Migrate and Modernize with VMware Cloud on AWS

Check out all the latest VMware Cloud on AWS announcements from VMworld Europe 2019. These include the European expansion, kubernetes support, stretched clusters, new capabilities for managed providers, and improved support and availability. 

 

VMware Cloud on AWS delivers a VMware operated, jointly engineered, hybrid cloud service that extends on-premises vSphere environments to a VMware SDDC running on Amazon EC2 elastic, bare-metal infrastructure that is fully integrated as part of AWS. This service fulfils the needs of our customers across cloud migration, data center extension, disaster recovery and next-generation applications. This means that our customers can leverage the best of both worlds with a mature cloud service that is operationally and architecturally consistent, in a region of their choice, with compelling economics for migrating and running their workloads. In fact, VMware recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ study[1], examining the potential ROI enterprises could realize by migrating to VMware Cloud on AWS. Forrester constructed a composite organization representative of companies interviewed for the study. The composite organization has the following characteristics: 80 servers; 40 to 1 ratio of VMs to applications; $2 million annual software budget and a three-year contract. Overall, the study showed the composite organization saved 59 percent of operational costs in the cloud, versus the equivalent capacity on-premises. Additionally, the following risk-adjusted present value (PV) quantified benefits are representative of those experienced by the companies interviewed:

  • Avoided application redesign, totaling savings of $2.7M
  • Reduced labor hours for operations, saving $1.2M
  • Reduction in data center operating costs, totaling $1.4M
  • Software and hardware savings of $3.2M

Download and read the full study here and visit the VMware Cloud On AWS ROI Estimator.

In our Aug What’s New Blog Post, we spoke about an enhanced migration guided workflow, new HCX capabilities, Elastic vSAN storage capacity scaling and more support from our ecosystem products, including support from VMware Cloud Marketplace.

Let us now look at our new announcements related to VMware Cloud on AWS at VMworld Europe 2019 – these announcements will continue to enable our customers migrate and modernize their enterprise workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS.

What’s new:

Expansion to 5th Region in Europe:

Regional expansion: VMware Cloud on AWS is the only VMware operated hybrid cloud service that is currently available in 16 global AWS Regions, including a special controlled instance running in AWS GovCloud (US). VMware will be launching VMware Cloud on AWS in the AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region that will bring the total number of available global regions in Europe to five and globally to a total of 17 in just over two years.

 

Kubernetes on VMware Cloud on AWS:

Modernize enterprise workloads at your own pace: VMware Cloud on AWS provides a platform for running our customers’ enterprise workloads of today and tomorrow. With VMware Cloud on AWS, customers can migrate their applications and start modernizing them at their own pace. VMware Cloud on AWS provides consistent infrastructure operations for deploying and managing your containerized applications, whether they are new or refactored from a traditional application.

VMware PKS support for VMware Cloud on AWS: Organizations that want to start running containers and Kubernetes on VMware Cloud on AWS can get started with VMware PKS.

  • VMware PKS includes open source Kubernetes, cluster lifecycle management and container image registry along with 24/7, SLA-driven support for those technologies.
  • VMware PKS can be run with consistency on-premises, on public clouds and at the edge. Combined with VMware Cloud on AWS, customers can quickly create and scale their Kubernetes clusters. In addition, they can minimize disruptions to applications by easily rolling back any incompatible updates.
  • With additional support from VMware’s expert Kubernetes Architect Team, customers can architect and deploy a Kubernetes platform that is customized to their needs, and ready their in-house team to operate a cloud native infrastructure.

Stretched Clusters for Everyone:

Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS enables zero RPO high availability for enterprise applications virtualized on vSphere across AWS Availability Zones (AZ) within the same AWS Region, leveraging multi-AZ stretched clustering – this helps protect an application against AWS AZ level failure and increases the resiliency of the infrastructure without having to architect it into the application layer.

VMware is now announcing up to a 16% reduction in price for a Stretched Cluster deployment – we are eliminating the add-on charges for Stretched Clusters software – this will result in cost savings of ~9% for an on-demand purchase of a stretched cluster, ~12% for a 1-year subscription and ~16% for a 3-year subscription.

