VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery - Shared Responsibility Model


This guide will cover the details of security considerations and implementations for VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery.

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery is one of VMware’s disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) offerings for the Amazon Web Services cloud, enabling customers to failover workloads between private data centers and VMware Cloud instances on AWS as well as instances between VMware Cloud on AWS.

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery has the following components:

  • Scale-out Cloud File System (“SCFS”)
  • Orchestrator
  • DRaaS Connector(s)

VMware has been offering this disaster recovery as a service solution since October 2020 and is protecting production workloads for customers 24x7x365. Maintenance, patching, and upgrades of the above VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery components and the associated VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC(s) is performed by VMware.

Shared Responsibility Model

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery implements a shared responsibility model that defines distinct roles and responsibilities of the three parties involved in the offering: Customer, VMware, and Amazon Web Services.


Customer responsibility

“Security in the Cloud” – Customers are responsible for the deployment and ongoing configuration of their VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery environment based on this document.

“On-premises Security” - Customer is for responsible for installation, configuration, and continuous operations of all the on-premises software components and hardware in compliance with the PCI requirements. This includes network connection over which the communication between on-premises and cloud components occurs. This could include but is not limited to using encryption where applicable, having processes for regular software security patching, credential rotations, auditing, and user access controls.

VMware responsibility

“Security of the Cloud” – VMware is responsible for protecting the software and systems that make up the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery service. This software infrastructure is composed of the compute, storage, and networking software comprising the Scale-out Cloud File System (SCFS), Orchestrator and DRaaS Connector.

AWS responsibility

“Security of the Infrastructure” – AWS is responsible for the physical facilities, physical security, infrastructure, and hardware underlying the entire service.

In addition to the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery shared responsibility model in the cloud, there is also the consideration for certain aspects that may still run in the Customer’s on-premises environments.

Shared Responsibility Matrix

Details on the shared responsibility model employed by VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery can be found in the table below. You can see that a great deal of low-level operational work is handled by the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Site Reliability Engineering team leaving the customer to focus on managing their workloads.

Entity Responsibility / Activity
  • Deploying Recovery Site Software Defined Data Centers (SDDCs)
    • Host Type (i3, i3en) & Count / Cluster Config
    • Connected AWS Account
    • Management Network Range
  • Configuring SDDC Network & Security
    • Network Segments
    • Public IP Addresses
    • NAT
    • Firewalls
  • Protected Site(s)
    • Connector Deployment
    • Firewalls
    • Network Segments
    • User Authentications
    • vCenter Registrations
  • SCFS
    • Protection Group Policies
    • Protected Site vCenter Configuration
  • Orchestrator
    • DR Plan Construction
    • User Roles Access / Authentication
  • SCFS Lifecycle
    • Software updates
    • Data Integrity (snapshots)
  • Orchestrator Lifecycle
    • Software updates
    • Inventory control & checking (PG policies and DR plans)
  • Connector Lifecycle
    • Software updates
  • Recovery SDDC Lifecycle
    • ESXi patch and upgrade
    • vCenter Server patch and upgrade
    • vSAN patch and upgrade
    • NSX patch and upgrade
AWS – Amazon Web Services
  • Physical Infrastructure
    • AWS Regions
    • AWS Availability Zones
    • Physical security of AWS facilities
  • Compute / Network / Storage
    • Rack and Power Bare Metal Hosts (i.e. i3.metal and i3en.metal)
    • Rack and Power Network Equipment

 For a detailed description of the roles and responsibilities for VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, please refer to the Service Description and documentation available at vmware.com.

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