Enterprise-Grade Updates and Advancements for Running VMware on the IBM Cloud

5 min read

By: Zane Adam, Simon Kofkin-Hansen, Dale Hoffman, Brent Scotten, and Rahul Srivastava

This year at VMworld 2019, IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions is announcing new capabilities and tools.

These capabilities and tools are designed for:  

  • Higher levels of performance and cost optimization
  • Easier and more efficient ways to manage and scale your VMware environment
  • Better ways to achieve the highest levels of availability in a public cloud environment
  • Easier, lower-cost options to get started or try out a VMware environment on IBM Cloud

In this blog post, we highlight the technical details of our new capabilities and tools. Please reference our overview blog for our full update on additional announcements.

Infrastructure advancements with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® scalable processors (Cascade Lake)

On April 2, IBM Cloud became the first major cloud provider to globally deploy 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® scalable processors (Cascade Lake). Now, VMware has certified vSphere for Cascade Lake so, today, we are pleased to announce clients can take full advantage of these capabilities in IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions. 

These new processors incorporate a performance-optimized multi-chip package to deliver up to 28 cores per CPU and up to 6 TB DDR4 memory channels per socket. These next-generation processors from Intel are designed to deliver workload and service acceleration by combining performance improvements with additional hardware-enhanced security and service delivery capabilities. Our VMware-certified servers are designed to deliver higher levels of performance and cost optimization through enabling hyper-threading in the IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions offering.

Making Day-2 operations easier and more efficient

IBM’s advanced automation rapidly deploys the full VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) stack on to dedicated bare-metal infrastructure. This consistent and secured reference architecture is designed to support heavily regulated industries like finance, where clients seem to be the most demanding and risk-averse.

Now, our advanced automation can deploy and configure the following popular native VMware tools to help clients self-manage and operate their VMware environment on IBM Cloud:

  • VMware vRealize Operations 
  • VMware vRealize Log Insight 

Our clients now have the option to leverage the same familiar VMware tools to monitor the health, performance, and capacity of their single-tenant hosted SDDC stack, including visibility into VMware NSX, vSAN, and HCX. 

In addition to pre-installed and pre-configured vRealize Operations Management Packs, we provide optimized dashboards of the full VMware stack out of the box, with vRealize Log Insight connected to vRealize Operations so that you can efficiently troubleshoot issues using logs from within the vRealize Operations interface. This new capability helps improve operational efficiency by automating the deployment of a highly available design and the configuration and optimization of these tools. 

Like the other VMware components in the stack, clients have the flexibility to bring their enterprise licenses to the cloud (per CPU or OSI) or to rent vRealize licenses from IBM Cloud.

VMware-powered, Supermicro-provided SAP HANA HCI solution

VMware and Supermicro are currently testing SAP on a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) configuration, powered by vSAN, that features compute, storage, and networking delivered together as a Supermicro-specific, VMware-powered SAP HANA HCI solution. This HCI solution is being tested and validated by SAP against their defined KPIs and test cases.

Once ongoing testing has completed successfully, we plan to list this HCI solution in the SAP directory of certified HCI offerings.

This testing is being performed on the IBM Cloud leveraging Joint Innovation Lab infrastructure and engineering resources. IBM and VMware are jointly committed to making VMware on IBM Cloud the premier HCI/Cloud solution for SAP HANA.

By leveraging a native in-kernel HCI solution, vSAN delivers world-class performance that works natively with the rest of the IBM Cloud and VMware ecosystems. Utilizing the VMware ecosystem, SAP on IBM Cloud provides the user with familiar tools and interfaces as part of the solution. 

VMware Horizon 7 now supported on IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions

IBM Cloud is pleased to announce a VMware-validated reference architecture for VMware Horizon 7 on VMware vCenter Server on IBM Cloud. This new reference architecture compliments the existing VMware Horizon on IBM Cloud managed service to give clients additional choices to meet their needs.

Rapidly deploy Horizon 7 for a scalable and secured environment for your virtualized desktops and applications. Whether your need is to migrate to the cloud, supplement your on-premise Horizon environment with on-demand capacity, or establish a disaster recovery site, deploying Horizon 7 on IBM Cloud is designed to provide you an enterprise-grade environment with the market-leading Horizon feature set you expect.  

We’re designing the IBM Cloud to be the best option for your growing or changing Horizon 7 needs, with benefits that include the following:

  • Enterprise-grade and secured SDDC: VMware vCenter Server in IBM Cloud is designed to meet the rigorous performance and security requirements of IBM clients.
  • Architectural and operational consistency: The deployment and management experience for VMware vSphere and Horizon 7 is designed to be identical across your on-premise sites and cloud deployments.
  • Scalable: Using VMware vCenter Server on IBM Cloud, capacity can be added or subtracted quickly to address your growth or varying needs. You only pay for what you have deployed. 
  • Geographically diverse: Deploy Horizon 7 in over 35 IBM Cloud data centers around the world.
  • Reference architecture: IBM Cloud and VMware created a reference architecture to assist the deployments of our mutual clients.

Introducing the IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions API to programmatically scale 

We have created and documented a new RESTful API that is designed to enable clients or business partners (e.g., Global System Integrators) to programmatically consume and scale IBM-hosted VMware infrastructure. You can now tool to this API to execute the following calls:

  • Order/delete a primary VMware environment instance
  • Add/remove an ESXi host and cluster or a vSAN host and cluster
  • Add/remove NFS file share (shared storage)
  • Retrieve VLANs and subnets

For more details on the API semantics, error handling, and request examples, please refer to this IBM Cloud API Docs section.

New VMware HCX on IBM Cloud pricing 

Freedom of data movement has become more critical as enterprises progress on their journey to a hybrid multicloud environment. Enterprises are optimizing their workloads and costs by choosing where to run applications across data centers and clouds.

IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions is making this connectivity easier through the repackaging of VMware HCX on the IBM Cloud. This is intended to help VMware clients use HCX to seamlessly stretch their layer-2 network and move VMs without the need to re-IP them. 

Get started with the single node trial

Maintaining uptime and availability is becoming an ever-growing challenge as the threat of natural disasters, ransomware attacks, and other causes of downtime seem to be compounded by the increasing uptime requirements from clients. 

The cloud can provide an ideal disaster recovery and resiliency platform because it provides geographic redundancy to ensure regional availability and an OPEX model that is designed to seamlessly scale during an outage and failover. 

IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions is now offering a Data Protection and Disaster Recovery trial which provides clients the option to utilize VMware HCX, Veeam, and Zerto as replication tools to successfully test failovers into the IBM Cloud. 

The trial provides a single VMware SDDC node with capacity for about 25 VMs. This trial complements our Application Modernization trial for VMware workloads, which includes IBM Cloud Private Hosted on IBM Cloud to enable the trial of containers for clients who want to modernize their applications at their own pace. This gives our clients two reasons for trying out VMware solutions on the IBM Cloud.

Single-node Trial for Data Protection and Disaster Recovery

Single-node Trial for Migration and Application Modernization  

 

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