Feature Comparison: vSAN (On-premises) to VMware Cloud on AWS


The following compares the availability of select features and functionality between VMware vSAN (on-premises) and VMware Cloud on AWS.  It is not an exhaustive list of all features of vSAN, but rather, lists notable feature differences.  Major features of vSphere such as vMotion, HA, and DRS are available in both, but are omitted for clarity.

Since VMware Cloud on AWS is a managed service running on managed hardware, some capabilities or features are not relevant for comparison.  Those will be omitted from this comparison.

The comparison assumes the latest version of vSAN (vSAN 7 U3) on an all-flash cluster with vSAN Enterprise licensing against the latest version of VMware Cloud on AWS.  This comparison is not applicable to other public cloud partners such as Azure VMware Solutions, Google Cloud VMware Solutions, IBM VMware Solutions, or VMware Cloud Provider Partners.

Feature vSAN (On-premises) VMware Cloud on AWS Notes
Stretched Clusters Yes Yes  
2-Node Clusters Yes Yes Unique implementation on VMware Cloud on AWS
vSAN Fault Domains feature Yes No  
HCI Mesh Yes No  
Storage Policy Based Management settings and rules Yes Yes VMware Cloud on AWS uses Managed Storage Policies: Policies that are managed by VMware and ensure workloads meet specified SLA requirements.  User-managed storage policies are also available.
RAID-5/6 Erasure Coding Yes Yes

User selectable on-premises, subject to minimum host requirements.  To ensure SLAs are met, VMware Cloud on AWS enforces use of RAID-6 with managed storage policies when using 6 hosts or more, and RAID-5 when using 4-5 hosts. User-managed storage policies may be used, but may violate SLAs depending on the policy rules used.

Storage policy-based secondary level of resilience for stretched clusters and 2-Node clusters Yes Yes  
Reserved Capacity Management toggle Yes No A different host provisioning model is used in VMware Cloud on AWS making this feature unnecessary
vSAN iSCSI Service Yes No  
vSAN SCSI-3 PR for shared disks Yes Yes  
Deduplication & Compression Yes Yes On by default for VMware Cloud on AWS i3.metal hosts
Compression Only Yes Yes On by default for VMware Cloud on AWS i3en.metal hosts
vSAN Data-at-Rest Encryption Yes Yes  
vSAN Data-in-Transit Encryption Yes No When using VMware Cloud on AWS i3en.metal hosts, in-transit encryption is provided through hardware-level encryption between instances within the SDDC boundary, including vSAN traffic.
vSphere Native Key Provider Yes No VMware Cloud on AWS uses their own KMS for key management
vSAN File Services (SMB & NFS) Yes No  
Cloud Native Storage Yes Yes On VMware Cloud on AWS, this is achieved when using Tanzu Kubernetes, and will provide block-based RWO persistent volumes.  vSAN on-prem can serve both block-based RWO and file-based RWM persistent volumes.
vSAN Data Persistence Platform Yes No  
vSAN Direct Configuration Yes No  

The decision to choose an on-premises/private cloud installation of vSAN or a managed service edition of vSAN through VMware Cloud on AWS does not need to be a mutually exclusive decision.  One can easily have a hybrid cloud architecture that includes on-premises, self-managed resources, and fully managed subscription service through a public cloud partner such as VMware Cloud on AWS.



This model allows you to present the services using the same software in a variety of consumption models.  You can choose some of your environment and physical assets to be owned and self-managed, while using managed services and a subscription model for other needs.  All of it will be using the same software you are already familiar with.



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