VMware’s Journey to VMware Cloud on AWS – Part 1

To learn more about IT’s utilization of VMware Cloud on AWS for its Hands-on Lab at VMworld 2017, read the blog, How IT Leveraged VMware Cloud on AWS as Part of the Hands-on Lab at VMworld 2017.

In the past five years at VMware we have made significant advancements in testing our products in our own IT environments. We used to deploy our products/services at the generally available (GA) stage, now we deploy them at the alpha and beta stages. The use cases for these products/services in IT are real business cases that require high availability. We do not act as an extended QA process but like a VMware customer. The feedback we gain from this practice helps to significantly improve our product quality.

Last year, when VMware Cloud on AWS was in beta, we looked at possible use-cases. VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand cloud service that integrates VMware vSphere, vSAN and NSX along with vCenter management and runs on dedicated elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. One obvious use case was leveraging VMware Cloud on AWS for on-demand capacity. The perfect candidate to demonstrate this was our VMware Cloud on AWS Hands-on-Lab (HOL) at VMworld. HOLs give our customers the opportunity to play with newly announced products. This high-profile event requires 100% availability. HOLs also give us the opportunity to showcase, and allow customers to use, new technologies at the event. A few years back, when VMware vSAN virtual storage was announced, the HOL was running using vSAN.

The capacity needed to run the HOL creates a huge and temporary spike in our HOL environment. We build some infrastructure every year and repurpose it for other use after the event. The normal way we build infrastructure for these high-profile events is with 100% redundancy. The advantage of VMware Cloud on AWS was that it was the VMware stack running on the cloud with the ability to dynamically increase or decrease capacity. With VMware Cloud on AWS, we did not need to build our usual level of redundancy. The whole event was served from our private cloud and VMware Cloud on AWS.

During the event, the infrastructure in one of the data centers had a performance issue due to a networking problem. We were able to add more capacity in VMware Cloud on AWS until the performance issue was addressed. VMware Cloud on AWS has added a huge capability for us to run the VMWare stack in the cloud with the ability to dynamically add capacity. The networking issue caused zero negative customer impact and the event was a big success.

In addition, we are in the process of moving some of our enterprise workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS using VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) and are planning to use VMware Site Recovery for DR. We will add more details as we progress. To learn more about the HOL technical architecture, read our blog, “How IT Leveraged VMware Cloud on AWS as Part of the Hands-on Lab at VMworld 2017.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about IT’s transformation journey using VMware products and services in a global production environment. Visit our portal to learn more.


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