Cloud Management Platform

Introduction to the VMware Cloud Operating Model

This article will go into the details of VMware Cloud Operating Model for multi-cloud. VMware helps its customers to move into the direction of multi-cloud as the world of multi-cloud is becoming a reality for most enterprises today.

Digital transformation is the key driver behind this journey to multi-cloud. Digital transformation drivers an increase in applications and the applications nowadays typically run in multiple clouds.

For most customers this means they need to transform their traditional way of operating IT to a model that is suitable for managing clouds. For that an operating model is needed that will help to manage application workloads and cloud resources across private, public and edge clouds.

VMware helps its customers by providing guidance and software on how to transform towards a Cloud Operating Model that will help IT organizations to become the orchestrator of applications and cloud resources across multiple clouds.

Business consumes Applications, Applications run on Clouds

All of this starts with the business strategy of enterprises today. The business strategy defines which direction the business should take and how it should get there. For most companies nowadays that involves a transformation towards becoming a digital business. A business that accommodates its customers and employees through digital means. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the products or services are digital, but it does mean that the consumer and employee experience is getting more and more digitized.

And this happens in every industry. Banking, industry, government or any other industry are all making a transition and are looking into the opportunity of using digital to enhance the customer and employee experience. Next to that digital transformation also happens to elevate the brand, to remain relevant or to get a competitive advantage.

A good example of this is the banking industry. This industry has been at the forefront of technology innovation. Banks have been going through digital transformation journey for some time now. Every bank has digital services that give access to bank services and products. Nowadays we have become accustomed to using bank services through the web or on our mobile phones. But it wasn’t that long ago that every had to be done manually. Going to the bank to make deposits, receiving statements in the mail, etc. were all normal activities. The analogue way of doing things. Today you would not use services of a bank that still operate in this way. That shows that technological innovation is key to staying relevant and, in some cases, create a competitive advantage.

This digital transformation relies on applications to deliver the digital components and foundation for the digital business. Applications are the engine that make the digital business a reality. And it is not only the new applications that make a digital business happen. Also, existing applications still need to be part of the digital experience. All of this is defined in a company’s application strategy that helps define how existing and new applications need to be created and managed. Topics such as application modernization and the hosting location of applications are defined in an applications strategy that underpins the need of the busines into becoming a digital business.

Those applications will be hosted on a cloud. Either in a private, public or edge cloud. The choice for that typically is defined by IT in a cloud strategy. This outlines where the applications, both existing and new ones, are going to be hosted. There are of course a variety of factors that determines which clouds will be hosted. Enterprises typically still have their own datacenters hosting existing applications, but the consumption of public cloud has also gained a lot of traction already. This requires a good cloud strategy to accommodate the right cloud solutions for the apps that run the business.

In the end it all comes down to this: Business Strategy impacts your Applications Strategy. Application Strategy impacts your Cloud Strategy.

And as with all things we also need to take cost into account. All this needs to align with the Financial Strategy. Investments need to be managed and the cloud spend needs to be governed need to remain under control.

Transforming to a Cloud Operating Model

IT within the enterprise is responsible for running the application workloads and managing the cloud resources. Traditionally this was done within company owned datacenters. However, over the last decade a shift has happened that more and more resources are managed and maintained by external cloud providers. This could be public cloud providers or service providers that run their own cloud stacks. The new reality within most enterprises that is then created is a situation that involves the management of multiple clouds consisting out of private, public and edge clouds.

This means that IT needs to transform its operational model. No longer is the traditional model of running IT sufficient to accommodate the needs of the business.

Especially in the era of digital transformation the consumers of IT resources, developers and application owners within the lines of business, expect to get a cloud experience when consuming IT resources.

This cloud experience that IT consumers expect needs to that of a cloud:

  • Self-service through API or portal
  • On-demand, anytime, anywhere
  • Scalable and expandable when needed
  • Pay for what you consume

For IT the challenge is to provide this model while remaining in control of the underlying resources. In the end it is enterprise IT that is responsible for delivering the cloud resources wherever they reside. Could be in private cloud, but as we have already noted more and more resources are also hosted in public cloud.

This needs a change in how people, process and technology are aligned to the goal of supporting the digital transformation outlined in the various strategies.

For people this means that there needs to be a shift in mindset in how they provide cloud. The mindset should focus on becoming a customer-focused, service delivery-oriented organization. This means that people need to be multi-disciplinary and can work cross-functionally. The world of multi-cloud is a dynamic environment where change is the new normal.

All of this need the adoption of a mindset that is focused on delivering cloud resources to the consumers of IT within the business. As a result, processes will need to be re-aligned to accommodate the transition towards a Cloud Operating Model. The focus should be to automate or broker the delivery of IT resources as much as possible and make them accessible through a self-service portal or API.

