VMware Cloud on AWS VMware Cloud

VMware Cloud Flex Compute- Deep Dive

The VMware Cloud on AWS team is pleased to announce the preview of VMware Cloud Flex Compute, a new cloud compute model powered by the industry leading virtualization platform, all managed by VMware.

Customer challenges in a cloud world

Since VMware’s launch of VMware Cloud on AWS in 2017, customers have accelerated their hybrid cloud journey and pushed the boundaries of their digital transformation strategy on top of VMware’s managed Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC). However, as workloads continue to become more and more diverse, the notion of a one-size-fits-all design of the SDDC leaves room for improvement. Starting with cost and rolling into flexibility, customers’ cloud journeys are often challenged with overspending and frustrated with the constant need to optimize their environments. In the day and age in which optimizing costs is top of mind and the need to match the rapid cadence of application development, businesses today require more flexible, scalable, simple, and cost-effective ways to deploy, manage and scale their workloads. Further, businesses need consistency, commonality, and above all else, choice without having strings attached when it comes to consumption and management to pivot to a multi-cloud strategy. VMware Cloud Flex Compute aims to address these challenges.

Start small and grow big: VMware Cloud Flex Compute

VMware Cloud Flex Compute offers a new granular, flexible consumption model where customers will get the same speed, agility, built-in elasticity, and enterprise grade capabilities of VMware Cloud on AWS, but in smaller consumable units. Each unit will be comprised of compute, memory, network, and storage. Further flexibility to purchase flex compute units with different configurations provides the ability to tailor your environment to the needs of different types of workloads, scaling resources as necessary. Coupled with on-demand scalability, customers will be able to start small and scale later as needed.

Driven through the VMware Cloud Services Console, VMware Cloud Flex Compute will provide extremely faster provisioning with a low cost; customers will be able to kickstart their cloud transformation journey with just a few clicks and inputs, and quickly be able to migrate VMs and containers to the cloud in just few minutes after purchasing the flex compute units. This comes all courtesy of environments being provisioned into pre-existing SDDCs that are spread across different AWS regions. As a customer what was once a long wait time between purchasing your SDDC and being able to begin your journey is substantially reduced; VMware Cloud Flex Compute’s proactive placement and provisioning architecture ensures that there is always an underlying SDDC available where you need it so that you can carve out your flex compute units and get started within minutes. This combined with the underlying SDDC platform product’s capabilities ensure end-to-end tenant isolation on a performant platform with common, simple tooling – such as policy-based security and firewall management along with template and workload management – that can be leveraged across multiple clouds, which unlocks a multitude of use cases.

These are the key use cases to VMware Cloud Flex Compute:

  • Entry level workloads: Customers who want to migrate entry level workloads such as dev/test workloads, code repositories or any small, simple, low traffic production workloads etc. to cloud can purchase flex units to get started.
  • Burstable workloads: Customers who want to migrate burstable workloads such as web servers, micro-services, virtual desktops etc. that they need to burst to higher CPU utilization when demand rises and scale down when demand is over can purchase flex units.
  • Small size workloads: Customers who want to migrate smaller size workloads such as edge applications (warehouse/manufacturing plants, retails stores), Remote Office Branch Office applications etc. can purchase flex units.
  • Disaster Recovery workloads: Customers who want to failover small workloads on-demand, they can purchase flex units
  • High resource intensive workloads:
    • Customer who want to migrate memory intensive applications such as medium sized databases, relational database servers, slightly higher RAM intensive workloads, in-memory analytics applications, application caches etc. can purchase memory optimized flex units.
    • Customers who want to migrate workloads that require low latency, high throughput, and large local/externally attached storage such as NoSQL databases such as Cassandra, MongoDB, large transactional databases, Data Lakes & Warehouses, Big Data, SQL and other Transactional Databases etc. can purchase storage optimized cloud flex units.

The flex compute units can be expanded, either automatically using policies or manually, at the user’s discretion. Thus, as you add more workloads, you’re able to fine tune the expansion as necessary. And as you bring more and more diverse workloads, VMware Cloud Flex Compute’s diverse selection of units, such as General Purpose, Memory Optimized, which has a higher memory-to-vCPU ratio, and Storage Optimized, which has a higher Storage-to-memory/vCPU ratio, will be able to cater to your needs. Customers can purchase as many of these units as per their workload needs.

Further, unlike traditional VM-as-a-Service offerings that are typically tied to the underlying hardware, VMware Cloud Flex Compute’s placement engine will both intelligently find the best underlying hardware types for the selected units and enable smooth transition off older hardware as part of VMware Cloud’s managed service. What this means to the customer is that you’re just paying for the units consumed rather than the specific hardware underneath.

Lastly, as VMware Cloud Flex Compute evolves, we see additional unit types made available to customers – accelerator-based units such as GPU and higher throughput and bandwidth – to enable an even wider variety of workloads as well as additional regions and availability zones such that every customer can take advantage of this service.

Key benefits of VMware Cloud Flex Compute:

Some of the key benefits of this new cloud compute model are:

  • Lower costs: Customers can match the CPU, memory, storage, network resources more precisely with the needs of your current application portfolio to avoid capacity over-provisioning and optimize cloud spend. Also, by purchasing flex compute unit instead of purchasing a complete host, customers will be able to start running workloads using environments that are 97% smaller than the minimum required host-based environment to support production workloads which will help them lower their cost of entry.
  • Faster provisioning: Customers can improve operational efficiency by provisioning and scaling the flex compute units in minutes and having comprehensive, enterprise grade infrastructure stack up and running.
  • Improved flexibility: With variety of workload-optimized flex compute units, customers can purchase different configurations for different types of workloads and match the resources according to evolving application needs without breaking long term contracts.
  • Better Agility: Customers do not need to spend resources in advanced planning around fixed-size hardware instances. With agile infrastructure based on resource-defined model, they can reduce the time, costs and complexity of migrating enterprise applications to the cloud.

Additional Resources:

Please check out these additional resources to learn more:

How to participate and learn more

We are opening early access nominations for this service now. As part of the early access program, we will provide access to VMware Cloud Flex Compute environments on VMware Cloud on AWS.If you are interested in applying for the early access program, please send an email to vmc_flexcompute_ea@vmware.com