We have been seeing a lot of customers using VMware Technologies, specifically the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) portfolio in their on-prem data centers to transform their into a fully virtualized, software-based and agile environment. They have adopted vSphere, vSAN and NSX to support their environments with variety of workloads. The next phase in the transformation of enterprise technology strategies is the move to public cloud. This is now an essential part of every global customer’s top of mind, when it comes to developing the IT roadmap.
Introducing Oracle Cloud VMware Solution
Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) combines the power of VMware SDDC with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, allowing customers to leverage the best in Public Cloud Infrastructure and the best in Compute, Storage and Network Virtualization. The Solution provides customers with the ability to deploy a VMware environment with vSphere, NSX-T and vSAN installed with the relevant management stack which comprises vCenter and NSX Manager.
- Data Center Extension
- Data Center Migration
- Disaster Recovery in the Cloud
Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is a Native VMware Solution on OCI, which basically means that it is available natively on the same infrastructure as all other services and solutions on Oracle Cloud. This allows the solution to be available in all regions simultaneously. At GA, OCVS is available in all of Oracle Cloud’s Global Commercial Regions (19 currently) and the footprint will expand rapidly with the OCI region map.
Customers get unrestricted access to the components deployed in the solution and can manage them according to their existing policies and procedures. This is a VMware solution in the public cloud at-par with the administrative and management flexibility that customers have in their on-premises data centers. Configuration, Management, Monitoring, Updates and Upgrades are all according to the customer’s own change management policies.
Direct Access to Native OCI Services
The solution provides customers with the ability to bring their existing VMware based workloads to OCVS and integrate with the wide breadth of Native OCI Services. The workloads deployed in the SDDC on OCVS has direct access to the Autonomous Database, Object Storage, Exadata and other services with minimum configuration required. This allows customer to accelerate their digital transformation journey and embrace the true innovations brought to them by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
The Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is available from the OCI console, in the customers’ tenancies. They can provision their SDDC in their tenancy, in their chosen region, compartment and virtual cloud network in just a few clicks.
Now getting back to OCVS provisioning, there are a few key items to look at before kicking-off your SDDC deployment:
- Compartment – Which compartment will you use for the deployment? For those of you who are not aware of it, compartments allow you to organize and isolate your resources in your OCI tenancy, for easy management and better access control. Click here to learn more about compartments.
- Resource Limits – Do you have enough available resources in your tenancy? You need to have the necessary level of resources available in your tenancy. The OCVS has a minimum footprint of 3x BM.DenseIO2.52 servers. You can learn more about resource limits here.
- Virtual Cloud Network – Which VCN will you use for the deployment? In order to assign the necessary networking resources, you need to decide whether you will leverage an existing VCN or create a new one. In either case, you will need to decide on the CIDR range for the SDDC. For more on OCI Networking you can refer to my previous blog or the official OCI documentation here.
Now going to the ‘few clicks’ I mentioned before the solution gets provisioned. Once you access the VMware Solution and choose ‘Create SDDC’ from the console you need to provide basic specifications for your SDDC:
- Naming Convention – SDDC Name, Prefix for Host Naming
- Number of Hosts – Desired size of the SDDC (minimum size is 3 hosts – maximum of 64)
- vSphere Version – You can choose between vSphere 6.7U3 & vSphere 6.5U3
- SSH Keys – For SSH access to the hosts
- Virtual Cloud Network – Required VCN for the deployment
- CIDR for the SDDC – IP Range for the SDDC, to be used by VLANs & Subnets
- Availability Domain – Choose the AD for the SDDC. The solution will be deployed in a single availability domain.
Once you have provided the above information, you are good to trigger the creation of your VMware environment in Oracle Cloud. The provisioning process will take just over 2 hours and your OCVS will be provisioned with vSphere Cluster with your desired attributes. On completion of the provisioning process, you will receive the login details (URL, IP Address, Credentials) for your vCenter & NSX Manager.
Each host having the following attributes:
- Instance Shape: BM.DenseIO2.52
- OCPU (Cores): 52
- Memory: 768GB
- Storage: 51.2 NVMe
- Network: 2x 25GbE NICs
The VMware components provisioned as part of the provisioning are listed below:
- vCenter Server: 6.5U3 or 6.7U3
- vSAN: 6.6U3 or 6.7U3
- NSX-T Data Center: 2.5.1 (3 Node Management Cluster and 2 Edge Nodes)
All the above components are included in the pricing, along with their respective licenses. So the customers pay a single amount for their infrastructure, management components and associated VMware Licenses.
This is a point where I would make a mention of the underlying networking for the OCVS environment. As mentioned earlier, this is a native solution and deployed on the same infrastructure as all of the other OCI services and solutions. Another key aspect of the networking, is the selection of VLANs (yes VLANs), something unheard of in the public cloud environments. In order to provide the same experience as on-prem, OCI builds the environment in the similar fashion as your current data centers. This means, that the necessary L2 networking is also available to complete the solution. When you provide the CIDR range for the SDDC, the provisioning service will check if it is available withing the VCN and then carve out the range into multiple IP segments and associate them to VLANs required by the SDDC. This includes functions such as Management, vSAN, VTEP, North-South Traffic etc. The provisioning service creates the VLAN and the associated route tables & network security groups to control access / communication. Now what this also means, is that you can deploy your workloads on non-NSX networks using VSS or VDS if required, giving you maximum flexibility and control.
Right-size your SDDC
OCVS starts with a minimum footprint of 3 Hosts and allows you to scale your SDDC upto 64 hosts. The Add / Delete Host operations are available right from the console, where you choose your desired options again and just provision. In case of “Create Host” operation, the new ESXi host will be provisioned and be available in your environment. You will have the option to add it to the same cluster, or create a new cluster with the additional server(s).
Getting started with OCVS video by my colleague Prasenjit Sarkar (@stretchcloud).
Read the Official Oracle Press Release blog here.
General Availability Announcement & Blog.
Oracle Cloud VMware Solution Documentation.