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Tag Archives: vCloud Hybrid Service

Running vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery Supporting Infrastructure

by Chris Colotti

With the new release of VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery there is one common question that people keep asking me, and that is “Where do I run needed supporting infrastructure like Active Director, DNS, and other things I need?”

You may, or may not, have seen your Disaster Recovery resources are not “Always-On.” What I mean is you are getting them via a subscription that is only holding replicated placeholders on storage until you fail them over. The machines are not using compute and memory until a failure or test failover occurs. In addition, the default leases on the machines is 30 days. This means you cannot stand up a real-time running machine in this offering to hose something like Active Directory and/or DNS and what I refer to in presentations as ‘Infrastructure’ machines. There is a way to solve this challenge, and as with all things cloud, you need to think outside the box.

The fact is most people that do Disaster Recovery today using traditional means run these ‘Infrastructure’ machines hot and always on in the DR site. I’ve almost never seen a Domain Controller get replicated usually because the DR site has a different IP address range. Instead it’s treated as simply another “site” in active directory and certain applications and resources are just running there waiting for failed over machines to use them. This is not always the case, but it’s what I have seen and what I set up when I was an administrator. This being said, there are a few options for solving the need for these running machines outside your vCHS-DR specific subscription.

  • Option #1 – Connect a VPN from a physical to your vCHS-DR resources.
  • Option #2 – Cross Connect to a Cage in a vCHS Data Center where those resources may already be running
  • Option #3 – Purchase a vCHS Virtual Private Cloud or Dedicated Cloud to run them and setup a cloud-to-cloud VPN.

VPN from a Physical Site Option

This option really only works if you have more than one physical site. The obvious reason is if you connect to the primary site you are protecting and it goes down, you are left without the infrastructure you initially needed. Instead if you have two sites and you are only protecting one, you can leverage the other for these resources. Below is this example in a diagram.

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Cross Connect to a Cage

vCloud Hybrid Service has an add-on option of cross-connect, which is the ability to wire from your vCHS resources directly to a cage you own in the same data center where vCHS is hosted. I’d suspect in most cases if you have a cage, that infrastructure is already connected back to your physical data center and you’ve setup basic resources there you could leverage.

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The downside here is that today cross connect is not yet available in all vCHS data centers so you’d have a limited list of choices. However, when it becomes widely available, you will have many more options and this will be a very viable solution.

Cloud to Cloud VPN with a Virtual Private Cloud or Dedicated Cloud

The last option is very good especially if you are already considering additional Infrastructure as a Service resources with vCHS. This option is also good if you will be connecting your new standard vCHS resources back to your on premises data center and creating basic services in the cloud to support your deployed applications. Once you have these you are already setup to simply configure a cloud-to-cloud VPN.

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This is in fact the setup I used in the tutorial video series located on the tutorials page. The benefit of this is you can run these resources in any vCHS location and connect them together as well as back to on premises. The idea is you need these resources additionally for new applications. This is part of your initial Hybrid Cloud data center extensibility.

Network Considerations

You do have to think about the networking considerations when configuring these VPN connections and things like Active Directory Sites and Services.

  1. For VPN the endpoint networks cannot be the same.
  2. You should define the networks in vCHS-DR as a new “Site” and assign the proper domain controller.
  3. Ensure that your VPN mappings also have the right vCNS Edge Gateway firewall rules for traffic to pass.

In the end, you can solve this problem in more than one way. The intent here is not to give the step-by-step configuration since each setup will be different, but you can see in the diagrams I have tried to show some level of detail on the networking so you can get the basic idea. Hopefully this overview has helped answer your questions and you will decide to give vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery a try.

New Disaster Recovery to Cloud Tutorial Videos

By Chris Colotti

I wanted to take a few minutes to explain more about the eight new VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery tutorial videos that were recently published on http://vcloud.vmware.com/tutorials.  There are approximately 8 videos that cover various areas in order of how you might setup the service.  Although these are meant for someone to use after they have purchased the service, I feel that they can be very useful even if you just want to better understand how you do things within the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery.  Below are brief explanations of each video so you have an idea of what they are all about.

