The driving force(s) for cloud adoption varies widely by organization. Whether it’s the perceived financial benefits, a pending office relocation, increased agility, or the appeal to get out of the business of managing hardware and data centers. However, sometimes the benefits of cloud don’t outweigh the familiarity and ease of integration of existing tools and platforms.

 

For example, when accustomed to having vCenter access it can be a difficult task to mirror an on-premise IT strategy into today’s cloud landscape. Third party software API integrations, restricted hypervisor access, and custom cloud provider UIs can have limited control, functionality, and interoperability. This forces IT departments to explore completely re-architecting their environment and adapting their toolsets to meet the requirements of a cloud service provider.

 

Today, most IT departments have a VMware-based environment and rely on VMware to deliver non-disruptive hardware maintenance, high availability, and plugin compatibility for third-party software products like backup, monitoring, and security. These features are powered by VMware’s vCenter Server, which drives incredible services and value every day in on-premise platforms but is very uncommon in the cloud market today.

 

VMware & Virtualization

In less than a decade, the IT industry moved from legacy data centers running physical servers, to completely virtualized environments, and finally to running billions of virtual workloads across hundreds of cloud providers. VMware was a true pioneer in the virtualization market, and customer adoption was quick and expansive. This jolt in progress and innovation was driven by rampant server sprawl, application silos, and system availability issues in the legacy data centers, which products like VMware helped solve. VMware quickly became the defacto virtualization platform, and a market of highly trained IT professionals grew up around this transformation.

 

There are now over 221,000 trained VMware administrators, and it’s estimated that VMware still owns 80-85% of traditional IT virtual workloads. Almost every hardware and software platform today either has an alliance partnership with VMware, 3rd party plugin and/or was built to VMware compatibility guidelines. The breadth of the VMware community and ecosystem is incredible, as is the business value created by the platform. This ecosystem has created a very large market for professionals trained on VMware vCenter and the vSphere platform, as well as 3rd party products. These skills will continue to be needed as the cloud adoption curve grows.

 

VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger presented at the VMworld 2016 kickoff general session to a group of around 26,000 attendees and shared some very interesting statistics. VMware noted that in 2016 there were in total 116M virtual workloads, of which 15% were in the public cloud in the form of SaaS and IaaS, and 12% were in private clouds in the form of IaaS, while 72% remained on-premise in traditional IT environments[1]. This represents significant growth in the cloud industry, notably in the public cloud as SaaS products have become the standard for certain applications, including Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, and Salesforce.

 

VMware estimates that by 2021 there will be 255M virtual workloads; 30% in SaaS and IaaS public clouds and 20% in IaaS private clouds, with 50% remaining on-premise in traditional IT environments [1]. This shows that 23% of virtual workloads today are in the cloud, and over the next five years an additional 27% of virtual workloads will be migrated to the cloud. The total number of virtual workloads is expected to more than double over the next five years.

 

Using VMware Expertise in the Cloud

To help offset this growth many organizations are looking to the cloud to provide the additional scale, agility, and elasticity to VMware’s offering. However, as we have heard from many IT departments, they are hesitant to learn a new platform or endure the time and effort required to make their applications ready for the public cloud. Their preference is to scale their existing framework driving additional business value.

 

VMware administrators have proven their ability to architect, implement, and maintain virtual environments through vCenter, capable of improving application availability while lowering costs. These skill sets will remain in high demand over the coming years as virtual workloads increase and organizations seek private and hybrid cloud options to help offset this growth, and integrate various public and private cloud services.

 

Faction has seamlessly integrated a customer dedicated vCenter into every private cloud we deploy, allowing every customer access to a VMware self-managed private cloud. With administrator-level access, our customers can bring their existing environments into our cloud, deploy existing toolsets, and have an unprecedented level of control. We don’t think that just because an IT team wants to stop managing hardware and start running their business, they should be forced to change tools and processes.