VMware cloud on AWS – Did you know the facts ?

  • VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC is running directly on AWS elastic bare metal infrastructure, which provides high bandwidth, low latency connectivity to AWS services. Virtual machine workloads can access public API endpoints for AWS services such as AWS Lambda, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon S3 and Elastic Load Balancing, as well as private resources in the customer’s Amazon VPC such as Amazon EC2, and data and analytics services such as Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Kinesis and Amazon Redshift.  Customers can also now enjoy Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) for fully managed file service to scale the file-based storage automatically to petabyte scale with high availability and durability across multiple availability zones and the newest generation of VPC Endpoints designed to access AWS services while keeping all the traffic within the AWS network.
  • You can leverage your existing VMware software investments to secure additional discounts for your VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid environment as part of our Hybrid Loyalty Program. You do not need to apply for the Hybrid Loyalty Program. VMware will scan your Entitlement Account and reflect the appropriate discounts on your invoice. Please refer to our Hybrid Loyalty Program information on the pricing page for more details.
  • VMware Site Recovery™ brings trusted replication, orchestration and automation technologies to VMware Cloud on AWS to protect applications in the event of site failures. The service is built on an industry-leading recovery plan automation solution, VMware Site Recovery Manager™, and native hypervisor-based replication, VMware vSphere® Replication™. The service provides an end-to-end disaster recovery solution that can help reduce the requirements for a secondary recovery site, accelerate time-to-protection, and simplify disaster recovery operations.
  • VMware Site Recovery can protect (1) workloads running in an on-premises datacenter to a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC, (2) workloads running on a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC to an on-premises datacenter, and (3) between different VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs.
  • ESXi is running directly on bare-metal AWS infrastructure – there is no nested virtualization.
  • The minimum cluster size you can provision is 4 ESXi hosts.
  • You can add additional hosts on-demand. You can also remove hosts on-demand down to the minimum of 4 ESXi hosts.
  • Each SDDC must be connected to a separate AWS account.
  • Stretched Clusters on VMware cloud on AWS enables customers to deploy a single SDDC across two AZs.  Utilizing VSAN’s stretched cluster feature, it allows us to guarantee synchronous writes across two AZs in a single SDDC cluster.  This feature also extends workload logical networks to support vMotion between AZs.  In the case of an AZ failure, vSphere HA will attempt to restart your VMs on the surviving AZ.  This feature is in preview for this release.  Contact your customer success manager if you are interested in this feature.
  • The smallest supported stretched cluster is six nodes.  This is because we require a quorum to survive in case of a full AZ failure.  This implies you must have three nodes per AZ.  Thus, six is the smallest supported stretched cluster.
  • Each ESXi host comes with NVMe storage. A minimal 4 ESXi host cluster running vSAN provides approximately 21 TB usable storage, with all virtual machines protected against a single host failure (FTT=1).
  • Currently VMware cloud on AWS does not offer a hybrid (Flash + Spinning Disk) storage solution. All hosts are equipped with NVME Storage.
  • When you deploy an SDDC in VMware Cloud on AWS, it is configured with two networks: a management network and a compute network. The management network handles network traffic for the SDDC hosts, vCenter Server, NSX Manager, and other management functions. The compute network handles network traffic for your workload VMs.
  • You do not need NSX on-prem to use L2 VPN.  There are two components of L2 VPN – a client side component and a server side component – the server side is running in VMware Cloud on AWS. In order to configure an L2 VPN between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS, you must configure the client side component on-premises. If you do not have NSX on-premises, you can download a standalone NSX edge and configure the client side of L2VPN.
  • vCenter Hybrid Linked Mode (HLM) allows you to link the Cloud vCenter (VMC) to your on-prem vCenter to provide a Hybrid management interface across Cloud and on-prem resources. With HLM, you can view and manage the on-prem and Cloud vCenters from a single pane of glass and perform hybrid operations such as workload mobility across the two environments.
  • Maximum latency supported between on-premises vCenter and VMware Cloud on AWS vCenter server for Hybrid Linked Mode is 100 ms round trip latency.
  • VMware is responsible for SDDC software components and the IaaS infrastructure resources. Customers are responsible for their applications and workloads running on the service.
  • VMware will provide VMware GSS and Customer Success Team support for customers. Customers will be able to contact GSS via phone, chat feature in the service portal. VMware’s service operations team will handle escalations.
  • VMware handles all patching and updates, Maintenance for an SDDC is performed by VMware.
  • Prior to a maintenance update, customers receive an email notification telling them the date and time when the update is going to occur.  When the update process is initiated, customers receive another email notification.  The process occurs in 2 main phases, control plane update and data plane update.
  • VMware will provide installers for a designated release of VMware Tools for all supported guest operating systems, and will update those from time to time. Customers will have the option of specifying their own repository of VMware Tools installers so that a particular release can be standardized between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS. This configuration will be available through a new documented API.
  • VMware Cloud on AWS is able to quickly react to a hardware failure by inserting a new server into your cluster when a fault is detected. Because VMware Cloud on AWS is running vSAN, the VM’s are protected and vSphere HA will automatically restart any VM’s which were running on the failed server.
  • AWS may schedule servers for retirement in cases where there is an unrecoverable issue with the underlying hardware.  When VMware receives a retirement request from AWS, VMware handles the server failure in the same manner as it does any other host failure by removing the failed host from your cluster and inserting a new server in its place.  Because VMware Cloud on AWS is running VSAN, the VM’s are protected.

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