Deploying VMWare into Azure

Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by John Morehouse

Did you know that you can deploy native VMWare virtual machines into Azure?

Yeah, I didn’t either until earlier this month.

Expanding VMWare

If you are running VMware current in your on-premises, this solution would allow you to create a VMware cluster using dedicated Azure resources.  These resources are based on hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) which could introduce other issues.  In my experience, HCI implementations leave some things to left to be desired and I have seen issues in both overall performance as well as ease of scalability in other HCI implementations.

However, even with that being said, I think that the idea of natively extending your on-premises implementation of VMware into a cloud platform is on that should be at least looked at to see if it solves any business needs.


The overall architecture appears to be fairly straight forward.  In a nutshell, you stand up a VMware cluster within the Azure cloud, which ultimately lands within a private cloud.  Using an ExpressRoute to Azure, you can connect your on-premises VMware implementation to the new hosts and essentially extend your landscape directly into Azure without having to worry about compatibility issues.  On the Azure side, it is running VMware natively.


This solution requires a minimum of three (3) hosts to implement.   This ensures appropriate redundancy across fault domains in the event of a failure.  All three hosts must be of the same type and in looking at the overall hardware specs from documentation, the hosts themselves are not small thus probably not cheap.   You can have up to 16 hosts per VMware cluster so there is room to expand the cluster if necessary.


In this post I introduced a high-level look at the Azure VMware Solution.  If you are running VMware on-premises and are looking for a cloud way to extend things, take a look at the Microsoft Azure VMware Solution to see if it fits your needs.  While I’m a very large proponent of the cloud, albeit usually Azure, the cloud is not the end all solution for everything.  Make sure you evaluate all the aspects of any implementation carefully to ensure the solution meets all of the requirements.

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