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  • 4 min read

Microsoft announces next evolution of Azure VMware Solution

Today, I’m excited to announce the preview of the next generation of Azure VMware Solution, designed, built, and supported by Microsoft in close partnership with VMware.

Today, I’m excited to announce the preview of the next generation of Azure VMware Solution, designed, built, and supported by Microsoft and endorsed by VMware.

With the current economic environment, many organizations face new challenges to find rapid and cost-effective solutions that enable business stability, continuity, and resiliency. The new Azure VMware Solution empowers customers to seamlessly extend or completely migrate their existing on-premises VMware applications to Azure without the cost, effort, or risk of re-architecting applications or retooling operations. This helps our customers gain cloud efficiency and enables them to innovate at their own pace with Azure services across security, data, and artificial intelligence, as well as unified management capabilities. Customers can also save money with Windows Server and SQL Server workloads running on Azure VMware by taking advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefits.

Microsoft first party service

The new Azure VMware Solution is a first party service from Microsoft. By launching a new service that is directly owned, operated, and supported by Microsoft, we can ensure greater quality, reliability, and direct access to Azure innovation for our customers while providing you with a single point of contact for all your needs. With today’s announcement and our continued collaboration with VMware, the new Azure VMware Solution lays the foundation for our customers’ success in the future.

Sanjay Poonen, Chief Operating Officer at VMware commented, “VMware and Microsoft have a long-standing partnership and a shared heritage in supporting our customers. Now more than ever it is important we come together and help them create stability and efficiency for their businesses. The new Azure VMware Solution gives customers the ability to use the same VMware foundation in Azure as they use in their private data centers. It provides a consistent operating model that can increase business agility and resiliency, reduces costs, and enable a native developer experience for all types of applications.”

These comments were echoed by Jason Zander, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, who said, “This is an amazing milestone for Microsoft and VMware to meet our customers where they are today on their cloud journey. Azure VMware Solution is a great example of how we design Azure services to support a broad range of customer workloads. Through close collaboration with the VMware team, I’m excited that customers running VMware on-premises will be able to benefit from Azure’s highly reliable infrastructure sooner.”

The new solution is built on Azure, delivering the speed, scale, and high availability of our global infrastructure. You can provision a full VMware Cloud Foundation environment on Azure and gain compute and storage elasticity as your business needs change. Azure VMware Solution is VMware Cloud Verified, giving customers confidence they're using the complete set of VMware capabilities, with consistency, performance, and interoperability for their VMware workloads.

Access to VMware technology and experiences

Azure VMware Solution allows you to leverage your existing investments, in VMware skills and tools. Customers can maintain operational consistency as they accelerate a move to the cloud with the use of familiar VMware technology including VMWare vSphere, HCX, NSX-T, and vSAN. Additionally, the new Azure VMware Solution has an option to add VMware HCX Enterprise, which will enable customers to further simplify their migration efforts to Azure including support for bulk live migrations. HCX also enables customers running older versions of vSphere on-premises to move to newer versions of vSphere seamlessly running on Azure VMware Solution.

Seamless Azure integration

Through integration with Azure management, security, and services, Azure VMware Solution provides the opportunity for customers to continue to build cloud competencies and modernize overtime. Customers maintain the choice to use the native VMware tools and management experiences they are familiar with, and incrementally leverage Azure capabilities as required.

As we look to meet customers where they are today, we are deeply investing in support for hybrid management scenarios, and automation that can streamline the journey. We are excited to announce more about future hybrid capabilities as they relate to Azure VMware Solution, soon.

Leverage Azure Hybrid Benefit pricing for Microsoft workloads

Take advantage of Azure as the best cloud for your Microsoft workloads running in Azure VMware Solution with unmatched pricing benefits for Windows Server and SQL Server. Azure Hybrid Benefit extends to Azure VMware Solution allowing customers with software assurance to maximize the value of existing on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server license investments when migrating or extending to Azure. In addition, Azure VMware Solution customers are also eligible for three years of free Extended Security Updates on 2008 versions of Windows Server and SQL Server. The combination of these unmatched pricing benefits on Azure ensures customers can simplify cloud adoption with cost efficiencies across their VMware environments.

In addition, at general availability Reserved Instances will also be available for Azure VMware Solution customers, with one-year and three-year options on dedicated hosts.

Global availability and expansion

The Azure VMware Solution preview is initially available in US East and West Europe Azure regions. We expect the new Azure VMware Solution to be generally available in the second half of 2020 and at that time, availability will be extended across more regions. Plans on regional availability for Azure VMware Solution will be made available here as they are disclosed.

To register your interest in taking part in the Azure VMware Solution preview, please contact your Microsoft Account Representative or contact our sales team.

Learn more about Azure VMware Solution on the Azure website.