6 Key VMware Cloud On AWS Features Launched At VMworld 2018

Welcome To The New VMware Cloud On AWS

The new era of VMware Cloud on AWS has arrived with a long list of features unveiled at VMworld 2018 this week, including new entry-level pricing, custom CPU licensing capabilities and application-centric security with NSX.

"For the traditional VMware partner, this is super exciting for them because now they can provide these high-level services to their customers and, at the same time, they're able to innovate on their own as well," said Chris Wolf, CTO, global field and industry for VMware, in an interview with CRN.

Tens of thousands of channel partners, customers and IT leaders flocked to Las Vegas this week for VMworld 2018, which runs from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30. Here are six new features for VMware Cloud on AWS that partners need to know about.

App-Centric Security With NSX

VMware is making it easy for partners to add value to VMware Cloud on AWS customers by adding application-centric security with NSX. Customers can now gain control over east-west traffic between workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS through micro-segmentation provided by NSX. Security policies can be defined based on workload attributes – such as VM names and OS versions – as well as user-defined tags that follow workloads wherever they move.

"We've extended the NSX capabilities to individual VMs so you're able to do per-app micro-segmentation now on VMWare Cloud on AWS," said Wolf. "NSX micro-segmentation is giving you the equivalent of a dedicated data center effectively to each application."

Also on the security front, VMware has added VMware Log Intelligence to the core VMware Cloud on AWS service, providing customers with access to audit logs for increased security and compliance at no additional cost.


50 Percent Entry-Level Price Cut

VMware is reducing the entry price for VMware Cloud on AWS by 50 percent and offers a smaller three-host minimum software-defined data center (SDDC) configuration as a starting point for production workloads. For a limited time, VMware will provide the three-host SDDC environment for the cost of a two-host configuration.

David Klee, founder and chief architect at Heraflux Technologies, a Scarborough, Maine-based solution provider and VMware partner said, "The previous price point was a substantial barrier to entry. ... This new price point puts the platform on par with other options and improves the attractiveness of the platform."

New High-Capacity Storage Option

VMware Cloud on AWS partners have a new high-capacity storage option backed by Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS). Organizations can now independently scale compute and storage resource requirements and reduce costs for demanding workloads with new clusters for storage-dense environments. These clusters deliver scalable storage capabilities with VMware vSAN utilizing Amazon EBS and run on new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) R5.metal instances. Amazon's EC2 R5.metal instances are based on 2.5GHz Intel Platinum 8000 series processors. Each host has two sockets, 48 cores, 96 hyperthreads, 768 GB of RAM, and 25-Gbps network bandwidth.

"This is the first hyper-converged storage appliance to have native integration with EBS -- that's exciting," said Wolf.

Instant Data Center Evacuation

VMware Cloud on AWS is now allowing customers to be able to migrate thousands of virtual machines with zero downtime and schedule exactly when to cut over to a new cloud environment with VMware NSX Hybrid Connect (previously known as VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension) powered by vMotion and vSphere Replication. VMware also is offering a free migration cost assessment with VMware Cost Insight to assist with cloud migration planning.

NXS Integration With AWS Direct Connect

VMware's NSX has been integrated with Amazon's cloud service solution, AWS Direct Connect. The new integration makes it easier for businesses to connect across hybrid cloud environments and improve network performance. Integration enables private and consistent connectivity between VMware workloads running on VMware Cloud on AWS and those running on-premises. The integration also will accelerate migration to cloud and enable multi-tier hybrid applications.

Licensing For Enterprise Apps

On the VMware Cloud on AWS licensing front, VMware created new custom CPU core count capabilities that allows businesses to specify the number of CPU cores they need. The licensing optimization feature is for enterprise applications with the goal of reducing the cost of running mission-critical applications that are licensed per CPU core. With VM-Host Affinity, customers will be able to pin workloads to a specific host group to support licensing requirements.

Heraflux's Klee said the capability enables partners to better allocate the necessary cores for database servers and optimize the licensing expense for customers. "Overallocation -- such as allocating eight cores because it’s the next step beyond four when you only need five at peak -- is quite costly," he said. "And this leads to cost overruns when it is not necessary."

VMware Cloud On AWS Expands To Asia-Pacific

Although not a new capability, it is worthy to note that VMware Cloud on AWS is now available in AWS' Asia-Pacific region. "Customers have been asking us to bring VMware Cloud on AWS to Asia-Pacific, and we are pleased to be doing that today," said Sandy Carter, vice president of EC2 Windows Enterprise Workloads for AWS, in a statement. "VMware Cloud on AWS is the only hybrid cloud service that allows vSphere customers to leverage consistent infrastructure across on-premises data centers and AWS, allowing them to migrate current and new workloads to the cloud with the most functionality, greatest agility, and best security and performance."