By Jeff Carson, VP of Strategy and Solutions, ClearScale

The acquisition of VMware by Broadcom has led to significant changes in licensing models, cost structures, and product roadmaps, causing many IT leaders to reconsider their current infrastructure strategies. Amidst this uncertainty, a migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS) presents an attractive option due to its predictable pricing, robust support, scalability, innovation, and strong security framework. ClearScale, a cloud-native consulting firm, offers comprehensive, no-cost guidance to help businesses navigate their VMware exit smoothly and efficiently.

The Case for AWS

AWS is renowned for its transparent and flexible pricing model. The pay-as-you-go approach ensures that organizations only pay for the resources they use, significantly reducing the risk of unexpected costs and enabling precise budget planning. This model is particularly advantageous for businesses with variable workloads, allowing for cost-effective scaling based on demand.

Moreover, AWS provides several pricing options, including On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instances, Savings Plans, and Spot Instances. These options cater to different usage patterns and budget strategies, helping businesses optimize their cloud spending.

ClearScale’s VMware Exit Solution Architect On-Demand Offering

ClearScale’s Solutions Architect (SA) On-Demand service is tailored to assist businesses with their VMware exit strategies. This offering provides personalized, one-on-one guidance from AWS-certified cloud architects, who bring extensive expertise in AWS cloud design, implementation, and cost optimization.

Key areas where ClearScale can assist include:

  1. Infrastructure and Architecture Design: ClearScale’s experts can help design a robust and scalable AWS infrastructure tailored to your business needs. This includes assessing your current setup, identifying opportunities for improvement, and ensuring a seamless transition to AWS.
  2. DevOps and Automation: Leveraging AWS’s suite of tools, ClearScale can help automate your operations, enhancing efficiency and reducing manual intervention. This includes setting up continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, infrastructure as code (IaC), and automated monitoring and alerting.
  3. Licensing Rationalization/Optimization: One of the significant challenges in migrating from VMware to AWS is managing licensing costs. ClearScale offers detailed analyses to help de-risk these costs, identify potential savings, and ensure AWS licensing requirements compliance.
  4. High Availability and Self-Healing: Ensuring high availability and self-healing capabilities is crucial for maintaining business continuity. ClearScale can design architectures incorporating redundancy, failover mechanisms, and self-healing capabilities to ensure your applications remain available and resilient.
  5. Infrastructure Governance and Observability: Maintaining control and visibility over your AWS environment is essential for operational efficiency and security. ClearScale provides best practices for infrastructure governance, including setting up monitoring, logging, and alerting systems that provide real-time insights into your cloud operations.

VMware Exit Real-World Impact

ClearScale’s expertise has been instrumental in helping numerous organizations successfully transition from VMware to AWS. Let’s look at two:

Keydin

KeyedIn, a provider of SaaS solutions designed to enhance operational efficiency for portfolio managers, project leads, and program directors faced a significant IT challenge. Their data center provider required them to migrate to Azure to retain services. However, KeyedIn opted for a different path, choosing to migrate their workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS) instead. The goal was to move servers and databases from three different regions to AWS, ensuring a seamless transition and maximizing cloud performance.

KeyedIn was operating in a traditional data center environment using a mix of bare metal servers and virtual machines. Faced with the necessity to switch to Azure, KeyedIn decided that AWS was a better fit. However, due to the complexity and scope of the migration, they sought the expertise of ClearScale, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, to guide them through the process and ensure long-term success on the AWS platform.

ClearScale’s role in the project was multifaceted:

  1. Migration Support: Although KeyedIn’s engineering team led the initial architecture design and migration execution, ClearScale stepped in post-migration to provide critical consulting support. This included a comprehensive assessment of the newly deployed AWS infrastructure and recommendations for optimization.
  2. Best Practices Implementation: ClearScale conducted a full audit of KeyedIn’s infrastructure, advised on storage and database configurations, and suggested backup and disaster recovery strategies. They also performed an AWS Well-Architected review to ensure KeyedIn’s setup met AWS’s high standards.
  3. Future-Proofing: ClearScale provided strategic recommendations for leveraging AWS’s advanced services, including serverless architectures and container services. They encouraged the exploration of AWS Lambda, Amazon Aurora Serverless, Amazon EKS, and AWS Fargate to enhance scalability and efficiency.

Customer Outcomes

By collaborating with ClearScale, KeyedIn gained valuable insights and guidance on optimizing its AWS environment. This partnership ensured that KeyedIn’s SaaS solutions remained scalable, resilient, and highly available. The expertise provided by ClearScale allowed KeyedIn to focus on growing their business and serving customers more effectively while knowing they had a reliable cloud infrastructure in place.

Paul Gleghorn, SVP of Technology and Architecture at KeyedIn, praised ClearScale’s balanced guidance and validation of design decisions, which instilled confidence in both their leadership team and customers.

