Sunday, 10 June 2018

VMC on AWS - Just some thoughts

As an IT veteran of now more than 30 years, I have watched the cyclic nature of IT.

I started in 1986 working in a centralised datacentre, it was offsite and used an IBM mainframe, my company then moved to a LAN based network using Novell products, which gave us an onsite datacentre, then came virtualisation with VMware, still onsite, and now I’m back around in full circle, talking about offsite datacentres, and we call this the cloud.

Like many of my peers I’m happy with my on premises datacentre, I’ve invested time in training, server hardware, software and, experience of having full control of what I have, but I like the flexibility and potential cost savings that the cloud can give me, but I don’t want to throw away what I know and what I maintain.

There must be an alternative, and there is, the hybrid cloud, I get the security of my own datacentre, but if required I get the flexibility of the public cloud. I maintain my skillset, but as an IT professional, I get to also continue moving forward with new skills.

I attended VMworld in Barcelona last year, the big push point for me, was that VMware were now promoting themselves as a cloud company, my main focus was VMware and Amazon coming together to give me what I asked for, a hybrid solution called VMC (VMware on the Cloud) on AWS (Amazon Web Services). For me, hybrid is the future, we don’t have to be purely private cloud, or public cloud, let’s do both.

What is VMC on AWS?

VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand service that enables you to run applications across vSphere-based cloud environments, on premises or Private Cloud integrates with the VMware products running inside an AWS datacentre, with access to a broad range of AWS services. Utilising VMware Cloud Foundation, this service integrates with VMware’s Software Defined Datacentre products.

VMware vSphere provided the Compute functionality to the services than run.
VMware vSAN gives object based software defined storage, allowing per service policies for performance and redundancy.

VMware NSX gives a 7 layer software defined networking solution.

VMware vCenter management, gives a consistent view of the entire cloud, and this in turn allows traditional VMware administrators to continue to utilise the management skills already mastered.

VMC on AWS is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. With VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension, customers can easily and rapidly perform large-scale bi-directional migrations between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS environments.

Important to remember, these are not virtualised ESXi servers in an AWS datacentre, these are bare metal servers hosted in an AWS datacentre, and yes the UK has this support.

Why VMC on AWS?

On premises solutions can be prohibitively expensive, with our modern Agile working environments this can become a major stumbling block to our business requirements, with VMware VMC on AWS, VMware have provided an environment that can scale in or out quickly. This can provide the following benefits.

  • ·         Enterprise-Grade Capabilities – Leveraging VMware’s SDDC products that are already familiar.

·     Simple and Consistent Operations – In just a few clicks a VMware environment can be provisioned in a hybrid environment.

·        Flexible Consumption to Suit Your Business Needs – Consume what is needed, when it is needed.

·        Delivered as a Service from VMware – No need to deal with multiple vendors. VMware are responsible for the ongoing support of the entire hybrid environment.

Use Cases for VMC on AWS

Although all companies can think of reasons for utilising the cloud, here are a few suggestions.

  • ·        Cloud Migration - Rapidly and easily migrate vSphere-based workloads to the cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS. Utilise familiar VMware tools and skills to accelerate cloud migrations. Once in the cloud, utilise VMware and AWS services to modernize your applications at your leisure.
  • ·         Application Migration - Extend on premises data centres and easily migrate application workloads to VMC on AWS. Allow business workload portability between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS. Allowing applications optimized access to native AWS services.
  • ·         System Expansion - Easily extend your systems into the cloud and get VMware-consistent, enterprise-grade environments in the AWS cloud in a fast and cost-effective way with VMware Cloud on AWS. Allowing for new projects and business locations to be provisioned quickly and easily with a trusted platform.
  • ·         Flexible and on-demand Capacity - Get VMware Software Defined Data Centre capacity in the AWS Cloud in minutes whenever there is a business need to meet temporary, seasonal, or unplanned demand. Such as an impromptu sale.  Take advantage of elastic capacity and usage-based costings of VMware Cloud on AWS by moving your live applications into an environment that is operationally consistent with your VMware data centre.
  • ·         Test and Development Quickly deploy on demand systems with VMC on AWS for test and development, these systems can be spun up and down without the reliance of having to purchase additional on premises hardware.
  • ·         Disaster Recovery as a Service with VMware Site Recovery - Easily deliver business continuity with VMware Site Recovery using your on premises and VMC on AWS

To conclude, with the dynamic environments in which work, Agile working practices and being able to be one step ahead of the competition, the hybrid cloud allows this to happen.

With VMC on AWS, all VMware professionals have an environment that is consistent with the current on premise version of VMware (must be at least version 6.5), workloads are extended into an extension of the datacentre, this gives users a robust and reliable system and allows for the continuing use of what is already a heavily invested system.

For administrators, support is provided by VMware and continues to allow IT to utilise management systems that they have used for years, rather than have to learn new management utilities such as the AWS console, all administration is done via VMware utilities.

With VMC on AWS the hybrid cloud gives the flexibility to develop systems and applications for the future, and to also allow a company the flexibility to decide were those systems will live, but also allow the dynamic environment to move those applications from on premise to the cloud and back again.