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Last week, we described how vCloud Air is a public cloud designed especially for IT, solving a iStock_000062207018_Largeunique set of problems that cannot be addressed by other public clouds. In this blog, we will take a closer look at one of these use cases: Data Center Replacement.

Replacing an existing data center is a major investment to undertake and a decision that often involves a lot of planning and thought. However, in certain situations, there is limited time for this planning. For instance:

  • When a major organization change occurs – a merger, acquisition or spinoff, for example – the IT department usually has an aggressive timeline for moving assets from one location to another.
  • Data center consolidation projects pressure IT teams to reduce managed sites on accelerated timelines for cost savings.
  • Companies approaching the end-of-life for their hardware look for alternative ways to run their infrastructure.

In each of these scenarios, the key challenge for IT is there are hundreds of workloads that need to get relocated, but limited time to make that happen. Public clouds offer infrastructure on demand, creating an ideal destination for these projects. But a non-compatible public cloud requires applications to be re-architected or re-designed to work in a new environment. Similar to how an app from the Apple store cannot run natively on an Android device, a virtual machine designed to run on vSphere does not run natively on other platforms; a conversion process is required. For infrastructure workloads, that means re-designing the networking and security policies, sizing and tuning compute and storage resources for the performance you need, and sometimes re-architecting the whole application to meet the high availability guidelines from a particular cloud provider.

With vCloud Air, we offer a fully-compatible public cloud for replacing your data center without the need for re-architecture or re-design. VMware vCloud Air is the ideal destination to “lift and shift” workloads from on-premises quickly and efficiently. We’re able to do this through a set of capabilities that are truly unique to vCloud Air.

vCloud Air Advantages for Data Center Replacement

Advanced Security and Control Powered by VMware NSX

By leveraging VMware NSX network virtualization, we allow our customers to easily replicate their existing networking topologies from their own data centers into vCloud Air. This capability goes beyond just duplicating the virtual networks, which of course we can do. In vCloud Air our customers can also reproduce their on-premises firewall rules, set up static and dynamic routing, and even implement Trust Groups using micro-segmentation. The familiarity of the tools makes it simple for existing network administrators, security and IT teams to work together to configure and validate the application architecture of workloads running in vCloud Air.

Agile and Cost-Efficient vSphere Migration

With Hybrid Cloud Manager, we have delivered a one-of-a-kind solution for addressing two key challenges with migrating hundreds of workloads: moving data from one location to another with little (to no) downtime, and moving workloads from one location to another without having to change any IP or MAC addresses. For the first challenge, we combine vSphere replication and WAN optimization to move terabytes of data between a data center and vCloud Air with just a few minutes of downtime. For the second challenge, we give our customers a secure method of stretching Layer 2 networks from their data center into vCloud Air, without needing expensive OTV hardware. Once a Layer 2 network is stretched to vCloud Air, workloads can be migrated to vCloud Air without any change of IP or MAC addresses. Hybrid Cloud Manager is the only solution in the market to deliver these capabilities.

Trusted vSphere Platform

When replacing an existing data center, our customers demand and expect the best performance. They want infrastructure that meets or exceeds their own parameters and want to know that the new destination for their workloads will deliver the performance and availability that they require. With vCloud Air, we are running the vSphere platform that supports the broadest set of operating systems and wide variety of applications. We deliver high performance compute and storage and also include built-in high availability to ensure that our customers get an enterprise-grade solution that they can trust.

vCloud Air in Action

One big box retailer has taken advantage of these differentiated features of vCloud Air. They were looking at a hardware refresh and considering moving from traditional x86 servers to hyperconverged infrastructure. While they were evaluating those new hardware options, they also looked at cloud. With vCloud Air, they realized they could take all the best practices from on-premises and replicate that entire architecture in the cloud. By gaining support from both their security and networking teams on the benefits of a centrally managed virtualized network and realizing the efficiency gains from outsourcing the day-to-day hardware maintenance and infrastructure patching activities, they are able to reduce their overall costs while also increasing the number of workloads managed per IT administrator. And since they had already standardized their data center on vSphere, they knew it would be easy to move those workloads from their aging hardware into vCloud Air without any problems.

We encourage you to visit the blog each Wednesday over the next several weeks where we’ll share more about each of the vCloud Air use cases and how they apply to your business. Next week, we’ll take a closer look at Data Center Extension. In the meantime, you can learn more about VMware vCloud Air and how it helps organizations like yours extend private workloads into the cloud.

For more information on optimizing your data center, read Extending the Reach of Your Data Center and VMware vCloud Air is the Nine Iron of Public Clouds.

Ready to get started with the hybrid cloud? Visit vCloud.VMware.com.

For future updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud