Getting Started with vSphere+
A few weeks ago, vSphere+ and vSAN+ were announced. There is a lot of information available about what vSphere+ is, its advantages as well as features, so let’s review those before looking into the onboarding process:
- vSphere+ is an offering (not a new product or version) that allows customers to transition to a subscription licensing model
- vSphere+ connects on-prem infrastructure to the cloud
- There is no migration of vCenters, ESXi hosts, workloads, etc.
- vCenters, ESXi hosts, VMs stay on-premises. There is no migration of these objects to the cloud
- Customers can still manage their on-prem infrastructure with the vCenter UI they know and love
- vSphere+ adds value to the existing, on-premises, virtual infrastructure in a few ways
- Centralized management, operations, alerting, logging and much more
- Managing configuration drift among vCenters from a central management console accessible from anywhere is now a reality
- Transform your virtual infrastructure into a developer ready platform with VMware Tanzu
- VMware Tanzu Runtime and Tanzu Mission Control Essentials will be part of vSphere+ with no additional charge
Add-On Cloud services:
- Once connected to the VMware Cloud, customers can use cloud-based services such as VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR) in a seamless, tightly integrated approach
- Easily move to an OpEx consumption model by converting perpetual licenses from the cloud console. Once moved to subscription model, customers are able to deploy an unlimited number of vCenters on-premises at no additional cost
Ok, now that we reviewed some of the value vSphere+ brings to the on-premises environments, let’s take a deeper look at how to get started.
Step 1 - Create a VMware Cloud account and organization
There are several steps to the onboarding process, with the first step being the procurement of vSphere+ and potentially vSAN+, if desired. Customers will contact their VMware representative to plan and determine the required licensing. Existing customers can upgrade/convert their current investment to subscription through the Subscription Upgrade Program (SUP). Once license procurement/conversion has been completed, customers will be notified of entitlement readiness, and at this point customer will create a VMware Cloud account (if one was not already created) and an Organization within VMware's Cloud Services for vSphere+ and vSAN+ entitlements.
Step 2 - Deploy the Cloud Gateway Appliance
Now that a VMware Cloud account and an Org has been created, the remaining steps are very simple and quick. Step 2 involves downloading and installing a Cloud Gateway Appliance to the on-premises vCenter to be added. This appliance can be downloaded from our customer connect website and will be deployed on-premises, in an existing vSphere cluster. The appliance is used as a communication bridge between vCenter(s) and the cloud. There is no direct connection from vCenter to the cloud, and all communication from the Cloud Gateway appliance to the cloud is encrypted. No user names or passwords are transmitted externally.
Step 3 - Connect your private cloud to VMware Cloud Services
Up to this point, we have created a VMware Cloud account and organization, and deployed the Cloud Gateway appliance on-prem. This next step is simply connecting your Cloud Gateway Appliance to the VMware Cloud account and selecting an Organization that has vSphere+ entitlements. In this step, we are essentially pairing the on-premises Gateway to the cloud organization in this step.
Step 4 - Register your vCenter Server instances
This last step is also very simple, here we will register the vCenter(s) to the Cloud Gateway Appliance. Remember that the Gateway already knows where to connect to and resides on-prem. When we register one or more vCenters to the Gateway, the connection to the cloud is completed, and within a few minutes customers can start enjoying the benefits of a cloud-connected on-premises infrastructure. The result is, one cloud console to manage all on-premises environments.
And that's it. After completing these simple steps, your on-premises infrastructure can be connected to the cloud and easily start using all of its benefits. In upcoming blog posts, we will discuss these steps in further detail, environment pre-requisites, converting to subscription and more. So, stay tuned.