Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - VMware Cloud Flex Storage

Introduction

What is VMware Cloud Flex Storage

VMware Cloud Flex Storage is a new disaggregated storage service for VMware Cloud on AWS. It is a natively integrated offering that is fully managed by VMware. It will allow customers to independently provision and scale storage capacity external to their SDDC hosts. Storage will be presented as a supplemental NFS Datastore that will be mounted to hosts in the SDDC.

Over time, our vision is to deliver VMware Cloud Flex Storage as a consistent experience across multiple clouds, and to enable multi-dimensional scaling of compute, performance and storage capacity, enterprise-grade data management and data reduction capabilities, combined with cost-effective multi-AZ and regional availability.

What is the underlying technology for VMware Cloud Flex Storage?

VMware Cloud Flex Storage is built on a mature, enterprise-class filesystem that has been developed and production-hardened over many years, dating back to Datrium’s D­HCI storage product which VMware acquired in July 2020. It is the same filesystem that has been backing the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery service. The filesystem has a two-tier design that allows for independent scaling of storage performance and capacity, using a Log-Structure Filesystem (LFS) design. You can read more about the filesystem architecture in Sazzala Reddy’s (Chief Technologist and a founder of Datrium) blog here. The combination of LFS with a 2-tier design, along with efficient snapshots and immutability, makes this a multi-purpose filesystem that unlocks many use cases, such as backup, disaster recovery, ransomware protection, and recovery. With VMware Cloud Flex Storage, we are extending this proven technology to primary storage and making it available in the public cloud, where it delivers exceptional storage performance, scalability, and cost efficiency for traditional and modern workloads.

Is VMware Cloud Flex Storage managed by VMware?

Yes, the service is fully managed by VMware.

What are the key use cases of VMware Cloud Flex Storage?

Here are the key use cases of VMware Cloud Flex Storage:

  1. Seamless and cost-effective cloud migration: For customers who are looking to use VMware Cloud on AWS for a seamless and cost-effective cloud migration, VMware Cloud Flex Storage delivers true enterprise-class storage. It reduces complexity and time-to-value by supporting the lift and shift of virtual machines without a need to rework the data layer or re-architect the storage design. Customers can also simplify their operations with a storage solution that is natively built into the VMware Cloud on AWS service and readily available without manual configurations.
  2. Elastic data center extension: Customers who are looking to use VMware Cloud on AWS for data center extension can use VMware Cloud Flex Storage for easy access to additional storage capacity with dynamic scaling of resources. Common scenarios include high performance burst capacity, on-demand scaling for data analytics, or cost-effective long-term storage of data repositories in the cloud. This gives customers the choice of keeping their data where it best serves their consumption needs, across their data centers and the public cloud. As a result, customers benefit from a VMware-consistent, enterprise-grade hybrid cloud environment with a single pane of glass management through the VMware vCenter console.
  3. Scaling of storage-intensive workloads: For customers who are running certain workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS using local instance storage with VMware vSAN, but have other workloads that are storage bound, VMware Cloud Flex Storage offers a disaggregated storage service that allows them to independently, seamlessly, and optimally scale their performance and storage capacity to fit every workload individually. VMware Cloud Flex Storage is an ideal solution for scaling large volumes of data in an agile, flexible, and cost-effective way

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