Migrating from VMware to a public cloud: pros and cons
Insights 10 minutes read

Migrating from VMware to a public cloud: pros and cons

Published on
June 28, 2024

Today’s rapidly-evolving digital landscape can be challenging to navigate. Migrating to a public cloud can play a pivotal role in the continued success of a business, offering a cost-effective way to unlock new avenues for growth. 

In this article, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of public cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, and explain some of the ways it can help your business thrive. We’ll also explain the difference between a public and private cloud, comparing their key similarities and differences.

What is VMware?

VMware is a cloud computing company that develops virtualisation software, making it possible for businesses to run multiple virtual computers on a single physical computer. With this software, users can test new software and run different types of programs on the same machine. VMware offers a number of business advantages including increased efficiency and cost savings.

What is a public cloud?

A public cloud is an IT service that allows businesses to rent computing resources (such as processing power and data storage) over the internet from a third-party provider. The key advantages of public cloud services are cost savings and scalability –  because the business pays only for what is required at any given time, and because they don’t need to maintain their own physical servers. 

What are some common examples of public clouds?

Here are some of the leading public cloud service providers that supply the infrastructure needed to host and deploy workloads:

  • Azure Cloud Solutions: Provides a variety of cloud services such as virtual machines, databases, analytics, and networking, as well as tools for building and managing applications.
  • CloudFlex: This service provides flexible cloud solutions for businesses, allowing them to scale their computing resources up or down based on their needs. 
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Offers a wide range of services including computing power, storage, and databases, along with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP): Includes services for computing, data storage, data analytics, and machine learning, along with tools for application development and management.
  • IBM Cloud: Offers a range of cloud services, including AI, blockchain, data analytics, and more, tailored for enterprise needs.
  • Oracle Cloud: Provides cloud infrastructure and software services, including databases, enterprise applications, and development tools.

What’s the difference between public and private clouds?

The core differences between public and private clouds. Here, you can weigh up the various benefits of public cloud computing compared with using a private cloud:

Deployment and Ownership

Public Cloud: Owned and operated by third-party cloud service providers. These providers offer computing resources (like servers and storage) over the internet to multiple customers.

Private Cloud: Dedicated to a single organisation and can be hosted on-premises or by a third-party provider. The organisation owns and manages the infrastructure, ensuring that all resources are exclusive to their use.


Public Cloud: Accessible to anyone who subscribes to the service. Resources are shared among multiple customers, which can lead to cost savings but also potential security and performance variability.

Private Cloud: Dedicated resources are only accessible by the specific organisation. This allows for greater control, customisation, and security but typically comes at a higher cost compared to public clouds.

Scalability and Cost

Public Cloud:Offer high scalability and flexibility, allowing organisations to easily scale resources up or down based on demand. They also operate on a pay-as-you-go model, which can be cost-effective but may lead to unexpected expenses if not managed carefully.

Private Cloud: These can also be scalable, but they require significant upfront investment in infrastructure. The costs are generally higher due to the need for dedicated hardware and maintenance but provide predictable expenses and potentially lower long-term costs for large-scale operations.

Security and Compliance

Public Cloud:Public clouds implement robust security measures, but the shared nature of the environment can pose additional risks. Compliance with specific regulations can also  be more challenging due to the multi-tenant setup.

Private Cloud: Private clouds offer enhanced security and compliance options since the infrastructure is dedicated to a single organisation. This makes it easier to meet industry-specific regulatory requirements and maintain data sovereignty.



What are the advantages of migrating from VMware to a public cloud?

According to a study conducted by ADAPT, it’s expected that 55% of Australian organisations will be using a public cloud by 2025. If you’re wondering why migrate to a cloud service such as Azure, this section will explore the key advantages and disadvantages of public clouds. 

Concerns about affordability

The decision to migrate from VMware to a public cloud is often motivated by economic factors. Interactive has helped many Australian businesses successfully undertake a VMware to Azure migration – here, we’ll provide more detail about how this can help to bring down operating costs. 

Bill shock

VMware recently changed its licensing model, announcing a transition to subscription-based licensing. These changes could potentially lead to a significant increase in infrastructure costs. To mitigate the financial impact on your business, Interactive can help you conduct a public cloud cost comparison and provide recommendations on either server optimisation or procuring new licences. 

Education impact

Recent changes to VMware licensing have had a significant impact on the education sector, forcing many IT professionals in Australian academic institutions to review their strategies. According to ComputerWeekly, VMware’s new licensing fee structure puts many education providers at a financial disadvantage, and there’s concern across the industry that it could stifle growth and innovation. 

Addressing technology debt

Leveraging the evergreen platform of public clouds can facilitate cost-effective transformations by enabling organisations to modernise their IT infrastructure without the burden of outdated systems and practices. By resolving technology debt, businesses can eliminate inefficiencies and reduce maintenance costs associated with legacy systems. 

