Introduction to VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts

April 08, 2023


VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is designed for customers who wish to leverage a cloud model on-premises for reasons such as latency, data gravity, data sovereignty/compliance or data center modernization needs. For customers looking for agility and innovation of cloud, but simultaneously require the same  control of their data and applications as they are used to, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts provides an ideal cloud operating model in their data center.   

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts - Solution Overview

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts delivers consistent vSphere-based infrastructure that runs on Amazon EC2 i3en bare-metal instances. VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts provides a fully racked, stacked, and cabled industry-standard 42U rack including Top of Rack switches and other components. The rack is fully assembled and ready to be rolled into the final position. During the Site Survey and the installation of plug in the power and network, Amazon Web Service provides support to our customers throughout this entire process. As soon the infrastructure is ready and connected, the underlying instances will be used to provide the compute (vSphere), storage (vSAN), and networking (NSX-T) infrastructure for your software defined data center. Customers can choose configurations with three to nine hosts per rack and can scale up to 16 Racks per SDDC. Each rack comes with spare host capacity for host remediation, Elastic DRS scale-out, and lifecycle management capabilities. 

Compute: Instance Type

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts supports the i3en.metal instance type. Based on the 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor, i3en.metal instances are optimized for applications requiring high random I/O access to large amounts of data and utilize the storage optimization of VMware VSAN Compression.   

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts i3en.metal instances provide:   

  • 45.84 TiB (50 TB) raw capacity per host, with an additional 6.55 TiB cache capacity delivered via low latency NVMe SSD storage.   

  •  Up to 34 TiB of usable storage capacity per host, depending on workload characteristics and FTT/RAID settings    

  • 48 logical cores especially suited for applications that require increased CPU throughput.   

  • 768 GiB (825 GB) of memory.   

  • Networking capabilities leveraging NSX, Local Gateway & Service Link

Network: Connection and Network

During the rack installation, AWS connects the Top of Rack Switches with a customer network device of choice and ensures that both required logical connections are up. The Local Gateway is one of the logical networks which is responsible for learning and advertising routes between NSX-T and the customer network using BGP Protocol.

The second connection that is required is the Service Link. The Service Link is the connection between the local AWS Region and VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts. The connection must be minimum 1Gb with sub 150ms of latency and can be established via a Direct Connect (private or public VIF), or an encrypted VPN connection. As usual, VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts offers connectivity to regional AWS services over an Elastic Network Interface or VMware Transit connect. 


VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts includes VMware NSX as part of the SDDC deployment and is crucial to securing the environment. VMware Cloud NSX provides features like:   

  • Gateway Firewall (Management Gateway and Compute Gateway)   

  • Route- and policy-based VPN configuration   

  • Distributed Firewall for east-west traffic   

  • Distributed IDS/IPS   

  • and more   

As soon as the SDDC is deployed and NSX is up and running, the BGP-Connection will automatically be connected and learn/advertise routes. The customer has full control over which specific routes are shared with the VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts Rack. 

Continuous Lifecycle Management

Based on our VMware Cloud Service, VMware is responsible for updates for all management components like vCenter, NSX, and ESXi Hosts. While security patches will be applied as soon as possible, major releases will be planned and scheduled for installation during regular maintenance windows. Customers will be informed of planned upgrades and are free to choose the time that suits them best with this flexibility.

Region Availability

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is available in several countries including US, Canada, Mexico, all EU countries, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, UAE, Israel, South Africa, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, and many more!


VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts brings “as-a-Service” to the private cloud. Keep your compliance-restricted applications and data in your private cloud with an Enterprise Software-Defined Data Center delivered as-a-Service, featuring continuous security updates and feature upgrades delivered to your very own data center.   

Interested? Get in touch with your VMware or AWS representative to get started. 


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