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VMware Cloud on AWS

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Today we’re going to be talking about the VMware Cloud on AWS, and the solution architecture of some of the components that it makes up.

We’ve got a virtual center on-site and probably some hosts and some storage underneath it. And this is an architecture that most folks are very, very familiar with. And one of the interesting things that we’re seeing – as there is this move to cloud computing and a need to be able to burst workloads out – we’ve just seen a bunch of different use cases come to light around how we can actually use cloud computing.

What VMware Cloud on AWS does is, first and foremost, it makes use of AWS’s global infrastructure across the board. VMware Cloud on AWS is, we take the VMware stack, and we run that on top of AWS’s hardware platform that is internationally available, so the regions are all available on the website and go and look at it and see where they’re available. What’s important here is that there’s also a VCenter that’s involved and we see three distinct technologies here that are leveraged inside of VMware Cloud on AWS: the vSphere, your NSX and vSAN technologies, which make up your hypervisor, your software-defined networking, and your software-defined storage that are involved in the solution.

What we have between on-prem and our VMware Cloud on AWS is something called hybrid-linked mode. If you’re familiar with vSphere, you understand that if you had linked modes set up between VCenters previously, you had to keep those in sync in order for it to be a supported configuration. With hybrid-linked mode, you can actually have it so that this environment perpetually managed by VMware is continually updated and backwards-compatible with all the way back to vSphere 5.5, allowing you a super-easy migration path into VMware Cloud, or to just leverage it as an additional instance of VMware.

And one of the really powerful things that we end up seeing is that, when we are running VMware Cloud on AWS, we unlock all of the native AWS capabilities that we might see.

EC2, which is virtual machines, S3, RDS, Dynamo DB, and other things that are available natively in AWS – are going to end up being right next to any of the things that we have stood up here on VMC.

So we have our traditional vSphere platform, now why is this useful?

This is useful because, if we’re looking at leveraging a cloud provider such as AWS VC2, or Azure compute, or something in Google Cloud Platform, what we end up seeing is that there’s some training that has to happen there. You have to understand how the control panel works, how the resources are deployed, how to manage them, how to get them connected to networks, and everything. If you have familiarity at all with NSX, VMware Cloud on AWS is very, very much native to you, and it just simply snaps right in. You manage the workloads in exactly the same fashion, and when you purchase the hosts you can either do this on demand, or in one or three-year reservation chunks, and the discounts get steeper the more the reservations go out.

So you might be looking this thing going, “Oh, that’s great, I get it! It’s leveraging AWS, it’s gonna be right next to any AWS services that I have they’re running already. But really, what are the use cases for something like this?” These use cases really are quite simple: the first is, extend to cloud, in the event that you need to burst such as retail workloads, you need additional compute for only a season… you can actually scale out all of the hosts that you have available, and then scale them back at the end of that season, or at the end of that heavy time of workloads. So that’s on-demand consumption. That can be consumed and then returned back later.

We also see DR as a service being a wildly popular way of doing this, so that you don’t have to pay for all the compute all the time.

In fact, with VMware Cloud on AWS, you can use either the i3 medal or the R5 metal nodes which allow you to use ABS or Amazon’s elastic block storage as vSAN stores. This allows you to have very, very dense storage capabilities with a super-like compute footprint, which is something that’s very, very powerful.

Another one that we see is virtual desktop infrastructure. It’s been very, very popular for folks to say, “we would really just rather have you know a DR environment that really only has maybe three hosts to start with, and then if we get into trouble, we can always just – boom – push the lever down and scale that out to as many as we need in the event of a disaster.” And it gives you the infrastructure to have not only your vCenter but all your VDI management components stood up as well.

We see the ability to have immediate scale. Anytime I talk with someone that says “one of the things we really need is a scalable environment,” one of the hardest questions is, “Well, how fast are things going to come through the door?” From a purchasing and requisition, racking, stacking, connecting perspective, more often than not, it’s weeks instead of minutes. And that’s the power of leveraging the AWS global infrastructure.

And then finally, we see that there’s actually a bonus option, which is Metro Clusters. These are really, really difficult to do most of the time, it takes a lot of planning, design exercises, quorum between multiple sites, and this is something that the VMware can actually do natively, even just between the VMware Cloud on AWS instances in different availability zones. So with that, we can see that not only are there a bunch of different use cases for VMware Cloud on AWS, but it’s easy to understand and easy to setup for folks that already know how vSphere works.

I’m Joe Clark. Thanks for watching.