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There’s no question that cloud computing is not just a “nice to have” — in today’s world, it is a must-have. 

But, different enterprise workloads have certain requirements around latency, data sovereignty and locality, security, and performance. 

This requires today’s organizations to adopt hybrid and multicloud environments: According to one report from Virtana Research, 82% of organizations are currently leveraging a multicloud strategy and 78% have workloads deployed in more than three public clouds.

“What used to be the standard of a single availability zone or two different regions has expanded to 10 or more locations for many enterprise deployments,” said Zachary Smith, global head of edge infrastructure services at digital infrastructure company Equinix

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VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal helps reach from the core to the edge

To help make it easier for customers to build, run and manage traditional and modern applications, Equinix and VMware today announced VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal. 

The new distributed cloud service combines VMware-managed and supported cloud infrastructure-as-a-service with Equinix’s interconnected, bare-metal-as-a-service offering. 

“As companies accelerate their digital transformation by adopting hybrid multicloud architectures, they require consistent application experiences that span private and public clouds, and reach from the core to the edge,” he said. 

More multicloud, more challenges

In the current era of digital transformation, hybrid and multicloud strategies are “table stakes,” said Tim Grieser, research VP of enterprise system management software at IDC. 

“Management of these critical environments is essential to have a true strategic business impact and avoid risks that can have real consequences for an organization.”

Typically, for mission-critical applications that rely on low-latency and high-performance network bandwidth, the default has been to retain workloads on-premises or perform real-time needs, such as data processing, at branch office or metro locations, said Dave McCarthy, research VP for cloud and edge infrastructure services at IDC. 

Customers often lack a suitable option that combines on-premises security and control with high performance, data locality, and low overall TCO, he said. They need tools that address demands for enterprise applications “where latency, performance, security and data locality are key drivers,” said McCarthy. 

Accelerated digital transformation

The publicly-traded Equinix is a digital infrastructure company whose platform combines local compute and demand capabilities. Its competitors include NTT Communications, Expedient, Iron Mountain and TierPoint, according to Gartner

VMware is a leading provider of multicloud services for all apps; it competes with Cisco, Cell Technologies, HPE (Aruba) and Nokia (Nuage Networks), among others. 

The overall goal with the companies’ new combined tool — announced today at VMware Explore 2022 Europe — is to help accelerate customers’ digital transformations, said Smith. 

Increasingly, he said, enterprises need to reach ecosystems in more places around the world and bring lower latency of applications to end users, or between parts of their application architecture. Smith called the new tool a performant, secure way to extend cloud environments into distributed metro locations. This will satisfy business-critical performance demands at the edge, he said, while enabling organizations to preserve the integrity of enterprise workloads.

Distributed cloud use cases could include enterprise data warehouse, ERP deployments, core database applications, smart cities, or retail applications. Also, video analytics, game development, real-time financial services front office, and customers that leverage internet-of-things (IoT) and data-heavy machine learning, he said. 

As Smith noted, combining VMware Cloud with the Equinix global footprint enables customers to take their private cloud workloads and connect to any cloud. They can take advantage of higher-level platform services available in public clouds, or host data locally to satisfy data residency requirements. 

Removing ‘day two’ management burdens

Leveraging Equinix’s network of more than 240 data centers with low-latency connections to public cloud services and thousands of networks, the new service can deliver less than 20 milliseconds of latency while satisfying strict data residency requirements, said Smith. 

Research has shown that customers can reduce TCO by as much as 67% with VMware Cloud, said Narayan Bharadwaj, VP of cloud solutions at VMware. 

“Businesses across industries are seeking to become cloud smart by matching enterprise application needs to the best cloud environments,” said Bharadwaj. 

This new approach will enable them to benefit from high performance and consistent infrastructure with low TCO, said Bharadwaj. It extends VMware Cloud to new locations to provide application choice and flexibility and accelerate cloud transformation. 

By removing the burden of “day two” management and offering physical infrastructure deployment and life cycling as a service, customers can activate dedicated private cloud infrastructure quickly, and on a global scale, said Smith.

“What used to take months now takes just minutes,” he said. 

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