The VMware Software Defined Data Center
The VMware Software Defined Data Center
1h 6m

In today's world where cloud computing is a key strategy for many organizations, having the right deployment is essential. Some organizations implement private clouds within their own local data center, others host their entire infrastructure on the public cloud. However, many organizations have a need to implement a hybrid cloud architecture, combining elements of both the public and private clouds. VMware Cloud on AWS provides a simple and effective method of establishing a hybrid cloud environment.

VMware is a leading vendor when it comes to the virtualization of resources such as compute, storage, and network infrastructure. As a result, many organizations have used or currently utilize VMware within their own data center to manage and optimize their environment, often in their own private clouds.

VMware Cloud on AWS allows you to seamlessly transition your VM workloads to the AWS cloud to take advantage of the benefits that a public cloud can provide such as:

  • On-demand resourcing
  • Scalability
  • Flexibility
  • High availability
  • Security
  • Utility-based metering
  • Regional expansion

This integration with AWS also opens up the potential to allow for communication between your VMs and the many services and features that AWS provides. This means your apps and resources in VMware Cloud on AWS can take advantage of AWS object storage such as S3, NoSQL databases such as DynamoDB, EC2 instances, and much more.

The service itself runs on bare-metal architecture allowing the continuation of ESXi hypervisors running the same suite of VMware software and management products as you do on-premises. Both environments can be controlled by VMware vCenter to allow ease of management.

This course takes an introductory look at VMware Cloud on AWS, providing an overview of what it is, how it can benefit your business, its underlying architecture, its integration with AWS and its service, and much more.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course you will:

  • Be able to explain the components of the Software Defined Data Center provided by VMware
  • Understand what the VMware Cloud on AWS service is
  • Have an understanding on how VMware Cloud on AWS could provide benefits to you and your business
  • Have an awareness of how VMware Cloud on AWS connects to your AWS account and how you could provide communication between that and your SDDC
  • Understand how maintenance and support is provided across the service
  • Be able to explain a range of different use cases that you as a business could utilise the service for
  • Understand how much the service is likely to cost

Intended Audience

This course would be of benefit to:

  • Business managers looking to understand what VMware Cloud on AWS can provide the enterprise
  • VMware and AWS Architects looking to understand how VMware Cloud on AWS works in conjunction with the AWS public cloud and VMware’s private on-premise architecture
  • Anyone who wants to gain an introductory understanding of the VMware Cloud on AWS service


This introductory course does not go into detail about how to configure and implement the VMware Cloud on AWS service, instead it’s designed to provide you with enough information to understand what it is and what it’s used for. However, as a prerequisite to this course, it would be advantageous, but not essential to have a basic understanding of:

This course includes

9 lectures


If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


Resources used within this lecture:

VMware license information


Hello and welcome to this lecture on the VMware Software Defined Data Center, known as the SDDC. Before we can dive into the details of VMware cloud on AWS, I just want to define at high level some of the core components of the SDDC, as they will be referred to throughout this course.

So firstly, what is a Software Defined Data Center? Well the term SDDC essentially takes the core components of the data center, these being the compute, storage, and network elements, and virtualizes the resources across a cluster of hosts. These virtualized resources are then managed by a suite of VMware products.

This SDDC is then managed and hosted within the AWS cloud on underlying AWS-hosted architecture. From a VMware Cloud on AWS perspective, the suite of applications that manage, automate, and control this SDDC include the following elements. VMware vSphere, VMware vSan, VMware NSX, VMware vCenter server.

From a high level standpoint and for those who may not be familiar with these products, let me just explain in a sentence or two what each of these are starting with VMware vSphere.

So VMware vSphere is a collection of management applications and products by VMware that help create and manage your compute virtual machines and virtual workloads. Depending on which license agreement taken out with VMware would depend on the range of products and features you get with vSphere. The different license options are vSphere Standard, vSphere Enterprise Plus, and vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus. More information on what is included with each of these licenses can be found using the link on screen. Some common features within vSphere include vSphere vMotion, vSphere, High Availability and vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).

Next we have VMware vSAN, Virtual Storage Area Network. This makes it possible to combine the storage from each host within an SDDC cluster and virtualize it into a highly resilient shared data store for each host in the cluster utilized.

From a network perspective, there is VMware NSX, Network Virtualization and Security Platform which enables networks to be virtualized and embedded at the hypervisor level. This includes network services such as routing, switching, and even firewalls. Being able to produce a network at a software layer enables the possibility of creating a simple or very complex network topology with ease and speed.

And finally, VMware vCenter Server which provides a centralized management platform for your Software Defined Data Center. vCenter Server does this by providing a number of services such as access control, performance monitoring, inventory searching, and resource management. This gives administrators a deep insight into the overall health of the virtualized environment.

Another core component of the SDDC for VMware Cloud on AWS is the VMware Cloud Foundation. Now VMware Cloud Foundation enables the ability to seamlessly run the same VMware virtualization and products used on-premises and in the public cloud such as AWS. And VMware Cloud on AWS is in fact built upon VMware Cloud Foundation by integrating the suite of products explained previously with the SDDC.

This provides a complete package of compute, storage, network, and security based services and resources that can transition with ease across your own VMware private cloud on-premises and the public cloud, creating a hybrid cloud environment. Having the ability to continue to run the same VMware suite of products across this hybrid connectivity means that there is no need for additional tool sets, training, or complexity issues or re-architecting applications to be AWS ready.

This cloud platform allows customers to define their SDDC as they need. Whether it's to primarily host their infrastructure in the private cloud and using only the SDDC for seasonal burst traffic or to use the SDDC for dev and test or many other use cases which I'll explain in the later lecture. The key point is that the same suite of VMware products are used to manage the cloud infrastructure as your on-premises infrastructure whilst enabling fast deployment scalability, flexibility, geo-expansion, and much more through the use of AWS.

That brings me to the end of this lecture. Coming up next, I will explain what VMware Cloud on AWS is along with its architecture.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.