You can read the full case study here.

Staywell

Staywell, a health management company, praised ClearScale’s ability to guide its global technology deployments. ClearScale’s comprehensive approach ensured that Staywell’s new architecture was not only robust and scalable but also met all necessary regulatory and compliance requirements.

StayWell had two primary challenges:

  1. Data Center Closure: StayWell needed to close one of its on-premises data centers in a little over a month. This tight timeline necessitated a rapid migration of hundreds of virtual machines, Oracle databases, and Microsoft SQL databases to AWS.
  2. Automation Project: In parallel, StayWell aimed to build a new microservices platform to support its growth. This platform needed to be stable, fault-tolerant, and performant, leveraging containerization to enhance modularity and flexibility.

To address these challenges, ClearScale implemented a two-phased approach:

  1. Migration to AWS:
    1. Assessment and Planning: ClearScale first gathered requirements and evaluated StayWell’s existing architecture. Given the urgency, a lift-and-shift migration strategy was adopted.
    2. Implementation: Using AWS Server Migration Service and backup/restore processes, ClearScale migrated StayWell’s applications and data with minimal impact on services. Post-migration, ClearScale provided problem remediation support to ensure smooth operations.
  2. Automation of Infrastructure:
    1. Microservices Platform: ClearScale designed a HIPAA-compliant architecture using AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) with the Fargate launch engine. This setup enabled automated deployment, configuration, and scaling of applications.
    2. Tools and Technologies: Key components included Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) for managing container images, Amazon API Gateway for developing secure APIs, and Amazon DynamoDB as the primary datastore.
    3. CI/CD Pipeline: ClearScale developed Terraform modules and configurations, integrating them with Jenkins for a unified continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. This setup facilitated one-click infrastructure deployment and blue/green deployments for ECS-based services.

Customer Outcomes

The partnership between StayWell and ClearScale resulted in several significant benefits:

  1. Successful Migration: ClearScale successfully migrated hundreds of client systems, reducing network complexity and maintaining service continuity. The migration was completed within the tight deadline, demonstrating ClearScale’s efficiency and expertise.
  2. Enhanced Automation: The new microservices platform supports horizontal auto-scaling, improving StayWell’s ability to handle increased loads and ensuring high availability and performance.
  3. Compliance and Security: The new architecture meets HIPAA requirements, enhancing the security and reliability of StayWell’s applications. ClearScale’s implementation of AWS security services provided robust protection for sensitive health information.

Bill Fetters, Vice President of Information Systems at StayWell, praised ClearScale’s comprehensive approach:

“ClearScale provided the depth, breadth, and experience to validate and guide our great ideas. Their range of expertise enabled us to create a clear direction for our technology deployments that extend globally when necessary. I was impressed with the effort, going ‘above and beyond,’ so that we have all the reasons and parameters necessary to not just deliver a new architecture, but to believe in it as well.”

You can read the full case study here.

Detailed Service Breakdown

ClearScale’s SA On-Demand service is divided into several specific areas to address various needs during the migration process:

  • Assess Migration Readiness – We can explain the best practices for ensuring an efficient and successful VMware exit to AWS.
  • Identify Cost Optimization Opportunities – We can show you how to optimize your cloud spend and drive IT efficiency, tailored to your current VMware/VMC environment.
  • Analyze License Rationalization/Optimization – Learn about your options for licensing rationalization and/or optimization in a move to AWS.
  • Understand Cloud Security and Compliance – These days, everyone in your organization is in security. But what does that look like practically for your organization in the cloud? We can help make sense of it.

ClearScale’s comprehensive approach ensures that every aspect of the migration is covered, from initial assessment and planning to execution and ongoing management. This holistic strategy helps businesses transition smoothly and efficiently, minimizing disruptions and maximizing the benefits of moving to AWS.

Why ClearScale?

Founded in 2011, ClearScale specializes in cloud-native consulting solutions designed exclusively for AWS. With a team of experts who have empowered hundreds of clients to modernize and optimize their IT environments on the AWS Cloud, we’re uniquely positioned to assist you in your VMware exit transition to AWS.

ClearScale’s extensive experience includes completing over 400 migrations to AWS, giving them a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with such a transition. Our well-defined processes, programs, and tools streamline the migration process and ensure a successful outcome.

Conclusion

The transition from VMware to AWS can be a complex and daunting process. However, with the right guidance and support, it can also be an opportunity to optimize your IT environment, reduce costs, and enhance operational efficiency. ClearScale’s SA On-Demand service provides the expertise and personalized support needed to navigate this transition successfully.

By leveraging ClearScale’s comprehensive approach and AWS’s robust cloud services, businesses can unlock the full potential of the cloud, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition that aligns with their strategic goals and operational needs. Whether you need help with infrastructure design, DevOps, licensing optimization, or governance, ClearScale’s team of AWS-certified experts is ready to assist you every step of the way.

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