VMware Cloud on AWS cost and capabilities -- then vs. now

When you compare VMware Cloud on AWS' initial release to its state in 2019, the cost of entry has lowered, the feature set has expanded and it now meets most compliance standards.

VMware Cloud on AWS has grown considerably in the two years since its release in 2017. Several on-premises VMware products such as NSX and Horizon 7 have already moved onto the platform, and, in the future, VMware hopes to turn it into a cloud product that connects to and operates in, essentially, the same way as an on-premises infrastructure. VMware Cloud on AWS now provides a single pane of glass that bridges your entire environment, both on and off the cloud.

VMware's Cloud on AWS has gone from a new to established platform as it reaches its second anniversary of availability. The feature set has grown considerably since its initial release, and the VMware Cloud on AWS costs have remained consistent or lowered depending on configuration details.

Although VMware Cloud on AWS started in a single AWS region, U.S. West in Oregon, you can now find it in all major AWS geographic regions. This opens it up for use by many organizations that must comply with regional security and privacy laws. In addition, this can reduce potential latency issues.

Changes to VMware Cloud on AWS costs

VMware initially released VMware Cloud on AWS as a four-host cluster, and today it starts as a three-host cluster. Although it can scale up to 16 hosts per cluster, this lower starting point enables a wider range of possible customers to adopt the system since the smaller starting number of hosts means a smaller VMware Cloud on AWS cost of entry.

This helps customers both large and small. Small businesses with smaller budgets that require fewer resources can more easily afford this service. Even large businesses or enterprise-level customers can grow as needed, which helps them save on initial starting costs. Elastic Distributed Resource Scheduler, which handles the addition or removal of hosts based on the policies you set, supports this setup.

Large businesses or enterprise-level customers can grow as needed, which helps them save on initial starting costs.

So, as a customer, only pay for what you use when you need it, rather than paying a higher cost upfront for resources that you might not need right away. VMware Cloud on AWS also automates the provisioning of additional hosts, which makes the lower starting cost a key factor for many customers.

Cloud networking with HCX and NSX-T

VMware Cloud on AWS has added both HCX and NSX-T to its suite since its launch. It integrated HCX to VMware Cloud on AWS in 2018, which took much of the burden that comes with configuring networks off the admin. HCX provides a tool set with which you can both extend Layer 2 and move workloads from on-premises environments to VMware Cloud on AWS. HCX also includes WAN optimization as well as compression and deduplication, which makes it a simple, singular tool for data center-to-cloud networking.

The addition of NSX-T to the mix provides microsegmentation and network security for workloads running on VMware Cloud on AWS. NSX-T increases the security inside your cluster, and its integration with AWS Direct Connect creates an additional layer of security between your VMware Cloud on AWS environment and your on-premises location.

Storage improvements and Elastic vSAN

Elastic vSAN, also added to VMware Cloud on AWS in 2018, enables you to expand storage independently of compute with the help of AWS' Elastic Block Store.

The inclusion of Elastic vSAN adds flexibility to VMware Cloud on AWS, and it plays a huge role in possible cost savings. With Elastic vSAN, you can adjust your storage based on need and save costs directly related to that.

VDI in the cloud

VMware also introduced support for Horizon 7 and support for Horizon 7 Instant Clones. Many businesses struggle with implementing virtual desktop infrastructure in the cloud due to its resources and complexity -- many even struggle implementing VDI on premises -- and VMware Horizon offers a simplified platform for deploying and managing VDI.

Now that VMware Cloud on AWS offers Horizon, admins might find it easier to run VDI in the cloud, which opens up more customers to virtual desktop use and the flexibility and security that VDI offers.

Compliance and customization

VMware Cloud on AWS has added many compliance features over the past two years. It now meets key compliance standards such as Service Organization Control, International Organization for Standardization and HIPAA. This opens doors to this platform for industries such as healthcare and government work -- industries that require these compliance guidelines be met.

In addition to compliance, VMware Cloud on AWS also introduced custom CPU core count capabilities. This means VMware Cloud on AWS can work alongside products from other vendors because you can adjust it to meet licensing needs that use a per-core model. Key vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle have migrated to the per-core model, and this change ensures customers can meet licensing requirements for products from other vendors.

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