General

What is VMware Cloud on AWS?
VMware Cloud on AWS provides the ability to run VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) software on the AWS Cloud, including VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and vCenter. This offering delivers an infrastructure that is consistent and interoperable with your on-premises infrastructure, providing you the best environment to run hybrid vSphere workloads. Because the service runs on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure, you can benefit from the scale, flexibility, and security of the AWS Cloud. In addition, the service provides secure, seamless, and high bandwidth connectivity to the broad range of AWS services to enhance and expand the value of applications you deploy to the VMware Cloud on AWS service.

Why should I use VMware Cloud on AWS?
VMware Cloud on AWS provides you a consistent and interoperable infrastructure and services between VMware-based datacenters to the cloud, which minimizes the complexity and associated risks of managing diverse environments. VMware Cloud on AWS offers native access to AWS services and innovation that extends the value of enterprise applications over their lifecycle. Our Initial Availability release will help you to extend your data center to a hybrid deployment, migrate applications to the cloud, and provides a scalable environment for application development and test. In future releases, we will enable support for new use cases, such as disaster recovery, geographic expansion and data center consolidation, and continue adding new regions in the world.

In which regions is VMware Cloud on AWS available?
In the initial release, VMware Cloud on AWS is available in the US West (Oregon) region. VMware and AWS will continue to invest and support additional regions around the world in future releases.

What AWS services can I use with VMware Cloud on AWS?
With the initial release of VMware Cloud on AWS, you can connect VMware VMs to native AWS resources such as Amazon EC2 instances, S3 storage buckets, RDS databases, and Redshift clusters. Take advantage of a wide range of AWS services for compute, database, analytics, IoT, AI, security, mobile, resource deployment and application services.

What VMware features are supported in the initial availability of VMware Cloud on AWS?
With the initial release of VMware Cloud on AWS includes a fully configured VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) stack from VMware including VMware vSphere®, VMware vSAN™ and VMware NSX™ virtualization technologies. VMware and AWS will continue to invest and support additional capabilities and use cases such as disaster recovery, geographic expansion, and data center consolidation in future releases. For a current list of features, please visit here.

How do I get started in VMware Cloud on AWS?
VMware Cloud on AWS is available through VMware and through many partners in the VMware Partner Network.

Detailed pricing information is also available through VMware

Can I use my existing VMware licenses when using VMware Cloud on AWS?
You can leverage your existing VMware software investments to secure additional discounts for your VMware Cloud on AWS hybrid environment as part of VMware’s Hybrid Loyalty Program. For more information, visit here.

Can I use my existing Windows Server licenses in VMware Cloud on AWS?
Yes. Please consult your Microsoft Product Terms for more details and any restrictions.

Features and Functionality

How is VMware Cloud on AWS deployed?
VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure runs on dedicated, single tenant hosts provided by AWS in a single account. Each host is equivalent to an Amazon EC2 I3.16XL instance (2 sockets with 18 cores per socket, 512 GiB RAM, and 13.8 TB Raw SSD storage). Each host is capable of running many VMware Virtual Machines (tens to hundreds depending on their compute, memory and storage requirements). Clusters can range from a minimum 4 hosts up to a maximum of 16 hosts per cluster. A single VMware vCenter server is deployed per SDDC environment.

How is VMware Cloud on AWS deployed in AWS Availability Zones?
During the initial availability of VMware Cloud on AWS, each vSphere cluster resides in a single Availability Zone (AZ). VMware and AWS will add support for multi-AZ deployments in an upcoming release.

What version of VMware vSphere do I need in my on-premises environment?
With vSphere 6.0 or later running in your on-premises environment, you can move workloads to and from VMware Cloud on AWS by doing cold migration of VMs. No conversion or modification is necessary. In order to take advantage of “Hybrid Linked Mode” for single pane of glass management between your on-premises environment and VMware Cloud on AWS, you must have VMware vSphere 6.5 or later.

How do I manage resources on VMware Cloud on AWS?
You can use the same management tools you use today. A vCenter server instance is deployed as part of every VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC. You may connect to this vCenter server instance to manage their VMware Cloud on AWS clusters. A VMware Cloud Web Console is provided which allows for common tasks such as the add/remove hosts, configure firewalls and other basic networking settings. It is important to note that tools that require plug-ins or extensive vSphere permissions may not function properly in VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware Cloud on AWS uses a least privilege security model in which you (and therefore their tools) do not have full administrative access.

Can I manage both my existing data center VMware vSphere VMs and my VMware Cloud on AWS instances in a single view?
You will need vSphere version 6.5 and vCenter Server 6.5 or later running in your data center to use vCenter Hybrid Linked Mode for single pane of glass management of resources on-premises and in the cloud. If you do not have VMware vSphere 6.5 or later running in your on-premises environment, you will need to run multiple vCenter instances to manage your environment: one vCenter instance on-premises and one vCenter instance in VMware Cloud on AWS.

Can I migrate existing vSphere VMs to my VMware Cloud on AWS deployment?
Yes. You can perform a “cold” migration (powered down VMs) of existing vSphere resources to and from VMware Cloud on AWS.

