VMware Cloud on AWS

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

VMworld 2021 is here and as usual, we have lots of big announcements for VMware Cloud on AWS. And at this year’s VMworld, we are celebrating the 4-year anniversary for VMware Cloud on AWS. Within these 4 years, we have helped customers in accelerating their cloud migration journey in a fast and cost-effective manner. Over the last 4 years, based on customer requirements, we have released features almost every week with 16 major releases, we have expanded our regional availability to 18 global AWS regions, and we have achieved 10+ global compliance certifications so far.

If you would like to learn more about some of the key features released for VMware Cloud on AWS over the past year, please don’t forget to watch  the VMworld session: Migrate and Modernize Applications with VMware Cloud on AWS – What’s New [MCL1379]. Lot of interesting sessions on VMware Cloud on AWS by VMware SMEs. Please check out my blog: VMware Cloud on AWS at VMworld 2021 and build your agenda if you have not done it yet.

Also, today we announced Availability of VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, which will help customers in their digital transformation journey by bringing cloud operating model on-premises. You can learn more about this announcement here. And we are also thrilled with another recent announcement: VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud (US) has reached FedRAMP Authority to Operate at the High Impact Level. Learn more about it here

Now, let’s dive deep into What’s New in VMware Cloud on AWS: October 2021

Limited time price promotion for VMware Cloud on AWS i3.metal hosts: 

Introducing a limited time promotional pricing for all VMware Cloud on AWS customers. Through this offer, VMware is lowering the list price of on-demand, 1-year or 3-year subscription for i3.metal hosts of VMware Cloud on AWS by 15%. The lower list price will help customers further reduce the total cost of ownership of their IT infrastructure in comparison to on-premises or traditional public cloud alternatives for vSphere-based workloads. This pricing promotion also makes it easier for small and medium sized businesses to get started with the hybrid cloud journey with VMware Cloud on AWS.

Please note: This offer is valid from October 15, 2021 through January 26, 2022 at 11.59 PM PT. Customers can use this offer for purchasing new VMware Cloud on AWS i3.metal hosts during the promotional period. This offer is available through VMware, AWS, and their respective channel partners; for all payment options (SPP credits, pay by invoice, or credit card payment); and all operators (VMware-managed or MSP-managed). Customers can redeem existing SPP credits or purchase new SPP credits and use this offer for purchasing new VMware Cloud on AWS hosts. Customers can also redeem VMware Cloud Universal credits and use this offer to purchase VMware Cloud on AWS hosts. Any purchases that take place after the promotion period will not be eligible for the promotion pricing and will occur at the prevailing list price.  Promotion pricing may not be retroactively applied to VMC on AWS i3.metal host that has been redeemed prior to the promotion period.

To learn more about it, please check out this blog and get in touch with your VMware/AWS representitive.

Enhancements to enterprise workload support:

  • Application modernization with VMware Cloud on AWS: With VMware Cloud on AWS, customers can start their modernization journey while minimizing disruption to their business. They can migrate their applications to the cloud while minimizing downtime. Once in the cloud, they can start transforming these applications by using modern frameworks such as Kubernetes, enriching them with native cloud services and automating the underlying infrastructure operations with DevOps/advanced operations tools. 
  1. Tanzu services: VMware Cloud on AWS introduces Tanzu services as an easy path to enterprise-grade Kubernetes on a fully managed, hybrid-cloud ready Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for all enterprise applications. Tanzu services is a portfolio of managed Kubernetes services that empowers millions of IT admins across the world to become Kubernetes operators using a familiar vCenter server interface for accelerating application modernization initiatives in their organizations. Customers will now be able to modernize vSphere-based workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS, using the underlying benefits of unified operations and portability for Kubernetes workloads through the VMware Cloud console.  Tanzu services will be available to all VMware Cloud on AWS customers, at no additional cost, and they include the following capabilities:
    • Managed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service: Provision Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes using a simple, fast, and self-service experience in the VMware Cloud console. The underlying SDDC infrastructure and capacity required for Kubernetes workloads is fully managed by VMware. Use vCenter Server for managing Kubernetes workloads by deploying Kubernetes clusters, provisioning role-based access and allocating capacity for Developer teams. Manage multiple TKG clusters as namespaces with observability, troubleshooting and resiliency in vCenter Server.
    • Built in support for Tanzu Mission Control Essentials:
      1. Attach upstream compliant Kubernetes clusters including Amazon EKS and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters. Manage lifecycle for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters and centralize platform operations for Kubernetes clusters using the Kubernetes management plane offered by Tanzu Mission Control.
      2. Tanzu Mission Control provides a global visibility across clusters and clouds and increases security and governance by automating operational tasks such as access and security management at scale. 

