VMware on AWS: A one-way ticket to the cloud

The big enterprise news last week was the Amazon-VMware announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS — “a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering,” as the Amazon press release put it. That’s one way to describe this scheme to extend vSphere into the world’s largest public cloud. But the real benefit is in making private clouds more practical, and in offering a new on-ramp to the public cloud for the enterprise.

Without question, VMware is the No. 1 provider of software for private clouds. But the private cloud has always had a fundamental problem: The basic definition of any cloud is the ability to scale on demand and offer self-service, yet the only way to make this work on-premises has been to overprovision. If you don’t provision that fallow capacity, “self-service” becomes a request form to add physical hosts, and your private cloud is a pipe dream.

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