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  1. #1
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    [EN] VMware on AWS goes live

    Steven Kiernan
    Aug 28 2017

    VMware made the announcement during its VMworld conference in Las Vegas, nearly a year after first announcing its strategic alliance with AWS.

    Its first location is the AWS US West availability zone in Oregon. Details on pricing are expected later in the conference.

    The VMware Cloud on AWS service will initially be available only on hourly billing – a signal that VMware has learnt from Amazon's flexible approach. Annual and three-year licences will be available at some point down the track.

    The announcement follows a beta test with 50 customers and partners.

    VMware is keeping mum on its timeline for further availability zones.

    Mark Lohmeyer, VP of products, cloud platform business unit, claimed demand was "incredibly strong, including many Australian customers".

    He said VMware intends to host the service "in many AWS regions around the world and have worldwide coverage throughout 2018", but would stagger the rollout to guarantee service levels.

    "Technically the regions are very consistent around the world so there is not a high technical bar to being able to to do that, but we want to make sure we do it in a way that we can support customers coming onto this platform around the world," Lohmeyer said.

    VMware Cloud on AWS brings together the vendor's three central technologies for software-defined data centre (SDDC) – vSphere hypervisor, VSAN for storage and NSX network virtualisation – and runs them on a single type of elastic bare metal server in AWS' public cloud that was jointly developed to run the VMware kit on AWS stack.

    The first six cloud services available at launch will be Discovery for analysing cloud utilisation; Cost Insight for accounting and cost optimisation across multiple clouds; NSX Cloud to create secure networks using micro-segmentation; Network Insight for compliance across cloud; Wavefront for monitoring and analytics; and AppDefence for governance and security.

    VMware Cloud on AWS is widely perceived as a response to the growth of Microsoft Azure, which has been pursuing market leader AWS. Microsoft recently launched its Azure Stack platform to offer customers the 'best of both worlds' between public and private cloud.

    Customers running VMware Cloud on AWS will be able to use the same skills, tools and processes to manage private and public cloud environments, and the technology also promises "seamless, fast, and bi-directional workload portability between private and public clouds".

    VMware claims users will be able to spin up an entire VMware SDDC stack in under a couple hours. Sitting side-by-side with AWS infrastructure means the service will have very low latency.

    Steven Kiernan travelled to VMworld as a guest of VMware.

    https://www.itnews.com.au/news/vmwar...es-live-471888

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Virtzilla is now a proper SaaS player

    Cloudy vSphere starts at $8k/month, with cheaper subs to come.

    Simon Sharwood
    28 Aug 2017

    VMworld 2017 VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger last week introduced the company's second quarter results by saying the company has embarked on a “multi-year journey from a compute virtualization company to offer a broad portfolio of products driving efficiency and digital transformation.”

    And today at VMworld the company began to explain what that mouthful of jargon meant: a strategy to put the company at the center of multi-cloud management.

    The clearest expression of Gelsinger's words is its half-dozen new software-as-a service offerings, namely:

    • AppDefense – the new security product formerly known as Project Goldilocks, and which creates a manifest of expected behaviours for VMs, then gives businesses options to deal with them if they diverge;
    • Cost Insight – a cost monitoring and optimization service that knows the AWS, Azure and Google's price lists inside out and can make cost saving recommendations;
    • Discovery – a tool that figures out what you have running, in what clouds, and lets you organise them into logical groups;
    • Network Insight – a network and security analysis service that leans heavily on NSX;
    • NSX Cloud – NSX-as-a-service;
    • Wavefront – a performance monitoring service for cloud-native apps.


    All six are subscription services, accessible through existing VMware accounts. And all six are new stuff for your VMware account manager, or channel partner, to suggest. If you're one of the few who resisted the company's No Naked vSphere push, VMware's going to come at you again, this time as a software-as-a-service vendor.

    The Register expects the company will come hardest with AppDefense, because it's created a new business unit to back a product it feels is genuinely new to offer. “Most security is about finding bad, we are about ensuring good,” says Tom Corn, senior veep of the Security Product group at VMware. The Register revealed the basics of AppDefense well before its announcement. We had to wait for today to learn that it can build its whitelist of acceptable VM behaviour by interacting with either vCenter or automated provisioning tools like Jenkins or MAVEN. Linking with those tools is an effort to make AppDefense offer something to DevOps practitioners. It's also trying to impress line-of-business types by offering them a mobile app that alerts them when applications misbehave, so that all stakeholders can participate in decisions about how to respond.