With Tanzu services support for VMware Cloud on AWS, customers will be able to focus on application development and scalability on a unified IaaS, as opposed to spending time on infrastructure management, multi-cluster operations, security, and governance. You can learn more about this capability here in this blog.

Please note: Tanzu services (that includes the managed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid service and built-in support for Tanzu Mission Control Essentials) will be included as part of the VMware Cloud on AWS Host pricing and customers will not have to pay extra for that.

2. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.4.0: TKG 1.4.0 includes a number of user experience enhancements, such as improved lifecycle management of Packages via Carvel tooling, as well as important new capabilities, such as multi-tenancy for vSphere, and support for NSX Advanced Load Balancer.

  • VMware Telco Cloud Platform™ – Public Cloud: Powered by VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud enables Service Providers (SPs) to migrate both telco and IT workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS quickly, easily, and cost efficiently, providing SPs flexibility of the workload placement to maximize their business growth of today and the future. 

With VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud, the infrastructure expansion with VMware Cloud on AWS is on-demand, providing the agility and speed needed for the 5G deployments on a massive scale. This results in faster time to market for the new 5G services as well as the new market entry without unnecessary costs and risks.

  • PCI DSS Certification for VMware Cloud on AWS – Expanding regional availability in 6 more AWS regions:VMware Cloud on AWS received the highest level of PCI certification (PCI DSS Level 1 provider status). In phase 3, PCI compliant SDDCs will be enabled in 6 more AWS regions: AWS US East (Ohio), AWS Asia Pacific (Singapore), AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo), AWS Canada (Central), AWS US West (N. California), and AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka) that will result in PCI compliant SDDC availability in 13 regions in total- AWS US West (Oregon), AWS US West (N. California), AWS US East (N. Virginia), AWS US East (Ohio), AWS Canada (Central), AWS Europe (Frankfurt), AWS Europe (Milan), AWS Europe (Ireland), AWS Europe (London), AWS Asia Pacific (Sydney), AWS Asia Pacific (Singapore), AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka). By being certified as PCI DSS compliant level 1 service provider, VMware Cloud on AWS service operates in compliance with PCI DSS compliant security measures and controls, thereby potentially addressing the needs of a broad range of customers and workloads that need to store, process, or transmit cardholder or sensitive authentication data. VMware Cloud on AWS PCI DSS compliant infrastructure enables customers to evacuate PCI in-scope systems from their data centers with deployment, configuration and management of PCI enabled SDDCs. The VMware Cloud on AWS PCI DSS compliant solution reduces the time, effort, cost and complexity associated with operating applications requiring PCI.

Please note that this PCI DSS compliance certification is not applicable to any VMware Cloud on AWS add-ons. It is only applicable to core SDDC components (vCenter, ESXi, vSAN and NSX).