New Multi-Tenancy capabilities for Managed Service Providers:

VMware Cloud Director service support for VMware Cloud on AWS for MSPs to serve the needs of small to mid-size enterprises: VMware Cloud Director service will introduce multi-tenancy to VMware Cloud on AWS, allowing Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to offer bite-sized pools of VMware Cloud on AWS resources to better address the needs of small to mid-size enterprises. With VMware Cloud Director service, MSPs will be able to leverage the capabilities of VMware vCloud Director as a SaaS offering integrated with VMware Cloud on AWS. By delivering proven multi-tenancy capabilities, MSPs will be able to more securely and easily share VMware Cloud on AWS instances across multiple tenants or end customers. The Cloud Director service will be in Beta for MSPs to utilize for non-production workloads.

  • In the first release, the VMware Cloud Director service would deliver the ability to provision and manage VMware Cloud infrastructure in a SaaS model with a focus on VMware Cloud on AWS. The solution will bring the familiar and more secure multi-tenant capabilities of VMware vCloud Director to VMware Cloud on AWS, allowing MSP cloud providers to serve the needs of small to mid-size enterprises by sharing the costs of VMware Cloud on AWS instances across multiple tenants, thus lowering the cost of entry for many organizations. As a result, VMware Cloud Director services will help cloud providers have greater agility in expanding their business to new customers, geographies and lines of businesses in an asset-light, pay-as-you-grow model.
  • In addition, the new service will help providers accelerate their time-to-market by reducing their operational overhead with a single management umbrella that provides familiar management and consistent experience to their end customers. VMware Cloud Director service will provide cross-site networking capabilities with existing vCloud Director infrastructures thereby creating a hyper-distributed provider management plane. Cloud providers will have the ability to slice and dice VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC resources, and have fine-grained control of resource allocation and consumption. Cloud providers will also be able to provide their target customers with a custom branded user experience.

Migration enhancements:

VMware HCX new capabilities: VMware HCX provides large-scale migration and multi-site hybrid connectivity for VMware Cloud on AWS. New enhancements that are planned include:

  • OS Assisted Migration: With this capability, customers will be able to migrate non-vSphere workloads (for example, applications running on RedHat OpenStack/KVM, and Microsoft Hyper-V environments) to VMware Cloud on AWS. This will provide customers a simple path to rebalance and re-platform workloads to a vSphere-based environment in VMware Cloud on AWS. Current support extends to a select set of KVM guest VM operating systems and Windows Server operating systems. For details, customers are advised to refer to the VMware HCX documentation.
  • HCX Proximity Routing with NSX-T: HCX Proximity Routing will support migration-aware routing flexibility for NSX-T.  The HCX Proximity Routing feature will enable traffic to and from VMs that are migrating to VMware Cloud on AWS to be routed through the optimal path regardless of whether they have source site dependencies (e.g., Firewall or database workloads that need to remain on-premises).
  • Ability to migrate across SDDCs with HCX cross-SDDC (Region to Region) and Cloud-to-Cloud migration: This capability will enable push-button migration, extension of networks and interconnectivity between VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs running in different AWS Regions. Providing the ability to extend networks between regions also enables IT teams to improve consistency of policies and configurations. This capability will also provide customers with the option to connect and move workloads between other VMware-based clouds and VMware Cloud on AWS.

Please note that entitlement and licensing details will be provided at the time of availability of these features.

Improved scale, management and ecosystem support:

We are continuously working to improve the VMware Cloud on AWS service and its associated ecosystem of products that support it.