    AppDefense will be sold as SaaS or on-premises software. Either way, it should do well: security types The Register's virtualization desk have spoken to feel Virtzilla is onto something here!

    VMware on AWS costs what?

    VMware's favourite news from this year's event is that the company's deal with Amazon Web Services has come to fruition. AWS now hosts servers running Cloud Foundation, the bundle of vSphere, VSAN, NSX and vCenter that is intended to mirror on-premises implementations.

    It's all available as of today, to run in AWS alone or in a hybrid cloud spanning an on-premises implementation.

    For how it's only in one AWS Region, US West, and you can only buy by the hour. One-and-three-year subscriptions are due soon, as is a global rollout that will start soon and continue deep into 2018. There's just one server type, too, and while vSphere lets you slice and dice that as it would any other server, there's no hint of the varied instance types AWS and other clouds offer.

    At least the server is pleasingly grunty. Each host has a pair of CPUs, 36 cores, 72 hyper-threads, 512GB of RAM, local flash storage (3.6TB cache, 10.7TB raw capacity tier). But you'll need four hosts to build a cluster!

    There is integration between VMware-on-AWS and some AWS services.

    VMware will run and support the service, in contrast to the arrangement it has with IBM and the other ~4,300 vCloud Air Network partners that run vSphere-based clouds. Those partners get a new version of vCloud Director, plus more hardware partners ready to sell them servers ready to roll with Cloud Foundation. And perhaps some worry beads, for stress relief and/or prayer as VMware challenges them like never before, because the new service integrates with some AWS services. We're told that the VMware service lives in the same data centres as services like Lambda, so piping them into apps will be low-latency.

    In the past VMware partners have told El Reg they feel VMware's cloud partnerships aren't bad for business, because they get users talking about vSphere-powered clouds. Now we hear some are re-thinking that position, but the pricing for VMware on Amazon may well crimp their concerns, because it isn't super-cheap.

    Here's the pricing scheme.

    .
    On-Demand (hourly) 1 Year Reserved 3 Year Reserved
    List Price ($ per host) $8.37 $51,987.00 $109,366.00
    Effective Monthly $6,109.00 $4,332.00 $3,038.00
    Savings Over On-Demand 30.00% 50.00%

    Remember: you'll probably need at least four hosts, so paying by the hour you'll be up for $32k/year if you don't take up the subscription offers.

    VMware justifies these prices by saying they stack up well when compared to the total cost of ownership compared to either on-prem or public clouds.

    Here's the company's math.

    Estimated TCO ($/VM/hour) over 3 Years
    VMware Cloud on AWS (3 Year Reserved) $0.06 – $0.09, depending on consolidation ratio
    Traditional On-Premises $0.10 – $0.17, depending on customer environment
    Native Cloud Instances $0.06 – $0.09, depending on instance type and storage

    That calculation excludes bandwidth and IP address charges, and assumes VMs have a pair of vCPUs, 8GB RAM and 150GB of storage.

    What does it all mean?

    VMware's attempt to build a public cloud failed, as did its early SaaS forays.

    The company's now turned that around, because the AWS deal gives it unrivalled scale, with perhaps-unsettling price.

    The new SaaS offerings do two things.

    Firstly, they give VMware a way to sell subscription software, which Wall Street wants to see in these cloudy times.

    More importantly, the SaaS offerings defend against Azure Stack, the most potent threat yet to on-premises vSphere.

    VMware has done astoundingly well to keep Hyper-V's market share small. But anyone who needs new servers or storage now has to consider either hyperconverged infrastructure or Azure Stack because both offer strong alternatives to traditional infrastructure. Azure Stack also makes hypervisors irrelevant and therefore also makes the idea of Windows-on-VMware look a bit archaic.

    Starting with last week's earnings call and already in pre-VMworld briefings, VMware's counter argument is that it's happy for you to use Azure in any form. So long as you don't needlessly rip and replace perfectly good vSphere in order to buy in to Microsoft's hybrid vision.

    The new SaaS tools give you reasons not to ditch vSphere, by making multi-cloud wrangling easier and making vCenter the place you'll do it. AppDefense helps, too, because it looks a useful tool that won't hurt even if only deployed as one layer of a defense-in-depth strategy. It needs vCenter, too. And if vCenter is the place to do some security, and do multi-cloud management, it's a lot harder to contemplate ejecting it. That the VMware/AWS tie-up has quickly gone beyond IaaS and into AWS' services also suggests Virtzilla has found its way into a position of cloudy strength.

