This chapter briefs you on cloud service architectures. The chapter includes the following sections:
- Cloud benefits and challenges
- VMware solutions to overcome different cloud challenges
- VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture
- Overview of private, public, and hybrid clouds
- Overview of vCloud Air, AWS, and the IBM Cloud
Readers will be able to design elastic IT infra capabilities and set up a basic application hosting and DevOps environment with VMware components after going through this book. You will be able to install and configure all the building blocks to get the benefits of VMware SDDC components in an on-premises private cloud, a public cloud such as IBM or AWS, or a mix of both—a hybrid cloud.
Digital transformation is taking place in each and every market segment, including financial services, healthcare, retail, education, and government. The world is being redefined by software and data, creating new priorities for every business, and new imperatives for every IT organization. IT has to be agile enough to drive growth and extend the capabilities and services that they deliver to lines of business (LOBs). IT organizations have to transform their legacy setup and extend their IT environments to public clouds to boost innovation, agility, and cost savings.
IT is playing a key role in business growth. IT organizations work as strategic partners, and business leaders are seeking better alignment with their technical teams as they evaluate go-to-market strategies and important decisions, such as mergers and acquisitions.
Organizations expect their technical teams to support them with a modern IT environment that helps them accelerate innovation and agility, so they can compete with new services and applications that will help them to grow their business rapidly. IT organizations are expected to help keep costs in line. To address these expectations, IT teams are embracing public cloud solutions.
IT leaders cite three primary drivers for integrating public clouds:
- Disruptive approach: In today's disrupted, accelerated, app-centric marketplace, speeding up time-to-market is critical; LOBs and developers see public clouds as the fastest option for meeting their IT platform requirements.
- CapEx pressures: IT teams are under considerable pressure to take advantage of potential cost savings. They are replacing on-premises infrastructures with public cloud-based hosting models or services, to increase capacity while reducing operational efforts and costs. According to a Gartner research director, "Customers are saving 14 percent of their budgets because of public cloud adoption, which subsequently grow public cloud businesses."
- A cloud-first strategy: Most senior leadership mandates a cloud-first strategy to drive reduced time to value by leveraging shared infrastructure and paying only for the resources consumed. Many enterprises are already using hybrid clouds; some mix of private and public clouds, for greater flexibility and resilience.
Businesses are strongly embracing the cloud for every challenge. Enterprises recognize the value of public cloud flexibility and agility, but still must address key challenges to integrate hybrid cloud solutions into their operations.
We have cloud options, such as a private cloud, different service provider options, and large public clouds. The best solution is possible without adding cost and complexity. The VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture helps you to choose the cloud that fulfills your business objective.
We have to manage incompatibility between different cloud models or service providers, otherwise it will create new silos and create overhead. You must avoid these silos and get a unified console to fulfill the requirements of the business objective. IT organizations are looking for ways to take advantage of the flexibility and agility that various clouds offer, even though many mission-critical and data-sensitive apps are currently running on-premises. We need to take a close look at how we can migrate applications running on-premises or in a private cloud to the public cloud, without adding any cost to their existing investments. We have to utilize the application design, SDLC processes, and maintain security and compliance best practices.
Solution: VMware overcomes this issue by extending a network to public clouds through a network virtualization technique. It interacts with public clouds and services in a secure manner by applying all governance regulatory compliance. You can maintain all on-premises network policies, even extending your applications across multiple clouds. You have all the freedom to host/publish your applications anywhere and anytime with end-to-end control and compliance.
We want to host our applications and manage resources in various clouds. As organizations invest in multiple clouds, they are also creating more complex, siloed environments that don't have common management tools or enterprise-class security across their cloud infrastructure. They may even build new teams to own and operate these different silos, reducing efficiency and driving up costs. Customers are looking for a solution that can help them to manage mixed clouds from a single console.
Solution: VMware will give you the holistic view from a single console of the entire infrastructure, and also management tools to monitor and manage resources, applications, and operations across different clouds. This approach prevents you from experiencing cloud vendor lock-in, monitoring operations, and managing specific service-level agreements (SLAs). You have holistic management and your end users can connect to public clouds with confidence. A single unified management layer with automated processes delivers a fully customized cloud management platform, which gears up service delivery, enhances operations, and delivers end-user choice with control and compliance, across heterogeneous, multi-cloud environments.
The VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture provides freedom for end users and control from a service provider perspective, helping a customer to make hybrid cloud decisions, when running, managing, connecting, and securing all of their applications across any cloud in a common operating environment.
