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Managing VMware Cloud on AWS with Cloud Automation Services

More and more companies are looking to move application workloads to the cloud. The key driver behind this, for most customers, is to focus on managing the application workload and not on the underlying infrastructure.

Cloud delivers more flexibility, can scale easily and in the end, provides the agility that businesses are looking for. From a consumption perspective, it changes the model from CapEx, where you acquire, install, manage and upgrade the infrastructure yourself, to OpEx, where you pay for the service on a recurring interval and are not responsible for maintaining and upgrading the service.

This shift in how you pay for infrastructure and the fact that the customer is no longer responsible for the management of the infrastructure components, makes this type of solution more attractive to a lot of customers.

A solution that has gotten a lot of traction is VMware Cloud on AWS. It provides a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) in an AWS cloud as a VMware Service.

Cloud Automation Services chart

The picture above shows the ability to connect an on-premises environment in a customer datacenter with an SDDC environment hosted within the AWS Global Infrastructure.

What VMware Cloud on AWS provides to the customer is SDDC-as-a-Service. It is a VMware service that will provide consistent infrastructure between your on-premises vSphere environment and a vSphere based SDDC provided by VMware in an AWS region.

Every application workload that can run in your own environment on vSphere, will also be able to run on top of VMware Cloud on AWS. This might seem boring, but actually it’s kind of a big deal. As the customer is no longer responsible for managing, maintaining and upgrading the SDDC infrastructure, they consume vSphere as a service and are no longer responsible for the underlying infrastructure.

Managing the cloud application workloads

What the customer is responsible for is the management of the (cloud) application workloads. Those workloads will run on top of vSphere environments, on-premises and/or on top of VMware Cloud on AWS. The vSphere workloads and cloud services host the applications that are used by the business.

IT Operations teams, or specifically Cloud Operations teams, generally are responsible for providing these services to the business. They need to be in control from a cost, compliance, security and operational perspective. And they need to provide management tools to access these services easily.

Basically, what is needed is a cloud management platform for Cloud Operations to manage the cloud application workloads. And with that same platform provide services to the business. What is needed is a layer of *consistent operations* across both private and public cloud resources.

Part of that is something that VMware Cloud Automation Services can offer. It is a cloud management automation control plane to be able to define, publish and govern cloud services. Cloud Automation Services provides a layer of control between the consumer and the cloud infrastructure resources. This is where the Cloud Operations team can define which services to build and publish for their consumers.

For that, Cloud Automation Services offers 3 services:

  • Cloud Assembly; Provides the ability to design and create new services out of infrastructure and application building blocks.
  • Code Stream; A delivery pipeline modeling tool for managing application delivery onto the cloud.
  • Service Broker; Application and infrastructure resources aggregator to publish cloud services with the ability to govern through policies.

All three services have a different role to play in the automation of infrastructure and application services. All of which can be consumed from different cloud endpoints, such as vSphere, AWS and Azure.

Empowering VMware Cloud on AWS with Cloud Automation Services

Combining VMware Cloud on AWS with Cloud Automation Services gives you the ability to easily extend your on-premises vSphere environment towards the public cloud while keeping the same management tools. All tools customers are familiar with to manage their on-premises environment also work with VMware Cloud on AWS.

Cloud Automation Services add even more, as it has the capability to also manage native AWS services. Cloud Automation Services truly empowers Cloud Operations teams to manage and automate their cloud resources across both private and public cloud in a uniform way.

It gives you the ability to manage vSphere based virtual machine and container workloads across your on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS environment. And next to that, you will have the capability to build new application and infrastructure stack with native AWS services.

The true value for customers is the fact that consumers of the platform no longer see where the applications run. Service Broker gives end-users the ability to deploy any type of service that is provided by Cloud Operations. They can deploy the service through the User Interface (UI) or the API. Service Broker will then take care of deploying the service towards the underlying infrastructure on vSphere or VMware Cloud on AWS or AWS natively. All in line with the policies that are defined by the Cloud Operations teams.

All of the services in Service Broker can be defined by using AWS CloudFormation templates or blueprints that have been defined in Cloud Assembly. This way Cloud Operations can make sure that all the required cloud services can be provided for and can be governed centrally through policies. Every application or infrastructure service that is deployed on top of the on-premises vSphere environment, on VMware Cloud on AWS or in the native AWS cloud is managed centrally. Giving Cloud Operations that single-pane of glass for management across clouds from an automation perspective.

Combine that with the capabilities that Code Stream provides for continuous deployment and you will have the ability to create a fully automated management plane to land and expand new applications.

And that is ultimately the goal of every Cloud Operations team: To provide an easy management and deployment tool where the business can consume cloud services while adhering to company policies.

The Value of Cloud Automation Services combined with VMware Cloud on AWS Application Performance

Cloud Automation Services give you a uniform consumption layer to provide to the business. While on the other hand providing an automation governance layer to Cloud Operations to keep control through policies of what services are being deployed on top of your environments.

That value combined with a solution such as VMware Cloud on AWS gives customers an “easy” path of creating a hybrid solution across private and public cloud under the control of single cloud management automation platform. All with the ability to provide multi-cloud services to the business “the easy way”!

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