Inside the video, we cover that AVS is a VMware software defined datacenter (SDDC) in Azure, sitting on bare metal, hyper converged, dedicated nodes. Yes – AVS customers get dedicated servers to run their VMware environment in Azure. AVS deploys with high performance nodes, the resource maintains high availability, and a customer gets a lot of Azure specific security plus VMware based security within the full solution. The biggest draw behind picking this solution is that customers get to use their existing VMware investments, skills, and tools. Engineers can maintain the same operational consistency that they do on-premises, as this is VMware vSphere in Azure.
Another compelling reason is the simplified licensing. When a customer deploys AVS, vSphere, vCenter, and NSX-T are included by default without having to procure additional licensing. Customers can add on HCX for migrating workloads into AVS at no extra charge and there is a capability of adding in VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) with a bring your own license (BYOL) key. This simplified licensing approach makes everything much easier related to licensing and support contracts.
The last big key feature behind why a customer might choose AVS is related to the shared responsibility model with Microsoft. Just like with IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions, there’s a shared responsibility matrix between an AVS customer and Microsoft. Look at the diagram below:
As you can see, Microsoft is on the hook for a lot related to AVS responsibility. Microsoft maintains the ESXi hosts, so Microsoft patches, upgrades, and configures, each host in the cluster. Microsoft also deals with hardware failures, so when a power supply fails at 2am (it’s usually always at 2am), Microsoft support will handle that headache for you without a sea of alerts coming to you and interrupting your sleep pattern. What does this mean for a prospective customer of AVS? They can finally innovate at the layer that’s usually most valuable to the company at large: the guest OS. Customers can build out lifecycle management for server OSes, they can maintain all firm wide applications a bit better and bring about things like configuration management to keep a fleet of servers in a similar configuration pattern. IT ops engineers no longer need to focus on the full solution, as Microsoft handles a good portion of the solution. On top of that, if there’s ever something wrong in your environment, all you need to do is open a support ticket with Microsoft. Microsoft will troubleshoot all layers of Azure. If the issue is related to vSphere or any of the individual components within vSphere, Microsoft will engage with VMware support to resolve the situation for an individual customer. Microsoft sort of plays point related to full remediation of any issue with AVS.
Tune in next week when we unveil the next video in the series! Please like, share, subscribe to Shabaz’s I Am IT Geek YouTube channel for more content as time unfolds and look for another blog post next week that sets the stage for our next video.