Introduction Video

This video is a short compilation of the individual videos below.  It’s intended to touch on two or three key areas in an abbreviated form as an overview before diving into the individual videos. This video is a great starting point to learn basics about the service.

Prerequisites Video

Before you begin to configure VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery, like anything else there are some pre-requisites you need to cover.  This video discusses the basic things you need to have in place before you begin, such as having the right appliance and vCloud Connector components.

Configure Remote Site Video

In this video you will see all the basic steps and information you will need to get a remote site set up and configured within vSphere Replication.  You will see how to select your test and failover network, as well as hear some considerations about networking in general.

Configure Replication Video

This covers everything you need to know to get replication setup on any given virtual machine using vSphere Replication and VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery.  You will see there are very few steps involved in getting the actual replication started.

Performing a Test Failover Video

Once you have completed a replication, the next step will be to perform a test failover, which will maintain the replication in the background. This video covers the simple process of performing a failover so you can actually see a test failover in action, and the virtual machine running post test failover. 

Performing a Planned Failover Video

Of course, a planned failover can be done, but it will shutdown the source machines and stop replication. In this video, you will see this process in action. Remember, once complete this process you have to perform a failback – not just a test cleanup as explained in the previous video.

Failing Back to vSphere On-Premises Video

This video is one of the longer in the series, but only because the failback process can be slightly more time intensive.  You will see the complete process for returning the failed over machine back to vSphere on premises.  This video also illustrates the restart of the replication process using the cloud-based machine as a replication seed.

Advanced Concepts Video

This final video is perhaps the most important. In many Disaster Recovery videos, all you see is the failed over machine being powered on. In this video, you will see a Windows Domain member machine logged onto a local Domain Controller failed over. Not only is the machine powered on, but it’s also logged into a new local domain controller in an adjacent vCloud Hybrid Service Virtual Private Cloud via a cloud-to-cloud VPN.

Hopefully these videos help you get a better understanding of the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery offering and how you can use it in your organization.

Be sure to subscribe to the vCloud blog, follow @vCloud on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook for future updates.

Chris is a Principal Technical Marketing Architect 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).

Announcing VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery: Making DR Simple and Affordable for Businesses

The vast majority of IT applications are not protected by Disaster Recovery because it’s too expensive and too complicated – that changes today with the availability of vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery.

A worrying minority of applications, both Tier 1 and Tier 2, are protected by DR because of that cost and complexity. vCloud® Hybrid Service™ – Disaster Recovery  is simple to install and operate, and costs just $835 per month for:

  • 1TB of storage
  • 20GB of RAM
  • 10 GHz of stand-by capacity

That’s less than half the price of competing DR offerings, and there is also no initial set-up fee and no requirement to buy professional services.

It works by replicating your virtual machines to vCloud Hybrid Service, where they are stored in a recovery virtual data center. You decide the recovery point objective, from 15 minutes to 24 hours. At any time you can start the VMs to conduct a test or recover from a disaster.

This new disaster recovery service is ideal for organizations that don’t want to have to build and maintain tertiary DR sites – it’s much more cost effective. It’s also useful for organizations that want to protect more applications from data loss and downtime during a disaster, but could not justify the cost and complexity of traditional DR.

Installation is simple: you download and install the replication virtual appliance into your vSphere environment, provide the API address for the vCloud Hybrid Service location of your choice, decide which VMs to protect and the recovery point objective(s) and then you can begin replicating. You can also ship VMware a disk containing your existing VMs to seed the initial replication process, and then only the changes (deltas) are replicated to vCHS.

Many DR services simply throw people (managed services) at the complexity of DR, which is why they’re expensive – and the complexity hasn’t gone away, which can be problematic when you want to recover. vCHS DR was designed to be simple from the outset, which helps to keep costs down – but you don’t have to manage everything yourself if you don’t want to. VMware partners are standing by, ready to help you plan and manage your business continuity and DR strategies.

