The Azure VMware Solution's evolution for running VMware workloads on Azure

Azure VMware Solution (AVS) is the service designed, built and supported by Microsoft, and approved by VMware, that allows customers to easily extend or migrate fully to Azure VMware workloads residing in an on-premises environment. Microsoft recently introduced a series of interesting innovations regarding Azure VMware Solution that pave the way for new adoption scenarios and make it even more complete. This article reports the main aspects that have undergone an evolution and the new features recently introduced in Azure VMware Solution.

Azure VMware Solution allows you to deploy a VMware private cloud, in Software-Defined Data Center mode (SDDC), in Microsoft Azure environment.

Figure 1 – Azure VMware Solution overview

Main adoption scenarios

The adoption of Azure VMware Solution is usually contemplated to address the following scenarios:

  • Need to expand your datacenter
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Application Modernization
  • Reduction, consolidation or decommissioning of your datacenter

Benefits of the solution

Among the main benefits of adopting this solution it is possible to mention:

  • Ability to take advantage of investments already made in the skills and tools for managing on-premises VMware environments.
  • Modernization of your application workloads by adopting Azure services and without facing interruptions.
  • Economic convenience for running Windows and SQL Server workloads. Indeed, being in effect an Azure service, Azure VMware Solution supports Azure Hybrid Benefits, that allow you to maximize the investments made in Windows Server and SQL Server licenses in an on-premises environment, during migration or extension to Azure. Furthermore, customers who adopt this solution are entitled to three years of free extended security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server.

For more details about Azure VMware Solution (AVS) you can refer to this article.

Evolution and news of the solution

To further enrich the capabilities of the AVS solution and to make it even more effective, Microsoft has recently introduced the innovations reported in the following paragraphs.

Presence in 24 region of Azure

Since the launch of AVS, happened about two years ago, Microsoft has worked to extend the availability of this solution globally and it is now available in 24 different regions of Azure, more than any other cloud service provider. To consult the geographical availability of AVS it is possible to consult this page.

Figure 2 - Presence of AVS globally

VMware vSphere 7.0

All Azure VMware solution deployments can adopt VMware vSphere 7.0, the latest version of the suite that offers a full range of enterprise virtualization features.

Availability of Azure NetApp Files datastores

Workloads that require intensive use of storage, even in the AVS environment, can take advantage of integration with Azure NetApp Files. By adopting this solution, you can easily scale to increase storage capacities, thus overcoming the limits of local storage instances made available by vSAN. For further details please visit the Microsoft's official documentation.

Jetstream DR with Azure NetApp Files datastore support

Microsoft, in order to guarantee its customers the opportunity to make the most of the investments made in skills and technologies, has worked with some of the main partners offering disaster recovery solutions, one of them is Jetstream. The adoption of JetStream to develop DR plans is interesting as Azure Blob Storage is used to keep copies of virtual machines and related data. JetStream DR is now also able to replicate and automate recovery using Azure NetApp Files datastores.

VMware Cloud Director Services

Customers who have adopted the AVS solution, using the Microsoft Enterprise agreement, can purchase the service VMware Cloud Director from VMware. This allows us to connect to the AVS private cloud to create and manage private virtual data centers. Furthermore, you can take advantage of the features offered for migrating local VMware workloads to the Azure VMware Solution private cloud. For further details you can consult this documentation.

VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud

The service VMware vRealize Log Insight Cloud it is also available for AVS. This solution provides centralized log management, detailed operational visibility and the ability to carry out in-depth analyzes. Thanks to this solution it is possible to increase the operational efficiency of IT departments, reduce costs resulting from unplanned downtime and provide in-depth visibility into security events.

“Public IP to NSX Edge” available in 17 region of Azure

Client applications running on AVS frequently require both outbound and inbound Internet connectivity. Thanks to this new feature, it is possible to adopt three different models to ensure incoming and outgoing Internet access to resources hosted in the Azure VMware Solution private cloud.

VMware Cloud Universal Program

Microsoft has extended the partnership with VMware by adding support to the program VMware Cloud Universal, a flexible purchasing and consumption program for the adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. This will allow customers to purchase Azure VMware Solution as part of the VMware Cloud Universal program.

Conclusions

Companies are required to adopt flexible and modern solutions in the IT field to achieve greater stability, continuity and resilience of the main application workloads that support their core business. Azure VMware solution has all the features to respond in the best way to these needs and the numerous improvements introduced, result of the joint work between Microsoft and VMware, make it more and more modern, solid and reliable.

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