VMware Cloud on AWS

What’s New with VMware Cloud on AWS: Improved Compliance, Workload protection and Enhancement in scale, usage and migration capabilities

With 3+ years in the market, VMware Cloud on AWS is helping customer accelerate their hybrid cloud journey in a fast, cost-effective manner with minimal risk and has garnered real-world satisfaction among customers and partners due to its consistent infrastructure and operations and seamless migration capabilities. And that’s why VMware Cloud on AWS has been awarded Winner of CRN’s 2020 Products of The Year: Best Hybrid Cloud solution based on Customer Demand

VMware Cloud on AWS delivers an integrated hybrid cloud solution that extends on-premises vSphere environments to a VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) elastic, bare-metal infrastructure that is fully integrated as part of AWS. Customers can spin up a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC in 17 Global AWS Regions (including a special controlled instance running in AWS GovCloud (US-West)) in typically under 2 hours and scale capacity within minutes on average.

In the September blog post, we talked about a new on-demand DRaaS solution- VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, support to run and manage Kubernetes clusters at scale on VMware Cloud on AWS with VMware Tanzu Standard, some key compliance certifications for VMware Cloud on AWS, enhancements to the VMware vRealize Cloud management services for VMware Cloud on AWS and lot more. Now let’s look at what’s new this time around

What’s New in VMware Cloud on AWS: Jan 2021

1. VMware Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS enhancements:

VMware Horizon is a modern platform for secure delivery of virtual desktops and apps across the hybrid cloud. Leveraging management capabilities and deep integrations with the VMware technology ecosystem, the Horizon platform delivers a modern approach for desktop and app management that extends from on-premises to the hybrid cloud. The result is fast and simple virtual desktop and application delivery that extends the digital workspace experience to all applications. With VMware Cloud on AWS, Horizon can be deployed on i3.metal and i3en.metal clusters.

With latest improvements, now instant Clones have been enhanced to support Smart Provisioning. Smart Provisioning is the ability for Horizon to choose the best way to provision an instant clone depending on the environment. In certain cases, instant clones are provisioned to optimize for the speed of clone creation by creating and leveraging parent VMs on each host. In other cases, when speed is not paramount, they can be provisioned in a way that does not require parent VMs, thus freeing up more host memory for desktop workloads. Horizon can seamlessly choose one method or another without the administrator’s involvement, sometimes even in the same pool. This capability makes resource usage even more efficient on VMware Cloud on AWS.

2. Improvements to disaster recovery as a service:

– Improvements to VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery: As a recap, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery offers an on-demand disaster recovery, delivered as an easy-to-use SaaS solution, with cloud economics. It combines cost-efficient cloud storage with simple SaaS-based management for IT resiliency at scale, and customers benefit from a ‘pay when you need’ capacity model for disaster recovery (DR) resources.

New enhancements in VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery include:

  • Expanded regional availability: VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery continues to expand its regional coverage by delivering availability in AWS Europe (Ireland), Europe (Paris), Asia Pacific (Mumbai) and Asia Pacific (Tokyo). This brings the availability of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery to 13 Global AWS Regions, up from 9 in October 2020.
  • Recovery to VMware Cloud on AWS clusters running on AWS EC2 i3en.metal instances: This capability enables customers to recover their infrastructure and applications protected by VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery on VMware Cloud on AWS environments running on i3en.metal instances.

– Enhancements to VMware Site Recovery: VMware Site Recovery™ for VMware Cloud on AWS simplifies traditional disaster recovery and delivers a high-performance service. The service automates workload recovery in a DR event between on-premises data centers and VMware Cloud on AWS, as well as between different instances of VMware Cloud on AWS. Built on top of enterprise-grade DR tools (VMware Site Recovery Manager, vSphere Replication) and global cloud infrastructure (AWS), this service provides an end-to-end disaster recovery solution that is quick to deploy and leverages existing know-how.

New enhancements in VMware Site Recovery include:

  • Encrypted DR replication traffic with VMware Site Recovery: With this capability, customers can enable the network encryption of the DR replication traffic data for new and existing replications to enhance the security of data transfer. When the network encryption feature is switched on, a pre-installed agent will encrypt the replication data on the source ESXi host and send it to the vSphere Replication appliance on the target site. The vSphere Replication server will decrypt the data and send it to the target datastore. This capability is available with VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC versions 1.13 or higher.

3. Improvements to enterprise workload support:

  • Support for OpenShift workloads: As developers continue to desire a cloud-like experience when developing containerized cloud native apps in on-premises environments, the demands on IT teams to increase the speed of service delivery and business agility only goes up. Red Hat OpenShift has provided a great option for customers to have that cloud-like development experience on-premises. Customers have successfully run OpenShift on on-premises instances of VMware vSphere as a means of resource management, networking, security, and storage and are looking to migrate these workloads to the public cloud while taking advantage of the benefits of VMware stack that powers VMware Cloud on AWS. Now, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.6 is supported on VMware Cloud on AWS. This simplifies the migration of OpenShift Kubernetes workloads to the public cloud and provides access to native AWS services all using the operational processes and procedures customers have in place today.

