VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services is one of the most exciting services that we have worked with here in our Professional Services Engineering team in quite some time. Which is interesting, because this service uses many of the same tried and true technologies that we have been working with for many years, including VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, and VMware NSX. But seeing these technologies installed and configured automatically in the span of about two hours was something that impressed even the most seasoned of us.
In this blog, we will start at the beginning.
Have a look at this short video. As you can see, we clicked the deploy button at 12:49 pm, and the deployment was completed by 2:45 pm. The process installs and configures the ESXi hosts, the vCenter Server, vSAN and NSX, in this time (Wait time has been edited out).
Before we started, there were a few of pieces of information that we needed to get sorted out:
- AWS account setup. AWS accounts are not difficult to create. (In this case, we wanted to get charges billed to a business unit rather than a credit card, which required just a bit of process overhead for payment mechanism setup.) When it was finally set up, all we needed to do was to connect the account to our SDDC, which you see in the video. For more details, you can see the following guide.
- CIDR network blocks. In many organizations this is not a big issue, but in larger companies, they are controlled by the network team. Prior to deploying our SDDC we needed to make sure that we had these assigned appropriately by our network team so that we could setup the VPN after it was deployed. This is important as there is no way to change this after deployment has occurred, you must delete and redeploy.
- Rationality and Size. Depending on your organization’s requirements or location, you must choose which region you want to create your SDDC in, as well as the amount of resources required. Company strategies that we have seen are a wide range of uses from “I want to get out of the data center business” to “I want to implement a hybrid cloud DR site” and more. You should assess what the strategy is, and the amount of resources needed to meet these characteristics.
Once these pieces are figured out, the rest of the deployment went exactly as you can see in the video. When everything was deployed and ready to go you can see and access the datacenter.
What we can’t do yet is open the vCenter server. We need to configure the networking before we will be able to access the datacenter. In the next blog in this series, we will talk about the networking configuration in detail. This will include talking about firewall rules, vCenter Access, and L2 and L3 VPN connectivity.
In the meantime, if you want to get more details on VMware Cloud on AWS, see the VMware Cloud webpage at https://cloud.vmware.com/. On this page you will find more details on all the VMware Cloud Services, including their features, pricing and other useful resources.
Jonathan McDonald, is currently a Senior Solutions Architect on the Professional Services Engineering and Remote Delivery (PSERD) team at VMware. PSERD develops validated solution architectures and training for Professional Services consultants. He has been with VMware since 2005.
His area of focus is vSphere Platforms. This includes work on vSphere services (including designing and deploying, upgrading, and performing health checks on the core platform), VMware vSAN, VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware Validated Designs and VMware Cloud on AWS.
Brent Douglas, is currently a Senior Solutions Architect on the Professional Services Engineering and Remote Delivery (PSERD) team at VMware. He has been with VMware since 2009.
Brent’s area of focus is Operations Management of VMware and AWS environments. This includes work on professional service offerings for VMware vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Network Insight, and vRealize Business for Cloud products as well service offerings related to VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension.