VMware Cloud on AWS – Overview and Setup

VMworld 2017 was a great opportunity to learn about VMware on AWS or VMC (VMware Cloud).

What is being offered is a SDDC stack, ESXi, vSAN, and networks built on NSX.

AWS will provide bare metal hosts with dual 18 core 2.3 Ghz CPUs, 512 GB of memory and 16 TB of SDD storage, VMware will install and maintain the latest version of their ESXi hypervisor.

Cluster size starts at a minimum of 4 hosts, due to vSAN requirements and scales up to 16 hosts.

A vCenter in it’s own SSO domain will be deployed in AWS, and link with your on-premises vCenter using hybrid linked mode.

NSX is not a requirement for your on-premises vCenter to connect with VMC, the current offering requires a IPSec layer 3 VPN, but the indication I got from talking with folks at VMWorld was that an AWS Direct Connect (dedicated 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps line) will be the preferred method in the future.

See here for a list of AWS Direct Connect locations, in most cases you will need APN Partners to establish network circuits between the AWS Direct Connect location and on-premises environment.

It is important to keep in mind this is a managed service, VMware install, patch and maintain ESXi and vCenter. Customers will not have root or admin access. The environment will be upgraded frequently, perhaps every quarter, and on-premises must be no more than one major release behind the VMC version.

Pricing can be On-Demand per hour, or Reserved for 1 or 3 years

The current public list is can be found here, so around $24,000 per month for a 4 host cluster, On-Demand*.