Accelerate Innovation and Transform Operations with VMware vSphere+

How to Deliver Successful AI Projects by Reducing Risk and Boosting Performance

By Scott Sinclair, Practice Director
APRIL 2023


The relentless digitization of nearly all aspects of business operations and customer engagement activities has increased demands on IT and cloud operations teams across all organizations’ locations. Cloud adoption is a vital part of this IT modernization trend. More cloud workloads are being moved to public cloud services: Research from TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) shows that typical organizations now consider 74% of their traditional on-premises applications to be strong or potential candidates for migration to the public cloud. A related factor to consider is the swing toward multi-cloud architectures. The same ESG research reveals that the average organization typically uses three to five public clouds, even while continuing to own and operate multiple on-premises data centers as well.

Essentially, even as cloud adoption is increasing, organizations are not abandoning on-premises infrastructure. They are instead embracing multi-cloud environments. In most cases, public cloud services aren’t replacing on-premises infrastructure—especially for mission-critical workloads. Rather, organizations are leveraging both public cloud resources and on-premises infrastructure together in order to scale effectively enough to meet business demands.

Whether the location is the data center, the edge, or the cloud—or all of those locations—decision-makers have realized that IT modernization is essential to accelerate innovation and align technology platforms to current business objectives. As such, organizations must wholeheartedly embrace change and modernization for everything—from development and deployment strategies to architecture, infrastructure, and services.

Typical organizations now consider 74% of their traditional on-premises applications to be strong or potential candidates for migration to the public cloud.

Organizations are clear in how they view these initiatives, according to ESG research:
• 99% of them say infrastructure modernization is vital to digital transformation.
• 59% of them identify data as being part of their business.
At the heart of many modernization initiatives is an organization-level commitment to optimizing efficiencies related to budgets and personnel. Skill shortages have been highly problematic for IT organizations in recent years, especially for crucial specialties like application development, cloud architecture, cybersecurity, and user experience. Coupled with constant pressure to maintain tight budget discipline, the skills shortages mean that finding technology solutions that promote flexibility and innovation is extremely important.
VMware is a technology leader with a long history of developing platforms supporting agility and efficiency, particularly related to the now-critical area of cloud transformation (which is often at the heart of IT modernization and digital transformation). One of the centerpieces of VMware’s cloud transformation and IT modernization support strategy is the vSphere+ platform, which VMware created to reduce burdens on IT, cloud, and developer-related operations across multi-cloud environments.
vSphere+ offers a simplified management framework—a must-have feature for today’s diverse application environments situated on virtual machines and in containers—across on- and off-premises environments. vSphere+ also addresses another core goal—enhancement of IT budget flexibility through its services-based consumption model.

The Movement to Modernize IT, and the Growth of Workloads in the Public Cloud

Constantly changing competitive landscapes, a shifting regulatory environment, and new and more demanding customer expectations are collectively ratcheting up the pace of change and innovation and increasing pressure on IT and cloud teams to accelerate operations.

This is true for both large multinational corporations and any organization whose legacy infrastructure is no longer keeping pace with demand. According to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) research, 91% of IT organizations have had to accelerate IT operations over the past three years, even as they deal with skill gaps and budget constraints.

To accelerate time to market, organizations have been turning to public clouds to help them develop, deploy, and manage applications efficiently. With 86% of organizations using multiple public cloud providers, it’s easy to recognize the strategic role that public clouds play in modern IT environments. But it’s important to remember that the data center remains a strategic piece of the environment. Sixty-four percent of organizations regard data center design as a strategic requirement because a well-designed data center can bring competitive advantages in terms of responsiveness, resiliency, and availability.
Agile IT organizations must keep all their options open, using both on-premises and cloud environments for a wide range of workloads (i.e., modernizing everywhere). Consider that:
• 65% of IT decision-makers identify infrastructure modernization as top-five priority.
• 50% expect to increase spending on data center infrastructure in 2023 compared with 2022.
Over the next two years, the on- and off-premises dynamic will likely shift, with the percentage of workloads residing in public clouds expected to rise from the current 46% to an anticipated 53% (see Figure 1). The shift is expected to be gradual, however. A successful cloud strategy must embrace location flexibility and reflect that workloads will continue to span on- and off-premises environments.
As further evidence of the importance of this hybrid approach, when ESG asked organizations to identify the initiatives that will be part of their on-premises strategy over the next three years, 46% said they plan to invest in technologies that provide a cloud-like experience on premises.
Organizations should prioritize those on-premises modernization efforts (and many already are) by:
• Empowering a DevOps-friendly environment in which virtual machines and container-based apps can be easily built, launched, and maintained.
• Simplifying operations across on-premises data centers and public cloud services.
• Increasing SaaS adoption to provide increased budget flexibility.

vSphere+ Brings Cloud Benefits to On-premises Locations

VMware’s expertise in creating tools that support efficient, flexible, scalable application environments has already enabled countless organizations to align their technology platforms with their business goals. Now, VMware has introduced vSphere+ to address these modernization challenges.

vSphere+ (see Figure 2) is the enterprise workload platform that brings the benefits of cloud to on-premises workloads. vSphere+ combines industry-leading virtualization technology, an enterprise-ready Kubernetes environment, and high-value cloud services to transform existing on-prem deployments into SaaS-enabled infrastructure that centralizes management, boosts productivity, and accelerates innovation. With vSphere+, IT admins and developers can easily build, run, manage, protect, and secure their traditional and next-gen applications. vSphere+ can be purchased through a flexible subscription plan that better aligns with the business.

