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Migrating storage-heavy VMware workloads to Azure VMware Solution? Read this first.

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Sandra Dunbar
Sandra Dunbar

Today, 80% of organizations worldwide have critical applications hosted in their on-premises VMware estates. If your organization is evolving quickly, then cloud adoption is all but inevitable.

You may be thinking about migrating VMware workloads to Microsoft Azure. In that case, you’re probably already aware that Azure VMware Solution delivers a comprehensive VMware environment that allows you to run native VMware workloads on Azure, without having to refactor. And now, with Azure NetApp Files datastores for Azure VMware Solution, it's never been easier, faster, or more cost effective to get VMware workloads to the cloud.

The benefits of Azure VMware Solution

There’s a lot to love about Azure VMware Solution. You’ll love the scale, automation, and fast provisioning. You don’t have to size for your maximum workload because you can scale the deployment up or down to accommodate the workload.

You’ll love that you can continue to use your existing VMware investments, skills, and tools. And you’ll love being able to modernize your VMware workloads by integrating with native Azure services, such as Azure Active Directory, AI, and analytics.

The hidden costs of cloud storage

But if you have a large, data-intensive VMware estate, migrating to Azure VMware Solution can quickly get expensive because you can’t scale storage capacity independently of compute, resulting in “the hidden costs of cloud storage.” If you need more storage, the only way to get it is to add (and pay for) additional compute hosts. When you size for storage, you end up with wasted compute and memory resources in the environment. This can lead to 25% to 50% overspending on VMware Cloud services. And who likes to spend money for resources that they’re not using?

Azure NetApp Files solves data-intensive workloads

VMware estimates that 30% to 40% of workloads are data intensive. We're talking about 300TB (at 300GB per virtual machine) or more. Below that threshold, compute and storage scale pretty equally, so you’re not necessarily overspending on resources you don’t use.

If you have more than 300TB of VMware data, and you’re migrating VMware to Azure, you need Azure NetApp Files datastores for Azure VMware Solution.

Solving the largest cloud migration barrier, the integration of Azure NetApp Files datastores supports storage-intensive Azure VMware Solution workloads by enabling you to scale or add additional storage without having to add more Azure VMware Solution clusters. It’s also ideal for creating an environment with minimal compute for disaster recovery (DR) scenarios. Suppose that you're using Azure VMware Solution as a disaster recovery site for your on-premises environment. You can deploy a small Azure VMware Solution cluster and then extend that cluster’s storage using Azure NetApp Files datastore to give you the capacity you need. When a disaster event occurs, you can scale the Azure VMware Solution cluster to accommodate the remaining workload or the entire workload. You can scale up to petabytes on Azure NetApp Files datastores without adding more hosts.

How much could you save?

Could this solution help you more easily and affordably migrate VMware workloads into Azure? Try the NetApp® ANF TCO Estimator for Azure VMware Solution and see for yourself. The calculator contains a number of input fields, which have been prepopulated for you as a starting point:

  • Total number of VMs
  • Number of VCPUs per physical core
  • Average VCPUs per VM
  • Average memory per VM
  • Average utilized storage per VM
  • vSAN slack space (recommended to be at least 25%)
  • vSAN on-disk format efficiency
  • vSAN storage policy
  • vSAN deduplication and compression
Azure NetApp Files datastore TCO Estimator input table
Figure 1) Azure NetApp Files datastore TCO Estimator input table.

Adjust the inputs as needed and view the Output table to see how much you could save by integrating Azure NetApp Files with Azure VMware Solution vSAN.

Azure NetApp Files datastore TCO Estimator output table
Figure 2) Azure NetApp Files datastore TCO Estimator output table.

In this scenario, the first row of the output table shows that to deploy 18 VMs to get sufficient capacity, you are looking at a TCO per year of almost $1.7M. Compare that to the costs per year of combining Azure VMware Solution-vSAN with Azure NetApp Files. With ultra-tier performance, the TCO drops to $1.2M, a savings of 28%. If you don’t need the ultra-tier performance, you can save even more. For this configuration, with standard-tier performance, you can save as much as 46%.

Learn more

For more information about Azure VMware Solution on Azure NetApp Files, sign up for a 1:1 VMware strategy session today.

Sandra Dunbar

Sandra leads the hybrid multicloud product marketing for alliance partners like VMware. Her career has been focused on building and executing fully integrated marketing programs for the enterprise audience. Based in Los Angeles, she has previously held senior level positions with Nutanix, OpenDrives, Cisco, EMC, Sun Microsystems, IBM and various startups.

View all Posts by Sandra Dunbar

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