VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC on AWS) brings VMware’s software-defined data center (SDDC) stack to the AWS cloud. By using the same vSphere-based virtualization/cloud technology on-premises and in the public cloud, you can create a true hybrid cloud architecture, that enables you to get consistent operations by using consistent infrastructure.
This solution comes with optimized access to the AWS services and is delivered, sold and supported by VMware, AWS and their partner networks.
As you can see above, VMC on AWS comes with the same VMware tools and integrates the VMware Cloud Foundation stack (vSphere for compute, vSAN for storage, NSX for networking) along with vCenter for management.
VMware Cloud on AWS runs on dedicated Amazon EC2 bare-metal infrastructure.
VMware Cloud on AWS comes with two different host configurations, which both require a minimum of two hosts per cluster.
For identifying the right host types for specific use cases, check out the VMware Cloud on AWS sizer.
Note: 99.9% SLA for non-stretched clusters, 99.99% for stretched clusters
Single Host Starter Configuration
VMC on AWS allows you to deploy a starter configuration with a single host only (not available with i3en.metal hosts).
This small SDDC configuration allows customers to get their first experiences with this hybrid cloud offering during a 60-day time period. Such a setup is only appropriate for test and development or proof of concept use cases. You can run production workloads on this small VMC on AWS environment if you scale up to the minimum of two hosts before the 60-day period ends, otherwise your evaluation ends with you losing data.
Note: Not all features of the standard VMC service offering are available in this limited setting. The VMC on AWS service level offering also does not apply to this one-node offering.
Included VMware Software
The following software is included in single host and production configurations:
|Single Hosts (non-production environments)||Production (minimum 2 hosts)|
VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts
If you want to get the agility and innovation of (VMware) Cloud in your own data center, delivered as a service, then VMC on AWS Outposts is for you.
VMC on AWS Outposts is a fully managed on-premises as-a-service offering, that stretches VMC on AWS to your data center or edge location. You’ll get dedicated Amazon Nitro-based EC2 bare-metal instances delivered on-premises with VMware Cloud Foundation running on top.
What’s included in the offering?
- AWS Outposts 42u rack (we can also expect a half-rack offering in the future)
- 3-8 hosts configurations based on i3en.metal
- Dark host capacity included (for remediation, EDRS, scale-out and lifecycle management purposes)
- Installed by AWS
- AWS managed dedicated Nitro-based i3en.metal EC2 instance with local SSD storage
- VMware managed SDDC software – vSphere, vSAN, NSX-T, vCenter Server
- VMware HCX
- VMware Cloud Console
- Support by VMware SREs
- Supply chain, shipment logistics and onsite installation by AWS
- Ongoing hardware monitoring with break/fix support.
VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is made for multiple use cases:
- Data/App Locality
- Low latency
- Local data processing
- Data sovereignty/compliance
- Infrastructure modernization
- Branche Office or large edge modernization
But this offering and VMC on AWS in general come with multiple other use cases which help orgnaizations to fulfill their cloud strategy.
VMware Cloud on AWS provides an infrastructure platform option for customers to modernize their existing enterprise applications on and enables them to run their enterprise workloads of today and tomorrow. With VMware Cloud on AWS, customers can run, monitor, and manage their Kubernetes clusters and virtual machines – all on the same infrastructure. VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides a consistent, upstream-compatible distribution of Kubernetes, that is tested, signed, and supported by VMware. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is central to many of the offerings in the VMware Tanzu portfolio.
Cloud Migration / Data Center Extension
VMC on AWS can help customers to expand to new locations. Maybe it’s an unplanned project or there are temporary or seasonal capacity needs. Some customers are also using such an offering to build a flexible test, lab or training environment in the public cloud.
Adopt a robust, feature-rich cloud platform for virtual desktops and applications that can be used to deliver complete VDI infrastructure from the cloud. Or you can extend an existing on-premises VDI environment for desktop bursting, protection or proximity to applications running in AWS. Optimize infrastructure costs with flexible, consumption-based billing while paying only for what you use.
