When it comes to the data center, no one can deny that Microsoft and VMware are two of the biggest players.  Over the last decade, we have seen a fundamental shift in the way infrastructure utilized, deployed, and managed.  One of the biggest disruptor to the modern datacenter has been the moment of cloud – however you define it.  We are going to take a closer look at one evolution of this, and how Azure and VMware combine.

The Relationship

The Azure VMware relationship is an interesting one.  After all, Microsoft has created one of VMware ESXi’s biggest competitors: Hyper-V.  However you feel about Hyper-V, the fact remains that VMware still has a large marketshare in the world of Virtualization.  Microsoft has clearly realized this, and has tried to find a way to encourage VMware shops to take advantage of the Azure cloud.

Just in time for VMworld 2019, Microsoft Azure announced the expansion of Azure VMware solutions.   By the end of 2019, these solutions will be available in eight regions, a huge win for large organizations leveraging both Azure and VMware.  Another to the solution addition is Azure NetApp Files.

The solutions come in two forms: Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple and Azure VMware Solution by Virtustream.  Both solutions are VMware Cloud Verified, which means VMware customers can take advantage of Azure cloud with full confidence in the infrastructure.

These Solutions look and feel just like the VMware administrators are used to, because it simply is.  Familiar management tools like vCenter, vRealize, and PowerCLI are all available for use, ensuring migration to or adoption of these solutions will be low impact to your current operations.

The CloudSimple Service

The only thing VMware administrators will need to become familiar with is the CloudSimple Service.  This service will need to created in every region organizations want to take advantage of the this solution in.  Creating this service is the first step to deployment.  This service allows you to purchase nodes, and creates the edge network for your connection to Azure.  You can find the step by step creation process here.

Once the service has been created, administrators are then able to create their private cloud, which includes further configuration of networking components for the Azure VMware environment.

The Cloud Simple Service mimics what we are used to in our datacenters, as well as other cloud providers.  A CloudSimple node is simply the ESXi host we have all come to know and love.  Yes, ESXi is running on bare metal too.  Also a virtual machine is still called a virtual machine, and these virtual machines can be managed from the Azure portal.

Getting Started

It could not be easier to get started..  You can receive a$200 USD Azure credit to get started, and test the Azure VMware Cloud Simple Solution in your environment.  There is also detailed technical documentation to explain how the environment operates.

The battle for public cloud dominance will surely rage on in the years to come.  The large players like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure clearly see the success VMware has had in the datacenter, and are seeking to bring that to their cloud environments.  Many organizations still struggle with the best way to consume public cloud resources.  By seamlessly integrating with the VMware technologies that have dominated the datacenter for more than the last decade, Microsoft Azure is seeking to make this journey easier.

What has your public cloud adoption been like?  Have you tried any of these solutions?  Be sure to let us know in the comments.