At its annual U.S. conference in Las Vegas, VMworld 2018, VMware announced new capabilities and feature enhancements to its offering, VMware Cloud on AWS. This post will briefly discuss some of my favorites.

Expansion to Asia-Pacific Region

Prior to the announcement at VMworld 2018, VMware Cloud on AWS was available in four regions: AWS U.S. East (N. Virginia), AWS U.S. West (Oregon), AWS Europe (Frankfurt) and AWS Europe (London). VMware will now offer new capabilities for VMware Cloud on AWS in the Asia-Pacific region. The expansion of service capabilities into the Asia-Pacific region extends VMware Cloud on AWS services to three continents. There is a large customer base in that region and extending service capabilities into it and across multiple geographic locations will allow for unique solutions to tackle the complex technical problems of global customers.

Application-Centric Security with NSX

Security policies can now be defined based on workload attributes such as user-defined tags or OS versions and virtual machine (VM) names that follow workloads as they move throughout the infrastructure. The microsegmentation capabilities of NSX, which allow customers to take control over east-west traffic between workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS, are just another value-add for customers looking for application-centric security.

Security and compliance are at the forefront of most conversations I have with our customers, so this announcement from VMware to extend NSX capabilities to the application layer is a game changer. The more control the customer can have over their applications the more confident they will be in the overall security of their environment.

Price Change

Who doesn’t want more for less? VMware announced that it will cut the entry price for VMware Cloud on AWS by 50 percent, as well as lower the initial commitment from a four-host to a three-host minimum configuration for the company’s software-defined data center for production workloads. VMware will offer the three-host SDDC environment for the cost of a two-host configuration, but only for a limited time. The price cut reduces the minimum commitment and allows companies that once might not have been able to evaluate VMware Cloud on AWS to revisit that decision point.

 CPU-Core Licensing for Enterprise Applications

It’s hard to believe, but VMware has provided a way for customers with workloads in the cloud to properly account for their applications utilizing the dreaded per-CPU core licensing model. Yes, indeed, VMware has created new customer CPU core count capability that will allow for businesses to specify the number of CPU cores they need. This feature is available for enterprise applications in an effort to reduce the cost of running your mission-critical applications that are still bound by a per-CPU core licensing model. One of the biggest barriers to customers moving their enterprise applications to the cloud was licensing; eliminating this barrier will only allow for greater cloud consumption.

Hybrid Cloud Connection Made Easy

AWS Direct Connect, VMware’s NSX integration with Amazon’s cloud service solution, allows for easier connection across hybrid cloud environments and improved network performance. The integration enables a private and consistent connection between VMware workloads running on VMware Cloud on AWS as well as those running on-premises. The enablement of multitiered hybrid applications and the acceleration of migration to the cloud are a direct result of the AWS Direct Connect. Every company in the cloud space is looking for easy, fast and cheap integration of its hybrid cloud environments across multiple platforms, and those that do it best will be in high demand as the cloud business evolves.

Bigger Storage Options

Backed by Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), VMware Cloud on AWS partners will now have a new high-capacity storage option. The key value add is that organizations can now independently scale compute and storage resource requirements by using new clusters for storage-dense environments, reducing costs for the most demanding workloads. VMware vSAN, utilizing EBS within each cluster, delivers this scalable storage capability. To my knowledge, this native integration with Amazon’s Elastic Block Store is innovative and not to be found anywhere else.

Meeting Customer Needs in the Cloud

VMware is listening. Many of our VMware private cloud customers have been looking to replicate their private cloud experience in the public cloud space for some time now, and these announcements get them one step closer to the nirvana hybrid cloud experience. Add in automation and orchestration software and combine that with the instant data center evacuation process to cut over thousands of VMs to a new environment hosted on VMware Cloud on AWS with zero downtime — what’s not to like?

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