Other cloud DR solutions only work with a narrow set of operating systems and applications. vCloud Hybrid Service supports the widest range of certified operating systems (90) and applications (more than 5,000) because it’s based on vSphere. No tricky VM conversions are required, which is vital when you have a real disaster and need to be sure you can run all of your applications right away. vCHS runs more versions of Windows than Microsoft Azure, and more versions of Linux than AWS and Google Compute Engine combined.

In the event of a disaster, you can run your applications on vCHS as long as you like, and transfer your VMs and data back to your own site at any time.

Don’t just take it from us though – watch Planview discuss how vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery has enabled the organization to cut costs and expand their Disaster Recovery services for customers while enjoying a flexible disaster recovery environment that’s easy to deploy (within a day), suits their needs without requiring a secondary location and is backed up by rock solid support:

To learn more about what VMware Hybrid Cloud – Disaster Recovery can do for your organization, visit vCloud.VMware.com and discover how you can protect your apps. Don’t forget to follow VMware vCloud on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in hybrid cloud news.

3 Reasons to Never Start an IT Project in Your Data Center Ever Again

By: Josh Gwyther

I’m often asked by customers, “Why should we use the cloud?” and “Why should we use vCHS?” My answer always involves explaining that “Cloud” as a technology by itself isn’t the answer – it’s how you change your mode of operation to take full advantage of vCloud Hybrid Service that is key.

Based on my conversations with customers, here are 3 reasons to never start an IT project in your data center ever again:

1. Projects fail

IT projects don’t often go as planned. In fact, a large majority of IT projects never see the light of day. A study done by McKinsey in 2012 found that 40% of all IT projects fail, and that’s a very conservative number.

There’s no shame in failure – we all experience it at some point. The best batter in the history of baseball, Ty Cobb, only batted .366. Most successful companies in the world have failed many times over, many private, some public. If failure at some point is inevitable, the key is to mitigate your risk, fail fast and recover.

Leveraging VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service allows you to start a project with the bare minimum or capital and operational resources. This has two major benefits:

  • It mitigates risk. Instead of sinking capital resources and wasting operational manpower into building infrastructure for a project with an unknown outcome, use a state-of-the-art cloud service provided by VMware and just pay for what you need when you need it.
  • It frees up capital and staff. VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service allows IT to say “yes” to more. It also allows the business to “try everything,” to explore new avenues of revenue and projects without costly ramifications of those that don’t succeed. 

2. Time-to-market

In the not so distant past, a new IT project could take a year or more to launch and that was considered acceptable. Those days are long gone. Agile development has taken over and that means resources need to be available at a moment’s notice, and they need to scale from the smallest of the small to infinity.

Instant resource consumption is the definition of cloud computing, and it’s all there waiting for you to exploit today. By leveraging the instant resource availability of VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service, IT never becomes the bottleneck, only the enabler, adding value and decreasing the time-to-market of every project.

3. VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Isn’t One-Way

The hard truth is that compared to an efficiently ran data center, the cost of cloud resources come at a premium. You’re paying that premium to mitigate risk and gain agility.

But what about steady state? What about those projects that do succeed and become critical to your business?

With most cloud companies, you’re stuck paying that premium for the life of the application. Most clouds are a one-way ticket. That’s because most clouds are built on an infrastructure that is unique and often proprietary. The only way out is a grueling re-write of your application to fit back into your existing data center platform.

VMware has changed all that with the vCloud Hybrid Service. VMware’s cloud service is built using the same platform you’re using in your data center today. That means complete mobility of your applications to the cloud and back from the cloud – no conversion, no re-writing of the application. You get all the cloud benefits of risk avoidance and agility, without being locked in to paying the cloud premium forever.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud for future hybrid cloud updates and resources.

