VMworld 2017 Highlights: VMware Cloud on AWS Sessions

The sessions for VMworld 2017 have been posted on YouTube! Thanks to William Lam for documenting them all, they are all easily found on his GitHub writeup (both US & EU): https://github.com/lamw/vmworld2017-session-urls

The most exciting topic for me was VMware Cloud on AWS. It’s going to solve a lot of problems for customer in their journey to the Cloud, and the sessions I attended were packed to maximum capacity. Just from the buzz when talking to organizations at VMworld, I knew this was going to be big. Now that it’s been a few weeks and I’ve had a chance to visit many customers and talk with them about VMC, that hypothesis is proving to be correct.

There are lots of questions from folks around what exactly is VMware Cloud on AWS, how does it work operationally, what kind of integration is there, and lots and lots of technical deep dive questions. Based on that, I wanted to highlight and categorize some of the great content from the VMworld sessions to make it easier for folks to find (be sure to check the link above to every session available).

Below you will find sections devoted to the aforementioned categories with some brief highlight commentary to give you a better idea on what is in the session. Hope this helps folks get up to speed with what I know is going to be a hit!

Introductions to VMware Cloud on AWS

LHC1547BU — Creating Your VMware Cloud on AWS Data Center: VMware Cloud on AWS Fundamentals

Brought to you by Oren Root & Matt Dreyer of VMware. Lots of demos in this session, including:

  • Creating the SDDC in VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Connecting to a VMware Cloud on AWS VM from the Internet
  • Hybrid Linked Mode
  • Cold Migration from On-Premises to VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Integrating AWS IoT with VMware Cloud on AWS API

LHC1882BU — Service Overview for VMware Cloud on AWS

Talks about the delineation of responsibility between Customers & VMware in management and operations of VMware Cloud on AWS, Service Maintenance of the environment (including a video of the Release Coordination Engine), Automated Cluster Remediation (host failure resolution, adding/removing hosts), how support works (models, live chat support addition, service health status monitoring, built-in knowledge base into VMC portal), and how the Service Level Agreement for VMware Cloud on AWS works. There is also a good 15 minutes worth of audience questions at the end.

LHC3371BUS VMware Cloud on AWS — The Painless Path to Hybrid Cloud

This combined session by 451 Research and AWS covers a lot of market type data (e.g. movement to cloud percentages, hybrid cloud customer expectations), how organizations are making the move to Hybrid Cloud (i.e. strategies), etc. It also walks through the opportunity for businesses by Hybrid Cloud and the challenges. It also walks through at a high level: account structure, software/hardware components, connectivity, and integration with AWS services (e.g. Redshift, DynamoDB).

Operations with VMware Cloud on AWS

LHC1158BU — Architecture and Tooling for the Brownfield Hybrid Cloud

This session goes into Scripps Networks Interactive’s approach to Hybrid Cloud, including their business demands to utilize Public Cloud, how they went about it, and lessons learned. Scripps Network Interactive is the company that brings you channels like Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, etc. SNI was a member of the LightHouse and Early Access Program for VMware Cloud on AWS.

LHC2971BU — Managing Your Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS

The differences between On-Premises SDDC and VMware Cloud on AWS’ SDDC activities, and how VMC removes some of the pain and mundane activity (e.g. ESXi setup tasks like waiting on hardware, network ports, etc). Talks about the initial configuration options and maximums (which will continually improve), as well as how controllable VMC is as it was built to be API-driven. Lots of other great content in this session as well: Elastic DRS, Hybrid Linked Mode, Resource Pool topology (Compute & Management; vCenter, NSX, and other Management VMs live on your cluster). This session has 15 minutes of audience questions at the end, as well.

LHC1910BU — Using vRealize with VMware Cloud on AWS

vRealize support for VMware Cloud on AWS: Assessing, troubleshooting, capacity management, extend native AWS integration visibility, etc. There are a lot of demos in this session:

  • vRealize Business for Cloud
  • Using the VMC Assessment tool of vRealize Business via the What-if Analysis options for cost comparison of Private vs VMC
  • vRealize Network Insight for Application Dependency Mapping when considering VMC
  • vRealize Operations Manager for visibility across On-Premises & VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Capacity Management & Reclaimation with vRealize Operations
  • Extending Management of Native AWS Services (e.g. EC2, RDS) with vRealize Operations

LHC1748BU — VMware Cloud for AWS and the Art of Software-Defined Data Centers: API, CLI, & PowerShell

If you love APIs and PowerShell, this is the session for you: API Endpoints for VMC & how to automate and take advantage of the API-driven nature of VMC. Includes a demo of CLI Access to VMC.

