100 Days of Cloud – Day 94: Azure VMware Solution

Its Day 94 of my 100 Days of Cloud journey and in todays post we’ll take a quick look at Azure VMware Solution.

For decades, VMware has dominated the Hypervisor market in the face of competition from vendors such as Microsoft, Citrix, Oracle and Red Hat. They’ve provided innovation with the launch of ESXi and vCenter, and continued that by branching out into products such as Horizon, vRealize, Cloud Foundation and NSX to name but a few.

Base Specifications

You can now provision VMware private clouds in Azure using Azure VMware Solution. A deployment contains VMware vSphere clusters built from dedicated bare-metal Azure infrastructure.

The minimum initial deployment is three hosts, but additional hosts can be added one at a time, up to a maximum of 16 hosts per cluster. All provisioned private clouds have:

  • VMware vCenter Server
  • VMware vSAN
  • VMware vSphere
  • VMware NSX-T Data Center

As a result, you can migrate workloads from your on-premises environments, deploy new virtual machines (VMs), and consume Azure services from your private clouds.

Each host contains:

  • 576GB RAM
  • Dual Intel 18 core, 2.3-GHz processors
  • Two vSAN disk groups with 15.36 TB (SSD) of raw vSAN capacity tier and a 3.2 TB (NVMe) vSAN cache tier.

Shared Responsibility Model

Like all services deployed in Azure, there is a Shared Responsibility model in place for what Microsoft manages versus what the Customer manages. The beauty of Azure VMware Solution is that the majority of the underlying VMware Components are managed by Microsoft. We can see from the diagram below where the responsibilities lie for each of the components:

Image Credit – Microsoft

When you think of the amount of time that is spent with on-premises deployments managing Physical Infrastructure, Networking, Identity and Security, you can see the benefits of hosting your VMware in Azure VMware Solution.

Interconnectivity to your On-Premises environments

You can connect your AVS and On-Premises deployments by using Express Route Connections and Express Route Global Reach to interconnect the environments.

Image Credit – Microsoft

Once the connection is in place, you can use VMware HCX to migrate your on-premises workloads into Azure VMware Solution.

Scenarios for Azure VMware Solution

Like all discussions around moving to Azure or any other Public Cloud provider from an on-premises environment, the scenario needs to be one best suitd to your business needs. Some examples are:

  • Migrate existing assets “as is” – Take the fast path to the cloud. Replicate existing IT systems, apps, and workloads natively in Azure (also known as a “lift and shift” migration) without needing to change them beforehand.
  • Reduce your datacenter footprint – If your enterprise wants to leave the datacenter business, you can use Azure as a way to enable decommissioning legacy infrastructure, after you’ve brought resources into the cloud.
  • Prepare for disaster recovery and business continuity – Move your apps to the cloud without disruption to your business. You can also deploy VMware resources on Azure for a primary or secondary on-demand recovery site to provide business continuity for your existing on-premises datacenter resources.
  • Modernize your workloads Provide a future path to innovate and expand on the value of cloud investments. At your speed and pace, take advantage of Azure tools and services to modernize your datacenter and applications.

Conclusion

So thats a quick intro to Azure VMware Solution. There are lots of great resources, such as the Microsoft Learn modules, the official Microsoft and VMware Documentation, and this great episode of Azure Friday where Shannon Kuehn gave Scott Hanselman a demo of Azure VMware Solution.

Hope you enjoyed this post, until next time!

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