Josh Gwyther serves as a Senior Cloud Strategist for VMware Inc., focusing on Cloud technology (vCloud Hybrid Services). His role includes relationships with key clients to drive adoption of VMware’s Cloud products, public speaking, strategy and roadmap, and driving innovation inside the company. Josh has a technical background in Computer Science, experience as an entrepreneur, and has worked in the industry for 17+ years, focusing on Virtualization and Cloud since 2006. Josh has multiple technical certifications from VMware, EMC and Cisco, with an undergraduate in Computer Science.

vCloud Hybrid Service is not affected by OpenSSL “Heartbleed bug”

On Monday, a serious vulnerability in some commonly used versions of the OpenSSL library was published that allows attackers to compromise an SSL or TLS endpoint (CVE-2014-0160 http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2014-0160). This is also known as the “Heartbleed bug” and has attracted considerable attention due to its seriousness and because the library is embedded in many applications and operating systems.

VMware has reviewed the use of the OpenSSL libraries deployed within vCloud Hybrid Service, including the service APIs and the load balancing service, and the service is not affected by this vulnerability.

As the affected OpenSSL library versions are included in many operating systems and applications, we strongly encourage customers to review their virtual machine configurations and apply the appropriate patched versions of OpenSSL if necessary.

For the results of VMware’s ongoing investigation into the Heartbleed OpenSSL issue, please visit VMware Knowledge Base article 2076225.

Hybrid Cloud: A New Way of Thinking About Disaster Recovery

Protecting business applications against outages, failures, disasters and other causes of downtime is a top priority for many organizations, but as we discussed in our last blog, not all companies have the budget, expertise, time or staff to spare to improve their IT resiliency. For organizations that do have DR services in place, the challenge lies in maintaining the solution on an ongoing basis – this has led many to look into refreshing their options, in order to cut on spending and leverage existing investments as much as possible.

Customers want DR to be faster, cheaper and simpler. And with only 5% of today’s applications protected by DR, Gartner predicts that mid-size enterprises are the expected growth market for recovery-as-a-service. For those that lack a comprehensive DR plan or the expertise and resources to configure, manage, and test an effective DR plan, the answer to disaster recovery is in the hybrid cloud.

With hybrid cloud, organizations can easily extend their on-premise DR solution on- or off-premise, without heavy upfront investment. Hybrid cloud also allows DR to be within reach for more customers, giving them the ability to cost-effectively cover tier 2 applications not included in their existing DR plan. And even more importantly, it enables companies to utilize the same tools and technology they currently run and are already familiar with in their datacenters.

Planview, a VMware customer and provider of cloud-based enterprise software, is a great example of an organization that currently has a DR solution in place, but is considering a cloud-based disaster recovery plan to complement their solution. Its requirements for a cloud-based DR solution are three-fold: it must be cost-effective, easy to deploy within the organization and flexible enough to support changing business needs.

The company is excited to leverage VMware for their hybrid cloud needs, due to the affordability, simplicity and flexibility of VMware’s hybrid cloud offering. With VMware, Planview’s IT organization doesn’t have to learn how to use new management tools in order to take advantage of the cloud, because they can use the same tools and resources they’re already familiar with in their internal infrastructure. 

Is your organization ready to consider a hybrid cloud-based disaster recovery plan? Here are four things you should keep in mind when evaluating vendors:

  • Platform compatibility: Your service provider for DR should seamlessly integrate with your current environment.
  • Ease of Use: Your DR plan should be easy to deploy within your organization, and not require additional training or resources for your IT organization to manage it.
  • Cost: Look for a DR plan that has straightforward packaging, with no upfront fees or deployment requirements. Ultimately, your DR plan should save you money, not cost you more due to hidden one-time fees.
  • Flexibility: Your organization has changing needs, and your DR plan should reflect that. Look for a solution that can scale your compute and storage needs according to business demands, and for whichever term length best suits your needs.

Our upcoming solution is packaged specifically for DR – a convenience many public cloud vendors do not currently provide for end user consumption. It’s also simpler, more affordable, and easier to use for organizations who are already familiar with vSphere technology. But we’ll have more to say about this soon.

