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VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Direct Connect Primer

By: Chris Colotti and Joe Carvalho

Earlier this year at VMworld San Francisco, we announced a new offering with VMware vCloud Hybrid Service that will be called Direct Connect.  Since announcing it there has been a lot of interest on it, so Joe Carvalho and I have decided to co-author this short primer to explain the offering.  We will be adding more materials in the way of Technical Briefs that go deeper on the topic, but for now we decided it was time to at least explain what the offering is.

Direct Connect Overview

For some time, we have been explaining that the power behind our VMware vCloud Hybrid Service comes from providing our customers with the ability to design a true “Hybrid” cloud, one where “bursting to the cloud” is more than a concept and interconnecting a physical data center to the cloud is a matter of choice. Up until now, the only option was an IPSec VPN or the Datacenter Extension feature in vCloud Connector. The challenge is that customers require much more functionality and flexibility. They require greater levels of privacy, security and throughput from these connections. Enter the Direct Connect offering. Below is a table that shows some of the options you can leverage, depending on your connectivity needs and design goals.

Product Description Speed
MPLS L3 VPN IP-based L3 VPN 1Gb or 10Gb
MPLS L2 VPN Ethernet-based L2 VPN 1Gb or 10Gb
E-Line Ethernet-based virtual circuit 1Gb
Metro-E Metro-distanced based virtual circuit 1Gb
Intra-Datacenter An access port(s) delivered to a customer cage located in the same datacenter as the tenant VCHS cloud 1Gb or 10Gb

Let’s talk about a few of these options.  Intra-Datacenter gives you a high-speed, dedicated connection coming from your vCloud Hybrid Service cloud instance to your cage in the same physical data center. There are WAN connectivity options as well.  These options  provide high speed, private circuits from your vCloud Hybrid Service cloud instance to any remote location, whether it’s a corporate office, remote data center or another vCloud Hybrid Service cloud instance. All of the connectivity options are point to point, except for the MPLS L3 VPN and MPLS L2 VPN (VPLS) circuits, which offer full mesh connectivity across interconnected sites. With Direct Connect, any of these options are possible, including a combination of all options to achieve your Hybrid cloud goals.  Now, let’s look for a moment at a few examples.

Understanding the Connections

The first thing we need to remember is that when you procure a VMware Hybrid Service account you will be given a pool of compute, memory, and storage resources along with access to create one or multiple vCloud Networking and Security Edge Gateways.

DirectConnectPrimer_Diagrams_1

Once you decide to purchase Direct Connect let’s take a look at both the Customer site connection and the inter-datacenter option.  What we will see is they look very similar.

DirectConnectPrimer_Diagrams_2

The only difference is that the Direct Connect Intra-Datacenter option has all the traffic within the physical datacenter where your cage and vCloud Hybrid Service are located.

DirectConnectPrimer_Diagrams_3

Internet Accessibility Options 

One thing we want to point out is that you have multiple options to provide Internet access to the workloads running in vCloud Hybrid Service.  You can elect to use the public IP’s provided with your VMware Hybrid Cloud Services account and write firewall rules in the Edge Gateway.  Conversely, you can choose to route all traffic back to your cage or physical datacenter to leverage existing appliances you may already have.  The whole idea is flexibility in the options once the links are setup.

Some Direct Connect Use Cases

  • Access to physical customer owned storage
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
  • Split Internet connectivity and consumption
  • Database Replication
  • Cloud Bursting (leverage vCloud Hybrid Service capacity as burst capacity)

Conclusion

Hopefully, this short primer about the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Direct Connect option has shown you another way besides VPN that can be used to build the Hybrid cloud. VPN is still a viable option for some smaller businesses and even for enterprises to test the Hybrid concept.  However, once you decide you want to go more into production with vCloud Hybrid Service, you may find Direct Connect is the option you will want to go with.  It will give you the true feel of a physical datacenter without the hassle and time to build one.

Chris is a Senior Technical Marketing Manager with the vCloud Hybrid Services team with over 10 years of experience working with IT hardware and software solutions. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems from the Daniel Webster College. Prior to VMware he served a Fortune 1000 company in southern NH as a Systems Architect/Administrator, architecting VMware solutions to support new application deployments. At VMware, in the roles of Consulting Architect, Chris has guided partners as well as customers in establishing a VMware practice and consulted on multiple customer projects ranging from datacenter migrations to long-term residency architecture support. Currently, Chris is working on the newest VMware vCloud Hybrid Service solutions and architectures for vSphere customers wishing to migrate to the VMware Hybrid Cloud Service. Chris is also a VMware Certified Design Expert, (VCDX #37).

Joe Carvalho joined VMware in 2012 and is a member of the architecture team that designed the vCloud Hybrid Service.  Bringing more than 13 years of technology experience to his role, Joe has also architected and implemented large scale cloud computing solutions in the managed services industry since the early 2000′s, when utility computing and grid computing where in their infancy.  

3 thoughts on “VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Direct Connect Primer

  1. Pingback: How To Use vCloud Hybrid Service For Disaster Recovery • Chris Colotti's Blog

  2. Brett Summerville

    Thanks for the product primer! Question – Which carriers have you enabled for direct connecting MPLS L2/L3 VPN services?

  3. Pingback: VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Direct Connect Primer | doc.cloudgear.io

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