The Cross-Cloud Architecture enables uniform deployment models, security policies, visibility, and governance for all applications running on-premises and off, irrespective of the underlying cloud or hypervisor.
The following architecture consists of SDDC-based VMware Cloud Foundation with a hyper-converged software solution, a set of VMware Cross-Cloud Services, and the vRealize cloud management platform:
VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture
Now the question is, how can we manage and monitor resources across mixed clouds with seamless control and compliant connectivity? The answer is VMware Cross-Cloud Services, which is a set of services that will give users a common operating platform to monitor, manage, govern, and secure applications running across private and public clouds. VMware Cross-Cloud Services will provide visibility of cloud resource consumption and map it to its costs, provide dynamic on-demand networks and security policies, and automate the process of deployment (Green Field or Brown Field deployments) and migration of applications and data (new or legacy) across both VMware-based and heterogeneous clouds.
The following figure depicts multi-cloud environment operations:
Cross-Cloud Services provides a common operating platform across private and public clouds
A single self service provisioning portal is good enough to monitor operations and manage resources of all of the customer's workloads/applications across private and public clouds.
The different customer LOBs will be able to get their specific data on demand in their customized format at any time, such as costing of specific apps or managing certain SLAs to meet business objectives.
Our goal is to provide all services across any cloud so users can consume these services without having any concern or doubts in mind.
We can achieve this by extending the same network virtualization concept that is already used in a customer's private clouds to a public cloud. Customers want to enable uniform and encrypted logical networks across all clouds, wherever their applications get hosted.
Cross-Cloud services will give unified cloud-network management, while a customer's LOBs can use public clouds as per their business demand.
Customers will get tools to secure their data and applications, as well as control their costs, by enabling developers and the business to innovate across any cloud infrastructure that fits their requirements.
Customers used to say that their LOBs wanted IT resources on demand, as per their business objective. Their LOBs don't want to be dependent on the IT team, and want to consume IT services as per their need without any constraint on time and location. They want to provision apps to their end users on any device, at any time, and from any location. To achieve this, they need agile IT infrastructure that can provision them IT resources on demand from anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
For example, an Oracle database needs to be 100% available 24*7*365 days. Customers have to deliver more applications with the same resources without exceeding its TCO and at the same time, maintain the end user's demands by fulfilling all compliance parameters.
To build a robust private cloud while considering all the preceding parameters, we have to consider the following three mechanisms, which will provide customers with a resilient and flexible platform to run their businesses:
- Virtualize all components of IT: Customers already know the benefits of compute virtualization. VMware can extend the same concept to storage and network for optimal utilization of hardware, based on the SDDC concept.
- Automate IT: Virtualizing every component will drastically reduce your CapEx but you need to automate the process to reduce the Opex cost. A self service provisioning portal will help you to provision infrastructure as a service to different LOBs and this will reduce the dependency of LOBs on the IT team. It will speed up IT service delivery, which enables users to meet time to market demand and admin to monitor and manage for these services.
- Support heterogenous environment: Today's digital business world demands collaboration between LOBs, developers, IT Infra teams, and support for digital business transformation and innovation. VMware has a private cloud solution with open APIs, to use OpenStack (VMware Integrated OpenStack APIs) and developers can reap the benefits of containers.
We can build a private cloud integrated with all the required hardware components in a single/multiple engineered box by using the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) concept (http://view.ceros.com/vm-ware/vmware-hci/p/1). It has seamless, integrated, unified management, virtualized storage, network, and compute. Customers can build HCI solutions with VMware hyper-converged software (vSphere and vSAN) on any x86 (Intel/AMD processors) server or, they can buy a fully integrated solution with all the required hardware and software from any VMware partner, such as DELL, HP, Cisco, Fijitshu, Hitachi, Nutanix, Lenovo, and so on.
VMware Cloud Foundation plus the hyper-converged concept gives you SDDC in a box, which simplifies the installation, update, and software life cycle management of a private cloud, as well as reducing Opex. It brings together compute, storage, and network virtualization, enabling customers to effectively leverage virtualization technologies for efficiency, availability, performance, and scale.
It is also integrated with the vRealize cloud management platform and VMware SDDC Manager software, which helps customers to automate the deployment, configuration, and day-to-day management of a cloud across different environments. Developers get more options to innovate in the private cloud infrastructure and administrators get a single operating platform to manage private and hybrid clouds.