  • Expanding regional availability:
    1. Availability in AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka): VMware Cloud on AWS will now be available in AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka), further improving reach for our global and regional customers. With this new regional availability, this service will be available across 19 AWS regions globally. Now with availability in 2 AWS regions in Japan (Tokyo and Osaka), Japanese customers will have greater control, interoperability, and local governance of their data so that they can run their mission critical workloads that have data sovereignty requirements locally while taking advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and increased security of the AWS cloud.  Please note that currently only i3.metal instance type is available in AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka) region. For regional availability and specific restrictions, please review the release notes.
    2. Availability of i3en.metal instance type in AWS Europe (Milan): For customers in Italy, we announced VMware Cloud on AWS regional availability in AWS Europe (Milan) region for i3.metal instance type in VMware’s Fiscal Q2, 2022. Now, i3en.metal instance type is also available in AWS Europe (Milan) region which will help Italian customers migrate their storage intensive workloads to the cloud in a cost-effective manner
  • 2-Host i3en.metal clusters: Now, customers can deploy 2-host i3en.metal clusters as the primary cluster within an SDDC as well as secondary clusters within an existing SDDC. Secondary 2-host i3en.metal clusters support custom core counts of 16, 24, 30, 36, or 48. With the introduction of this feature, i3 and i3en instances have full parity within the service. 
  • VMware Horizon: Extend the on-premises Horizon Pod to VMware Cloud on AWS: With the Horizon 2106 release, on-premises VMware Horizon customers will be able to extend the on-premises Horizon Pod to manage virtual desktops in VMware Cloud on AWS, without having to stand up and manage a separate Horizon Pod in the VMware Cloud on AWS environment, thus providing them ability to burst in the cloud as per their needs. 

The key benefit of this capability is simplicity of managing both on-premises virtual desktops and VMware Cloud on AWS virtual desktops all from one Horizon Pod and one Horizon Console, as long as the on-premises data center and the AWS region are within a certain max latency threshold.  This deployment architecture is a great fit for the cloud burst use case. 

Please note: Customers will still be able to deploy Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS the “traditional” way, where they deploy a separate Horizon Pod on VMware Cloud on AWS to manage the capacity and federate their on-premises Horizon Pod with the VMware Cloud on AWS Horizon Pod to create a hybrid VDI cloud.  This deployment architecture is a great fit for Disaster Recovery, or large-scale deployment (where multiple Horizon Pods are required), or when the on-premises data center is too far away from the AWS region.

Enhancements to workload security: 

  • VMware NSX Advanced Firewall add-on: With NSX Advanced Firewall add-on, VMware Cloud on AWS customers can leverage advanced NSX security features to better secure their applications from the ever-expanding threats on the internet. This optional add-on includes the following capabilities:
    1. Distributed IDS/ IPS
    2. Distributed Firewall with FQDN Filtering
    3. Distributed Firewall with Layer 7 Application ID
    4. Distributed Firewall with Active Directory based User ID – IDFW (Identity Firewall)

These add-on capabilities will help customers protect their workloads against vulnerabilities inside the VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs with application or workload specific security policies thus reducing the attack surface of the workloads by allowing only the intended application traffic to flow into the SDDC. 

Now, this add-on is available to purchase in on-demand, 1-year or 3-year subscription options. With 1-year or 3-year subscription options, customers can avail significant cost savings compared to on-demand consumption of the NSX Advanced Firewall add-on by making a commitment to a number of hosts per region. Subscriptions can be purchased on the VMware Cloud console on a per-region and per host-type basis. NSX Advanced Firewall add-on will be available for VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs version 1.15 and higher. This add-on is going to be available for purchase via VMware direct RTM as well as via AWS Resell. Learn more in this blog

Starting October 1, 2021, the add-on can be purchased for individual SDDCs in customer Org. It must be purchased for all hosts in the SDDC. It is priced on a per-host basis and usage metering is billed on a monthly basis. As hosts are added to or removed from the SDDC, they accrue charges starting with the month the change was made. Partial months are charged at the full monthly rate. More information about pricing here

