It’s been about one month since VMworld 2018, and the focus was heavy on VMware on AWS.  Let’s review 6 of the major announcements around the offering and what’s coming next.

  1. NSX Upgrades

If you’re familiar with NSX, we’re looking at the upgrade of NSX-V to NSX-T inside of the VMware on AWS environment.  This is going to open a lot of new functionality for users as it’s a “cloud-ready” version of the product.  We saw this with the announcement of NSX micro-segmentation and security upgrades (Distributed Firewall) and with the changes to the Direct Connect to allow NSX to pass both management and compute traffic across the private link.  We’re excited to see the NSX-T load balancing options on the roadmap and look forward to testing those out.

  1. Node Counts and Discounts

The minimum number of nodes to run in the SDDC was reduced from 4 to 3, effectively reducing the price to get in the door by 25%.  They further offered to only charge you for 2 of the 3 nodes for 90 days.  This effectively gets you down to half price.  For clients looking to use SDDC for smaller datacenters or as a pilot light to DR, this is very good news.  But let’s be honest, 4 nodes were still cheaper than your physical DR datacenter.  Note that a two-host SDDC cluster is on the roadmap, so look for that entry price point to be even cheaper.

  1. New Instance and Storage Options

VMware on AWS now has the option to choose the R5.metal instance type instead of the i3.metal instance type.  With this instance type there are a number of important changes.  First, the hosts are 50% bigger than the i3 instance type.  Secondly, you can only get EBS based storage that comes between 15Tb – 35Tb in size (in 5Tb increments).  These EBS disks for the R5 will be available over iSCSI networking paths as opposed to being connected directly with the i3.  There might be a case where the performance will dictate one or the other.  We hope to see more instance types in the future and, on the storage front, are excited about shared disks on the roadmap so we can run our classic active/passive sql clusters and cut our sql licencing bill in half.

  1. Speaking of Licensing, Custom Core Counts

When enterprise software is licensed by core (*cough* oracle *cough), having flexibility to choose/limit core counts can save a lot of money.

  1. HCX or should I say “NSX Hybrid Connect”?

HCX got a lot of love and a rebranding.  With the new VMware Cloud Motion with vSphere Replication feature for HCX you can live migrate thousands of vms reliably.  Basically, you schedule your migration, and the data is pre-migrated and ready for the final move when you are.  VMware HCX was rebranded as NSX Hybrid Connect.

  1. Sydney

VMware announced its new region in APAC and is continuing to push for new regions on an aggressive release cycle.  The next regions on the roadmap are Tokyo, Ohio, north CA, and Dublin.  We hope that Tokyo is soon so that APAC gains a pairing for regional active/passive failover strategies.

That’s our list of 6 major VMware on AWS announcements from VMWorld and a review of the roadmap for features coming down the pipe. If you’re interested in learning more about VMware on AWS, contact us.

-Coin Graham, Principal Consultant