The following diagram explains the common operating service platform:
Cross-Cloud Services consumption model
The customer wants an instant way to build a disaster recovery solution or set up a test and dev environment. vCloud Air (also available from the vCloud Air Network of cloud providers) acts as a self-service virtual machine (VM) vending machine. It lowers the cost per application and utilizes existing investments with 100% compatibility, common management tools, and zero rewrites. It will also help customers with seamless app portability, which reduces time, risk, and cost. The following figure depicts minimizing risk while reducing cost and time to market:
Traditional DR versus DR hosted in public cloud
The VMware Cloud Foundation, with leading cloud service providers (IBM Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and vCloud Air), can deliver the full SDDC stack in a managed hybrid-cloud environment as-a-service (EaaS) option.
These options help customers with more choice and flexibility in how they build, run, and manage a private cloud and move, or extend to a public cloud. Customers can leverage their investment in technologies and in their skill sets, so they can deploy any, or all of these options using existing skills, processes, and tools.
A combination of public cloud services with a private cloud provides you the best possible robust and elastic cloud strategy. You get all the freedom and flexibility with no cloud vendor lock-in. You can retrieve more values with continuous innovation. VMware has transformed data centers, with freedom and control over hardware, and now VMware will provide you the same freedom and control over cloud options.
The following image shows that any app can be accessed any time, on any device in the VMware Cross-Cloud Services model:
Any app on any device from any cloud
The VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture and Cross-Cloud Services give customers all the options to set up their IT infra, as per their business model in different locations. It will give the customers all kinds of private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions to optimize their IT cost, as well as align with their specific business objectives.
Customers have to adopt new applications to align with the always-changing business requirements, and they can only achieve this by leveraging cloud-native technologies available on different platforms/clouds.
Customers can avoid operational issues by integrating these new applications with existing IT operations. They can also move these existing applications to on-premises or public clouds. These applications with cloud services can be redesigned/developed to adopt new IT models. VMware solutions help customers benefit from public clouds by migrating existing applications to the public cloud.
The Cross-Cloud Architecture helps customers to build, run, connect, and secure apps across any cloud, and work in a common operating platform. Customers can build common platforms for future applications and digital business roadmaps, and avoid the bottlenecks of different cloud silos.
Customers will get more choices and interoperability with VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture and Cross-Cloud Services, in how to build, run, and manage their applications in various kinds of cloud models from different vendors. Customers have the full freedom to deploy a solution based on an SDDC-based private cloud to a VMware hybrid cloud, whichever fits with their strategy to achieve their specific business goals.
VMware hybrid clouds enable customers to run their existing legacy applications and new cloud-ready applications from a common platform and get the best of both worlds. Customers can scale, consolidate, and migrate infrastructure on demand by taking advantage of existing tools, processes, and skill sets. They can extend their on-premises infrastructure to a public cloud in a different location, or can set up disaster recovery sites in different regions. It will help in data center consolidation and application migration by improving dynamic capacity capabilities for new application development.
It supports applications by providing business agility, resilience, scalability, and any choice of public cloud provider, such as VMware vCloud Air and vCloud Air network partners or, IBM Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) by extending their on-premises data centers. IT teams can run any application anywhere, with complete application portability thanks to the VMware Hybrid Cloud. They can maintain operational consistency by employing a common management experience and networking constructs to maximize use of existing skill sets and tools.
Organizations seeking to reduce CapEx investment can replace on-premises data center infrastructure with VMware Cloud Foundation, a complete SDDC infrastructure platform, delivered as a service through VMware vCloudAir, VMware Cloud Foundation on IBM, and VMware Cloud on AWS. They can also take advantage of global scale and reach, with a presence in over 100 countries, vCloud Air, and 4,000+ vCloud Air network partners, including IBM and AWS.
Organizations are also exploring advanced management and automation for cloud brokering and integrating DevOps practices across multiple clouds. As needs change, they need an easy exit strategy for moving applications and virtual machines from any public cloud at any point, without vendor lock-in. VMware provides different options to customers to connect securely and manage multiple clouds with on-premises solutions or SaaS-based services.
IT organizations can take advantage of VMware's cloud management platform (VMware vRealize Suite) with advanced networking capabilities from VMware NSX together to manage different private and public clouds.
Customers can build and run applications, migrate them across multiple clouds, securely connect all clouds, and manage all workloads across networks. Advanced operations management features help to get a single unified console of the health, performance, and capacity management of virtual machines across clouds plus policy-based governance. For organizations in heavily regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare, VMware helps ensure compliance by monitoring the status of workloads, detecting drift, and automating remediation.
