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Announcing the Global Availability of Oracle Cloud VMware Solution

Clive D'Souza
Sr. Director, OCI Engineering

Migrating on-premises virtualized workloads to the public cloud is, in general, a challenging task. Today, Oracle adds a service to address that challenge. I’m pleased to announce the general availability of the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, a fully customer-controlled and customer-operated VMware environment provisioned on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution enables enterprise customers to migrate their VMware virtualized workloads at a global scale, using existing practices for IT operations, and in a secure manner.

I want to share two things with you today:

  • Why we chose to bring this solution to our customers
  • How Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is truly a game changer for enterprises that want to run VMware in the public cloud

Meeting Customer Needs for Control, Availability, and Support

Other cloud vendors chose to implement a shortcut to VMware with managed or hosted solutions, but we found that approach to be limiting. It’s caused enterprise customers to hold back from migrating their virtualized environment to the cloud. After talking with hundreds of customers, we converged on three main themes that were most important to them and had previously prevented them from moving their VMware workloads to the cloud:

  • Control and security: Customers want full control to secure their environment. They also want assurances that unauthorized parties, including cloud providers, can’t access their data, view their configurations, or control their operations.

  • Global availability: The world’s largest companies operate at a global scale. They require IT infrastructure resources to be physically close to their global users. No compromises.

  • Enterprise technical support: Cloud vendors must provide a single point of contact for all customer issues to facilitate quick and efficient resolution.

Here's how Oracle Cloud VMware Solution meets these requirements.

Control and Security

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution doesn’t retain perpetual access to a customer’s administrator and root credentials. After a customer deploys Oracle Cloud VMware Solution into their Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy, Oracle no longer has access to their credentials or VMware configuration. This design reflects our “zero-trust” operating model, which assures customers that we remove ourselves from their environments after a solution is deployed in their tenancy.

Our model also gives customers total control of patching and upgrade schedules, based on their processes and proven operational models. Customers don’t want to upgrade to the latest VMware versions on someone else’s schedule, or be restricted to operating only the most recent version of VMware. They want the flexibility of deciding which patches to apply, which hot fixes to use, and which version to upgrade to. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution lets customers run VMware vSphere versions 6.5 and 6.7, and we’ll make newer versions available for customers to upgrade on their terms.

Global Availability

A related operational concern for customers is their ability to address the global reach of their businesses. Many have spent years, sometimes decades, honing their IT operations to match their localized business requirements. They’ve built infrastructure that meets local needs, and they must keep this infrastructure when they move to a cloud solution.

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is available globally in all 19 commercial cloud regions and the recently announced Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution lets our customers keep their operations local to their business environment. And because it’s a native Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution will be automatically available to customers in all current and future regions around the world from day 1. We announced the San Jose region yesterday, and Yes - Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is available in SJC!

Enterprise Support

In the world of enterprise computing, customers don’t like to go back and forth between ISVs in their application portfolio for support; they want accountability with a single point of contact. Based on this requirement, we offer integrated, one-stop support for Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. We’re the Tier 1 and Tier 2 support for both VMware and Oracle products within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Our relationship with VMware, combined with a deep understanding of vSphere, enables us to offer this level of support.

And to meet customer requirements for a simplified procurement experience, we offer a consolidated billing experience. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution appears as a line item in the customer’s cloud bill.

A True Game Changer

We spent months working with and listening to our customers. Our Functional Validation and Limited Availability programs provided customers with very early access to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. The result was a trove of feedback from the customers who partnered with us in our development.

Helder Branco, CTO at Entel, summarizes their experience with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution as follows:

“Entel migrated over 60 production applications to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, including our mission-critical customer engagement, business intelligence, and risk management systems. We have a strong technical team, including many VMware experts, so a managed VMware service is not helpful. We need administrative access to the VMware software so we can maintain control of every aspect of the VMware environment. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution offers my team the exact same VMware experience they had in the data center but with cloud elasticity and access to Oracle Cloud services, providing a fast, easy, and cost-effective path to migrate our VMware-based applications to the cloud. As a result, performance has increased dramatically, downtime is close to zero, and we have seen a 50 percent decrease in the number of customer support tickets.”

What Does the Solution Actually Contain?

We built our environment around the VMware Cloud Foundation specification, working with VMware to ensure that our deployments align with their guidelines. But we also took advantage of the strength of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. An Oracle Cloud VMware Solution SDDC has multiple nodes (a minimum of 3 bare metal hosts and a maximum of 64), each consisting of 52 OCPUs, 768 GB RAM, and 51.2 TB of high-speed NVMe storage, is deployed as a vSAN cluster, and can be provisioned with both vCenter and NSX-T. All this provides customers with a fully formed, highly functional environment on which to deploy their critical workloads.