  • VMware Carbon Black Workload support for VMware Cloud on AWS: VMware Carbon Black Workload™ delivers advanced protection purpose-built for securing modern workloads to reduce the attack surface and strengthen security posture. While VMware Cloud on AWS already provides consistent operations and security capabilities both on premises and in the cloud, customers can further extend those security capabilities with Carbon Black Cloud Workload and achieve an additional layer of modern protection and attack surface reduction across their infrastructure. Tightly integrated with VMware vSphere running at the core of VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Carbon Black Workload combines prioritized vulnerability reporting and foundational workload hardening with industry-leading prevention, detection and response capabilities to protect workloads running in public cloud environments. This unified solution enables security and infrastructure teams to automatically better secure new and existing workloads in any environment and at every point in the security lifecycle, while simplifying operations and consolidating the IT and security stack. Learn more about this in this deep dive blog

Enhancements in resiliency and availability:

  • 1-1-1 Stretched Clusters: Customers who want highly available and resilient infrastructure for their mission critical applications can start small with this smaller Stretched Cluster configuration and then they can scale as needed. Customers can now deploy a 2 host Stretched Cluster. With 1 host in both AZs and a managed witness in the third, the cluster can survive the loss of an entire AZ. This powerful capability enables business-critical applications within VMware Cloud on AWS without rearchitecting for AWS Availability. With 1 host per AZ, vSAN depends on the Dual Site Mirror for resiliency and therefore comes with a 99.9% availability guarantee. This can be increased up to 99.99% at any time by scaling up to a 6-host cluster.  Please note: If a 2-host stretched cluster is scaled out to a 4+ hosts for any reason, it cannot be scaled back down. 
  • Enhancements to VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery: As a recap, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery offers on-demand disaster recovery to IT administrators responsible for IT infrastructure and services resiliency, 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, through simple testing and orchestration of failover and failback plans. Customers benefit from consistent VMware operations across production and DR sites and a ‘pay when you need’ failover capacity model for DR resources, while benefiting from instant power-on capabilities for fastrecovery after disaster events, including ransomware attacks. Some of the key capabilities include pilot light feature for faster recovery times with minimal cloud footprint, Instant Power On for VMs in the cloud in the event of a failover, optimized delta-based failback—all within a familiar VMware environment, reducing the need for IT re-training and driving ease of use as a core component of resiliency. SaaS-based management eliminates the need to deploy and lifecycle manage the DR software. Continuous DR health checks and built-in audit reports deliver a simplified operational experience and confidence in recovery readiness. New enhancements include:
    1. 30-minute RPO for critical on-premises workloads: VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery now supports a RPO as low as 30-minutes for critical on-premises workloads that require this higher frequency of replicated copies. With this performance improvement, customers can provide DR protection for an even broader set of their applications at a very cost-effective, low TCO. Please note: vSphere 7.0u2 Patch 03 is required on the source site for this new enhancement. Patch  is available for download from VMware Cloud DR UI itself. Learn more
    2. Accelerated ransomware recovery with file- and folder-level recovery: This feature will allow customers to select a specific set of files or folders in a specific VM in a specific point-in-time copy in the VCDR Orchestrator UI and restore those from cloud back to the protected source site. Also, they will be able to download it from the same interface. This enhancement accelerates ransomware recovery as it enables customers to extract recent data so that it can be combined with a clean “golden image” / restore point.
    3. Integrated data protection for VMware Cloud on AWS workloads: VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery will provide a simpler, unified way to protect VMware Cloud on AWS workloads for DR/ransomware and backup use cases. Customers can use the VMware Cloud DR console to set up unified protection groups and replication schedules, avoiding the need for 2 copies of the same data and no additional backup software to install, configure, or manage.
    4. Purchase online using credit card: With this capability, customers can purchase VMware Cloud DR online using their credit card. This helps them get started quickly with their DR needs and they can scale later as needed. Expanding regional availability: VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery continue to expand its regional coverage by delivering availability in AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka). This will bring the availability of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery to 18 Global AWS Regions.
    5. MSP Route-to-Market support via Cloud Partner Navigator: VMware Cloud DR will be made available through our Managed Service Provider (MSP) program as an additional route to market. MSPs be able to offer VMware Cloud DR services and support respective go-to-market activities.

