VMware lowers entry price for VMware Cloud on AWS

The virtualization giant is also rolling out a new set of capabilities that lets customers leverage AWS Direct Connect technology and VMware capabilities to accelerate cloud migrations.

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VMware kicked off its VMworld conference in Las Vegas on Sunday by announcing that it's lowering the entry price of VMware Cloud on AWS by 50 percent with new smaller configurations for production workloads. The virtualization giant is also rolling out a new set of capabilities that lets customers leverage AWS Direct Connect technology and VMware capabilities to accelerate cloud migrations.

VMware Cloud on AWS runs VMware's enterprise class software-defined data center (SDDC) on the AWS cloud, allowing customers to run any application across public, private or hybrid cloud environments.With the service, VMware's vSphere, VSAN, and NSX all run on the AWS cloud. The service is optimized to run on dedicated, bare metal AWS infrastructure.

The companies are not disclosing specifics around customer numbers but say they are "seeing momentum" since the service became available.

"We're really pleased that the use cases and value proposition of the service are hitting the mark across the entire breadth of the VMware and addressable customer base," said Roger Fortier, PR director for the company's cloud, networking and security business, on a briefing with media prior to VMworld.

Fortier did reveal that there are now more than 150 partners that have completed the VMware Cloud on AWS competency program in the quarter since it launched. "That sort of highlights the level of interest we're seeing," he said.

As for the price reduction, VMware said it's now reducing the minimum starting size to a three hosts cluster. On top of that, the company is offering a limited time promotion that will let customers buy the three-host cluster for the price of a two-host cluster.

VMware previously supported the minimum cluster size of four hosts as well as support for dev test environments.

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VMware also announced the integration of NSX with AWS Direct Connect for private and high performance connectivity on-premises. The company said this will provide private and consistent connectivity between VMware workloads running on AWS and those running on-premises. The Direct Connect option is geared toward companies with bandwidth heavy workloads while the VPN option offers private connectivity over a standard Internet connection.

Meanwhile, VMware said it will now give customers the ability to specify the number of CPU cores that they need for running each workload. "This will help customers reduce the cost of running these workloads because they're only paying for the course that they're actually using," said Fortier.

The company is also releasing a feature called VMware Host-Affinity, which it says will let customers pin a virtual machine or workload to a specific host, allowing them to support specific licensing requirements.

On the AWS side, the companies are also announcing the availability of high capacity storage via Amazon Elastic Block Store to give customers more options for cost effective deployment for storage intensive workloads. AWS VP Sandy Carter said the option will help customers scale their storage without incurring additional costs. Available storage options range from 15 TB to 35 TB per host, in 5 TB increments.

The companies are also bringing the AWS Key management service into the mix, allowing customers to create and control encryption keys to protect applications running on Amazon. Lastly, the companies said they're expanding the core service offering with the addition of VMware Log Intelligence. As part of the release, customers will have access to a 30-day trial for the full set of Log capabilities, and after that they can continue to use it for free on up to one gigabyte per day of logging.