Multi-Cloud

Bright Ideas. Discover How VMware IT Moved to a Multi-Cloud Ecosystem to Achieve 99.99 Percent Availability

by: VMware Solutions Engineering and Design Director Swapnil Hendre, VMware Solution Services Manager Preethy G and VMware Sr. Solutions Engineer Shamika Mukane

Like many paradigm shifts, the VMware journey to multi-cloud was born of necessity. Our applications had a hard dependency on an on-premises infrastructure, and this impacted our goal of providing the highest availability for mission-critical apps due to planned and/or unplanned outages.

Other demands included a faster time to market, improved customer satisfaction, and increased scalability, security, performance and resiliency.

Prerequisite: refactored applications

To start, our teams refactored applications to support the cloud-native deployment, and gradually built new applications that incorporated microservices. These microservices were deployed on the VMware Kubernetes platform (known as the VMware Tanzu® Kubernetes Grid™). This was major foundational step towards achieving a distributed and cloud-agnostic deployment.

Next, we tackled the aforementioned challenges during the journey to multi-cloud.

And the multi-cloud journey begins

Our team’s journey to building a true multi-cloud (vendor-agnostic) solution was based upon four foundational pillars—security, cloud agnosticism, self-service, and cost optimization.

Security

This pillar ensures every traffic flow is inspected, protected, and logged. We built secure virtual private clouds (VPCs) and routed all traffic flow via deployed firewalls.

Cloud agnosticism

A cloud-agnostic solution increasesd our portability and supportability, in addition to ensuring smooth operations in any cloud. We achieved this goal via a variety of VMware products including Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, VMware vRealize® Log Insight Cloud™, VMware vRealize® Network Insight Cloud™, VMware SD-WAN™ by VeloCloud®, CloudHealth® by VMware, VMware Tanzu™ Observability™ by Wavefront, VMware vRealize® Automation™, and VMware NSX® Advanced Load Balancer™. See Figure 1.

  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provided a consistent, upstream-compatible regional Kubernetes substrate. This can run both on-premises in VMware vSphere® and in the public cloud on AWS, Azure, VMware Cloud™ on AWS, Google Cloud VMware® Engine, and Azure VMware Solution.
  • vRealize Log Insight provided a centralized logging solution.
  • vRealize Network Insight allowed various private and public cloud vendor integration to enable application discovery, network optimization, analytics and single-pane-of-glass, top-down troubleshooting.
  • CloudHealth provided public cloud insight which, in turn, helped optimize costs, improve governance, and strengthen our cloud security posture.
  • Tanzu Observability provided an enterprise observability solution for multi-cloud environments.
  • VMware SD-WAN enabled multi-cloud connectivity for VMware branch offices.
  • vRealize Automation allowed comprehensive self-service capabilities (see below).
  • NSX Advanced Load Balancer provided software-defined load balancing with elastic scaling and built-in automation to support the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and central policy, as well as security control with separate data and control planes.
Overview of VMware’s cloud-agnostic approach

Figure 1. Overview of the VMware cloud-agnostic approach.

Self-service

To ensure operational excellence and avoid Day 2 operations overhead, we built a self-service multi-cloud platform using vRealize Automation, Terraform, Python and Angular. This cloud-agnostic platform includes an easy-to-use operations dashboard, and provides automated provisioning, cost estimations, chargebacks, and showbacks.

Cost optimization

To optimize cost, we added on-demand scaling of workloads, deployment of core services (foundational services) locally in cloud, and chargeback/showback implementation.

All aboard!

With the multi-cloud platform ready, we began application onboarding. This many-phased process consisted of application deployment, functional/resiliency/performance testing, and sign-off in development, staging and production.

We identified one of the most high-priority mission-critical applications for the first deployment on our multi-cloud platform. The solution enabled us to keep the application secure and deployments seamless via end-to-end automation, efforts that also significantly advance VMware’s overall SaaS transformation.

Validation of this part of the journey occurred when our team went live with the application and immediately achieved 99.99 percent availability. See Figure 2.

Multi-cloud deployment logical architecturev

Figure 2. Multi-cloud deployment logical architecture.

What’s next?

With the first deployment complete, over the next 18 months we plan to expanding implementation to other high-value applications using this multi-cloud solution. See Figure 3.

Continued distributed deployment on multi-cloud platform

Figure 3. Next up is continued distributed deployment of mission-critical apps on our multi-cloud platform.

Check back for more blogs on this topic. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact your sales rep or vmwonvmw@vmware.com to schedule a briefing with one of our IT experts.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. To learn more, visit the VMware on VMware microsite, read our blogs and follow us on Twitter.  

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