You can learn more about these enhancements in this blog

  • 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), the service provides an end-to-end disaster recovery solution that is quick to deploy and leverages existing know-how.New enhancements include:
    1. Transit Connect for inter-region DR: Leverage VMware Transit Connect to get high-speed and resilient connections between VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs across different AWS regions for DR replication traffic when using VMware Site Recovery.
    2. Expanding regional availability: VMware Site Recovery will continue to expand its regional coverage by delivering availability in AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka). This will bring the availability of VMware Site Recovery to 19 Global AWS Regions.

Enhancements in networking, scale, customer experience and resiliency:

  • VMware Transit Connect/ SDDC Group connectivity to External TGW (across regions): This enhancement will enable customers to connect an external AWS Transit Gateway (TGW) to the SDDC Group. Customers can attach a TGW in their AWS account to VMware Transit Connect across regions. Customers with multi-region SDDC Groups can select specific regions to peer. Customers can also configure a static route per external TGW attachment.  This enables customers to simplify connectivity to AWS resources in different regions. This capability becomes immediately available to all SDDC Group deployments (compatible with SDDC version 1.12 and above). Learn more in this deep-dive blog.
  • NSX Traceflow for visibility and self-serve troubleshooting: VMware Cloud on AWS customers can utilize Traceflow to inspect the path of a packet from source to destination in the SDDC. Traceflow provides visibility for external communication over VMware Transit Connect, thus helping customers troubleshoot any networking issues quickly.
  • VMware Cloud on AWS Networking UI in standalone mode – accessible over the Internet: VMware Cloud on AWS users can access the VMware Cloud Networking UI in standalone mode from the internet. The standalone networking UI features the VMware NSX Manager user interface with a streamlined layout and separate tabs for Networking, Security and Troubleshooting. Users can authenticate themselves using CSP credentials. Users can also access the VMware Cloud Networking UI in standalone mode over Direct Connect, Transit Connect or VPN, thus providing easy access to VMware Cloud networking UI over multiple connectivity options.
  • Networking and Security – Operational improvement: Customers can view network traffic stats per external interface to the SDDC. The Global Configuration tab provides user visibility in terms of bytes/ packets received and transmitted per uplink. Users can also control interface settings on the Global Configuration tab. This enhancement provides customers additional visibility into networking stats thus helping them improve operational efficiency.
  • Use Converged VDS on VMware Cloud on AWS: The vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) enables customers to manage NSX network segments as vCenter DVPG objects. New deployments in 1.16 will use VDS. Existing deployments will be converted to VDS prior to 1.18 upgrade. The vSphere Web Services API Opaque Network objects will be converted to NSX Distributed Virtual Port Group (DVPG) objects. Due to changes in the corresponding API parameters/ return values, customers need to update applications that are using these API calls. 

Please note: vSphere Opaque Network objects will not be supported beyond 1.16. For more details, please refer to the KB https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/82487

  • Enhancements in customer experience:
    1. AZ Failure Simulation Notifications: The Stretched Cluster AZ Failure simulation now includes notifications to alert the customer to the status of testing. The integration will send a message at the start of testing and a completion report once testing is completed. This report is automatically generated and includes the time to recovery and details on any workload that HA couldn’t recover. 
    2. Host replacement email notifications: In addition to the Activity Log and Log Insight notifications, the VMware Cloud on AWS service will now send email notifications whenever a host issue is detected, or a host is replaced.  These notifications are opt-in only and disabled by default.
    3. Storage Only Scale-out warnings: The VMware Cloud on AWS service will now send warning notifications when any cluster is within 5% of a forced scale-out due to storage utilization. These notifications warn of the potential need to add hosts for stability and provide the ability to reduce storage consumption to avoid the scale-out.

