Feature Brief: SDDC Host Types

Introduction

VMware Cloud on AWS delivers consistent vSphere-based infrastructure that runs on Amazon EC2 elastic, bare-metal instances that are dedicated to each customer. We do this globally across AWS Regions. The underlying instances provide the compute, storage, and networking infrastructure for your software defined data center. There are multiple host types available to optimize for particular use cases that may have different performance or data storage requirements. All hosts in a cluster must be identical, but you can deploy more than one cluster in an SDDC if another type of host is needed. Customers may be able to get better economics and performance by creating multiple clusters with different instance types based on their workload and environment needs.

VMware Cloud on AWS instances

Note that some host types may not be available within a particular region or availability zone. Depending on the host type, cluster sizes of 1-16 nodes are supported. Our feature brief on SDDC Clusters will provide you with more cluster details, and our configuration maximum guide will provide you with soft/hard limits and other configuration information.

i3

The i3 host type was our initial host offering and the default option for VMware Cloud on AWS cluster deployments. These hosts are suitable for most workloads including general computing, databases, and virtual desktop deployments.

Compute  
Type Intel Xeon Broadwell
Number of sockets 2
Number of cores per socket 18
Total physical cores 36 at 2.3GHz
Hyper-threading Disabled
Custom core counts 8, 16, 36
Memory  
RAM 512GB
Storage  
Boot volume Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
Disk count 8
Disk type Self-encrypting NVMe
Capacity per disk 1.74TiB (1.9TB)
vSAN disk groups 2
Total raw cache capacity ~3.16TiB (~3.5TB)
Total raw storage capacity ~10.37TiB (~11TB)
Network  
Type Amazon Elastic Network Adapter (ENA)
Physical NIC 1x 25GbE

This host type is available for use in all cluster types including single-node, two-node, 3+ node, and stretched cluster deployments.

An i3 host type can provide you with a maximum cluster size of 16 hosts containing 576 cores, almost 9 TB of RAM, and 160 TiB of raw storage capacity.

i3en

The i3en host type is optimized for data-intensive workloads both for storage-bound or general-purpose clusters. These hosts are suitable for workloads that have high capacity storage needs and have high transaction rates such as NoSQL databases, distributed file systems, and data warehouses. 

Compute  
Type Intel Xeon Cascade Lake
Number of sockets 2
Number of cores per socket 24
Total physical cores 48 at 2.5GHz
Hyper-threading Enabled, 96 logical cores
Custom core counts 8, 16, 24, 30, 36, 48
Memory  
RAM 768GB
Storage  
Boot volume Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
Disk count 8
Disk type Self-encrypting NVMe
Capacity per disk 6.82TiB (7.5TB)
vSAN disk groups 4
Total raw cache capacity ~6.36TiB (~7TB)
Total raw storage capacity ~45.84TiB (~50TB)
vSAN features Compression
Network  
Type Amazon Elastic Network Adapter (ENA)
Physical NIC 1x 100GbE
Physical NIC hardware encryption East-West

This host type is available for use in 3+ node and stretched cluster deployments, but not available for single-node or two-node deployments.

An i3en host type can provide you with a maximum cluster size of 16 hosts containing 768 cores, 13 TB of RAM, and roughly 768 TiB of raw storage capacity.

i4i

The i4i host type is the latest addition to the list of instance/host types. It is resource-optimized to support all workloads. The i4i bare-metal EC2 instance type uses the latest Intel Xeon generation. 

Compute  
Type Intel Xeon Ice Lake
Number of sockets 2
Number of cores per socket 32
Total physical cores 64 at 2.4GHz / 3.5GHz Turbo
Hyper-threading Enabled, 128 logical cores
Custom core counts 8, 16, 24, 30, 36, 48, 64
Memory  
RAM 1024GB
Storage  
Boot volume Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
Disk count 8
Disk type Self-encrypting NVMe
Capacity per disk 3.75TiB (4.12TB)
vSAN disk groups 2
Total raw cache capacity ~6.82TiB (~7.5TB)
Total raw storage capacity ~20.46TiB (~22.5TB)
vSAN features Compression
Network  
Type Amazon Elastic Network Adapter (ENA)
Physical NIC 1x 75GbE
Physical NIC hardware encryption East-West

The instance has 30TB of NVMe capacity, 7.5TB is used for caching. Single host i4i deployments are available for a 60-day trial without Service Level objective (SLO). 

An i4i host type can provide you with a maximum cluster size of 16 (soft-limit) hosts containing 1024 cores, more than 16TB of RAM, and roughly 480TB of raw storage capacity.

Summary

With multiple host types available, you can choose the host that best fits your compute, storage, and use-case requirements with the added flexibility to shrink and grow your clusters on demand. To help you determine the appropriate SDDC and cluster sizes, including host types, be sure to check out the VMware Cloud Sizer. This online tool provides insights on how to size VMware Cloud on AWS to your requirements.

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