Getting Started with VMware Cloud on AWS

What is VMware Cloud on AWS ?

VMware Cloud on AWS allows the use of familiar VMware products while leveraging the benefits of a public cloud. A hybrid infrastructure can be created between an on-premises VMware vSphere software-defined data center (SDDC) and a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC.

VMware Cloud on AWS allows you to create vSphere data centers on Amazon Web Services and these vSphere data centers include vCenter Server for managing your data center, vSAN for storage, and VMware NSX for networking. you can use Hybrid Linked Mode, if you want to connect an on-premises data center to your cloud SDDC, and manage both from a single vSphere Client interface. Hybrid Linked Mode is like existing Enhanced Linked mode additionally it support cross SSO connection and vMotion.

VMware Cloud on AWS offers the following benefits:

  • It reduces capital and operational expenditures.
  • It reduces time to market for new applications.
  • It helps in enhanced scalability of applications in reduced time frames.
  • It helps in achieving greater availability of applications.
  • Your Application will have reduced recovery time objective (RTO).
  • and the most important one , it helps you to reduce staff time performing maintenance operations.

VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware Cloud Foundation is the unified SDDC platform that bundles vSphere, vSAN, and VMware NSX into a natively integrated stack to deliver enterprise-ready cloud infrastructure for the private and public cloud.

Secret sauce behind cloud foundation is VMware SDDC Manager which manages the initial configuration of the Cloud Foundation system, creates and manages workload domains, and performs life cycle management to ensure that the software components remain up to date. SDDC Manager also monitors the logical and physical resources of Cloud Foundation.

VMware Cloud on AWS is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation.

So in nutshell VMware Cloud on AWS uses VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Validated Design to provide VMware SDDC and other migration solution on the hardware of AWS.

All components of this solution are delivered, operated, and supported by VMware Global Support Services. VMware fully certifies and supports all hardware and software components of this service. The customers are facing issue around managing firmware , patches , upgrades of underline infrastructure, now with VMware Cloud on AWS , VMware removed the burden of managing software patches, updates, or upgrades.  all this will be managed and maintained by VMware itself.

Use Cases

Data Center Extension:

  • DC extension of the on-premises data center to the public cloud to expand resource capacity, increase disaster avoidance and recovery options, or localize application instances to new geographic regions. For Example, one Organisation which is successful in one particular region and wants to grow their foot print across another region, in-stead of arranging data center space , hardware etc , this organisation can focus on core business and order IT infrastructure on VMware on AWS and just clone / migrate application vms to this localized data center.

Data Center Consolidation:

  • Maintaining a Datacenter is not easy, you have to take care of multi-source power , cooling , power backups , people , access management,BMS operations, Real state etc.., so instead of you managing Data Center , let VMware maintain your data center by consolidation of the on-premises data center costs by migrating applications from on-premises data center to the public cloud to reduce data center costs, prevent costs from growing, or close data centers entirely.

Data Center Peering:

  • Peering private and public cloud to allow for moving workloads between clouds. For example, moving applications from development or test to production or vice versa. or running CI/CD across private and public cloud.

This gives you basic understanding about what is VMware on AWS , in next few posts i will be covering how to install and configure this service.


vCloud Director – Chargeback

There were frequent asks from VMware based cloud providers that we must have a robust metering capabilities, VMware has launched New vRealize Operations Manager Tenant App for vCloud Director 2.0 in conjunction with vROps which has now inbuilt Charge back and metering capabilities.

Here I am going to discusses few awesome features with detailed screenshot. Go ahead and try these new features in your environment and build a robust Cloud infrastructure with native charge back with additional cost.

Creation of pricing policy based on chargeback strategy: With this new Release  Provider administrator can create one or more pricing policies based on how they can chargeback their consumers. Based on the vCloud Director allocation models, each pricing policy is of the type, allocation, reservation, or pay-as-you-go (PAYG).


This New Tenant App for vCloud Director 2.0 provides following ways to create pricing policies:

  • Base prices for primary resources:

    Pricing policy can be created to charge for primary resources, CPU, memory, storage, and network.

