The Art of the Possible: VMware Cloud on AWS Launches in Canada

Written by Special Contributor Chris Saunders, VMware Cloud on AWS Specialist at VMware Canada

The greatest part of my job is meeting with infrastructure teams from across Canada, spanning every vertical, to talk about the ‘art of the possible.’ That’s why I’m particularly excited about the launch of VMware Cloud on AWS in Canada, a hybrid cloud solution that is instrumental in solving many different business challenges.

While VMware Cloud on AWS has previously been available to customers willing to host workloads in AWS regions outside of Canada, as of March 2019 customers wanting to keep their virtual machines, containers, applications and data inside Canadian borders can use VMware Cloud on AWS in the AWS Canada (Central) region.

This availability will provide more Canadian organizations with a way to leverage AWS Global infrastructure — highly available, fault-tolerant and scalable — while maintaining familiar VMware skills, tools and processes for management.  In short, we are expanding the ‘art of the possible’ for cloud infrastructure in Canada.

Here’s a quick look at what VMware Cloud on AWS in Canada will enable:

Data Centre Migrations

VMware Cloud on AWS can accelerate data centre migrations significantly. For customers that want to move out of a data centre quickly, migrating your workloads to the cloud can be as simple as the vMotions that happen inside your vSphere environments today. Workloads can be migrated one at a time, or batch migrations can be configured to occur automatically to the VMware on AWS environment.

Extending the Data Centre to the Cloud

The industry has talked about ‘cloud bursting’ for almost a decade now. This is the idea that should you run out of capacity in your current data centre, but you have a pressing need for more infrastructure, you can take advantage of public cloud providers and simply deploy more of your workloads to the cloud. It was never quite that simple — until now. With VMware Cloud on AWS, once a software defined data centre is deployed, and the appropriate network connectivity established, it is as straightforward as deploying workloads and expanding clusters as needed.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

More organizations than ever before are putting robust disaster recovery strategies in place.  This frequently calls for additional infrastructure, that can mean significant investment of money and time for configuration, management and maintenance. With VMware Cloud on AWS, it’s possible to deploy a software defined data center, connect to your on-premises infrastructure, start replicating virtual machines and building recovery plans for automated disaster recovery in the public cloud. All of the disaster recovery infrastructure runs in the public cloud, allowing customers to focus on disaster recovery testing, and not on maintaining this ‘just in case’ infrastructure.

VMware Cloud on AWS: A Technical Overview

VMware Cloud on AWS is a solution VMware jointly engineered with Amazon Web Services.  A software-defined datacentre (SDDC) deployed on VMware Cloud on AWS is a cluster of physical servers powered by VMware Cloud Foundation. vSphere provides the virtualization capabilities, vSAN powers the storage, and NSX-T provides networking in each SDDC. At deployment time, choose the size of the cluster you want to deploy. When it’s time to scale out, it’s as simple as following a wizard to add hosts and they appear as available resources in minutes. Select to use Elastic DRS to automatically scale out when workload resource consumption breach defined thresholds.

A starting cluster of three i3 nodes contains 108 CPU cores, 1.5 TB of memory, and about 30TB of raw storage capacity. That initial cluster can be expanded to a 16-node cluster with 576 CPU cores, 8TB of memory and around 160TB of raw storage capacity. Each SDDC can support up to 20 (16 node) clusters, and users can deploy up to 10 SDDCs.

Features like HA and DRS are available as well as new features engineered in partnership with AWS, like Elastic DRS, which provides automatic scaling and load balancing.  This includes deployment of new hosts based on the breach of specific CPU, memory and storage utilization thresholds.

VMware Cloud on AWS is a service managed by VMware. That means that in this cloud environment, you do not need to worry about the lifecycle of the underlying infrastructure. Updates to the cluster infrastructure and management components are implemented by our own VMware Cloud on AWS Site Reliability Engineering team.  ESXi patches or vCenter updates are automatically deployed, freeing up time and allowing users to focus on managing the business and exploring opportunities to utilize technology to drive innovation.

When you deploy an SDDC on VMware Cloud on AWS, you’re deploying a physical cluster running on AWS’s Global Infrastructure, managed by VMware. You get to choose how many virtual machines you’d like to run on that infrastructure – whether it’s 100:1 consolidation ratios or just 10:1.

Whether you’re looking to expand your data centre, building a new disaster recovery strategy or consolidating workloads to the cloud, VMware Cloud on AWS enables the art of the possible. Visit for more information, or contact your local VMware Canada representative.


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