One of the core benefits of public cloud services is their evergreen platforms, which ensure access to the latest technologies and security features without significant capital expenditures. This combination allows for scalable, flexible, and up-to-date IT environments, driving innovation and efficiency. Read more on A CFO’s top 3 tips for unlocking the business value of cloud.

Managing cloud spend blowouts

FinOps (Financial Operations) strategies can help to manage cloud spend blowouts by fostering a culture of financial accountability and collaboration between finance, operations, and technology teams. By implementing best practices such as real-time monitoring, cost allocation, budgeting, and forecasting, cloud usage can be successfully aligned with business objectives and financial constraints. 

Moving to a public cloud can have benefits for Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)

Compelling events like Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) are driving the shift to public cloud as the default option. Moving to a public cloud can significantly benefit Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) by providing a flexible and scalable IT infrastructure that accommodates the rapid changes and integration requirements inherent in M&A activities. Moving to a cloud-based ERP system may help turn a potential M&A deal breaker into a deal maker. 

Enhanced business agility

Migrating to a public cloud can enhance business agility by significantly reducing lead times and enabling faster deployment of applications and services. In a public cloud environment, businesses can quickly access and scale computing resources on-demand without the need for lengthy procurement processes and hardware installations. This immediate availability of resources allows for rapid development, testing, and deployment of new applications, enabling companies to respond swiftly to market changes and customer needs.

Better flexibility and scalability

Transitioning from capital expenditures (CapEx) to operating expenditures (OpEx) can facilitate cost flexibility and elastic scalability by shifting from large, upfront investments in hardware and infrastructure to pay-as-you-go models. 

In a CapEx model, businesses must spend significant amounts on purchasing and maintaining physical assets, which can be a financial burden and limit flexibility. By moving to an OpEx model, businesses pay only for the resources they use on a subscription basis, making it easier to adjust spending according to current needs. This approach allows for elastic scalability, where companies can quickly scale their resources up or down in response to demand without the need for additional capital investment. 

Ability to integrate cyber security

Integrating cyber security as a central and defending element in the cloud environment helps reduce costs by preventing costly security breaches, minimising downtime, and reducing the need for expensive post-incident remediation. By embedding robust security measures into the cloud infrastructure from the outset, businesses can proactively address vulnerabilities, ensuring continuous protection against threats. 

This approach reduces the likelihood of data breaches and cyber attacks, which can be extremely expensive due to potential fines, legal costs, and damage to reputation. Additionally, integrated cybersecurity streamlines compliance with regulations, avoiding penalties associated with non-compliance.

Leveraging SOC2 compliance

Moving to a public cloud can help financial services organisations leverage SOC 2 compliance as a differentiator in the mid-market by providing a robust, secure, and compliant infrastructure that meets stringent industry standards. Public cloud providers often have advanced security measures and compliance certifications, including SOC 2, which ensures that data is managed with high standards of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Digital workplace transformation with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 offers a unified platform with tools like Office apps, Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive, providing a seamless and consistent experience across devices and locations. It boosts collaboration and productivity through real-time communication and document sharing while supporting remote work with cloud-based access from any device. Cost optimisation is achieved through a subscription model that allows businesses to scale as needed, reducing upfront capital investments, and lowering IT overhead by eliminating the need for on-premises server maintenance and infrastructure management.

Considerations & Disadvantages When Using Public Cloud

  1. Cost Management: While the public cloud can offer cost savings, it can also lead to unexpected expenses due to pay-as-you-go pricing models, especially if resource usage is not closely monitored and managed.
  2. Complexity and Compatibility: Migrating VMware environments to the public cloud can be complex, requiring careful planning and execution to ensure compatibility and performance. Not all applications may migrate seamlessly, leading to potential downtime or performance issues.
  3. Security and Compliance: Moving to a public cloud can introduce new security and compliance challenges. Organizations must ensure that their data is protected and that they comply with relevant regulations, which can be more complex in a shared cloud environment.
  4. Performance Variability: Public cloud environments can experience performance variability due to shared resources. This can affect the performance of VMware workloads, especially if they are resource-intensive.
  5. Vendor Lock-In: Relying on a specific cloud provider’s infrastructure and services can lead to vendor lock-in, making it difficult and potentially costly to switch providers or move back to on-premises environments.
  6. Control and Customization: Public cloud environments may offer less control and customization compared to on-premises VMware setups. This can limit the ability to tailor the infrastructure to specific business needs.
  7. Data Transfer Costs and Latency: Transferring large volumes of data to and from the cloud can incur significant costs and latency, which can affect application performance and increase operational expenses.
  8. Skill Gaps: Organizations may face skill gaps, as managing VMware environments in the cloud can require different expertise compared to on-premises management. This may necessitate additional training or hiring of skilled personnel.

Why choose Interactive

Interactive has the skills and experience to assist your business with migrating from VMware to the Azure Cloud. We can help you achieve public cloud success, resulting in better cost management and improved resilience. 

Contact us today to learn more about Azure Cloud Services including optimisation, security, and cloud management. Our team will work alongside you to ensure the transition to Microsoft Azure is smooth, and help you get the most out of your public cloud transformation.

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