    • CPU & Memory ->

      • Users can be charged base on GHz or vCPU , can be charged “Hourly”,”Daily”,”Monthly”.policy02policy03
      • Charge Flexibility : Users can be charge based on allocation, use, reservation, or the advanced methodology such as, taking maximum of usage and allocation. Fixed cost too is available.policy04policy06
    • Storage ->

      • You can create various policies based on storage tiers to charge differential pricing and it is mapped to your storage policies.storagepolicy01
        • if not using Policy based storage then use based on Standard rate as below:storagepolicy02.png
    • Network ->

      • Data transmitted/received (MB), and network transmitted/received rate (MBPS) can be charged.Network01.png
    • Advanced Network ->

      • Pricing configurations:Pricing policy provides the flexibility to configure advanced chargeback mechanisms for network services, apart from charging primary network resources. Using advanced network pricing, users can apply variable and fixed charges for the following network services associated with edge. BGP Routing, DHCP, Firewall, High Availability, IP, IPV6, IP Sec, Load Balancer, L2 VPN, NAT, OSPF Routing, Static Routing, SSL VPN, Base rate and fixed costs can be applied for Edge Gateway sizes


    • Guest OS pricing ->

      • Guest OS can be charged uniquely. The charge can be applied based on the VM uptime, regardless of the uptime, or if the VM is powered-on at least once.gos01.png

    • Tag based and vCD metadata-based chargeback mechanism -> 

      •  Differential pricing can be established using tags or vCD metadata. Using vCenter tags or vCD metadata, tag key and key value can be referenced to apply base rate or fixed cost for VMs
  • Apply Policy ->

    • New Tenant App provides flexibility to the Service Provider administrator to map the created pricing policies with specific organization vDC. By doing this, the service provider can holistically define how each of their customers can be charged. The following vCloud Director allocation models are supported as part of the chargeback mechanism: Reservation pool Pay-as-you-go Allocation pool.assign.png
  • Exhaustive set of templates – >

    • Service Provider administrator can generate reports at various levels for a different set of objects. The following OOTB default templates are available:

  • Detailed Billing for Each Tenant ->

    • Every tenant/customer of service provider can review their bills using the vCD tenant app interface. Service Provider administrator can generate bills for a tenant by selecting a specific resource and a pricing policy that must be applied for a defined period and can also log in to review the bill details.
    • bill.png

This completes the feature demonstration available with vRealize Operations Manager Tenant App for vCloud Director 2.0. GO ahead and deploy and add native charge back power to your Cloud. 🙂

VMware vCloud Availability Installation-Part-10-Fully Automated Deployment

What i have learnt during deployments that  an automated installation and configuration of the vCloud Availability components is simple, time saving, faster and less error prone compared to the manual deployment. lets deploy it automatically with few clicks of the button.

For the automated installation of vCloud Availability, we must need to create a registry file containing information about the infrastructure and vCloud Availability components we are about to deploy.

Registry template file is located in vCloud Availability Installer appliance located at /root/.vcav/ and file name is – .registry.tmpl. this is self explanatory file about what option do you need to change and what not.

open this file with a text editor and save as “registry”  , here is my “registry” file for your convenience which you can modify based on your environment.

General Options:

Disabling all certification validation and specifying NTP server and SSH_PASSWORD for the entire environment,


Cloud Provider Management vCenter Information:

  1. This is identifier must be remain same and we will use the same in other commands and if you are changing this make sure you update in other commands.
  2. placement-locator – this parameter represents on which cluster your vCAV management VM will deploy. specify correctly.
  3. Make sure you have network Profile/Pool created (i have created with name “default”) and specify IP information accordingly.


Cloud Provider Resource (Tenant ) vCenter Information:

This is your tenant vCenter where your tenant vm resides , in my case i have single vCenter with separate cluster.Notice the identifier – vsphere vc.0 , you will reference this in deploying components. other information as suggested above.


vCloud Director Information:

  1. Notice the Identifier vcd vcd.0.
  2. Number 2 – in amqp parameter we are specifying amqp.1 , this means we need to create an identifier called amqp.1 in next section and since this will be identifier on docker host , so first we need to create docker host.


Docker Host Information:

  1. Again notice the identifier docker docker.0
  2. placement-vsphere  vc.mgmt (this is your vc.mgmt identifier , that means that this docker VM will get deployed on management vcenter.
  3. placement-address – this is the IP address of this VM.
  4. other options are self explanatory.


Message queue container on Docker Host Information:

  1. Again ensure the identifier is written and noted properly.
  2. Notice placement-docker – here we are specifying docker.0 which is docker host identifier in previous step we created.
  3. user – it is the user name that VCD will use to talk to Message queue server.
  4. password – it is the user name that VCD will use to talk to Message queue server.