It also talks about the Restrictive Access Model of VMware Cloud on AWS; since VMC is a managed service, not everything is available to modify (e.g. VIBs, no root ESXi access).

MMC2455BU — On-Demand Disaster Recovery for Enterprise Applications with the VMware Cloud on AWS

Starts out discussing the importance of Disaster Recovery and the traditional approaches before diving into DR with native AWS then DR with VMware Cloud on AWS. Discusses on SRM and what they’re working on around it in conjunction with VMC (e.g. flexible version pairing). Shows the concept of “Add-Ons” in VMC, particularly demo’ing Site Recovery Manager as an Add-On. Good chunk of questions at the end.

Integrations around VMware Cloud on AWS

LHC2281BU — Intriguing Integrations with VMware Cloud on AWS, EC2, S3, Lambda, and More

Brian Graf and Matt Dreyer walk through using the VMware Cloud on AWS API. VMware is serious about APIs with VMC, and they go through a lot of examples of cool integration through it. There are a lot of cool demos:

  • Sample application for a serverless Self-service Virtual Machine tool using AWS S3, Cognito, Lambda, and VMware Cloud on AWS.
  • Slack Integration for VMC Inventory
  • Using Amazon RDS with VMware Cloud on AWS Virtual Machines
  • Creating a VMware Cloud on AWS IoT Button to spawn a bunch of Photon Clones and also to delete them.
  • Creating a VMware Cloud on AWS IoT Button to run a vCheck on the environment and then text message the report that is saved in AWS S3.
  • Alexa Skill for VMware Cloud on AWS Service Status and even adding hosts.

LHC3175BU — VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Solutions Showcase

Walks through several tested partner ecosystem solutions with the VMware Cloud on AWS, such as: RISC Networks CloudScape, Chef, TrendMicro, Palo Alto, F5, and more. As of the session, there were over 20 ISV tech partners that have tested their solutions against VMC with lots more on the way.

LHC3376BUS — AWS Native Services Integration with VMware Cloud on AWS: Technical Deep Dive

Presented by Paul Bockelman and Haider Witwit of AWS, this session goes into integration use cases (e.g. scaling applications, mitigating DDoS attacks, increasing security visibility). They cover the usage of lots of AWS services alongside and integrated with VMC: AWS Certificate Manager, Elastic Load Balancing, RDS, Storage Gateway, Auto-Scaling EC2, S3, CloudFront, Shield, WAF, CloudWatch, Kinesis Firehose, Elasticsearch, Athena, QuickSight, Lambda, CodeDeploy, and more. Lots of pretty diagrams in this session!

Technical Deep Dives

LHC2384BU — VMware Cloud on AWS: A Technical Deep Dive

Goes into the detail of the compute platform specifics, Cluster Configuration (DRS, Resource Pools, HA, etc), vSAN topology, NSX & Networking, connectivity to native AWS, and ends with answering lots of attendee questions.

LHC3375BUS — VMware Cloud on AWS Hybrid Cloud Architectural Deep Dive: Networking and Storage Best Practices

Presented by AWS Solutions Architects, deep dive into VMC & AWS Account topology, networking flow and considerations, integrated storage services (EBS, S3, Storage Gateway), data protection, and workload analysis. Lots of good info on AWS Storage services for folks not as familiar with them.

LHC3174BU — VMware Cloud on AWS: An Architectural and Operational Deep Dive

Very detailed walkthrough of the operational side of VMware Cloud on AWS (organizations, console walkthroughs, limits on operational permissions). Really good diagrams and walkthroughs of all the pieces fitting together (customer AWS account, SaaS components, SDDC, etc.). There is probably the deepest technical architectural session of any of the deep dives.

STO1890BU — VMware Cloud on AWS: Storage Deep Dive

Unlike the other session above, this session focuses a bit more on the VMware side of the storage equation of VMware Cloud on AWS: vSAN configuration, vSAN operation models, and more. Learn all about vSAN in VMC! There is also some interesting “futures” discussion in this session with detail on things they are working on.

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