Dell’s announcement last week of the VMware Cloud on Dell EMC managed service offering is a game changer for enterprise IT in the medium / large / enterprise space. VMware announced it will sell a managed service offering consisting of VMware ESX, vSAN, VXRail, and a few other components in a rack that gets delivered to customers for a monthly fee. VMware will then leverage the skills they have gained in managing customer systems via the VMware on AWS service to customers who subscribe to this on-premises data center product. This brings multiple cloud benefits to the local data center. The move recognizes that some customers prefer gear to be onsite, yet they still want the flexibility provided by the cloud subscription model.
The ramifications on local IT staffs could range from relatively mild to massive. VMware will manage all aspects of the hardware stack up to and including the OS. Firmware patches, system security patches, and VMware upgrades are all managed by VMware. The customer manages all aspects of the guest VMs. It is the cloud model brought to the local datacenter. Local IT staff would need to adjust to focusing exclusively on management of their applications. Any staff who managed physical hardware would need to be re-assigned. Similarly, VMware and storage admins would need to adjust their duties as needed..
This new service offering makes the most sense in situations where a business has several IT generalists providing the full gamut of support. Those are often the IT shops that are overworked and possibly overwhelmed at times. Maybe they can’t get around to upgrading vSphere because they are worried about the affect on other components. Maybe they can’t, or don’t do firmware updates because they don’t have an easy and consistent mechanism to deploy the firmware. Some server rooms are also built with different servers bought at different times leading to differences in configurations which make standardizing practices and updates difficult. All of those challenges are addressed when VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is purchased. Overworked and overwhelmed IT shops get the help they need without the organization needing to hire additional staff. It can be a win for everyone involved.
Subscribing to infrastructure is an interesting idea. While lots of customers see the advantages in cloud, they often have challenges that make the move troublesome. Last week’s announcement shows the creative ways vendors are able to help those customers achieve as many of the benefits associated with the cloud as possible, while still keeping gear within their walls. VMware Cloud on EMC is just one option. AWS Outpost, Azure Stack, Oracle Cloud at Customer, and others offer different variations on the theme. IT departments who have ignored the cloud will need to adjust their thinking. It’s only a matter of time before everyone is working with some version of cloud infrastructure.
Note: All graphics come from pictures taken during the Dell Technologies World Presentation - Introducing VMware Cloud on Dell EMC