Typically the start of the change towards a Cloud Operating Model in IT happens within a newly formed  Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). The group of people will be responsible for making the transition towards a Cloud Operating Model. This group is the tip of the spear when it comes to the transformation. They are responsible for defining the cloud strategy and making sure it gets implemented. This group has representation of cloud architects (private and public), platform engineers, developers, security, cloud operations, finance and other relevant functions within the organization. The goal of this group is to set out the direction and accommodate the broader IT organization with best-practices and guidance for implementing cloud within the organization.

And all this needs to be facilitated with the right technology to deliver cloud services and manage and govern the applications and infrastructure cloud resources that have been deployed across multiple clouds. The technology that drives the Cloud Operating Model needs to be technology that supports and binds the strategies that have been defined in the Application and Cloud Strategy. Creating an operational control plane that gives IT the means to remain in control of the clouds.

VMware Operational Model for Multi-Cloud

VMware empowers IT organization to be able to do that and to make the transition towards a Cloud Operating Model by:

  • Building VMware Clouds
  • Embracing Public Cloud

Traditionally a lot of enterprise IT runs IT workloads within their own datacenters. VMware through virtualization has helped enterprise IT to abstract the compute, storage and network capabilities within a datacenter to run application workloads. This so-called Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) makes it easy to deploy, operate and govern those workloads. Next to that VMware now also can deliver this SDDC as-a-service within an AWS datacenter through VMware Cloud on AWS or within a customer datacenter as-a-service through VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. Next to the SDDC-as-a-Service offering from partners such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle or any of the 4500 VMware service providers.

However, a SDDC does not yet make a cloud. For that we need to have cloud management software that gives cloud operations the ability to transform the SDDC into a cloud that can deliver the relevant services towards the consumers of IT within the business. VMware vRealize cloud management software together with Tanzu application management portfolio delivers these cloud capabilities that are needed to transform a VMware SDDC into a VMware Cloud.

Consumers of IT resources should then get a cloud consumption experience like that of public cloud. They can consume services delivered by IT that are hosted on a SDDC.

But IT also is challenged with the consumption of public clouds. Over the last decade public cloud has gained traction in every enterprise. The usage of public cloud services is easy and is something that most enterprise companies are adopting. However, what starts with the consumption of one public cloud results in the adoption of multiple public clouds. That, in combination with the management of existing private cloud, creates the challenge of managing multiple cloud in a consistent way.

VMware helps customers to embrace public cloud with unified management across private, public and edge clouds. VMware vRealize cloud management and Tanzu application management already have multi-cloud capabilities out-of-the-box. Giving cloud infrastructure and applications operators the ability to manage cloud workloads and resources across multiple clouds. VMware further strengthens that with the capabilities in the CloudHealth portfolio which provides risk management and cost control across clouds. Putting governance in place to remain in control and be secure and protected across all the clouds that host the applications.

Competencies to Run Multi-Cloud

The VMware Cloud Management stack, delivered by the vRealize, Tanzu and CloudHealth software, give IT organizations the means to create VMware Cloud Operating Model which is focused on delivering three main competencies for multi-cloud management.

The three competencies are:

Service Delivery

This competency focused on delivery of services to accelerate the ability of the organization to deliver and update appellations. It focuses on delivering a modern applications platform by leveraging the services from the VMware Cloud Management stack. It fully supports the adoption of DevSecOps best practices enabling developers to integrate applications and cloud resources wherever they are needed. This increases the speed and agility to deliver applications to the business and enables application developers to deliver application innovation for digital transformation.


All application and cloud services that are deployed need to be delivered in the most optimal form possible. The VMware Cloud Management stack has breath of tools to maximize efficiency and optimize performance and cost across multiple clouds. Delivering an end-to-end stack of intelligent operations that can create a full-stack view from application down to the underlying cloud infrastructure. All of this to create full overview of what is happing with the applications and the cloud resources that are created, managed an operated by the applications developers, platform engineers and cloud operators.


To remain in control of all the clouds there needs to be governance put in place to make sure that risk is being managed and investment are being improved and kept under control. VMware Cloud Management stack deliver that through a framework of that create accountability and clarity for all parties involved in delivering and consuming application and cloud resources across the different clouds. For both the cloud consumers as the cloud operators it provides insight into the cost of applications and cloud. While enforcing compliance from a central point across all the workloads.

With these three competencies in place, IT teams can focus on delivering and source applications and cloud resources from various clouds. Either from the private, public or edge cloud. This provides application teams the means to deliver the applications that are required to for the business to go through the digital transformation journey.

In the end these three competencies will help IT to become the innovation partner the business needs to do great things.

For more information look here :

Cloud Operating Model for Dummies Guide

YouTube video by Purnima Padmanabhan, SVP and GM for Cloud Management : VMware Multi-Cloud Briefing: Cloud Operating Model

Whitepaper on Multi-Cloud Management