    For now, anyway. Clouds move fast, and so do strategies to catch them.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/0...r_saas_player/

  3. #3
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    KVM plans big boosts to storage and nested virtualization

    Simon Sharwood
    28 Aug 2017

    Speaking of Virtzilla, it's about to spew forth a torrent of news at VMworld, so The Register's virtualization desk decided we'd best balance out the week's virtualization coverage with a bit of KVM news.

    We've been helped by project maintainer Paolo Bonzini, who responded to our request for a heads' up on KVM's directions with news that the project is “working hard on nested virtualization.”

    “OpenStack has been using nested virtualization for some time in their continuous integration environment. And despite (or because of) the hype around containers, some people do want to use virtualization to get better isolation in scenarios where you would usually go with containers.”

    Bonzini thinks that's where nested virtualization will come in handy, “because containers are usually run inside virtual machines (for example in the cloud). Of course, using nested virtualization in the cloud depends on the cloud providers enabling it.”

    “Our part is to make sure that cloud providers using KVM have stable and complete support for it. Not surprisingly, Google is the main contributor here.”

    Bigger VMs are also on the agenda.

    “Breaking the barrier of 256 virtual CPUs was a large work because such large machines need interrupt remapping, which in turn requires an IOMMU. This spanned all of the low-level virtualization stack (KVM, QEMU and the firmware),” Bonzini said.

    Storage is on Bonzini's mind, too, because he says “Compared to VMware and Hyper-V, support for some enterprise storage features has been lacking in KVM. Things like NPIV and persistent reservations are a mess to use right now, and we want to fix that.”

    Another complicated problem is backups. “Interoperability of KVM with backup software has always been problematic, but that is being fixed,” Bonzini told The Register.

    NVMe has the development team busy readying QEMU to handle new storage devices, “especially for block devices (virtio-blk and virtio-scsi).”

    “In addition to improving QEMU, we are also working on interoperability with external storage backends: the vhost-user backend was introduced for network devices to talk to DPDK (data plane development kit), and we now have added a virtio-scsi version of it to talk to SPDK (storage performance development kit).”

    Bonzini also told us that “Windows guests and their performance are a major concern.”

    “KVM, like other major hypervisors, supports Hyper-V's paravirtualization features,” he wrote. “We are also working on native support for Hyper-V devices, where a KVM guest would look to Windows just like if it was running on Hyper-V.”

    Bonzini also works on QEMU and said version 2.10 is imminent, adding support for LUKS-encrypted virtual machine images.

    “ Future versions of QEMU will have vhost-user for virtio-blk, and will also be able to talk to storage directly with a user space driver (based on VFIO), without going through the kernel.”

    The last agenda item Bonzini mentioned is vsock , the VMware-created lightweight network between guest and host that means the host is less likely to send traffic beyond the firewall.

    Bonzini told us vsock is already supported in Linux, QEMU, Wireshark and systemd (for socket activation) “and many other userspace pieces”, adding that “Stefan Hajnoczi is currently working on NFS support for vsock.”

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/0...irtualization/

  4. #4
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    VMware Cloud on AWS

    Essentially VMware’s server virtualization platform running on bare-metal servers inside Amazon’s data centers

    Yevgeniy Sverdlik
    August 28, 2017

    Ever wish you could just run VMware on Amazon’s cloud? Now you can, but not on the entire AWS cloud, just in one availability region hosted in Amazon data centers in Oregon.

    This morning, on stage at VMworld, VMware’s big annual conference in Las Vegas, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced initial availability of VMware Cloud on AWS, which is essentially VMware’s server virtualization platform running on bare-metal servers inside Amazon’s data centers customers can consume the same way they consume AWS cloud server instances.

    The two companies announced a partnership with the goal of seamlessly extending VMware’s environment from the enterprise data center to AWS about one year ago. VMware is nearly ubiquitous in corporate and public-sector data centers, where users deployed the platform to radically increase the utilization rate of each physical machine.

    While many large IT organizations have deployed applications on public cloud platforms by many accounts they still run most of their workloads in their own data centers. Giving them a way to deploy software in the cloud using the same underlying software stack they use in-house and the associated management tools will presumably further reduce the friction they face when using cloud services.

    The partnership highlights a change in the message AWS has been sending to the market about the future of cloud in the IT industry. The company used to paint hybrid cloud, where users have both on-premises data centers and cloud services, as little more than a stepping stone toward a world where nearly all workloads would run in public clouds.