Enhancements to commerce experience: 

VMware and AWS are constantly looking at ways to improve the experience of our joint customers. One key aspect of this is the commerce experience for customers that are purchasing the VMware Cloud on AWS service and associated value-added VMware solutions through AWS or its partner network. New enhancements planned in this area include:

  • Order Form Integration and automation with SSO via AWS Console: With this capability, customers will be able to submit an order form through AWS management console with their single Sign On credentials thus eliminating a need for account linking during setting up first SDDC and order form flow will be automated from AWS Management console to VMware Cloud Console. Customers who have purchased the service through AWS Resell route to market will also be able to link POC to the order form. This enhancement helps AWS Resell customers get onboarded onto the service in fast and easy manner.  
  • Migration of AWS Resell customers to AWS Commerce portal: All the existing AWS Resell customers will be migrated from manual process to the integration with AWS Commerce portal. This will provide them access to AWS Commerce portal features such as cost management console of AWS, cloud health analytics, consumption analysis, cloud ROI analysis, etc.

Enhancements in migration capabilities:

  • VMware HCX: OS Assisted Migration (OSAM) for VMware Cloud on AWS: With this capability, customers will be able to migrate non-vSphere based workloads (hyper-V/KVM based workloads) to VMware Cloud on AWS. The VMware HCX OS Assisted Migration service uses the Sentinel software that is installed on Linux- or Windows-based guest virtual machines to assist with communication and replication from their environment to a VMware vSphere SDDC in the cloud. You can check out this blog and documentation to learn more.

Enhancements in subscription options:

VMware Cloud Universal: VMware Cloud Universal is a flexible subscription for multi-cloud that delivers credits for flexible VMware cloud infrastructure and management for deployments across a customer managed private cloud, VMware managed local cloud, or a VMware managed public cloud. VMware Cloud Universal also includes VMware Success 360 – VMware’s premier customer success program. This new flexible subscription introduces credits that can be consumed via customer-managed on-premises (VMware Cloud Foundation-subscription), or VMware managed via local cloud (VMware Cloud on Dell EMC) or VMware managed in the public cloud (VMware Cloud on AWS).  VMware Cloud Universal credits can also be deployed against VMware vRealize Cloud for management of previous VMware infrastructure investments.  

  • VMware Cloud Universal Add-on Services: Support for VMware Tanzu Standard edition: VMware Tanzu Standard edition is now being offered as a standalone service within VMware Cloud Universal. For customers with Cloud Universal SPP credits who are looking to deploy and manage Kubernetes across hybrid-cloud, they will be able to redeem their credits for Tanzu Standard as a standalone service. Previously, Cloud Universal customers could leverage Tanzu Standard by redeeming their credits against VMware Cloud Foundation Subscription. Now, with Tanzu Standard offered standalone, customers can enjoy more flexibility while consuming VMware’s enterprise-grade multi-cloud infrastructure and operations for both their traditional and modern workloads, moving along their cloud migration and application modernization journey at their own pace.
  • Enable partners to sell VMware Cloud Universal: With this enhancement, now, VMware Cloud Universal allows partners to lead customers on the path to cloud at their own pace. Enabling partners to sell VMware Cloud Universal allows them to be agnostic in response to changing customer preferences, but adaptable to a customer’s ability to pay.

Enhancements to advanced cloud management: 

vRealize Cloud Management

VMware vRealize® Cloud Management is an intelligent hybrid cloud management solution that enables consistent deployments and operations for apps, infrastructure, and platform services, across VMware Cloud on AWS, on-premises and/or hybrid cloud environments. Below are the enhancements for vRealize Cloud Management portfolio:

  •  VMware vRealize Cloud Management: Project Ensemble: Project Ensemble will simplify and accelerate the customer journey to multi-cloud by uniting the different personas in an application-centric collaborative user interface. Project Ensemble will unify and strengthen our best-in-class multi-cloud management capabilities and support a cloud operating model for customers at any stage of their cloud transformation. Initially, Project Ensemble will directly support the customers who are starting, or already underway on the journey to hybrid cloud. The Project Ensemble UI will be built seamlessly into the VMware Cloud on AWS console, providing zero-touch setup of vRealize services to onboard and support customer deployed SDDCs. With this new functionality, customers will be able to add and consume cloud management with the click of a button. Project Ensemble will also help customers with VMware Cloud on AWS migration planning, further enabling them to adopt hybrid cloud quickly and confidently. Also, the user experience will focus on hybrid cloud use cases with actionable recommendations to resolve or prevent issues with performance, availability, and capacity. Some of the key features of Project Ensemble will be:
    • Business insights for curated use cases to help identify and guide users through identifying and resolving problems that impact their applications in any cloud
    • Customized views of both app-centric views of your clouds and also how different personas, such as cloud providers and cloud consumers, in your organization interact with those applications. These views will be customized by learning the users’ needs made possible with machine learning.
    • A unified configuration and change history, allowing users to view what has changed, rewind in time to the point of change, and completely reassemble snapshots of topologies
    • Global search across all vRealize services to provide access to all relevant information in a single UI
    • In-context switching to vRealize services for deeper investigation and analysis
  • VMware vRealize Automation Cloud provides self-service IaaS consumption with governance for VMware Cloud on AWS. New enhancements for vRealize Automation Cloud include: 
    1. Custom resources and extensibility: Leverage serverless Action Based Extensibility (ABX) to create custom resources and actions without leaving VMware Cloud on AWS. ABX is a modern lightweight framework that uses common scripting and programming languages to tie actions with events. With this release we bring the power of ABX on the Infrastructure-as-Code interfaces as custom resources, that can be included in VMware Cloud Templates and reused. Moreover, we are bringing dynamic vRealize Orchestrator inputs in the cloud templates.
    2. Tag configuration: Use tags to assign and update security groups for VMware Cloud on AWS machines, dynamically.
    3. Flexible governance: Finetune your governance model with resource quotas (memory and CPU) per project or individual user, notifications for policy and deployment events, and additional predefined user roles for decentralized organizations that want to provide approval control at the project supervisor level.
    4. SaltStack config and configuration management enhancements: Combing the power of VMware Cloud Templates and SaltStack Config for easier and more scalable management of your VMware Cloud on AWS configurations.With this release we enable deployment and lifecycle actions for Salt minions and state management.  We have also enhanced Puppet Enterprise support for machines without a public IP address. 
  • VMware vRealize Operations Cloud delivers self-driving IT operations management for private, hybrid cloud environments in a unified, AI-powered platform. New enhancements in vRealize Operations Cloud include:
    1. Expanded regional availability: New geographic availability in Europe (London) and South America (Sao Paulo). This will be in addition to the available geographic locations for vRealize Operations Cloud, namely US West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Canada (Central), Asia Pacific (Singapore) and Asia Pacific (Sydney)
    2. In-app guides / Customer journey maps: This feature helps in improving time-to-value (TTV) by providing ‘Resource Center’ guided onboarding videos, blogs, documentation for Day 0 initial configurations, dashboarding, and notifications:
      • Connecting to vSphere
      • Connecting to VMware Cloud
      • Setup Alert Notifications
      • Create Dashboards
      • Generate Reports
      • Troubleshooting
    3. Open source Telegraf support: It offers a multitude of options to use curated applications and operating systems with complete lifecycle management of the Telegraf Agent for:
      1. Service Discovery
      2. Application Monitoring with the Telegraf Plugin
      3. Integration with major APM tools 
      4. vRealize True Visibility Suite
      5. Open Source Telegraf Agent support (vROps Cloud first)

        This opens up a new world of applications and infrastructure monitoring with 200+ input plugins on Influx’s site or you can develop your own for ingestion