Another typical use case is disaster recovery. Customers are looking for an offsite approach with which they can prepare themselves for different kind of scenarios with “warm standby” or “active/active” configurations. There are different architectural options and also different solutions from VMware available, e.g.:
Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX)
How can you bridge the gap between on-premises data centers and VMC on AWS to enable application migrations or workload mobility? HCX creates an encrypted, high-throughput, WAN-optimized, load-balanced, traffic-engineered hybrid interconnect automates the creation of network extensions.
In short: VMware HCX can interconnect different vSphere-based clouds and with that you achieve a fabric for workload mobility by using vMotion over different clouds. It even preserves existing network connections!
Imagine how much easier and faster application migrations can be done now.
Let’s see if there is a future, that customers need full workload mobility where regular migrations from and to different clouds can be done. Maybe there is a customer, who migrates workloads today from on-prem to VMC on AWS, tomorrow to Azure VMware Solution, the next week to Google Cloud VMware Engine, and in the end back to an on-premises data center where another fully managed service like VMC on Dell EMC is deployed. 😀
VMware Cloud on AWS with Tanzu Services
It was mentioned above already, VMware Cloud on AWS includes “Tanzu Kubernetes Service” and “Tanzu Mission Control Essentials”.
VMware Cloud with Tanzu Services has been introduced at VMworld 2021 as the “Easy path to enterprise-grade Kubernetes on a fully managed, multi-cloud ready IaaS and CaaS platform”:
This was also when Tanzu Services became available for VMC on AWS with the following capabilities:
- Managed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service: Provision Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes using a simple, fast, and self-service experience in the VMware Cloud console. The underlying SDDC infrastructure and capacity required for Kubernetes workloads is fully managed by VMware. Use vCenter Server for managing Kubernetes workloads by deploying Kubernetes clusters, provisioning role-based access and allocating capacity for Developer teams. Manage multiple TKG clusters as namespaces with observability, troubleshooting and resiliency in vCenter Server.
- Built in support for Tanzu Mission Control Essentials: Attach upstream compliant Kubernetes clusters including Amazon EKS and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters. Manage lifecycle for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters and centralize platform operations for Kubernetes clusters using the Kubernetes management plane offered by Tanzu Mission Control. Tanzu Mission Control provides a global visibility across clusters and clouds and increases security and governance by automating operational tasks such as access and security management at scale.
Take a look at the VMware Tanzu Mission Control Feature Comparison Chart to better understand the feature set of TMC Essentials.
Did you know that the Tanzu Mission Control Standard Package is included with TMC Essentials?
As of November 2021, new clusters registered with TMC will have the Carvel package manager (the kapp-controller), deployed within the cluster. The “Catalog” page in the Tanzu Mission Control console allows you to view packages available from the Tanzu Standard repository (and your own custom Carvel package repositories) and install them in your Kubernetes clusters.
Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu for VMC on AWS
VMware announced the tech preview for Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu for VMware Cloud on AWS in September 2021.
Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu is a tool that aids organizations in discovering application types, visualizing application topology, choosing a modernization approach based on scores, and containerizing and migrating suitable legacy applications to enhance business outcomes. As an agentless tool, Application Transformer for Tanzu utilizes the VMware vCenter API to introspect VMs across an entire vSphere or VMware Cloud on AWS-based data center.
Application Transformer can help you to convert virtual machines and application components to OCI-compliant container images, that then can be deployed into the Tanzu Kubernetes stack.
There are several ways how customers get access to Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu:
- Customers who have purchased Tanzu Advanced Edition
- Customers who have purchased Tanzu Standard Edition
- Customers who have purchased Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations
- Customers who have purchased the App Navigator service through engagement with VMware Tanzu Labs
Good news for everyone is that Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu became generally available in February 2022. With this, VMware Cloud on AWS customers also have limited access to this offering from now on. The access is through integration with VMware Cloud console. If customers desire full access to Application Transformer, they need to buy Tanzu Standard, Tanzu Advanced, Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations, or App Navigator.
Features & Roadmap
VMware provides a lot of information about the features and roadmap of VMware Cloud on AWS.
VMC on AWS FAQ
There is a large collection of FAQs available that can be found here.