Be sure to subscribe to the vCloud blog, follow @vCloud on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook for future updates.

vCloud Hybrid Service Customers Share Success Stories

Many VMware customers are leveraging vCloud Hybrid Service to take their business to the next level.

Here are a few of the benefits VMware customers are achieving with vCloud Hybrid Service:

  • Nexon America, a leading free-to-play video game publisher, leveraged vCloud Hybrid Service to expand the capabilities they had already implemented in their private cloud. This expansion was made even easier thanks to the internal team’s existing familiarity with VMware-based environments.
  • Columbia Sportswear first looked at the public cloud as an option to prevent downtime during disasters or data center moves. Their strategy is to seamlessly scale their on premises data center by moving Tier 3 and Tier 4 workloads off premises. Their deployment of vCloud Hybrid Service was enhanced by VMware’s easy onboarding process and support team. 
  • Digital River was able grow their internal capabilities into a global enterprise solution that works both in a private could, as well as with vCloud Hybrid Service. Under vCloud Hybrid Service, Digital River was also able to burst into other third-party cloud providers, achieving global flexibility, as needed, on demand.
  • Planview, a leader in the portfolio and resource management industry, appreciated vCloud Hybrid Service’s easy onboarding process, especially with the assistance of VMware’s support team. Planview is now looking at expanding their bursting or DR capabilities for customers using vCloud Hybrid Service.
  •  As Creative Solutions in Healthcare found, shifting to vCloud Hybrid Service has been a “total game changer,” enabling them to deliver new applications while adhering to state and federal regulations.

Listen to what other organizations have to say about vCloud Hybrid Service in the video below:

Ready to see what vCloud Hybrid Service can do for your organization? Visit vCloud.VMware.com to learn how vCloud Hybrid Service can enable you to seamlessly move workloads between your data center and the cloud with no modification.

For future updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.

For more information about the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, visit vCloud.VMware.com.

Why Your Organization Needs a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Plan

Businesses know they need to back up their data, their workloads and their applications in the event that disaster strikes. Downtime of business-critical applications or data loss could cause a major disruption for organizations caught without a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan in place. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, approximately 25% of businesses that are affected by a disaster fail to reopen.

Organizations don’t need to wait for a disaster to strike to start thinking about disaster readiness. As recent natural disasters have taught us, such as Hurricane Sandy or the Fukushima earthquake, catastrophes can strike with barely a moment’s notice, and having a workable, well-thought-out disaster recovery plan is crucial to help a business get back on its feet and recover quickly following a disaster.

Today, pretty much every organization makes backups, typically every 24 hours or more. In a disaster, that means hours or days of data can be lost, and it takes hours or days to restore everything from backups. Disaster recovery protection (continuous replication) offers a much higher level of protection, allowing an organization to set a recovery point measured in minutes or hours, and the organization can quickly restart applications rather than having to restore them from different storage. Yet many small to medium sized businesses simply don’t do DR at all because implementing DR has been either too complicated, too expensive or both.

DR services have sprung up to address the complexity challenge, but in almost all cases they don’t make it any simpler – they just transfer the complexity to a managed services team, who manually manage the DR on a customer’s behalf. As a result, these services remain relatively expensive because the complexity is still there, and the customer is being billed for people time as well as the cost of the infrastructure.

We think there’s plenty of room to make DR faster, cheaper and simpler for everyone by applying to tenets of large-scale, standardized hybrid cloud computing to the problem.

The cloud is changing how IT organizations operate, and disaster recovery should not be an exception. VMware is going to be bringing cloud innovation to the world of DR. We’ll have more to say about that soon.

Be sure to subscribe to the vCloud blog, follow @vCloud on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook for future updates.

Find Out Why Businesses Are Embracing the Hybrid Cloud — Register for Our April 8 Webinar!

The hybrid cloud has become an increasingly appealing option for businesses that need to respond quickly to customer and market demands, but who want to avoid the added burden of investing in expensive hardware or building additional datacenters. This is because a good hybrid cloud solution can empower organizations to seamlessly move their applications from their internal datacenter to the cloud, allowing them to achieve increased business agility while also reducing costs.

