Do you think VMware’s HCI solution is a good alternative to AWS?

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14 Answers

Real User
Jul 3, 2019

I hope you mean instead of running your workloads in AWS what if you run them on an HCI platform. The answer would be, it depends. If the workloads are less, you need fewer administrators, you need higher infra uptime with no extra efforts or if you do not care where your data is running then Cloud is the answer! However, if you are worried about where your data will be running, you want complete control over your infrastructure and you are looking to save some money then on-prem infra is the answer. From my experience, the amount spent on an on-prem solution has a less TCO as compared to a cloud platform, VMware HCI is a very good solution and if you have some experience on VMware vSphere, then VMware vSAN is easy to manage and maintain as well. However, I would recommend using AWS as your DR as it is cost effective and always available.

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Top 20Leaderboard
Jul 10, 2019

AWS is a cloud based solution, to decide the alternative you need to know the difference between the cloud, on-premise, and virtualization. The alternative for AWS either it will be one of the cloud vendors such as Azure, Google or even Oracle unless you want to migrate from cloud to on-premise, then this is a different story.

it_user936603 - PeerSpot reviewer
Jul 9, 2019

The short answer is yes, I happen to believe in VMware. Both have worked jointly in a number of projects, but when it comes down to it, the VMware offering is cleaner and easier to deploy. You can get into the Hybrid cloud through vSphere, VSAN, NSX, cloud management master tool, and vRealize Suite.

Jul 3, 2019

I'm now working on a similar project to create an on-prem private cloud and alternatives that we are evaluating include VMware VRA and Nutanix. I believe that VMware can be a good choice as an "on-prem AWS" alternative if you are looking for an IAC (infrastructure as code) platform.
It provides APIs for tools like terraform, etc. In fact, it provides a lot more, things like a self-service portal where you can blueprint some POC infra and bring it up, it has a very sophisticated SDN, very granular permissions management and a lot more.

What it doesn't have in my opinion compared to AWS is all sort of services such as dynamoDB or Aurora, etc. Neither it has serverless capabilities
such as AWS has.

Jul 2, 2019

Scale Computing HCI is another free hypervisor choice (KVM) and is significantly less expensive than Nutanix. There are a couple of features you'd be missing out on, but it's basically a good "HCI starter kit". If you don't like the KVM, much like a Nutanix build, you can run VMware as an alternative. Many of my customers are entertaining HCI solutions recently (we are a brand-agnostic vendor, so there's virtually no bias here), but I've found that most SMB clients don't really need it.

Real User
Jul 2, 2019

VMware's vCloud Foundation or VMC on AWS (VCF running in AWS's data-center) are good options. It may be worth hiring an IT person because of the 5 year TCO over native AWS. Native cloud is the best option for most new companies, however as the company grows cloud costs surge out of control and you'll improve your operational efficiency with a hybrid cloud model. VMC on AWS also allows you to migrate workloads between native AWS and the VMware infrastructure without re-architecting needed. On-premise vCloud Foundation has features that help you move workloads across clouds (via hybrid-cloud extender or "HCX") but unlike VMC on AWS, you'll need to rebuild your applications to run in native AWS.

If you want to maintain some workloads in native AWS and use it for test/dev, cloud bursts, DR, etc., and migrating workloads back and forth without re-coding needed, then take a look at VMC on AWS. You'll also avoid leasing/cooling costs but will need someone to manage your VMware environment even though it'll be running in AWS's data-center.

If you want to move everything on-premise but maintain the scalability and automation benefits of the native cloud, then consider vCloud Foundation or just vSAN Ready Nodes (vSAN running on any compatible server).

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Jul 2, 2019

VMware HCI (as VMware Cloud Foundation) is not a cloud-based solution so it is not a good alternative but may be the first building block to build cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft Azure or Google Compute Platform and, of course, AWS.

Real User
Jul 2, 2019

VMware HCI is not a cloud-based solution so it is not a good alternative. Microsoft Azure or Google Compute Platfrom would be a good alternative.

Real User
Jul 1, 2019

AWS and VMware HCI are two different things. People who want AWS normally would prefer to pay by the drink, building software infrastructure that grows and shrinks as needed and required by the actual workload. When you are done with the resource, you hand it back.

VMWare HCI is deployed in your data center, but can also be hosted in AWS too. You'll have the cost of the infrastructure to bear.

At the end of the day, the issue comes down to what kind of business challenges you are attempting to solve, or what kind of new capabilities do you want to be able to produce. AWS is much more flexible, but will likely cost a bit more if things get busy. VMware is usually an administrators choice of solution as it is well known by most of them.

Either way, you can build out a solid answer (or with Nutanix, or NetApp, or HPE, but it all comes down to the level of flexibility needed by the business and the ability of your team to implement and manage the solution.
Both work.

Real User
Jul 1, 2019

As others have noted, it depends a lot on your workloads and requirements. VMware HCI (VSAN) is very good as a software-defined-storage platform and competes toe-to-toe with Nutanix (which others are talking about). While Nutanix' hypervisor is free, the licensing for the platform is not. VMware charges for everything, but you might find that is a better fit for your particular needs and may end up cost-neutral. Another option is to use Microsoft Hyper-V with Storage Spaces Direct if you're a Microsoft shop.

Now, if your applications are cloud-native then no, none of these will work well for you because these are on-premises systems that mean you have hardware as well as software you have to house and maintain (and need the staff to do so). IF your staff is used to just spinning up resources in AWS and you don't have much server hardware talent on-staff then you might want to rethink what your requirements are.

So in summary; VMware HCI (or Nutanix, or S2D, or pick your poison HCI) is not a REPLACEMENT for AWS per se but rather a different way of running your applications. It is closer in concept to having a traditional 3-2-1 architecture (servers, switches, storage) than it is to AWS's model, but for some workloads can be quite a good bit more cost-effective. It is HIGHLY workload and application dependent though.

Real User
Jul 1, 2019

it all depends on the workload. If the workload is dynamic and you can actually control the scale, both up and down, then AWS is a great platform. If the workload is static, then it makes sense to run it on Nutanix. The size of the workload will matter also. The larger the workload or the more VMs you add, the pricing per VM will look better on Nutanix rather than AWS.

Jul 1, 2019

It’s the use case which will determine whether to utilize on-prem HCI or Cloud. Also which applications will be impacted. If you have a team and expertise to have HCI on-prem then it’s a good option. There’s a lot of flexibility in it. Later on, you can run into a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure.

Real User
Jul 1, 2019

It's difficult to answer this question with the limited information. What is the workload structure that you are considering VMware HCI against AWS? Compute-intensive, I/O & storage or network intensive? If you need to keep your VMs running forever and not be bothered with per hour charge, VMWare HCI makes sense. However, you should definitely look at Nutanix as an alternative.

Real User
Jul 1, 2019

If I were in your place I would have explored Nutanix HCI as well. The advantage here is Nutanix doesn't charge you for AHV hypervisor it's their proprietary hypervisor. The best part is, it is your choice, with Nutanix you can go with AHV or if you are not comfortable with it you can run VMware as well on it.

VMware vSAN is a software-defined storage product that is used in collaboration with VMware ESXi hypervisor and that provisions and manages storage based on policies, regardless of the underlying hardware. The solution enables you to prime your business for growth through its seamless evolution (it is integrated with vSphere and requires no new tools), its flexibility, and its multi-cloud capabilities. As an industry-leading software, VMware vSAN provides high levels of performance with...
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