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Features of VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS enables operational consistency for customers of all sizes whether their workloads operate on-premises or in the public cloud. here i would be covering some of the great feature which i like most and will give you opportunity to understand and explore more..

Automated Cluster Remediation:

Let’s suppose in our on-prem environment we have 8 node cluster , one of the node goes down because of hardware failure , that’s where our struggle start to get required hardware from hardware vendor etc.. but most importantly we loose one host in our HA cluster and if this cluster was highly utilised then your application VM might start facing resource crunch and in my experience this might go for at least 3-4 days by the time you get hardware fix and put back the host in to the cluster.

Now see the power of VMware Cloud on AWS – failed hosts in a VMware SDDC are automatically detected by VMware and replaced with healthy hosts and process runs as below:

  • VMware Team detects Host failure or problem identified
  • New Host will be added in to the cluster and data from problematic host will be either rebuild or migrated.
  • Old host evacuated from the cluster and replaced by new host.

Scale as per your convenience:

One of the major challenges in traditional data centers is finding the right balance between hardware and workload utilization.

VMware Cloud on AWS enables you to quickly scale up to ensure that you always have enough capacity to run your workloads during volume spikes and quickly scale down to ensure that you are not paying for hardware that is not being used. This feature provides higher availability with lower overall costs.

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you have option to add and remove cluster as well as Host or you can enable Elastic Distributed Resources Scheduler (EDRS) , which is a policy-based solution that automatically scales a vSphere Cluster in VMware Cloud on AWS based on utilization. EDRS monitors CPU, memory, and storage resources for scaling operations. EDRS monitors the vSphere cluster continuously, and each 5 minutes EDRS runs the algorithm to determine if scale-out or scale-in operations is required.

vCenter Hybrid Linked Mode:

Hybrid Linked Mode allows you to link your VMware Cloud on AWS vCenter Server instance with an on-premises vCenter Single Sign-On domain and If you link your cloud vCenter Server to a domain that contains multiple vCenter Server instances linked using Enhanced Linked Mode, all of those instances are linked to your cloud SDDC.

You have two options for configuring Hybrid Linked Mode. You can use only one of these options at a time.

  • You can install the Cloud Gateway Appliance and use it to link from your on-premises data center to your cloud SDDC. In this case, Active Directory groups are mapped from your on-premises environment to the cloud.

  • you can link from your cloud SDDC to your on-premises data center. In this case, you must add Active Directory as an identity source to the cloud vCenter Server.

Using Hybrid Linked Mode, you can:

  • View and manage the inventories of both your on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS data centers from a single vSphere Client interface, accessed using your on-premises credentials.

  • Migrate workloads between your on-premises data center and cloud SDDC.

  • Share tags and tag categories across vCenter Server instances.

Well Defined Separation of Duty for VMware and Customer Teams:

Amazon in discussion with VMware performs the following  tasks:

Hardware refresh , failed component replacement , bios upgrade and underline firmware patching will be done by AWS based on VMware compatibility list and this allow customer not to worry about this tedious exercise, compatibility issues and dedicated skill resources.

VMware Experts perform the following maintenance tasks:

  • Backup and restore of VMware appliances and infrastructure  like vCenter, NSX Manager,PSC etc…
  • Patching VMware Cloud on AWS components like vSphere, ESXi drivers, vSAN, NSX, SDDC console etc…this helps customers to just focus of App VM and their business , leave their virtual infrastructure maintenance to experts.
  • Providing VMware Tools patches through vSphere and will be available to your virtual machines , now customer is free to
  • Host and infrastructure VM monitoring

Customer’s Administrator are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Customer administrator manages backup and restoration of your workload VMs and applications.
  • Patching inside VM like guest OS, applications etc..
  • Upgrading VMware Tools installed on workload VMs
  • Monitoring of the your workload VMs and applications
  • Keeping VM templates and content library files updated so that new vms are deployed with latest/updated/patched updated master templates.
  • Manage and monitoring user access and monitoring of resource utilization and charges of integrated AWS if consuming.

Outages, Scheduled Maintenance, and Health Service Information:

VMware has hosted a separate website to display the current status of VMware Cloud services at https://status.vmware-services.io/ , you can subscribe to updates.

Apart from VMware Cloud on AWS service, this website reports for below services also:

  • VMware AppDefense
  • VMware Cost Insight
  • VMware Discovery
  • VMware Kubernetes Engine
  • Log Intelligence
  • VMware Network Insight

NSX Hybrid Connect

NSX Hybrid Connect enables cloud on-boarding without retrofitting source infrastructure and supports migration from vSphere 5.1 or later to VMware Cloud on AWS without introducing application risk and complex migration assessments.NSX Hybrid Connect includes:

  • vSphere vMotion
  • bulk migration
  • high throughput network extension
  • WAN optimization
  • traffic engineering
  • load balancing
  • automated VPN with strong encryption
  • secured data center interconnectivity with built-in hybrid abstraction and hybrid interconnects.

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VMware Site Recovery

VMware Site Recovery for VMware Cloud on AWS is separately purchased item that communicates with separately licensed VMware Site Recovery Manager and VMware vSphere Replication instances. Recovery can occur from on-premises to AWS or AWS SDDC to AWS SDDC. VMware Site Recovery can protect vCenter Server version 6.7, 6.5, and 6.0 U3.

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Consumption of AWS Native Services with VMware Cloud on AWS

The partnership between VMware and Amazon increases the catalog of solutions readily available to all VMware Cloud on AWS users. Some of the popular AWS solutions are listed below:

  • Simple Storage Service (S3): Highly available, highly durable object storage service.
  • Glacier: Highly durable, high latency archive storage used mostly for backup.
  • EC2: AWS flagship compute platform.
  • VPC: Networking solution of AWS solutions both internal and external.
  • CloudWatch: Monitoring for AWS solutions.
  • IAM: Identity and Access Management solution of AWS.
  • AWS Database Services: Wide range of  DB service like: Relational Database Service (RDS), DynamoDB (NoSQL Database Service), RedShift (data warehouse for data from relational databases for analytics)
  • Simple Queue Service (SQS): Fully managed message queues for microservices, distributed systems, and server-less applications.
  • Route 53: (DNS) Domain name provider and services.
  • Elasti-Cache: Managed, in-memory data store services.

Simple and feature-rich Web Interface for Network Services

Customer can easily consume Network services with few clicks , you need not to be network expert and strong command line hands-on experience. just few clicks and your IPsec VPN, L2 VPN , NAT , Edge FW rules , getting public IP from amazon all are ready to consume.

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i have covered few features of VMware Cloud on AWS , if you wants to dirty your hands , go ahead and login to http://labs.hol.vmware.com  and if your organisation wants to test the feature and ease of consumption , there is one host option is there , By deploying a 1-node SDDC, you will be able to test out the features and functionality of VMware Cloud on AWS at a fraction of the cost. These 1-node SDDC’s are fully self-service, paid for by credit card (or HPP/SPP credits), and deployed in just under two hours.

Hope this helps you in understanding feature of VMware Cloud on AWS  better 🙂

 

 

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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.

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