    4. Enhanced user experience: This enhancement provides integration with all VMware SDDC and third-party data sources in a single consolidated view
  • vRealize Network Insight Cloud enhancements for VMware Cloud on AWS customers: vRealize® Network InsightTM Cloud is a solution for end-to-end network visibility, troubleshooting, and predictive analytics that enables application migrations, optimizes network performance with troubleshooting capabilities, and manages the scaling of VMware Cloud on AWS deployments. New enhancements in vRealize Network Insight Cloud include:
    • New geographic availability in Europe (Frankfurt) and Canada(Central). This will be in addition to the available geographic locations for vRealize Network Insight Cloud, namely: US West (Oregon), Europe (London), Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and Asia Pacific (Sydney).
    • Support for search and flow tagging: This feature allows users to run search queries across their entire deployment and enables finding all types of flows or entities based on the specified search term. Additionally, vRealize Network Insight Cloud provides suggestions to build the queries, which includes saved searches and recent searches that match the typed text in the global search bar.
    • VMware Cloud dashboard enhancements: With this enhancement, VMware Cloud dashboard shows combined policy managers and list of all relevant VMware Cloud SDDCs in properly arranged sections thus making it easier to see all resources such as hosts or VMs for each type of VMware Cloud solution.
  • VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud delivers centralized log management, deep operational visibility, and intelligent analytics across your VMware SDDC software stack running in VMware Cloud on AWS.  New enhancements in vRealize Log Insight Cloud include:
    1. Expanded regional availability: New geographic availability in Europe (London) and South America (Sao Paulo). This will be in addition to the available geographic locations for vRealize Log Insight Cloud, namely US West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Canada (Central), Asia Pacific (Singapore) and Asia Pacific (Sydney)
    2. Log partitions: Introducing a new data management feature for data-at-scale that delivers optimal performance for infrequent log queries. This helps customers attain flexible cost alternatives and enhanced data manageability for indexed and non-indexed data grouping for data retention use cases driven by long term compliance and analytics. Partitions meet IT operational and non-operational use cases for:
      • Observability across systems to detect events and patterns in log data
      • Real-time monitoring and notification to detect anomalies and system health
      • Auditing and compliance data archival for business data retention requirements
      • Ad-hoc troubleshooting and analytics for event resolution and research
    3. Root Cause Analysis (powered by AIOps): Log RCA building blocks help customers find and investigate the potential root cause from the million log messages by reducing the data and noise to show only the significant logs as potential root causes. By surfacing information in the form of log clusters, the algorithm detects anomalous logs by assessing their frequency, average, variance and groups them into patterns based on their significance.

Availability

To view the latest status of features and release updates for VMware Cloud on AWS, visit: https://www.vmware.com/products/vmc-on-aws.html. And refer to the release notes VMware Cloud on AWS release notes.

The following capabilities are available today: Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.4.0, i3en.metal in Milan, 2-Host i3en.metal clusters, Newly added PCI DSS certification in AWS Asia-Pacific(Tokyo) region, VMware Horizon: on-premises Horizon Pod extension, VMware NSX Advanced Firewall add-on, VMware Carbon Black Workload support, VMware Transit Connect to external TGW, Converged VDS, Customer experience enhancements: AZ Failure Simulation Notifications, Host replacement email notifications, Storage Only Scale-out warnings, VCDR: 30-minute RPO for critical on-premises workloads, Purchase online using credit card, VMware HCX: OSAM, vRNI- New regions

The following capabilities/offerings are expected to be available in VMware’s Q3’Fiscal Year 2022: Tanzu services, VMware Telco Cloud Platform™ – Public Cloud, PCI DSS Certification in 5 more regions, Osaka regional availability, Order Form Integration and automation, Migration of AWS Resell customers to AWS Commerce portal, 1-1-1 Stretched Clusters, NSX Traceflow, Networking UI in standalone mode over internet, Networking and Security – Operational improvement, VCDR: ransomware recovery with file- and folder-level recovery, Integrated data protection, VCDR support in Osaka region, MSP RTM support, VSR: Transit Connect for inter-region DR, VSR support in Osaka region, VMC Universal: Tanzu Standard support, Enable partners to sell VMC Universal, vRealize Cloud Management: vRA, VROps, vRNI and vRLI enhancements

The following capabilities/offerings are expected to be Preview in VMware’s Q3’Fiscal Year 2022: Project Ensemble

Resources

For more information related to VMware Cloud on AWS, here are some more learning resources for you:

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