4. Compliance assets: 

  • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority whitepaper for VMware Cloud on AWS (Australia): The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) is the regulator of the financial services sector in Australia. In Sep 2018, APRA published the “Information Paper: Outsourcing involving cloud computing services” which provides guidelines for the financial services entities for adopting cloud computing.  The VMware Cloud on AWS APRA whitepaper describes how Australian financial services organizations can leverage VMware cloud services to help address APRA’s requirements for outsourcing involving cloud computing.
  • Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) whitepaper for VMware Cloud on AWS (Australia): The Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) leads the cyber security responsibilities for Australian government agencies. ACSC has published an Information Security Manual (ISM) that describes the security control requirements for Australian government agencies. VMware has undergone a gap assessment against the ISM requirements by a qualified IRAP assessor. This whitepaper will describe various controls and security procedures implemented by VMware Cloud on AWS and how customers can architect their systems and leverage their controls and processes to help address ISM requirements. 
  • Multi-tier Cloud Security (MTCS) whitepaper for VMware Cloud on AWS (Singapore): The Singapore Multi-Tier Cloud Security Standard (MTCS) is a three-tier security framework describing the cloud computing security practices and controls for public cloud users and public cloud service providers. The VMware Cloud on AWS MTCS whitepaper describes the various security practices implemented by VMware Cloud on AWS to address the key MTCS requirements. Customers wishing to migrate workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS can use our whitepaper to assess how VMware cloud services help address the relevant security and compliance risks and enable them to seamlessly migrate workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS.

 5. Optimizations in scale, costs, resource usage and management:

  • Runtime scaling of a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC: With this capability, administrators can scale their SDDC from a medium SDDC to a large SDDC post initial deployment as part of Day 2 operations when a new SDDC is created with medium-sized NSX edge and vCenter appliances. Large-sized appliances are recommended for deployments with 30+ hosts or if the resources (cpu/mem) are oversubscribed in the management cluster.
  • Reduction of Stretched Cluster Cross-AZ charges: Stretched clusters facilitate zero RPO infrastructure availability for mission-critical applications. This enables customers to failover workloads with zero RPO within clusters spanning two AWS Availability Zones (AZs). A little over a year ago, the price of Cross-AZ charges was reduced by 95%. Now, with recent enhancements, ten petabytes per month of Cross-AZ charges are included with any Stretched Cluster deployed within the service from this point forward. Learn more

6. Enhancements to migration capabilities:

  • VMware HCX for VMware Cloud on AWS helps accelerate an organization’s cloud adoption by facilitating workload mobility across a variety of destinations running a Software-Defined Data Center stack. With a slew of new capabilities that were made available recently for VMware Cloud on AWS users at no additional cost, organizations can now expedite their migration projects and timelines even further. Some of these new key capabilities are:
  • Replication Assisted vMotion (RAV): RAV uses a combination of VMware replication and vMotion technologies for large-scale, parallel migrations with no service interruption with the ability to specify a switchover window. It means you can now create a migration schedule during which a large set of VMs (200 at this time) can move live (without any downtime) to VMware Cloud on AWS at the scheduled migration window. For more details, refer to the blog announcement. Also see the config max tool for the maximum RAV migrations supported with the latest HCX release.
  • Mobility Optimized Networking (MON): For VMs migrated using VMware HCX from a source location to VMware Cloud on AWS, this capability enables the cloud-side VMs on the HCX extended network to route traffic optimally through the cloud-side first-hop gateway instead of being routed through the source environment router. This helps you avoid a hairpin or trombone effect. Policy routes will allow control over which traffic is routed locally using the cloud gateway versus traffic that goes out through the source gateway. For more details, refer to the blog announcement.
  • Mobility groups and integration with VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI): Mobility groups enable customers structure migration waves based on business requirements. Customers can assemble one or more VMs into logical sets for execution and monitoring of migrations as a group. When combined with the vRealize Network Insight integration(available as a separate license), mobility groups give customers the flexibility to manage migrations for sets of VMs by application, network, pod or other aspects of the environment. For more details, refer to the blog announcement.
  • Application Path Resiliency: This service creates multiple tunnel flows for both Interconnect and Network Extension traffic, so they can follow multiple paths across the network infrastructure from the source to the destination data centers. The service then intelligently forwards traffic over the optimal path and dynamically switches between tunnels depending on traffic conditions. For more details on this feature, refer to the blog announcement.
  • TCP Flow Conditioning: This service dynamically adjusts the segment size during the TCP connection handshake between end points across the Network Extension, which optimizes the average packet size to reduce fragmentation and lower the overall packet rate. For more details on this feature, refer to the blog announcement.

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To view the latest status of features for VMware Cloud on AWS, visit: https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws/roadmap . Refer to the release notes VMware Cloud on AWS release notes for latest updates.

The following capabilities are available today:

VMware Horizon: Instant clones smart provisioning support, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery: Expanded regional availability, Recovery to VMware Cloud on AWS clusters running on AWS EC2 i3en.metal instances, VMware Site Recovery: Encrypted DR replication traffic, Support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.6, Compliance assets: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) whitepaper for VMware Cloud on AWS, Multi-tier Cloud Security (MTCS) whitepaper for VMware Cloud on AWS (Singapore), Runtime scaling of a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC, Reduction of Stretched Cluster Cross-AZ charges, VMware HCX: Replication Assisted vMotion (RAV), Mobility Optimized Networking (MON), Mobility groups and integration with VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI), Application Path Resiliency, TCP Flow Conditioning

The following capabilities/offerings are expected to be available in VMware’s Q4’Fiscal Year 2021:

Compliance asset: Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) whitepaper for VMware Cloud on AWS (Australia)


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