VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts FAQs


You may be running VMware workloads that need to remain on-premises such as applications that are latency sensitive, have to meet specific data residency needs, need to process large volumes of data locally, or have to be in close proximity to on-premises assets. With VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, you can continue to run these workloads in a VMware environment that is consistent across your on-premises environments and AWS Regions, but without the burden of managing infrastructure. We deliver VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts as a fully managed service. With VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, you have access to the latest hardware used in AWS data centers, consistent VMware SDDC software and tooling, and a broad array of AWS services.

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts brings fully managed VMware SDDCs and AWS infrastructure closer to end-users and employees or near large pools of data on premises. VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is ideal for those who have a VMware on-premises environment running workloads with low latency, local data processing, or data residency requirements, such as low-latency access to on-premises electronic health records, local processing of medical imaging data, real-time manufacturing control, virtual network functions in cell towers, high frequency trading platforms, low-latency school applications, Personal Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive government information, disaster recovery with data residency or low latency requirements, and data center modernization in a hardware or infrastructure software refresh.

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is custom-built with storage optimized EC2 instances—the same AWS infrastructure that VMware Cloud on AWS uses. Based on the second Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor, these instances are optimized for applications requiring high random I/O access to large amounts of data such as NoSQL databases, distributed file systems, and data warehousing. With storage optimization using VMware vSAN Compression, each instance can provide 45.84 TiB (50 TB) raw capacity per host, with an additional 6.55 TiB cache capacity delivered via low latency NVMe SSD storage. Depending on workload characteristics and Failures to Tolerate (FTT)/RAID settings, this instance type can deliver up to 34 TiB of usable storage capacity per host.

VMware uses AWS services locally on Outposts including Amazon EC2 instances and EBS volumes to operate the VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts as a service but does not expose these AWS services to you. Similar to VMware Cloud on AWS, you can use Elastic Network Interface (ENI) to connect your SDDCs to AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, and Amazon EMR running in AWS Regions. The performance of the ENI connection to AWS regions is subject to the service link performance to AWS Regions. If data residency requirements permit, you can also use VMware Transit Connect in AWS Regions to route traffic between VMware SDDCs in the Regions and on Outposts.

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts can be parented to AWS US East (Northern Virginia) or AWS US West (Oregon). Support for more AWS Regions is coming soon. Contact your AWS or VMware representative if you want to connect VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts with other AWS Regions.

Currently, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts can be shipped to the United States. VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts must be connected to an AWS region where VMware Cloud on AWS is supported (AWS US East (N. Virginia) or AWS US West (Oregon)). Minimum connectivity requirements are 1Gbps and at most 150ms of latency between region and rack location. Contact your AWS or VMware representative if you want to deploy VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts outside of the US.

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts offers various configurations based on the number of hosts available on an Outpost. You can purchase VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts directly from VMware or from AWS. When purchasing through AWS, you can also take advantage of your existing AWS enterprise contracts and AWS field promotional programs such as the Migration Acceleration Program (MAP). Detailed pricing is available on the VMware website.

Third-party software licensing on VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts follows the same licensing terms for on-premises virtual infrastructure using VMware. 

Use cases

If you prefer the same VMware architecture, operational experience, and control plane you have been using for years to run on-premises infrastructure, you should choose VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts. It delivers the entire VMware Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC)—compute, storage, and networking infrastructure—with AWS Outposts infrastructure on premises as a service, allowing you to take advantage of the ease of management and integration with AWS services.

If you prefer using the same native AWS APIs, services, and tools you are used to running in AWS Regions, you should choose AWS Outposts, which is a fully managed service that offers the same AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility. You can choose from a wide selection of General Purpose, Compute Optimized, Storage Optimized, and Memory Optimized EC2 instance families (e.g. M5a/M5, C5, R5/R5a) and storage options (Amazon EBS volumes, Amazon S3, and local instance storage) to create the ideal configuration for your applications.

If you have VMware workloads that are latency-sensitive, have to remain on-premises to meet specific data residency requirements, or need to be in close proximity to on-premises assets, you should choose VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts to meet the low latency, data residency, and local data processing needs.

If you have workloads that can benefit from the scalability and agility provided by global AWS infrastructure and operations, and from the consistency and ease of migration provided by VMware SDDC software, you should choose VMware Cloud on AWS.

Yes. Customer data will remain on VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts by default. This is enabled through the local storage and VMware vSAN technology. You may choose to replicate some or all of your data to AWS Regions or VMware Cloud on AWS based on your specific residency requirements. Limited meta-data (e.g. instance IDs, SDDC configurations, monitoring metrics, metering records, etc.) will flow back to the parent AWS Region that your Outpost is connected to and the VMware Cloud Service Platform.

Getting started

You can use familiar VMware tools such as VMware vSphere vMotion or VMware HCX (formerly Hybrid Cloud Extension and NSX Hybrid Connect) to perform live migration of running VMs from your on-premises hosts to VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts—similar to how you migrate VMs across hosts or SDDCs on premises.

No, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts leverages AWS designed infrastructure, and is only supported on custom-built AWS hardware that is optimized for secure, reliable, and highly performant operations. However, you can seamlessly connect VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts to on-premises networks and existing infrastructure using top of rack switches and Local Gateway (LGW).

You will need power and network connections to plug in VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts units on premises. You can choose to establish Outposts service link VPN connection to the parent AWS Region via an AWS Direct Connect private connection, a public virtual interface, or the public Internet. We recommend that you establish a dedicated network connection between your on-premises network and one of the AWS Direct Connect locations, which provide consistent and low-latency connectivity to public AWS Regions. There are also a set of environmental prerequisites such as those for temperature, humidity, and airflow, and transportation prerequisites such as those in terms of loading dock and weight support for the facilities. We will collect and examine all prerequisites prior to the installation.

Support and maintenance

With VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, VMware is your first line of support. You can leverage the in-service chat support, which is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week in English across all global regions, or contact your enterprise support personnel from VMware. In addition, AWS will proactively contact you regarding hardware related maintenance and replacement.

When your VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is installed, VMware and AWS will monitor the SDDC and the Outpost as part of the AWS Region. VMware will regularly perform updates, upgrades, and patching on the VMware SDDC software and AWS will execute software upgrades and patches on the hardware. These updates are performed to ensure continuous delivery of new features and bug fixes, and maintain consistent software versions across the SDDC fleet and the hardware. AWS will monitor AWS infrastructure, publish Outposts health metrics, and proactively alert VMware about units marked for maintenance. VMware will notify you of planned maintenance and will use the auto-scaler service within VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts as needed. AWS Outposts is composed of modular units to enable hardware replacement, if required. If there is a need to perform physical maintenance, AWS will reach out to schedule a time to visit your site.

While VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts requires reliable network connectivity to the nearest AWS Region, the SDDC will continue functioning if network connectivity to the AWS Region is temporarily unavailable. However, the VMware Cloud control plane will be unavailable when network connectivity is down. This means you will not be able to access SDDC configurations or other functions from the VMware Cloud Services Platform, but you can still access vCenter to perform VM operations and your data remains safely stored on your Outpost during periods of disconnect. You will also receive notification when we detect connectivity issues or the VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is about to be disconnected. If losing network connectivity is expected, we strongly recommend regularly testing your workload to make sure it behaves properly when an Outpost is disconnected.

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