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VMware Slashes Price Of VMware Cloud On AWS By 50 Percent

VMware Cloud on AWS received a big shot in the arm at VMworld 2018 with a 50 percent price cut that partners say will dramatically accelerate adoption of the cloud service.

VMware is cutting the price of VMware Cloud on AWS in half in a market shaking move that partners predict will result in a cloud computing channel windfall.

"This lower entry point is a very powerful driver for adoption of this platform," said David Klee, founder and chief architect at Heraflux Technologies, a Lincoln, Maine-based solution provider and VMware partner. "The previous price point was a substantial barrier to entry, as leveraging other mechanisms to migration and platform a given workload were more cost effective. This new price point puts the platform on par with other options and improves the attractiveness of the platform."

VMware announced the blockbuster pricing along with a smaller three-host minimum software-defined data center (SDDC) configuration as a starting point for production workloads. Additionally, for a limited time, VMware will offer a three-host SDDC environment for the cost of a two-host configuration.

[Related: VMware, AWS Execs: 'Tremendous Momentum' For Partners Around VMware Cloud On AWS]

All of the VMware Cloud On AWS action came on the opening day of VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas.

Chris Wolf, CTO, Global Field and Industry for VMware, told CRN that the move was a "huge opportunity" for channel partners to attack the SMB and midmarket.

"When you look at the virtual SMB and midmarket, folks are really looking to kick tires and want that smaller investment where they can go in with just a few node configurations – we're providing three node configuration for the price of two. That's going to be fairly significant because we do see a lot of folks that want to get started," said Wolf. "There's always some price pressure to do so with the right amount of investment. This makes it super easy."

VMware also launched several new robust capabilities for the cloud service including a high-capacity storage option, instant data center evacuation with live migration of thousands of virtual machines (VMs) and licensing optimization for enterprise applications.

On the licensing front, VMware created new custom CPU core count capabilities, allowing customers to specify the number of CPU cores they need, which reduces the cost of running mission-critical applications that are licensed per CPU core. Customers can also pin workloads to a specific host group to support licensing requirements.

The new custom core accounts will allow customers to better allocate the necessary cores for database servers and optimize the licensing expense, said Klee. "Overallocation -- such as allocating eight cores because it’s the next step beyond four when you only need five at peak -- is quite costly," said Klee. "And this leads to cost overruns when it is not necessary."

Also unveiled at VMworld 2018 for VMware Cloud on AWS, is new instant data center “evacuation” with live migration of thousands of VMs. The new capability allows customers to migrate thousands of VMs with zero downtime, and schedule exactly when to move to a new cloud environment with VMware NSX Hybrid Connect powered by vMotion and vSphere Replication. VMware is also offering a free migration cost assessment with VMware Cost Insight to assist with cloud migration planning.

VMware Cloud on AWS customers also have a new high-capacity storage option backed by Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). Partners can now independently scale compute and storage resource requirements and reduce costs for storage-capacity demanding workloads with new clusters for storage dense environments. The clusters deliver scalable storage capabilities with VMware vSAN utilizing Amazon EBS and run on new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) R5.metal instances. Amazon's EC2 R5.metal instances are based on 2.5 GHz Intel Platinum 8000 series processors.

"This is the first hyper-converged storage appliance to have native integration with (Amazon) EBS -- that's exciting," said Wolf. "When you think about applications in general, you see this need in hyper-converged types of environments where you need to scale storage independently of compute and the EBS integration gives you a fantastic, simple way to do that."

Rounding out the list of new capabilities launched at VMworld for VMware Cloud on AWS is new application-centric security features with VMware NSX which allows customers to gain control over east-west traffic between workloads through micro-segmentation provided by NSX. VMware and AWS also created new integration with NSX and AWS Direct Connect to make it easier for customers to connect across hybrid cloud environments and improve network performance.

VMware Cloud on AWS, which was unveiled one year ago, allows organizations to seamlessly migrate and extend their on-premises VMware vSphere-based environments to the AWS Cloud running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud bare metal infrastructure.

Nearly 150 partners worldwide have achieved their VMware Cloud on AWS Solution Competency. Wolf said VMware is "absolutely" looking to onboard new VMware Cloud on AWS channel partners with the new features announced at VMworld.

"For the traditional VMware partner, this is super exciting for them because now they can provide these high-level services to their customers and at the same time, they're able to innovate on their own as well,” said Wolf. “The sky's the limit in terms whether they want to overlay AWS Lambda functions, hook in some apps and services to AWS, or whatever that hybrid requirement might be. They just have a lot more tools in their toolbox now."

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