Being cloud smart means taking an architected and planned approach to multi-cloud and digital transformation.

VMware Guest Blogger

August 15, 2023

4 Min Read
Moving from ‘Cloud Chaos’ to ‘Cloud Smart’
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Dave Rollins is a Director of Technical Product Marketing for Cross-Cloud Services at VMware. He has worked for various VMware Partners along with hardware and software manufacturers before finding a home at VMware.

With 87% of enterprises using two or more clouds, having a multi-cloud strategy is critical to staying competitive. As companies have started leveraging multiple clouds — whether through M&A, the need for specific cloud-native services or developer preference — it’s led to siloed operations, increased costs and tradeoffs between developer velocity and IT control.


About a decade ago, as companies started to embrace the public cloud, the mindset was “cloud first.” This phase’s big focus was building customer-facing applications, typically in a single cloud. Companies started to see the benefits of modern app creation in the public cloud and the ability to get applications to market much faster, giving them a competitive edge. This first wave of cloud innovation drove massive advances in application innovation and velocity. However, controlling those applications and the underlying infrastructure proved difficult for most customers.

In a survey of VMware customers, many described their current state as “cloud chaos.” Initially, the greater selection of cloud choices was of value for customers, but it ultimately led to a massive spike in complexity. Most report that building new apps is slow and cumbersome, and managing their entire app portfolio across disparate clouds is difficult and expensive. Each cloud requires the use of proprietary tools that are siloed and incompatible with other cloud providers’ tools. Meanwhile, getting fast, secure access to critical apps from anywhere is imperative for the average employee, yet it is often a challenge.

The desired destination of every multi-cloud journey is “cloud smart.” Being cloud smart means taking an architected and planned approach to multi-cloud and digital transformation. With a cloud-smart approach, you have the freedom to select the right cloud for the right application based on its needs. An overwhelming majority of companies taking a cloud-smart approach say the multi-cloud model positively impacts their revenue, helps them retain and recruit top talent, and makes it easier to manage data and extract value from it.

Now that we understand the problems customers are facing with multi-cloud, how do we solve them? The good news is that this is something VMware is great at: abstraction. Much like ESX, where we abstract the underlying hardware and can run virtual machines on disparate servers, we can apply the same concept to the multi-cloud problems across all the clouds: a set of services that can provide an abstraction layer where we need it and a single set of tools to manage the entire multi-cloud environment.

Slide3-1024x576-1.pngThere are five key areas of abstraction:

  • App platform: By abstracting the application environment with Tanzu, we build any application for any cloud using whatever app framework developers are familiar with. This is all done in a repeatable, consistent and secure way.

  • Cloud management: From an operations or management perspective, abstracting this level with tools from Aria, we can deliver a multi-cloud operating model and provide visibility into cloud spend.

  • Cloud and edge infrastructure: We can run any application on any cloud or edge location by abstracting the infrastructure layer and utilizing VMware Cloud.

  • Security and networking: When we abstract the security and networking layer with NSX and Carbon Black, we can provide consistent policies and guardrails regardless of the cloud.

  • Anywhere Workspace: This provides anywhere, any-device access with the best experience, all in a secure manner.


When you bring these all together, it creates this new layer of abstraction called VMware Cross-Cloud Services. This portfolio of cloud services delivers a unified and simplified way to build, operate, access and secure any application on any cloud.

We built the portfolio as an integrated solution, but each is independent, allowing customers to pick and choose the cloud services that deliver the most value to them based on where they are in their cloud journey. Customers are using a combination of these services to power these three transformations:

  1. How to rapidly develop and deploy applications

  2. How to accelerate the transition to the cloud

  3. How to empower their distributed workforce

Now that we have reviewed the challenges most customers face with multi-cloud and how to solve them with VMware Cross-Cloud Services, we can start to answer the initial question: “How do I get started?” In future posts, we will do just that.

In the meantime, here are some related posts that will help move your organization to a “cloud smart” posture.


This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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