Cassandra container on Docker Host Information:

  1. Notice the cassandra identifier
  2. Notice placement-docker – here we are specifying docker.0 which is docker host identifier in previous step we created on this docker host this cassandra host will get deployed.
  3. hcs-list – here we specified the vSphere Replication Cloud Service appliance identifier which will be deployed in next step.


vSphere Replication Manager Appliance Information:

  1. Again make a note of hms identifier.
  2. This host will get deployed in vc.mgmt.
  3. This VM will have ip address –
  4. This VM will have hostname – hms01.corp.local
  5. This hms will get registered with mgmt vCenter
  6. This hms will get registered with vCloud Director which we specified in indentifier vcd.0


vSphere Replication Cloud Service Appliance Information

  1. Make a note of hcs identifier.
  2. placement-vsphere is where this appliance will get deployed.
  3. placement-address is the ip address which will get assigned to this vm.
  4. hostname will be the name of this vm.
  5. vcd specified here , this appliance will get registreded to.
  6. Here we are specifying number of “cassanda” servers.
  7. message queuing server to registered with.


vSphere Replication Server Appliance Information:

  1. Make a note of hbr identifier.
  2. placement-vsphere is where this appliance will get deployed.
  3. placement-address is the ip address which will get assigned to this vm.
  4. hostname will be the name of this vm.
  5. vsphere specifies on which vcenter it is going to be registered.
  6. vcd specified here , this appliance will get registered to.


vCloud Availability Portal Host Information:

  1. Make a note of ui identifier.
  2. placement-vsphere is where this appliance will get deployed.
  3. placement-address is the ip address which will get assigned to this vm.
  4. hostname will be the name of this vm.
  5. vcd specified here , this appliance will get registered to.


vCloud Availability Administration Portal Host Information:

  1. Make a note of smp identifier.
  2. placement-vsphere is where this appliance will get deployed.
  3. placement-address is the ip address which will get assigned to this vm.
  4. hostname will be the name of this vm.
  5. vcd specified here , this appliance will get registered to.
  6. The mongodb-database property value is optional. Default value is vcav-smp , if you want you can use custom
  7. The mongodb-user property value is optional. Default value is vcav-smp.
  8. amqp will be used which we have specified in “amqp.1” identifier.
  9. this appliance will get registered with tenant ui which we have deployed in previous step under “ui.1” identifier.


save the file ensure there is no extension and copy to directory in vCAV appliance as below: /root/.vcav/ directory and run below command to validate you registry file , if out put is as below that means your registry file has been created correctly…


if you have configured registry file correctly and if all goes well then after around 20-30 minute appliance returns “OK” . which means we have successfully deployed vCloud Availability.


deployment of vCAV is simpler and less time consuming using automated one.only effort that you need to put in to create a proper registry file.

You can run a single task by running the #vcac next command. The vCloud Availability Installer Appliance detects the first task that is not completed and runs it. You can indicate which task you want to run by adding the #–task=Task-Number argument.

then follow my existing post number 9 

VMware vCloud Availability Installation-Part-9-Tenant On-Boarding

for tenant on-boarding. this completes the installation of vCAV. now you can work with your customers for the demo of DRaaS.

Here is my registry file for your reference.





VMware vCloud Availability Installation-Part-9-Tenant On-Boarding

Let’s Deploy your very known vSphere replication appliances and before we get in to that ensure that Tenant/customer has vSphere and vSphere Web Client installed and if vSphere is installed properly ,then in the vSphere Web Client, select the vCenter Server instance on which you are deploying vSphere Replication, click Manage > Settings > Advanced Settings, and verify that the VirtualCenter.FQDN value is set to a fully-qualified domain name.

Let’s On-Board tenant – Download vSphere Replication appliance ISO , mount the ISO and choose below three files during deployment of OVF from vSphere Client. we had multiple times deployed OVF , so not covering entire process in details , here are the screenshots of installation…


there are two configurations , i am choosing minimum with 2vCPU, for your environment you can choose based on recommendation for production.


Enter IP address and other details, ensure that this IP address is reachable to Cloud ( you can use NAT etc..)


Register your vSphere Replication appliance with vCenter SSO and after registering restart the services and ensure services are up and running.


Pair Sites

Login to vCenter and Click on “Site Recovery” that will take you to below screen , on this screen click on “Configure”.


Configure opens a new Window , Click on “NEW SITE PAIR”


First site must be your current vCenter and “Second Site” – Choose “Cloud Provider”

Cloud Provider Address – Enter the IP address or URL like ( of the vCD without /Cloud.

Enter Organization name which is configured on the cloud and your org cloud credentials and click Next.


if you do not have any connectivity issue , then you should see certificate warning. Accept Certificate warning by clicking on “CONECT”


Select your VDC and click Next.


Configure Network Mapping for your VMs in provider environment , and the best thing is you can select two networks, one for testing DR and another one is actual DR. ( How many Cloud providers has this option ?)


Configuring and enabling replication tasks.


this completes Tenant on-boarding , now Tenant can choose which VM they want to DR to Cloud.