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Why run VMware workloads on Equinix Metal?

Exploring the pros of deploying VMware on bare metal infrastructure.

Why run VMware workloads on Equinix Metal?

Equinix Metal is Equinix’s Bare Metal as a Service (BMaaS) platform. BMaaS fundamentally changes the game when it comes to consuming and using physical servers. If you are looking to servers up and running quickly and easily, then Equinix Metal is the place to be, especailly when it comes to VMware vSphere.

Why? There are many good reasons which we are about to examine, but much of it comes down to how Equinix Metal operates, which is as a Bare Metal as a Service Platform (BMaaS).

This model means you are no longer responsible for some of the most tedious and time consuming aspects of your infrastructure. Equinix takes care of the data center facilities, racking, stacking, power, cooling, networking connectivity and the physical host itself. Within a matter of moments, you can be up and running on Equinix Metal.

When it comes to running VMware ESXi and VMware vSphere, this model is extremely powerful. You are free to architect and design your VMware environment to meet your requirements, with virtually no design constraints. Equinix Metal has a number of servers available on-demand and by reservation, so it is easy to find hardware to meet your requirements.

When it comes to getting started, VMware ESXi is an available Operating System during deployment on most Equinix Metal servers. VMware adds another layer of flexibility on top of Equinix Metal, and of course, there are no limitations when it comes to the VMware components. You are free to change any setting and configure things however you need in order to meet your business requirements.

Equinix Metal customers use VMware many different ways on Metal. Let’s take a look at some of the most common use cases.

Development and Test Environments

Equinix Metal is ideal for development and testing due to its rapid deployment capabilities. Developers can quickly spin up and down environments, test different configurations, and experiment with high-performance computing resources without long-term commitments. VMware of course adds another layer of flexibility and speed after the environment has been deployed.

This is a common starting ground for many organizations when it comes to starting with a new platform, since mission critical workloads are not being deployed. This allows organizations to become comfortable with new process and procedures before scaling the deployment up. Spoiler alert, when it comes to VMware and Equinix Metal, there is not much of a learning curve at all.

Proof of Concept (PoC)

When testing new ideas or solutions, Equinix Metal's flexibility is key. You can quickly set up PoC environments to validate your concepts in a real-world scenario, leveraging the platform's global reach and connectivity to various ecosystems. You can quickly deploy an application on top of VMware, then simply throw it away when you are done, no hardware purchases or racking and stacking required.

Disaster Recovery (DR)

Equinix Metal's global presence and secure, private connectivity make it an excellent choice for DR setups. You can design a DR strategy that spans multiple geographical locations, ensuring business continuity and minimal downtime. Your environment can be ready and waiting for you in the event of a disaster.

Here are some great tips for getting started with DR on Equinix Metal:

Production Environments: For production workloads, Equinix Metal offers reliable, high-performance bare metal servers which you can deploy with VMware ESXi on top of. The platform's robust network infrastructure and security features ensure that production environments are both performant and secure.

Best of all, if you’re running VMware today, there is not much of a learning curve beyond Equinix Metal’s easy to use deployment console. You can get out of the hardware and data center management game with a few clicks of a mouse.


Equinix Metal can support training environments where there's a need for rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of resources. Its scalability and global footprint make it suitable for training sessions that require simulating real-world scenarios across various locations. Spin it up when you need it, and spin it down when you’re done.

Sandbox Environments

Equinix Metal is perfectly suited for setting up sandbox environments where IT teams and developers can safely test and explore new VMware features and functionality. Think of a sandbox environment as the ultimate playground for figuring things out.

The ability to quickly provision Metal servers means that new VMware updates, configurations, or experimental setups can be tested without impacting production environments. This capability is crucial for ensuring that any new implementations are thoroughly vetted and optimized before being rolled out more broadly. Or if someone simply wants to see what happens when they change things around, or simulate a failure.

VMware Ransomware Readiness

Equinix Metal is the perfect platform to ensure you are ready for a VMware ransomware attack. Of course, you can have a DR environment ready to recover to in Equinix Metal, but the platform also has many other uses.

As everyone knows, VMware is considered a critical infrastructure component, which is why it is targeted by ransomware in the first place. It is critical to keep up with patching in a VMware environment, and VMware provides the tools to do this in the form of vSphere Lifecycle Manager.

Many organizations are hesitant to turn Lifecycle Manager on in a production and use it, simply because they do not have experience with it. To gain this experience, you can simply build a two node vSphere cluster in Equinix Metal with a previous version of VMware out of the box. Then you can use Lifecycle Manager to upgrade to a current version and get hands on experience before deploying it in your production environment.

In each of these use cases, Equinix Metal provides the necessary tools and infrastructure to efficiently and effectively run workloads, whether they are for short-term projects like PoCs and training or long-term, critical deployments like production and DR.

Cloud Exit

Some organizations are finding it is time to evaluate their cloud spend thanks to rising cloud bills. Organizations who have left their data center and migrated to the cloud can find themselves in a bind after they have closed their data centers. Equinix Metal provides the best of bare metal, no data center required.

Data Center Evacuation

Today, the data center game is not for everyone. Many customers are looking for a way to replace their data centers but still have flexibility when it comes to their workloads, especially VMware. Many customers test the waters with one of the above use cases, and eventually plan to migrate their VMware workloads to Metal.


VMware on Equinix Metal represents a powerful combination of flexibility, performance, and ease of use. From rapidly deploying development and test environments to robust disaster recovery and production setups, this pairing caters to just about every need out there.

Equinix Metal simplifies the transition to a more agile and efficient infrastructure, offering a seamless experience for those already familiar with VMware, and presenting an accessible platform for newcomers. Where else can you spin up an ESXi host to learn the basics so quickly and easily? This synergy ensures that businesses can confidently meet their evolving technological demands, making VMware on Equinix Metal an optimal choice for modern IT infrastructure solutions.

Last updated

14 April, 2024



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