Many companies are looking for a way to start moving application workloads to the cloud. Most of them want to find a solution that allows them to focus on managing the application workload and not its underlying infrastructure. The cloud is that solution, delivering the flexibility and scalability companies are looking for to gain business agility and increase innovation. From a consumption point of view, the cloud has changed the operating expenditure from CapEx, where you acquire, install, manage and upgrade the infrastructure yourself, to OpEx, where you pay for the service on a recurring interval and are not responsible for maintaining and upgrading the service.
This shift in how you purchase infrastructure and the fact that you are no longer responsible for the management of the infrastructure components, makes this type of solution more attractive to a lot of customers. A new solution that has gotten a lot of traction is VMware Cloud on AWS. It provides a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) in the AWS cloud as a VMware service.
So what does that really mean?
VMware on AWS is a managed and instantly scalable implementation of VMware Cloud Foundation. It runs on bare metal servers in Amazon Web Services.
VMware Cloud on AWS bridges the gap between private and public clouds, enabling you to run applications in a hybrid environment based on VMware vSphere, with optimized access to AWS native services such as: S3, EBS, Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, AWS IoT, AWS Direct Connect, AWS IAM and more.
What does it include?
The VMware on AWS setup includes storage, network, licensing, support, upgrades and a lot more. VMware actually upgrades the entire stack for you for no additional costs. Support is also available via traditional methods or live chat with a 45 seconds response SLA. The offering allows you to securely access all workloads running natively on AWS, with no ingress or egress fees. Users have the ability to scale nodes as required on a per-minute basis, based on their workload demand. You can run VM workloads, or containers on the cloud, using either VMC on AWS, native AWS, or a mix of the two.
An Elastic Network Interface (ENI) dedicated to each physical host connects the VMware Cloud to the corresponding Availability Zone (AWS AZ) in the native AWS VPC.
Here are 10 ways you can utilize the VMware Cloud on AWS solution:
- Cloud migration: Rapidly and easily migrate vSphere-based workloads to the cloud. Reduce the risk and cost of cloud migrations compared to alternatives that require conversions or re-architecture. And leverage familiar VMware and skill sets to accelerate cloud migrations. Once in the cloud, you can use VMware and AWS services to modernize your applications at your pace.
- Application migration: Extend on-premise data centers and easily migrate targeted application workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS without conversions. Obtain bi-directional workload portability between on-premise and VMware Cloud on AWS and modernize your applications through optimized access to native AWS services.
- Footprint expansion: Do you have new projects? Or do you want to expand into a new geography? Easily extend your footprint into the cloud and get VMware-consistent, enterprise-grade environments on the AWS cloud in a fast and cost-effective manner.
- On-demand capacity: Get VMware SDDC capacity in the AWS Cloud in minutes whenever your business needs to meet temporary, seasonal or unplanned demand. Take advantage of elastic capacity and usage-based economics of VMware Cloud on AWS by seamlessly moving your running applications into an AWS environment that’s operationally consistent with your VMware data center.
- Application development: Deliver VMware SDDC-consistent dev/test environments that can integrate with modern CI/CD automation tools. Access native AWS services seamlessly for new app development.
- Disaster recovery-as-a-service with VMware Site Recovery: Easily deliver business continuity with VMware Site Recovery, an on-demand disaster recovery as a service, optimized for VMware Cloud on AWS. Accelerate time-to-protection, simplify disaster recovery operations and reduce secondary site costs by utilizing cloud economics and while providing a secondary site that’s operationally consistent with your VMware data center.
- Licensing: You may have found that you’ve got Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs) that prohibit you from moving your already-licensed workloads to the cloud. Some licenses were sold as host-based licenses, where you license the entire VMware ESXi host and then any machines running on that host are covered. If you try to move the VM to a shared tenancy model that is commonly used in the public cloud, you can no longer license an entire host—and may need to change how your licenses are managed. If you’re in the middle of an ELA, this might prohibit you from making the jump to public cloud until you can pay for the change to licenses. But VMware Cloud on AWS might be a solution for you since each ESXi host can still be managed. You may be able to port your host license over to your VMware Cloud on AWS ESXi hosts and then keep your licensing intact as you move workloads to the cloud.
- Data stored locally in AWS data center: Maybe you’ve already started down the path of moving some workloads to AWS. You’re finding great value out of features like multi-AZ load balancing and autoscaling groups. Or you’re loving RDS to manage your databases, but you’ve got a cranky app server that needs to stay on-Prem and therefore needs to be in close proximity to the data where you’ve placed it on AWS. VMware on AWS workloads and native AWS services are located in the same availability zone to ensure that app and database are in close proximity, connected by the Elastic Network Interface (ENI). Along with that, there are no data transfer charges for up to 25 Gbps ENI between the VMware on AWS VPC and the native AWS in the same AZ.
- Data center evacuation: Replatform or rearchitecting traditional applications into cloud-native applications can be hard, time-consuming and will demand some serious planning and effort. VMware Cloud on AWS, on the other hand, runs the same robust infrastructure we all have been relying on for years out of AWS cloud data centers. Moving traditional workloads out of a VMware data center and into VMC is easy thanks to the consistent infrastructure layer and the power of VMware HCX for bulk and/or live migrations. VMC customers have evacuated entire data centers with hundreds and hundreds of VMs over the weekend. Imagine your commercial data center contract is coming up for renewal or, in a more grim scenario, you need to rebuild one of your data centers from scratch due to a catastrophic event. Imagine how easy it would be to spin up a fully managed SDDC in under 120 minutes with the flexibility of scaling up or down on demand, or entirely killing the service (and the costs involved) with the click of a button. VMC has become a game changer for data center consolidation!
- Bursting: The term bursting has been over referenced, but it does have its place in this conversation. Capacity planning is a difficult process for even the most mature of IT organizations. Sometimes, we get it wrong and don’t have the proper capacity to run our workloads. This can be especially difficult for organizations that go through mergers or acquisitions on a frequent basis—and have no idea how much capacity will be needed for the next months. VMware Cloud on AWS may be an option since you pay only for the capacity you use. Instead of buying an extra storage array or more physical servers, you can aim for what you think you’ll use—and ditch that extra “just-in-case capacity.” Now, we can leverage the elasticity of the cloud to spin up ESXi hosts when we need them permanently—or just temporarily until we’ve purchased that hardware for our data center.
VMware Cloud on AWS can provide some great options if you’re experimenting with the public cloud. If you’re tired of managing resource capacity, budgeting for hardware, running out of resources for development or mergers, or if you need to get out of you data center altogether, VMware Cloud on AWS may be the right path for you.