilities contracts that are a few years out. Or, they may be slowed by scaling migration-specific applications or technical requirements. VMware Cloud Universal is a great solution for these customers because it allows them to accelerate and customize their own journey to public cloud.
  • Data center modernization: A portion of our customers are choosing to stay on-premises for the foreseeable future and are looking to consolidate and modernize their data centers. Again, VMware Cloud Universal is a good fit for these customers, as it allows customers to consume an on-premises VMware-managed solution like VMware Cloud on Dell to get the benefits of as-a-service or build out a customer-managed private cloud. Customers can take advantage of the flexible subscription licensing model with flexible payment options and terms.
  • Multi-cloud management: Regardless of where the application is deployed, companies are looking to give operators a centralized, automated and portable operating model across all these environments. VMware Cloud Universal is a great for this, as it allows customers to flexibly consume cloud management as SaaS or on-premises with a single license and easily scale up and down across multiple environments as needed.
  • Application modernization: Many organizations are, at the same time, modernizing their applications and empowering their developers to build and release their software to production quickly and frequently. With VMware Cloud Universal, customers can flexibly run, build and manage Kubernetes across multiple clouds with a flexible consumption model.

Ultimately, VMware Cloud Universal gives customers the freedom and control they need to navigate their future.

The business value of VMware Cloud Universal

We deliver significant business value to our customers through VMware Cloud Universal. Organizations today need to accelerate digital transformation, and we know that transformation does not happen overnight or in a linear fashion. With VMware Cloud Universal, we help you accelerate, as well as pivot your strategy as needed as the market evolves. We also grant access to VMware’s latest innovations and acquisitions. With a single commitment, you can consume any of the eligible services, including any future services that we may add to the eligibility list. We also simplify hardware and software lifecycle management so you can focus on your strategic initiatives and your applications. And finally, whether you’re going to private cloud, public cloud, local cloud or a combination of the three, we help address your cloud migration bubble so you can free up budget and resources.

We have designed VMware Cloud Universal to be flexible and modular, both from a product and commercial perspective, so that you can choose the best cloud for your needs, the best services for your applications, and to evolve over time at your own pace. We believe that with VMware Cloud Universal, we are offering a unique set of benefits that will help you adapt to change and take advantage of its opportunities. We invite you to learn more about VMware Cloud Universal and all the different ways it can help you and your organization modernize your applications on any cloud.

Next steps

Learn more at VMware Cloud Universal and check out these additional resources to help you on your digital transformation journey:


¹K2 Cybersecurity, “Average Enterprise Runs 464 Custom Applications,” March 2021.

2 VMware internal analysis, July 2021.

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