A blessing in disguise during pandemic times has been the work-from-home option. Tech workers are able to work with higher productivity as well as spend those driving to work hours with family instead – they get the best of both worlds. Now, let me walk you through the journey of delivering modern, agile, and consistent application services in any cloud environment – finding the perfect balance.
There is an increasing shift towards multi-cloud deployment as it offers a smooth expansion on-demand, differentiated cloud services, and upfront CAPEX and OPEX savings. While there are benefits, there are some limitations too with multi-cloud deployments. The first limitation is that the public clouds are in silos – there is no easy way of load balancing the applications/traffic between them. The second limitation is that the load balancing features offered in clouds are not enterprise-grade with complex configuration and consumption models. There is no standard across the public clouds for load balancing.
The value of multi-cloud goes up tremendously when we can move beyond the silos and provide seamless app services delivery across the clouds and a standard cloud consumption model – make these clouds behave like one cloud.
A recent survey report (Flexera 2021 state of the cloud report) shows that 92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy; 80% have a hybrid cloud strategy. Rapid cloud adoption has introduced complex load balancing requirements that traditional, siloed load balancers and public cloud load balancing solutions cannot address. Legacy load balancers offer features and functionalities, but tradeoffs are operational simplicity, automation, and cloud-native capabilities. On the other hand, public cloud provider load balancers offer automation and elasticity with the tradeoff of lack of enterprise-grade features. In addition, public cloud providers give you the capabilities specific to their native environment only.
As more and more enterprises look for a multi-cloud environment, enterprises need modern application delivery – the best of both worlds (see figure 1). Modern app delivery provides a consistent elastic fabric that ensures a fast, scalable, and secure application experience with advanced load balancing. Load balancing solutions built on the principle of software-defined scale-out architecture are the only ones that can morph into modern app delivery platforms.
VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer (Avi Networks) – Best of the Both Worlds!
Avi offers enterprise-grade features on a single, distributed platform that delivers central control, on-demand elasticity, and automation across clouds or data centers. Its software-defined architecture can run in any cloud environment consistently and securely. Avi’s modern, distributed architecture enables a broad ecosystem, offering enterprises to lift and shift their VMware-based applications to public clouds. This ecosystem offers advanced load balancing across on-prem and hybrid cloud environments (see figure 2):
- VMware Cloud on AWS
- Azure VMware Solution
- Google Cloud VMware Engine
Customer-driven use cases for advanced load balancing in hybrid cloud
Avi facilitates modern and agile application delivery for a variety of use cases, including:
- Lift-and-Shift: When moving from on-prem data centers to VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Solution, or Google Cloud VMware Engine, Avi provides the rich feature set you to expect from an enterprise-grade load balancer in the hybrid/public cloud environment.
- Data-Center Extension: Avi can provide load balancing, GSLB, and WAF for your applications hosted across on-premises and hybrid cloud environments. Features such as GSLB deploy multi-site, multi-cloud applications with control over application availability patterns. The platform provides high availability in Active-Active (with a variety of options), as well as Active-Standby topologies.
- Disaster Recovery: Avi supports BC/DR scenarios for application availability with local load balancing and GSLB features.
Avi is VMware’s modern load balancing solution across the hybrid/public cloud environment that ensures all agile app delivery customer requirements are met:
- Scale load balancers up or down on-demand
- Migrate to the public cloud without any app changes
- Upgrade load balancers without any downtime
- Provision a new virtual service in minutes
- Pinpoint failures when app team has issues
Here are the key technical benefits that Avi integration with VMware’s hybrid cloud environments provide:
- Quick provisioning: Accelerated application provisioning with zero-touch L4-L7 service lifecycle management
- Full-featured load balancing: Enterprise-grade software load balancer combining the capabilities of a traditional load balancer appliance with the elasticity and automation
- Self-service: 100% REST APIs enable policy-driven self-service for app developers and automation for IT administrators.
- Application analytics: Real-time insights into application performance, security, and end-user interactions.
- Distributed architecture: Central control and policy management for a distributed pool of load balancing resources.
- Hybrid-cloud load balancing: Consistent features across on-premises and VMware SDDCs.
- Security: Security insights and health scores help with the mitigation of DDoS attacks. Easy-to-configure WAF helps enable web application firewall, with both machine-learning-based application security and pre-canned or customizable OWASP ruleset.
Avi Integration with VMware Cloud on AWS Overview
Avi’s modern and distributed architecture enables VMware Cloud on AWS environment customers to deploy the load balancing services reliably, quickly, and cost-effectively. Avi’s load balancing solution is deployable as a customer-managed solution in VMware Cloud (see Figure 3).
For more details, refer to Avi and VMC on AWS use case and short technical how-to video to set up advanced load balancing in VMC on AWS.
Avi Integration with Azure VMware Solution Overview
Avi allows customers to deploy enterprise-grade application delivery services with local load balancing, global server load balancing (GSLB), and Web Application Firewall (WAF) for workloads running in Azure VMware Solution. As customers extend or migrate their data centers from on-premises to Azure VMware Solution, Avi provides a full-featured load balancer that gives elastic scalability, cloud-native automation as well as in-built observability. See figure 4.
For more details, watch the webinar on Avi – Azure VMware Solution integration and a short technical how-to video to set up enterprise grade load balancing in Azure.
Avi Integration with Google Cloud VMware Engine Overview
Google Cloud VMware Engine enables your VMware environment to run natively on Google Cloud bare metal, single-tenant infrastructure in Google Cloud locations and fully integrates with the rest of Google Cloud. Google manages the infrastructure and all the necessary networking and management services so you can consume the VMware platform efficiently and securely. Avi is the best fit for customers requiring enterprise-grade load balancing services in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Google Cloud VMware Engine environment, providing optimized traffic management, multi-AZ, and multi-SDDC support. Avi provides an elastic application services fabric that can seamlessly scale up or scale down from 0 to 1 million transactions per second (TPS) with no impact on performance. Enterprises can achieve per-application load balancing with on-demand scaling where the Google load balancer alone falls short. See figure 5.
For more details, read the solution overview on Avi – Google Cloud VMware Engine integration and watch a short technical how-to video to setup enterprise grade load balancing in Google Cloud.
Deploy Avi for these business benefits:
- Agility to move at the speed of the business
- Operational simplicity for deployment and maintenance
- Lower TCO with the product and operational cost savings
To learn more, use the following resources:
NSX Advanced Load Balancer Product Page
Avi in VMC on AWS Deployment Guide
Webinar on ‘Enterprise Grade Load Balancer for VMware Cloud on AWS
Avi in Azure VMware Solution Solution Brief
Webinar on ‘Enabling Consistent App Delivery in Microsoft Azure and Azure VMware Solution’
Avi in Google Cloud VMware Engine Solution Brief
Register for upcoming webinar on ‘Scalable and Secure App Delivery across Hybrid Environments Powered by VMware and Google’
Watch Application Delivery How-To Video Series on Avi in Public/Hybrid Cloud