Approaches to migrating your VMware workloads to AWS   

The VMware® acquisition by Broadcom has changed VMware’s product and partner strategies. In November 2023, Broadcom finalized its acquisition (link resides outside of VMware for USD 69 billion, with an aim to enhance its multicloud strategy. Further to the acquisition, Broadcom decided to discontinue (link resides outside its AWS authorization to resell VMware Cloud on AWS as of 30 April 2024. As a result, AWS will no longer be able to offer new subscriptions or additional services. This might lead to VMware’s network of clients and partners having to prepare for major adjustments.  

This blog discusses the impact of VMware-Broadcom acquisition, paths beyond VMware, viable options for AWS clients to move VMware to AWS Cloud and the advantages, critical actions, success stories and the next steps. 

Paths beyond VMware  

  • The impact of acquisition: A 2023 Forrester study (link resides outside predicts that 20% of VMware clients will move away from VMware stack due concerns around price increases, limited customer support and a mandatory requirement for subscription to software bundles —all of which are a result of the acquisition. Forrester® further states that clients are looking at alternative options such as virtualization, cloud management, end-user computing and other viable approaches.  
  • The growing need for cloud cost optimization: Cost optimization is essential when exiting VMware because it helps manage and reduce the initial and ongoing expenses associated with migration, ensures efficient use of resources in the new environment, and maximizes the return on investment. By leveraging tools like IBM Turbonomic® for real-time resource management and Apptio® (an IBM company) for cloud cost optimization and financial transparency, organizations can achieve a smooth, cost-effective transition from VMware while positioning themselves for future growth and innovation. 

Considering VMware alternatives 

As technology evolves and business needs change, it is essential for businesses to ensure that their infrastructure aligns with strategic goals, such as optimizing costs, improving performance or embracing a cloud-first approach. Clients are likely to start evaluating alternatives for VMware, both from cost and functionality perspective for their current IT landscape. 

  • Understanding VMware migration: VMware migration is a strategic effort focused on moving traditional VMware workloads to cloud-native settings. AWS offers an extensive alternative platform for VMware providing a comprehensive suite of cloud services, global infrastructure and robust security features. This approach overcomes the challenges associated with on-premises infrastructure, including hardware reliance, scalability limitations and elevated operational expenses. By transferring VMware workloads to AWS, organizations can take advantage of cloud capabilities such as scalability, pay-as-you-go pricing models and a broad array of AWS services. IBM offers alternative solution options with optimal scalability, from scale-up to scale-out, enabling VMware transition and helping move to AWS. 
  • Exploring data center (DC) exit: Transitioning from VMware to a modern cloud or hybrid environment can significantly expedite clients’ data center consolidation and exit. This migration not only reduces operational costs and complexities associated with maintaining physical data centers but also enhances security, compliance and innovation capabilities. IBM Consulting® offers data center migration (also known as DC exit), a comprehensive solution designed to assist organizations in efficiently and strategically transitioning from their existing data center infrastructure to AWS Cloud. IBM brings the power of generative AI, supported by IBM–AWS joint investments to provide accelerated and automated migration at scale.  

Migrating from VMware to AWS: Best case scenarios 

In case the client’s VMware license is expiring in the next 6 months, within a year or down the line, businesses can explore various scenarios: 

  • Migration-first approach for VMware to Amazon EC2 migration: Clients can directly migrate existing VMware workloads to AWS instances. This involves rehosting applications on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) (link resides outside instances, which may require some reconfiguration of the applications to optimize them for the cloud environment. Post migration, businesses can look to modernize their applications to take full advantage of AWS native services such as Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for database management, AWS Lambda for serverless computing and Amazon S3 for scalable storage.   
  • Container-first approach: IBM offers a comprehensive end-to-end stack of products and services designed to meet the complex needs of modern enterprises. It encompasses a broad range of technologies and services, from cloud infrastructure and AI to cybersecurity and data management. Central to this offering are Red Hat® OpenShift® Service on AWS (ROSA) and OpenShift Virtualization. These technologies exemplify IBM’s commitment to providing flexible, scalable and integrated solutions that drive business innovation and efficiency. Mitigate potential vendor lock-in, such as with VMware, by containerizing workloads across the AWS Cloud using services like ROSA, Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Amazon ECS on AWS Fargate (link resides outside Red Hat OpenShift virtualization allows businesses to run and manage both containerized and virtual machine (VM) workloads on a single platform. 
  • Software as a service (SaaS) approach: Applications running on VMware can be moved to AWS as a SaaS solution. SaaS provides a flexible, cost-effective and efficient way to deliver software applications to users. By leveraging AWS Cloud infrastructure, the SaaS approach eliminates the need for extensive on-premises resources and maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies while ensuring they have access to the latest technological advancements. 
  • Managed services approach: As an AWS certified managed service provider (MSP), IBM can help move VMware workloads to a managed services model. Managed services for AWS is designed to simplify and automate cloud management. Our services help enterprises adopt and operate within the AWS Cloud with best practices, security and compliance at the forefront. By leveraging managed services, organizations can focus on their core business activities while IBM handles the heavy lifting of cloud infrastructure management. 

Accelerating VMware exit with IBM Migration Factory  

Leveraging years of collaboration and experience, IBM brings a deep understanding of AWS technologies, enabling seamless integration and optimized implementations for enterprises. IBM offers a customized approach that is adapted to the current situation, allowing you to meet your clients at their point of need. 