What are the hardware specifications for VMware Cloud on AWS hosts?
For Initial Availability, ESXi runs on single-tenant hosts equivalent to an I3.16XL instance. These hosts have 2 CPUs with 18 cores each (36 cores total), 512 GiB RAM, and 14.5 TB Raw NVMe storage. Each ESXi host is capable of running many VMware Virtual Machines (tens to hundreds depending on their compute, memory and storage requirements).

 


Will VMware Cloud on AWS be running on a “nested” ESXi architecture?
No. ESXi runs directly on ‘bare metal’ without the use of nested virtualization, while still participating in Amazon VPC networking.

Compute

Is the underlying EC2 infrastructure hosting ESXi dedicated to each customer or is it a shared, multi-tenant infrastructure?
VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure runs on dedicated, single-tenant bare metal infrastructure for each customer.

Can I scale the hosts in my VMware Cloud on AWS cluster?
Yes, additional hosts can be added to a VMware Cloud on AWS cluster using the VMware Cloud Portal user interface or programmatically via the VMware Cloud API. 

Storage

What storage options are available for VMware Cloud on AWS?
VMware Cloud on AWS includes VMware’s vSAN storage technology that provides a single name space shared datastore (vSAN datastore) for VM storage. Each SDDC cluster will utilize an “all flash” vSAN storage solution built on NVMe backed instance storage that offers high performance, and low latency. 


Can I use Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) or AWS Elastic File System (EFS) volumes as vSphere datastores? 

No, VMware Cloud on AWS only supports the use of the vSAN based datastore. VMware and AWS will invest and support additional AWS services such as EBS and EFS in a future release.

Will I be able to use VMware’s Storage Policy Based Management to provision and manage storage for virtual machine applications?
Yes. You have the flexibility to create specific policies catering to your application needs, including RAID levels, checksum, object space reservation, and IOPs limit. You can apply these policies at the individual vdisk level, or you can choose the default vSAN Datastore policy for simplicity.

What Data Protection/Backup solutions will be available for VMware Cloud on AWS? 

Data protection solutions based on VMware’s vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) framework are being certified by partners now. As solutions become generally available, they will be listed on VMware’s Compatibility Guide web site.

Is data encrypted on vSAN storage?
Yes, data is encrypted at rest for each NVMe flash device backing the vSAN datastore in each host.

Network

How are VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs connected to my on-premises environment?
When you deploy an SDDC using VMware Cloud on AWS, it is configured with two networks: a management network and a compute network. The management network handles network traffic for the SDDC hosts, vCenter Server, NSX Manager, and other management functions. The compute network handles network traffic for your workload VMs. Two VMware NSX edge devices serve as gateways for the VMware virtualized networking environment. The management gateway connects (MGW) the SDDC management infrastructure to your on-premises environment. The compute gateway (CGW) provides connectivity for all workload virtual machines. Traffic can be directed to your on-premises environment using a L3 VPN connection or to your AWS VPC via an Elastic Network Interface (ENI).

Will I be able to move an Elastic IP (EIP) from a VM in VMware Cloud on AWS to a standard Amazon EC2 instance and back again?
No. EIPs are reserved and associated from the VMware Cloud on AWS account and routed to the NSX Edge Gateway.

What network bandwidth will be available to the ESXi hosts?
ESXi hosts are connected to an AWS VPC via AWS Elastic Networking Adapter (ENA) that support throughput up to 25Gbps.

Am I required to run NSX in on-premises installations when interacting with VMware Cloud on AWS?
No. Customers are not required to run NSX on-premises in order to interoperate with VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware Virtual Machines can be cold migrated to VMware Cloud on AWS without modification as of Initial Availability.  

Support, Accounts, and Billing

Who delivers and supports VMware Cloud on AWS?
VMware will sell, deliver, and support VMware Cloud on AWS. Billing for the service will be between you and VMware. You will only receive a bill from AWS for services used in a separate AWS account.

Do I also need to purchase AWS Support?
No, VMware Cloud on AWS is supported by VMware. However, you can choose to purchase AWS support for the additional AWS services you use.

Will I need an AWS account?
Yes, you will need an active AWS customer account that will be linked to the VMware Cloud on AWS service. If you don’t have an existing AWS customer account, you will be asked to create one as part of the onboarding process. One of the key benefits of this offering is seamless integration with other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Redshift and other Amazon EC2 instances. VMware will bill you for what you use in the VMware Cloud on AWS and separately, AWS will bill you for any other AWS services you use.

What accounts are created during the process?
You will have a minimum of two accounts: a VMware account and an AWS account.

Can I link multiple VMware Cloud on AWS clusters to the same AWS account?
For the initial release, you can link one VMware Cloud on AWS cluster with one AWS account. In a future release, we will provide the ability to link multiple VMware Cloud on AWS clusters to your AWS account. .

I have multiple AWS accounts. Should I link one or more accounts with VMware Cloud on AWS?
For the initial release, you can link one VMware Cloud on AWS cluster with one AWS account. In a future release, we will provide the ability to link multiple AWS accounts to a single VMware Cloud on AWS account.