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|
|2-Node Clusters||Yes||Yes||Unique implementation on VMware Cloud on AWS|
|vSAN Fault Domains feature||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.