    Its willingness to partner with VMware on hybrid cloud signals that Amazon recognizes what many industry pundits have been saying for years: for numerous reasons many IT shops simply don’t think deploying the entirety of their workloads in one or another public cloud provider’s data centers makes sense.

    The partnership is also a big step for VMware, which has in the past attempted to become a cloud service provider itself, making essentially the same pitch: extend your on-premises VMware environment into the cloud, where you’ll find the same familiar platform and tooling. While VMware execs claim the cloud business had been successful, the company ended up selling the business, called vCloud Air, to the French service provider OVH earlier this year.

    VMware’s new strategy in the cloud services market is to enable customers to use multiple cloud providers together with their on-premises VMware environments using the same toolset.

    As of now, VMware Cloud on AWS is available in the AWS US West region, but plans are in place to expand the service worldwide next year. Customers pay for each hour a host is active in their account.

    It includes not only vSphere, the core server virtualization platform, but also VMware NSX for network virtualization, VMware VSAN for storage virtualization, and the management suite VMware vCenter. The technologies are all part of VMware’s fairly new software-defined data center platform VMware Cloud Foundation.

    The cost is about $8.40 per host per hour; $52,000 for one reserved host for one year (a 30-percent discount compared to on-demand pricing); or $110,000 for a three-year single-host contract (a 50-percent discount).

    Users of VMware’s on-premises software get further discounts (up to 25 percent off) “based on eligible on-premises product licenses.”

    A number of companies are providing managed services around VMware Cloud on AWS, such as solutions for DevOps, application migration, data protection, cloud analytics, and security.

    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/a...-data-centers/

  5. #5
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    VMware is making the case that the typical customer can save money by moving to the VMware Cloud on AWS and paying for reserved instances over three years compared to their on-premises VMware stacks. The math VMware is showing indicates savings of anywhere from 40 percent to 50 percent.


    Timothy Prickett Morgan
    August 29, 2017

    ...

    The minimum cluster size on the VMware Cloud on AWS is four ESXi hosts, so you cannot just start with one, and the maximum cluster size is sixteen hosts, much smaller than the 500 servers per datacenter and 1,000 hosts maximum for a vCenter management domain. The AWS machines that VMware is selling do not have disk storage and only have flash, which is interesting indeed. (You need all-flash storage with vSAN to get some of the encryption and compression functions to work properly; disks are too slow and eat too much time and CPU.)

    For the moment, there is one server configuration that VMware is offering. It is a two-socket Xeon server with 18 cores per socket with HyperThreading turned on, and that looks like a high-end “Broadwell” Xeon processor to us. This virtual machine is equipped with 512 GB of main memory and 15 TB of flash storage on the node.

    The base on demand price for this server is $8.3681 per hour, which works out to around $6,109 per month. The base EC2 machine on the AWS cloud proper that is most like the VMware Cloud variant is the i3.16xlarge instance, which has 32 cores (probably “Haswell” Xeons) and 64 threads with 488 GB of virtual memory plus 15.2 TB of flash across eight SSDs. This costs $4.992 per hour, or $3,664 per month. If you do an uplift on the compute and memory and move the hardware forward to Broadwell Xeons, we think the underlying VMware on AWS hardware in the instance is probably worth about $4,000 a month or so. That means the VMware software stack – ESXi and vSphere and NSX plus the ability to hook in all of the vRealize management tools customers already have on site to run it all – is worth about $2,110 per month. In this case, the hardware is two thirds of the system cost and the software is only one third. This is precisely the opposite of what most VMware customers experience.

    Interestingly, VMware is making the case that, thanks to the ability to overprovision VMs on top of the ESXi hypervisor, the typical customer (who presumably is not doing this) can actually save money by moving to the VMware Cloud on AWS and paying for reserved instances over three years compared to their onsite VMware stacks. The math VMware is showing indicates savings of anywhere from 40 percent to 50 percent. This deserves some more detailed analysis, and if customers save that kind of money, the question is this: what impact does this have on VMware’s future revenues and profits? It looks like maybe VMware wants to make it up in volume a little bit, and it may have decided to charge a premium for on-premises software rather than the stuff it manages on behalf of customers on the VMware Cloud on AWS.

    VMware will be coming to other AWS regions and instances will eventually be available in other capacities and at other prices.

    ...

    https://www.nextplatform.com/2017/08...i-except-cant/

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