To get started with VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, AWS and VMware work with you to size your environment, validate your requirements, make sure deployment prerequisites are met, and place the order. AWS personnel perform site validation, deliver and install the Outpost in your facility, connect it to AWS Regions and your network, and provision Amazon EC2 bare metal instances for the VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). VMware performs checks and tests to ensure VMware SDDCs can be deployed on your Outpost. You can then use familiar VMware tools such as VMware Cloud Service Portal, vSphere vMotion, or HCX to migrate or deploy VMware SDDCs on your Outpost. You can also work with APN consulting partners for strategy and technology advisory services to migrate and run your workloads on Outposts.

Understanding your environment

To get started, a group of experts from AWS or VMware will help you size your VMware environment, collect specific workload and networking requirements, and validate that all prerequisites for deploying Outposts are met. The experts will collect the necessary site and installation information for placing an order.

Ordering

You can then log into the VMware Cloud Service Portal, choose VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts from the My Services menu, and start an order* with the information collected from the previous step. If you are using VMware Cloud Service Portal for the first time, VMware will provide you with access to the portal. AWS and VMware will work with you to ensure your environment meets minimum power, networking, and space requirements to host an Outpost. You will receive an email confirmation once the order is successfully submitted. Track your order via the VMware Cloud Service Portal from the time of order submission.

AWS will schedule a site visit to perform site and networking assessment and validate all the information submitted in the order.

Installation

After your site passes the assessment, AWS will work with you to schedule the delivery and installation of your Outpost. AWS personnel will deliver the Outpost to the validated location, install it, and connect it to the AWS Region and your local network. An Outpost may comprise of one or more racks connected together at the site.

Configuration

Once your Outpost is online, AWS will provision Amazon EC2 instances to be consumed by the VMware SDDCs. VMware will perform additional checks and tests and notify you when the Outpost is ready for VMware SDDC deployment.

Launch & migration

Now, you will be able to see the available capacity on the VMware Cloud Service Portal and launch VMware SDDCs as needed. Workloads running on VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts communicate with other resources in your VPC through Elastic Network Interface (ENI) the same way as they do for VMware Cloud on AWS in AWS Regions**. 

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

Support & maintenance

VMware will be your first line of contact for ongoing support of VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts. AWS will proactively contact you regarding hardware related maintenance and replacement. For all other issues, 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 enterprise support personnel from VMware.

Upgrades & patches

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.

* The ordering process in VMware Cloud Service Portal will be available by October 29, 2021. If you need to order VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts sooner, please reach out to your AWS or VMware representative for assistance.
** Performance is subject to the service link connection to the parent AWS Region. 

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