To better understand the benefits of the hybrid cloud, join our webinar and hear Tom Bittman, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst from Gartner Research, discuss the state of hybrid cloud adoption, the reasons why more organizations are moving to the hybrid cloud and the benefits they’re reaping.

Additionally, Shawn Wiora, Creative Solutions in Healthcare CIO, will be discussing his organization’s move to the hybrid cloud, including the criteria and business case they developed for moving applications to the hybrid cloud.

In sum, the webinar will cover:

  • Hybrid cloud adoption and benefits
  • Best practices for implementing hybrid cloud from a VMware customer
  • Five ways to get started with hybrid cloud

Register today to learn more about how the hybrid cloud can transform your organization’s IT infrastructure and provide you with the solution your business needs.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud for future hybrid cloud updates and resources.

How vCloud Hybrid Service is Different: 10 Cloud Capabilities on vCloud Hybrid Service that don’t Exist on AWS

By Mathew Lodge

With vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS), we’re firmly focused on solving enterprise customer cloud problems – especially making the transition from today’s investments in apps and data to a cloud future as easy as possible. And that means building a different kind of cloud – those that matter to enterprises. To make that very concrete for those familiar with Amazon Web Services (AWS), here are 10 things in vCHS to make that transition easier that you can’t do in AWS.

1. Free automatic availability monitoring and fast VM restart

vCHS includes hot standby redundant capacity to maximize the uptime of your application. It’s free and requires no configuration. vCHS automatically monitors all servers and if there’s a catastrophic failure, immediately re-starts all affected VMs on hot standby hardware in the same vCHS cluster. At reboot time, the VM’s file system is exactly as it was before the failure, preserving as much state as possible to allow the OS and application to recover quickly. It also has exactly the same network configuration – MAC addresses, IP addresses and so on – ensuring other VMs can communicate with the new VM without reconfiguration.

By contrast, AWS offers no redundant capacity, no automatic monitoring, and no fast VM restart. New EC2 instances don’t have the same MAC address and require extra configuration to get the same IP address. For redundancy you must buy extra instances, buy and manage a load balancer (assuming the app traffic can be load balanced), architect and code a state-sharing mechanism, buy and manage monitoring, and orchestrate VM re-start.

2. Free automatic proactive performance management

The same VMware technology that watches for server failure in vCHS also monitors the overall performance and health of servers. It’s free and there’s no configuration. If any particular server is overloaded, vCHS automatically live migrates VMs to a server with more capacity. There is no downtime and no “pausing” of the application – it just keeps on running.

The variability of AWS performance is legendary, leading users to devise cunning strategies to juice performance. One example: start more AWS instances than you need, conduct performance tests to see which ones perform well, and kill off the poorly performing instances. Rinse and repeat until you have enough working instances, and continue to monitor instances during their lifetime. With vCHS, this “Darwinian instance infanticide” isn’t necessary.

3. Non-disruptive maintenance

When AWS needs to do preventative maintenance on a server (e.g. a hypervisor security patch), your instance is going to die. There’s even an API where you can learn about when this will happen. vCHS uses live migration to move VMs to redundant server capacity, then performs maintenance on the affected server. The net? Your apps don’t stop because VMware needs to do server maintenance. There is no need for an “apology API.”

4. Create a VM of any size

With vCHS, you get to choose exactly the VM dimensions you want — any ratio of CPU, memory and disk up to the physical maxima. All VMs run on physical servers with 20Gbit/sec aggregate connectivity, unlike AWS servers with single 100Mbit or 1Gbit network cards. Unlike AWS, there is no need to process a complex decision tree of 29 instance choices (as of Feb 2014) to figure out which one you need (choose wisely because you can’t change it later). In vCHS, there is no need to over-buy CPU when all you want is high memory, or over-buy memory when all you want is good I/O.

