What are some of the benefits of migrating a VMware workload to EC2 instead of VMware on AWS? There are any cost benefits?
Your ask is not as easy to answer as you’d think, as you are comparing 2 entirely different solutions.
With EC2, you can import single VMs and have them run on EC2 instances.
VMware Cloud in AWS is quite the opposite, as you will have a full SDDC at your hands. The entire SDDC is maintained by VMware and it is more of an IaaS offering.
Besides, you can seamlessly migrate your VMs from on-premises into the cloud - and back! Even with a live vMotion, so no downtime needed.
For EC2, you’d need to import the VM. Powered off. The same goes for the export. There is no ‘vMotion’ capability with native EC2.
A real world example: Have your consuming VMs readily available on VMC, like AD and webservers, VDI workload, ..
Let’s assume the webservers rely on a (big) DB. You could then think of leveraging Amazons RDS for the same. With VMC, since it is attached to your AWS VPC, you’ll have a fast connection from your workload on VMC into the DB service offered by AWS. Quite a few customers ‘mix’ native AWS services that way with VMC. (This also applies to S3 and many other AWS services).
I hope this answer helps a little bit, to understand the difference of the offerings available.
Like Rick wrote is there two completely different models. When you choose to run native cloud VMs on AWS (EC2) you need to migrate (convert) the VMs into the AWS format. You can choose between pay-as-you-go or go into long term subscription to save money. You can choose per VM perspective.
When you choose VMC you keep the VM on the same format on VMC. The application will perform on VMC as usual due to no architecture change. The rented resources on VMC are not shared like on EC2 it is fully reserved for you. You pay for at least 2 ESX hosts per month, so to get a good cost per VM ratio, you need to run at least 50 VMs on the cluster. If you no longer want to use VMC you can vMotion the VM back to On-Prem or to any other VMware Cloud on Hyperscaler offering. You retain you workload portability across the plattforms.
The only way that EC2 will make sense in this scenario, is if you are moving a small number of machines and you are sure that AWS will remain your cloud of choice into the future. For larger migrations, VMC will, 99.9% of the time, be the much cheaper option. Of course the best way to migrate an application is as a containerised cloud native alternative, but that is another conversation 😄