Figure 2. vSphere+ Capabilities

Details of vSphere+

Boost Productivity with Admin Services
vSphere+ enhances operational efficiency with a centralized Cloud Console (see Figure 3) that connects all vCenter instances (at customer discretion) to VMware Cloud for centralized management. It simplifies vCenter lifecycle management through cloud-enabled automation and remediates and provisions VMs to any vSphere cluster.
Figure 3. Centralized Management with the vSphere+ Cloud Console
vSphere+ enables IT teams to provision VMs to any vSphere cluster, triage alerts/events, and monitor application environments. vSphere+ manages, detects, and auto-corrects for inevitable configuration drifts during an infrastructure’s lifecycle. It provides platform management capabilities tied to integrated logging, registry, monitoring, and ingress operations.
Accelerate Innovation with Developer Services
vSphere+ transforms existing virtual infrastructure into an enterprise-ready, self-service Kubernetes platform. It streamlines platform management with integrated logging, registry, monitoring, ingress, and more. It centralizes platform operations with a multi-cloud management plane that increases security and governance of organizations’ Kubernetes clusters.
vSphere+ also includes a Cloud Consumption Interface (see Figure 4). DevOps teams spend a significant amount of time setting up Kubernetes clusters. Even in cases where infrastructure services are readily accessible, they are designed to meet the needs of IT admins and are not necessarily integrated with the development environment. As a result, developers either rely on IT admins to provision developer services or stand up infrastructure silos to address their needs. With vSphere+, DevOps teams can now access IaaS services (such as provisioning VMs, networking, and setting up Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters) easily from the Cloud Consumption Interface. The Cloud Consumption Interface simplifies infrastructure setup across the vSphere estate through intuitive UIs and developer-friendly APIs, freeing up time that can be spent on actual development.
Figure 4. vSphere+ Cloud Consumption Interface
Its support for container-based development is also critical to a modern, hybrid IT environment, as containers are invaluable to digital transformation and IT modernization. According to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) research, organizations have reported that using Kubernetes containers resulted in:
• An increase in the number and type of locations to manage (cited by 48% of respondents).
• Accelerated use of public cloud services (42%).
• A need for solutions that span multiple locations (44%).
• Acceleration in the development of a private cloud strategy (39%).
In general, Kubernetes adoption increases the need to modernize the whole IT environment and consolidate management visibility across locations.
vSphere+ is strongly positioned to reinforce increasingly essential DevOps processes and accelerate digital innovation by simplifying enterprise-scale container/Kubernetes environments (see Figure 5).
Figure 5. vSphere+ for DevOps—Topology Diagram
Transform On-premises Infrastructure with Cloud Integration
With vSphere+, it is possible to unlock cloud benefits and enhance existing vSphere deployments—without disrupting workloads. IT can easily activate add-on cloud services for disaster recovery, ransomware protection and capacity planning.
vSphere+ can be purchased as a simple and flexible subscription. With a single SKU, the organization gets all components (e.g., vCenters and ESXi hosts) and support. In essence, this is a shift from a capital expense (CapEx) to an operational expense (OpEx) to help improve budget management. With a pay-as-you-use model, the organization avoids large up-front costs—it simply buys the core capacity it needs for one or three years, and optionally pays an additional amount for capacity usage exceeding that amount.
Additional vSphere+ optional add-ons include VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery to help a business recover from ransomware attacks, meet enterprise-level recovery point objectives (RPOs), and lower disaster recovery costs with a pay-as-you-go failover capacity model (see Figure 6).
Figure 6. Protect Workloads with Cloud Disaster Recovery

The Bigger Truth

IT modernization is no longer a discretionary, “nice idea” concept. Organizations must modernize if they wish to create a truly flexible, efficient, scalable, future-proof IT framework that corresponds to how, when, and where applications actually reside today.
Truly digital enterprises remain intent on accelerating innovation and improving developer operations, even though their application environments are becoming more diverse and demanding. Supporting virtual machines and container-based applications has to be at the top of the priority list for those IT leaders, who have the unenviable job of simplifying operations simultaneously across on-premises and public cloud environments.
In light of today’s significant skills gaps in Kubernetes expertise, it’s unrealistic for organizations to think they can simply hire more talent to facilitate container-based application development. Instead, they need a platform that can extend across the full on-premises/public cloud environment. This type of solution will provide the consistency necessary to properly build, run, and manage modern applications, while also promoting optimal workload portability.
vSphere+ platform delivers on all of those priorities, making it an excellent choice for any digital enterprise that is embracing IT modernization for innovation and accelerated application development and delivery. For more information about vSphere+, please visit

This Enterprise Strategy Group White Paper was commissioned by VMware and is distributed under license from TechTarget, Inc.

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