With cost an ever-growing issue, IT teams can also leverage VMware solutions to see and control the cost of cloud services.
VMware will help IT teams to manage any application or workload running on any cloud using Cross-Cloud Services (SaaS-based management and network services).
These planned service offerings include the on-boarding of existing cloud services and users, cloud service costing and reporting, centralized identity, access and operations management, networking, micro-segmentation, and encryption.
It's a multi-cloud world, but it takes an integrated approach for organizations to achieve their digital transformation goals. Teaming up with VMware and standardizing on SDDC solutions that support both private and public clouds increases enterprise flexibility, security, and choice while rapidly reducing cost and risk.
Over the last two decades, VMware has been the leader in virtualization, and has held the top spot in Gartner's Magic/Leaders Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure for more then seven consecutive years. VMware is positioned furthest in capability to execute and future roadmap vision in Gartner's latest report.
Customers can build a private cloud without any risk, which can extend seamlessly to compatible public clouds and run any application on any cloud.
We have to be very cautious when choosing a hybrid cloud provider compared to private or public cloud solutions. We have additional challenges such as integration, interoperability, and common operating environments in deciding a hybrid cloud provider over a public or private cloud.
We choose a private or public cloud based on customer applications and business objectives. We have to know the feasibility of applications while considering a hybrid cloud solution.
We are going to make use of a hybrid cloud for extending resources/services such as DR services from a private data center to a public cloud. We try to maintain uniform security, SLAs, and management as much as possible, so it is close to a private cloud, and achieve a common operating environment.
VMware's vSphere is one of the first tried and tested cloud operating platforms. vSphere hypervisor is rock solid in its performance and reliability to become a first choice for most of the cloud providers. VMware vCloud Air is a vendor agnostic public cloud platform running Microsoft, Linux, and vSphere supported operating systems and applications as per customer choice. It provides a consistent and certified platform suited to most operating systems, along with most of the applications running on x86 (32–64 bit) platforms (Intel/AMD). VMware uses the same vCloud software for both the private and public cloud deployments, along with all required APIs to keep seamless integration and management of resources.
VMware also helps in software defined networking (SDN) concepts and brings that exposure to the hybrid cloud through NSX and virtualizing both network and security components to achieve micro-segmentation.
Customers can get a hybrid cloud from VMware vCloud Air, as well as from vCloud Air partners who are certified to run VMware's vCloud Air services from different regions. Customers can optimize cost with various options to leverage VMware vCloud Air services.
AWS doesn't have the privilege of providing a hybrid cloud service as compared to the other cloud providers. AWS helps customers run/host applications in their public cloud data center and utilize AWS in a hybrid environment to run their DR or extended services.
AWS is more focused on public cloud offerings and does not offer its cloud management software offsite to achieve common operating environments for both worlds. AWS leverages a direct connect service that bridges the customer's data center with a virtual private cloud (VPC) resource to get a hybrid solution. AWS has the best of the best resources and expertise to manage the hosted side of a hybrid cloud, but they don't have a roadmap for on-premises private clouds, although they are one of the best public cloud providers. Direct connect is a specific connection from a VMware or Microsoft private cloud, but is not a universal connector to integrate with other cloud providers.
The AWS GovCloud program is a hybrid cloud offering that uses AWS for on-site private clouds for the US government. AWS doesn't have this option for private customers.
AWS customers need a solution for private cloud management, and have a dependency on third-party offerings which increases Opex.
IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions help customers to improve the cost per application, reduce Opex, and have the agility to extend applications/services to the IBM Cloud. You can benefit from both cloud models by expanding or migrating workloads/services using secure and seamless networking capabilities that work in heterogeneous environments, powered by VMware NSX. IBM Bluemix bare metal servers on IBM Cloud will provide you with all these services by maintaining full control and compliance.
IBM Cloud gives access to the VMware solution by managing resources as you are doing your data center. You can consume VMware software based on a pay-as-you-use model. IBM Cloud for VMware can help you with uniform management and regulatory governance for your hybrid cloud setup with a common networking and security operating model.
