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Hybrid Cloud Heavyweights: Azure Stack vs. VMware Cloud on AWS

It’s no secret that adoption of the hybrid cloud model is on the rise. This has led to significant competition among vendors to offer customers simplified solutions to help them achieve their hybrid cloud goals, two of which are Microsoft’s Azure Stack and VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

There are some significant differences between these two approaches, but both are designed to create an on-ramp to the cloud that is easily-understood by customers, if not exactly inexpensive. With Azure Stack, you’re using your own hardware (owned or leased), and you’re leveraging  the same software platform that exists on the cloud-based Azure platform. VMWare on AWS, however, is single-tenant infrastructure, owned and operated by VMware, but running inside of a small number of AWS regions. In this model, customers get access to the hypervisor level (impossible in traditional public cloud infrastructure), and VMware’s cloud team manages the hardware itself.

So, which one is right for your enterprise IT needs? Read on to learn some of the key features and benefits of each solution.

Azure Stack vs VMWare

Microsoft Azure Stack

The goal of Azure Stack is to offer enterprises the ability to have the Azure cloud experience, but behind their firewall, in their controlled environment. Users can leverage cloud services from Azure, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), and for those who use applications hosted this way, it’s just as though you were using Azure via public cloud.

Key benefits of Azure Stack include:

  • All the benefits of Azure, but on premises. Scale up or down with Azure cloud tools, but with the peace of mind that it’s all behind your enterprise firewall.
  • One source for tools. Use Azure Resource Manager for deployment, self-service portals, and all your API’s.
  • A way to leverage the most commonly-used features of the Azure platform, right there in your own datacenter.
  • A way to build future-proof deployments. Your developers can move fast and build apps for Azure or Azure Stack, knowing they’ll work regardless.
  • An easy way to burst VM’s into Azure for performance or disaster recovery purposes.

VMware on AWS

With VMware on AWS, the VMware computing environment is run inside of AWS data centers, but connected to an on-premises, VMware­-backed environment. This allows enterprises to create a hybrid cloud using VMware’s range of products, like compute, storage and network virtualization. This is positioned by VMware as a turnkey solution—all supported and sold by VMware.

Key benefits of VMware on AWS include:

  • Use familiar VMware tools. Run your cloud with the tools you’re comfortable with.
  • Enterprise-ready. Leverage VMware technologies such as vSphere and vSAN on bare-metal AWS infrastructure.
  • Easy provisioning. Manage and allocate resources in just a few clicks.
  • VMware-managed. VMware will manage patches and upgrades on your behalf.
  • Proximity and easy connections to many (but not all) AWS-branded managed services, like S3, EFS, and Route 53.

While these services both depend on public cloud infrastructure, they are dramatically different models. iT1 can help you navigate the pros and cons of each. If you’d like to discuss your specific use cases, please reach out.

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