In October of 2016, VMware and Amazon Web Services made the formal announcement to combine services from the world’s leading private cloud and public cloud providers. The announcement provided a high-level overview of how the two forces would meet and work together to jointly engineer a solution. Just shy of a year later, the VMware Cloud on AWS service was announced for general availability by Pat Gelsinger at VMworld 2017 US. The announcement has generated quite a bit of excitement and here are 4 reasons why.
Sure, other providers are hosting and enabling the VMware Software Defined Data Center or SDDC vision via VMware Cloud Foundation, but let’s face it, no one is better at automating massive amounts of infrastructure than Amazon Web Services. That being the case, VMware Cloud on AWS leverages API calls directly into AWS’s bare metal infrastructure to automate the provisioning, operation, and maintenance of the complete VMware SDDC stack. And yes, let me reiterate, that’s BARE METAL EC2 INSTANCES! Meaning, no nested virtualization in this solution. This means you can take advantage of shorter provisioning windows, rather than taking the traditional approach of procuring, shipping, installing, and configuring physical server resources. In addition, since the stack is being sold as a service, during patching and maintenance activities, hosts will be automatically added and removed from the cluster as needed to ensure meeting service level agreements at no additional cost to the consumer.
Since VMware and AWS co-engineered this solution, their engineering teams spent a lot of time thinking about how to deliver the best experience for consumers across the board. As it turns out, that vision includes being able to leverage native AWS services, by exposing them directly to the VMware SDDC via a new type of Elastic Network Interface. During the provisioning of a new VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC stack, the Elastic Network Interface is automatically provisioned and directly terminated into the customers AWS VPC. This means direct network access from VMware Cloud on AWS to native AWS services.
So why is this a big deal? The possibilities here will be endless! Picture doing things like direct backups to S3 buckets, building elastic load balancers with auto-scaled front-end web services to directly front end your applications, or directly uploading data to Amazon RedShift for data warehousing and analytics. All, while not incurring any additional bandwidth charges for any traffic traversing the Elastic Network Interface.Out of the gate, VMware Cloud on AWS is only available in the West US (Oregon) Region. However, VMware and AWS have committed to providing the service globally to make it readily available in all Availability Zones and Regions throughout the AWS global infrastructure. Customers around the globe will be able to leverage the service for various use cases, to include hybrid cloud, workload migration, or even seamless disaster recovery. In addition, being able to natively integrate services like Amazon Web Application Firewall for automated global DDoS protection, or using Amazon CloudFront to globally distribute content to edge locations around the world, means bringing new global services capability to VMware customers.
One of the greatest challenges for organizations to enable cloud adoption is operational consistency. Organizations meet many challenges when trying to approach the cloud and let’s face it, the tooling has not been very great at enabling consistency across providers and vendors alike. VMware Cloud on AWS brings this issue front and center by leveraging VMware Cloud Foundation at its core, to enable its global customer base to now easily adopt cloud technology across Amazon’s global infrastructure of resources. Approaching the public cloud has never been easier and intuitive. A clear win here for all parties, VMware, AWS, and consumers alike!
ABOUT JONATHAN LOZADA
Jonathan Lozada is a Senior Data Center Engineer based out of Central Florida. He is an expert in all things Data Center. Just to prove it—he is a VMware Certified Professional in Data Center Virtualization, Desktop & Mobility, and Network Virtualization. Jonathan is also a Cisco Certified Network Professional, Data Center and Cisco Certified Specialist, Data Center & Unified Computing. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing, and barbecuing. Want to learn more? Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.