When does it make sense to move applications and data to the public cloud? What exactly should be moved? What are the potential and actual cost benefits?

Business and technology leaders at many organizations are likely asking these questions on a regular basis as more and more cloud services emerge. The answers are not always clear, despite the ongoing hype about everything related to the cloud.

To plunge headlong into a cloud migration without having a clear business case and a long-term cloud strategy is to risk losing money and wasting time. On the flip side, building a strong use case and executing on a coherent strategy can deliver significant benefits.

Analyzing the thinking behind moving the VMware virtualization platform to the cloud provides a good case in point. What makes such a move possible is an initiative announced in late 2018 by VMware Inc. and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to expand VMware Cloud on AWS in the U.S. and Europe.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings VMware’s software-defined data center platform to Amazon’s public cloud. At the time, VMware also announced new capabilities for the cloud service that it said allows organizations to better protect and secure applications and virtual desktops.