  • VMware Site Recovery enhancements: Today, we have a great Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) offering with VMware Site Recovery. We have taken the Disaster Recovery (DR) orchestration/automation powers of VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) – which includes capabilities like pre-configured runbooks with priority tiers and inter-VM dependencies, pre-defined resource and network mappings, non-disruptive test workflows, guest-level custom recovery scripts, automated IP customization, and detailed DR reports – and combined them with the elasticity and operational simplicity of VMware Cloud on AWS in a way that is easy for vSphere customers to adopt.
    • Increased scale per protected SDDC: Customers can further simplify their DR deployments and reduce DR costs with 1.5X increase in VMs protected per SDDC with VMware Site Recovery (up to 1500 VMs per SDDC) with VMware Site Recovery.
    • Simplified Disaster Recovery:
    • Term subscription purchase: Customers can now simplify budget planning and DR consumption with new 3-year and 1-year subscriptions for VMware Site Recovery. Customers were previously only able to purchase VMware Site Recovery on an on-demand basis. VMware is now announcing that VMware Site Recovery can be purchased on a 3-year and 1-year subscriptions. For more details, refer to VMware Site Recovery website.
    • vSphere Replication import/export capability: Customers will be able simplify their DR setup with a new import/export capability for vSphere Replication configuration, leveraging their experience in protecting on-premises applications
  • New remote Professional Services Offering (PSO): Designed for customers deploying DR for the first time, VMware Professional Services now offers a helping hand with a new offering that delivers a guided experience for rapid and easy deployment of VMware Site Recovery. For more details, visit VMware Professional Services.
  • Networking and storage enhancements:
    • Jumbo frames support: This NSX-T capability will deliver improved network performance for migrations when used in conjunction with AWS Direct Connect with support for higher MTU
    • Automatic adjustment of vSAN policy for improved data availability: vSAN will automatically adjust the storage policies of customer workloads between RAID 1 mirroring and RAID 6 erasure coding based on the number of hosts in a customer’s VMware Cloud on AWS cluster – this is designed to improve data availability. This feature will be turned on by default on new clusters and customers will be able to opt out of it for specific workloads.
  • New capabilities from VMware operations products to further enhance support for VMware Cloud on AWS:
  • Richer log analytics capabilities in VMware Cloud on AWS with the inclusion of more VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud capabilities in the core VMware Cloud on AWS service: VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud (formerly known as VMware Log Intelligence) is a VMware cloud service that collects and analyzes log data generated by all resources in your VMware Cloud on AWS environment to centralize log management, accelerate IT troubleshooting, provide deep operational visibility across VMware Cloud on AWS and private cloud environments. Every VMware Cloud on AWS subscription includes certain vRealize Log Insight Cloud features focused on audit and diagnostic capabilities. VMware continues our commitment to building momentum with vRealize Log Insight Cloud use cases. In the latest release of vRealize Log Insight Cloud, VMware is announcing the following capabilities for VMware Cloud on AWS customers:
    • Improved vRealize Log Insight Cloud system visibility with new additional system alerts. Administrators will now have insight into system delays in alert evaluations or event ingestion.
    • Improved user trouble shooting through a new side-by-side logs comparison feature. vRealize Log Insight Cloud will allow users to analyze an event by comparing multiple logs without switching context. By not requiring a context switch, similar events can be compared to drive to quicker problem identification and resolution.
    • Advances in roles-based access control (RBAC) to enable fine grained authorization to specific log content based on user roles and groups. These advancements will allow administrators to authorize access to specific data sets, manage user authorization to data through roles and groups, and manage user authorization for vRealize Log Insight Cloud features.
    • Enhancements in log event type analytics to identify log type variables through automated learning algorithms. By using pattern matching, vRealize Log Insight Cloud will be able to identify variable fields in event instance of a specific type.  Using learned variable fields improves the efficiency in log analysis and trouble shooting.
  • CloudHealth support for VMware Cloud on AWS: CloudHealth by VMware improves business outcomes by giving customers the ability to analyze and manage cloud cost, usage, security, and governance for public and hybrid clouds. CloudHealth Hybrid will extend CloudHealth’s optimization and governance capabilities to VMware Cloud on AWS, in addition to VMware vSphere environments. For VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud on AWS customers, CloudHealth will provide a single platform with visibility into cost, usage, and performance of their data center infrastructure and hybrid and public cloud services. VMware Cloud on AWS customers will be able to identify underutilized hybrid cloud resources and create/enable policies to govern proper cloud usage.

That brings us to the end of the updates this time around. Stay tuned for more.

Availability

VMware Site Recovery – 1500 VMs protected per SDDC is already available. The following capabilities are expected to be available by VMware’s Fiscal Q4’2020 that ends on January 31, 2020: VMware Cloud on AWS availability in AWS Europe (Stockholm) Region, VMware PKS support for VMware Cloud on AWS, HCX OS Assisted Migration, HCX Proximity Routing with NSX-T, HCX cross-SDDC and inter-cloud migration, VMware Site Recovery term commitment purchase, vSphere replication import/export capability, NSX-T Jumbo Frames support, Automatic adjustment of vSAN policy for improved data availability, vRealize Log Insight Cloud new capabilities and CloudHealth Hybrid support for VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware Cloud Director service is expected to be in Beta in VMware’s Fiscal Q4’2020.

To view the latest status of features for VMware Cloud on AWS, visit: https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws/roadmap. Refer to the release notes VMware Cloud on AWS release notes for updates. Note that the information in this blog post is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract.

Resources

For other information related to VMware Cloud on AWS, here are some more learning resources for you:

 

[1] The Total Economic Impact™ Of VMware Cloud On AWS, an August 2019 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of VMware