On AWS, you have to buy up to the largest size that meets your memory or I/O requirement. If you get it wrong, then you have to pick a new instance and figure out if you can run what you want on it (not all AWS images run on all instance types), and how to transition your application without down-time, which leads me to…

5. Resize a VM or disk while it’s running

On vCHS you can add vCPU, memory and disk space to any running VM. Operating system support for adding CPU, memory and disk is present in Linux distros and Windows versions shipped since 2008. AWS instances cannot be expanded, and ensuring they can scale effectively requires careful planning (picking the right instance type and a fixed disk size) and writing code to do state sharing (adding parallel instances). Inadvertently making a bad sizing choice for horizontal scaling can put you in a world of operational pain – if, for example, your instances start running out of disk space, adding more of them just means more instances failing in exactly the same way because they’re all clones of each other.

VM and disk resize on vCHS can be a lifesaver for operations teams managing a critical application that is under load and needs more memory, disk or CPU right away. 

6. Get strong I/O performance as standard, with no clever tricks

Netflix only ever buys AWS instances that completely fill a physical server in order to eliminate the I/O performance variation that comes from multiple tenants sharing the same physical server. This is just one example of clever strategies AWS customers have devised to extract better performance, along with choosing “EBS optimized” instance types – i.e. instances that run on servers with a 1 Gig NIC card.

On vCHS, all servers have 20G of aggregate network bandwidth 20 times that of “EBS optimized” instances at AWS. Storage is a maximum of two network hops from server, unlike AWS, minimizing congestion. Couple that with the ability to have any size of VM, and you can get exactly the VM you want, with the I/O bandwidth you need.

7. Higher performance disk without paying for provisioned IOPs

The standard disk tier on vCHS is a blend of SSDs (flash) and enterprise high-end disk. The flash acts as a cache for most-recently-used blocks, and multi-tenancy of the disk subsystem is limited to improve good cache hit rates. Therefore, you get the acceleration of flash and high performance disk without having to buy higher-priced all-flash disk with I/O guarantees, or settle for AWS’ low-performance SATA-based EBS.

8. Bring your own VM without conversion, with full app vendor support

vCHS can run any VM you currently run on vSphere, Workstation or Fusion without any conversion into a proprietary format – and it’s supported by the software vendor for your application. You can also transfer and run practically any x86 physical machine running any operating system from DOS onwards, without having to switch to a special kernel or re-platform. There’s no waiting, or testing cycles to ensure that the converted VM actually works the same way. There is no arguing with your vendor about whether or not they support the deployment if it’s one of the 5,700 apps already certified on VMware.

With AWS, you must convert the VM, and that only works for a very small set of operating systems, and then covert it again if you want to export the VM. If the VM is at all dependent on any AWS services, you can’t run it in your own data center later because they don’t exist and they use proprietary APIs. You must also make sure that your software vendor can support your deployment on AWS.

9. Use the management tools you already have

vCHS can be managed by any of the VMware management toolset, third party tools that support the vCloud API, or offer generic REST API adapters. You can manage vCHS from the vSphere client (web or Windows), vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) and vCenter Operations (vCOps). This is huge for many customers because it means they don’t need a second operations team to manage cloud infrastructure – one that assumes the radically different AWS architecture and operational model, along with the “fix it yourself” approach to performance and availability.

10. Stretched layer 2 networks between data center and vCHS

VMware allows you to stretch an Ethernet (layer 2) network from your data center to vCHS, making it appear like a single flat LAN segment. The simplest way to do this is with Direct Connect, a dedicated link between your data center and vCHS. Traffic is simply bridged between vCHS and your data center using the virtual networking capabilities of vCHS. To applications, it looks like all VMs are “on net” in the same LAN segment, which is useful for those apps that have a rigid, pre-defined idea of how the network should work and can’t be easily reconfigured. AWS by comparison offers no layer 2 stretched networks, only IP (layer 3) network connectivity.

All of these capabilities are designed to make it easier to run today’s and tomorrow’s applications with high performance and high resiliency. There’s no reason going to the cloud should mean a wholesale re-architecture where you take on the burden of implementing and managing those.

For future updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.

For more information about the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, visit vCloud.VMware.com.