What Differentiates the Solution from Other Offerings?

Here's a comparison between Oracle Cloud VMware Solution and other cloud VMware offerings in the market.

  Oracle AWS Azure GCP
Features NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX
Security Customer owns root credentials. Oracle doesn't have access to root credentials or metadata. AWS retains root credentials and metadata perpetually. Azure retains root credentials and metadata perpetually. GCP retains root credentials and metadata perpetually.
Billing Consolidated Separate bills from AWS and VMware Unspecified Consolidated
Support Oracle VMware and AWS Third-party support Third-party support
Updates, patches, and upgrades Customer controls when and whether to upgrade. AWS controls and decides. Azure controls and decides. GCP controls and decides.
Availability 19 Oracle Cloud regions, Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer Limited to 17 AWS regions In Preview in 3 Azure regions Limited to 2 GCP regions
Maximum hosts per SDDC 64 16 16 64
SDDC vCenter access Full Administrator access Restricted access Restricted access Restricted access

 

“Just VMware”

To offer a true VMware environment, the engineers at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure built Layer-2 network support into our virtual cloud network (VCN). We set out to add native Layer-2 capabilities in our overlay network without the need for dedicated switches, racks, cages, or data centers. That meant we had to tackle the complex issues of network scale, multiple traffic paths, and the convergence times of Layer-2 overlay networks. The result is that we have an overlay network that supports VMware “as-is” with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's cloud scale and performance.

We describe Oracle Cloud VMware Solution to customers by saying that it’s “just VMware.” Although many Oracle Cloud Infrastructure–specific engineering features enable us to state this, it’s probably more illustrative to provide an example. The following figures compare two VMware environments as seen in vCenter, one on-premises and one provisioned in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as an Oracle Cloud VMware Solution cluster. I challenge you to find the differences. In fact, there are none. Customers of Oracle Cloud VMware Solution can literally deploy their operations, VMs, and processes on Oracle Cloud VMware Solution in exactly the same way that they deploy them on premises.

Two screenshots side-by-side that show a vSphere Client interface with a VMware SDDC details page for an on-premises SDDC and an SDDC in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Not only is the user experience identical, but customers can also seamlessly migrate their proven VMware operational best practices, patterns, and deployment methodologies to the cloud. The really exciting aspect is that customers can bring their existing tooling and operational best practices directly to the cloud without any time-consuming upskilling or reskilling requirements on their workforce. Move and improve, or lift and shift, just got a lot easier.

Core Use Cases

When we looked at the design of Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, we decided to focus on three core use cases:

  • Data center migration: Move workloads from on premises to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution as part of a broader effort to consolidate or decommission data centers.

  • Hybrid Deployments: Let customers selectively move and extend existing workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure while leaving other workloads in place for various business or regulatory reasons.

  • Disaster recovery: Enable customers to reduce or remove reliance on secondary, typically underutilized, data centers for disaster recovery targets, potentially improving recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) targets.

We felt that these use cases cover all the scenarios that customers brought up during interviews and in our Functional Validation and Limited Availability programs. Note that these use cases are not mutually exclusive; customers might have situations where all of them apply!

Working with Partners

Lastly, we know that our customers use products from the VMware partner community to manage their VMware environments. We worked diligently with these partners to both validate their solutions and gain their feedback. Actifio, a leader in copy data virtualization that supports some of the largest enterprises in the world, had this to say about Oracle Cloud VMware Solution:

“Actifio shares thousands of mutual customers with both VMware and Oracle. Actifio’s Multi-Cloud Copy Data Management for Oracle Cloud VMware Solution provides a seamless way to bring Resiliency, Mobility, Migration, and Agility to all Oracle and VMware workloads in addition to our support for Oracle Exadata Cloud and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Enterprises can continue to benefit from Actifio’s ‘data reuse’ capabilities to provision rapid database clones as test data for DevOps, data warehouse, and business analytics. We are excited about our integration and partnership with Oracle Cloud and VMware.” —Ranajit Nevatia, SVP and GM, Actifio GO, at Actifio

I’m super excited to share this news with you today. Over the coming days, I’ll share more examples of our customers successfully using this solution—keep an eye on this space!

Our goal was never to be just another cloud vendor. Our goal is to be your cloud partner. Get started with Oracle Cloud VMware Solution and learn more about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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