IBM Consulting offers AWS Migration Factory, an innovative engagement model that is built on IBM Garage™ Methodology for app modernization. It is a squad-based, workstream-centric method that leverages generative AI (gen AI) and automation to achieve rapid transformation at scale. 

AWS Migration Factory offers a structured and efficient framework for migrating large-scale workloads to AWS. By leveraging automated tools, best practices and a phased approach, it helps organizations minimize risks, reduce costs and accelerate their cloud migration journeys. The factory leverages joint incentive programs to accelerate client engagements. 

Fig 1: IBM Consulting’s AWS Migration Factory approach   

Before embarking on VMware takeout, IBM conducts a thorough assessment of  the client’s existing VMware environment. This involves identifying workload dependencies, performance metrics and migration requirements. Based on the assessment, a detailed migration plan should be developed, outlining timelines, resource allocation and risk mitigation strategies. IBM brings several assets and proprietary tools such as IBM Consulting Cloud Accelerator, IBM Consulting Delivery Curator, IBM PRISM (a platform engineering control plane which is a collection of accelerators that help to quickly provision and manage a client environment). and IBM AIOps (artificial intelligence for IT operations) solutions to plan, design and execute end-to-end migration and modernization journey.  

Underpinning these assets is the IBM Delivery Central Platform (IDCP). This end-to-end delivery execution platform transforms how we deliver by digitizing and enhancing delivery workflows and enabling real-time governance. Powered by generative AI, these assets and assistants are made available to key personas, catering to their mode of consumption. 

AWS also offers several tools and services to facilitate the migration of VMware workloads, such AWS Migration Hub (link resides outside This service  streamlines and manages the migration of  applications to AWS, providing visibility, tracking and coordination throughout the migration process, including AWS Application Migration Services (link resides outside  

Leveraging generative-AI powered migration 

IBM has built a suite of migration tools and assets using Amazon Bedrock (link resides outside This innovative approach helps migrate applications and workloads to the cloud using generative AI technologies integrated with Amazon Bedrock.  

  • Generative AI-powered discovery as a service: Helps extracting key data elements from client data repositories and fast-track the application discovery process.
  • Generative AI-powered migration assist: Translates natural language questions to SQL query to obtain the migration status of applications and servers from a centralized data lake (also known as Delivery Curator) during the migration lifecycle. 
  • Generative AI-powered design assistant: Applies models like llama2 on the centralized data repository in Delivery Curator and the design assistant accelerates the design phases bringing in much efficiency. 

Fig 2: IBM and AWS accelerators for migrations 

Helping a global manufacturing firm migrate VMware workloads to AWS 

Companies that have effectively transferred their VMware workloads to AWS can experience substantial advantages such as cost reduction, scalability and innovation. IBM helped a global leader in consumer products manufacturing migrate 400 applications to AWS in two years as part of its efforts to embrace its transition to a new product strategy. The client migrated to AWS to improve business agility and meet new scalability and security requirements. In addition, the client also needed to prepare its employees for the architectural shift and upskill them on new data handling processes. To meet these goals, the client decided to migrate its technology from on premises to AWS, resulting in a 50% performance improvement across their business and up to 50% cost savings using Amazon RDS. 

Why IBM and AWS  

VMware migration to AWS offers organizations a seamless migration journey to modernize their IT infrastructure and unlock the full potential of cloud computing. By leveraging AWS extensive capabilities and global footprint, businesses can achieve cost optimization, scalability and agility, driving innovation and competitiveness in today’s digital economy. 

As a Premier Tier AWS Partner, IBM  has more than 24,000 AWS certifications, 17 validated service delivery programs and mastery in 19 AWS competencies for cloud-native application development including the AWS Migration and Modernization competency(link resides outside IBM continues to strengthen AWS competencies through acquisitions and co-development of solutions with AWS. Read how IBM Consulting augments expertise with AWS competencies.Learn how IBM expertise in security, enterprise scalability and open innovation with Red Hat® OpenShift® can help businesses grow quickly on the AWS Cloud.  help businesses grow quickly on the AWS Cloud.   

Find out why IBM is recognized as a global leader in migration and modernization services in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Application Modernization Services 2023 Vendor Assessment (link resides outside  Learn more about IBM Consulting Cloud Migration capabilities.  

IBM’s deep experience in AI, market-leading AI capabilities and the shared commitment with AWS to accelerate the adoption of generative AI—makes IBM Consulting the ideal AWS partner of choice. With 21,000+ skilled AI practitioners, with 1000 skilled in gen AI, IBM brings watsonx™ capabilities and expertise in Amazon technologies. IBM has experience and expertise with AWS generative AI technologies including Amazon SageMaker, Amazon CodeWhisperer, Amazon Q and Amazon Bedrock, a fully managed service that offers a choice of high-performing foundation models (FMs) from leading AI companies like AI21 Labs, Anthropic, Cohere, Meta, Stability AI and Amazon through a single API. Additionally, we offer  a broad set of capabilities to build generative AI applications with security, privacy and responsible AI. 

Exploring VMware alternatives? 

If you are considering VMware migration to AWS for your organization, explore the possibilities and discover how IBM and AWS can help accelerate your cloud migration journey. Contact IBM to learn more about IBM Consulting Services for AWS Cloud.

Learn more about AWS consulting at IBM

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