The features listed are as follows:
- Uniform management: Self service provisioning portal, seamless access, and monitors and manages a hybrid cloud with the VMware tools and skill sets you already have
- Pay-as-you-go-model: Cost-effective CPU-based pricing of VMware software and pricing is per resource consumption
- Global data centers: IBM Cloud data centers have a footprint across North America, Europe, and Asia so you can get cloud resources in most of the places you require them
- Network virtualization: IBM Cloud data centers are built with robust networking infrastructure and virtualization software having the best bandwidth pipe and connectivity, which enables your applications to have the highest speed and reliability
IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions is based on Cloud Foundation technology and it helps with deployment, migration, and management of these SDDC components in the IBM public cloud. You can partially deploy SDDC now to the IBM Cloud in an automated way rather than doing it manually. Deployment and configuration, which used to take several weeks, can be possible within a few hours.
This easy and simple deployment helps you to focus on other innovative works rather than putting your man hours and money into building your own environment. As you are able to create different setups on demand within a few hours, you have options to build both hybrid cloud solutions, expanding your private cloud and the IBM public cloud, as well as cloud-native solutions in the IBM public cloud. You will get disaster recovery or high-availability capabilities for your applications with the multi-cloud deployment model. The following image shows the versatile Hybrid Cloud platform:
VMware SDDC on IBM Cloud
Choose your IBM Cloud and VMware Solution
IBM Cloud's data centers have a presence across North America, Europe, and Asia, which helps you to scale globally and also retain complete control and automation of your operations, both on-premises and in the public cloud.
- Cloud interfaces and formats must follow industry standards
- Information is needed to perform specific functions
- End-to-end monitoring of all resource usage by both the cloud consumer and provider
- Guarantee of reliability, availability, security, and performance
- Availability should be guaranteed at each and every layer
- Compliant identity separation to avoid leakage of data to other customers
- Full visibility and control
- Enhance productivity and rapid growth with transformation of IT setup
- Guaranteed data protection with full compliance and regulations
- Minimize manual operations with automated operations
Cloud Conceptual view
The cloud provider role is the most critical among all three of them. We can't define scale for a cloud infrastructure and its specific requirements easily. You have to plan and design cloud deployment and consider all SLAs while maintaining all regulatory governance and compliance.
Cloud providers manage the costs of all factors including the cost of space, building, cooling, utilities, and rack spaces. They have to define TCO/ROI per application for specific periods of time.
Access layers comprise two functionalities: interfaces and network, as shown here. The cloud has different interfaces to interact with the underlying services and its management capabilities. The access layer has end-user facing interfaces along with operator defined capabilities. The following figure shows natively stack with compute, storage and network pools:
Cloud logical view
You can get the management capabilities for all types of services from a common cloud management layer. You get a holistic view and end-to-end visibility of the infrastructure through a unified management layer. The management layer is capable of supporting build time and runtime services.
Cloud deployment depends on the scale of deployment and the type of services. Private cloud implementations are very different compared to large scale public cloud infrastructures that support hundreds of customers.
Most public cloud deployments are big in scale and need to design mission critical infrastructure to achieve performance, availability, security, flexibility, and SLA goals.
We have learnt about VMware SDDC technology-based cloud offerings in this chapter. SDDC systems lower costs while dramatically improving ease of use. Companies can deploy on-premises, private cloud infrastructure that has the ease of use and scalability of a public cloud, with guaranteed quality of service. Cross-Cloud solutions help you to deliver the only unified SDDC platform for the hybrid cloud (AWS, IBM, and vCloud Air), with customized and well-designed on-premises cloud service deployment options.
Through an investment in VMware Cloud Foundation, companies can be assured that their data center infrastructure can be easily consumed, managed, upgraded, and enhanced to provide the best private cloud along with public cloud offerings, such as AWS and IBM, at the lowest cost. Using a modular, scale-out approach means infrastructure is added in hours, not days, and businesses can be assured that infrastructure scales linearly without any added complexity.
Choice is key: any app on any cloud at any time. Customers need a choice of where to run workloads. We shouldn't be forced into a single public cloud provider. We can choose the public cloud (such as AWS, IBM, vCloud Air, across the world) and not end up with applications trapped somewhere.
This book helps you understand why bimodal IT isn't necessarily the best path forward for the long term. We get the outcomes promised by bimodal IT without worrying about the inefficiencies that this model can introduce. Our users are far ahead of where they were a few years ago. Our infrastructure environment must reflect this fact by enabling user self service and automation, both of which are supported in an enterprise cloud scenario.
In the next chapter, we will discuss cloud services architecture and its different components, such as workload domains, racks, storage, networks, and VMware Cloud Foundation Software Design in detail.