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What’s new with Google Cloud VMware Engine: New node type, networking, automation and more

Over the past few weeks, we had the unique opportunity to connect with many of you at VMware Explore in Las Vegas, and Google Cloud Next in San Francisco. One common theme that emerged from these conversations is the continued need to have a cost-effective, secure, and non-disruptive path to the cloud, especially for VMware-based workloads which are often at the core of your IT footprint.

Google Cloud VMware Engine provides one of the fastest ways to lift and transform your existing VMware estate into Google Cloud. VMware Engine is an enterprise-grade platform with unique capabilities like 4 nine’s of uptime SLA in a single zone, 100 Gbps of dedicated, east-west networking, native VPC integration and more. Today’s post provides a summary of new and recent capabilities that will enable you to migrate and run your VMware workloads on a cloud-first VMware platform.

New Flexible ve2 node platform

VMware Engine’s ve2 node platform will be offered with many flexible combinations of CPU and storage, with high memory, enabling customers to optimize their TCO with the right configuration for their business. Based on next-generation CPU (3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors (formerly named Ice Lake) with DDR4 RAM with all-NVMe drives, ve2 nodes will also support large cluster sizes of 32 nodes and 100+ node private clouds. They will also continue providing 4 9’s of uptime SLA, in a single zone. For higher availability, stretched private clouds will also be supported.(Preview in us-east4 in early Q4’2023) Our first node type within this new family is ve2-standard-128 which offers more than ~2.7X the RAM (2048 GB), ~1.8X the CPU (64 cores, 128 hyperthreaded cores) and ~1.3X the storage: 25.6 TB NVMe raw data storage at a compelling price point.

New locations for broader reach

Over the past year, we have increased our global presence to 19 regions, with the most recent ones being Tel Aviv, Turin, Santiago and Delhi.

Optimizing TCO for storage-heavy environments

(Preview Q3’2023 in select regions): Storage Only Nodes overcome the limitation of HCI architectures by letting you add storage capacity without having to pay for compute. This lowers TCO and optimizes the infrastructure to match the workload needs much better. Storage Only Nodes deliver a lower cost option to expand storage capacity of a cluster without adding cores/memory in storage capacity constrained clusters with the same 4 9’s of uptime SLA for the cluster.Recent developments also include support from Google Cloud Filestore as datastores and Google NetApp Cloud Volumes for in-guest storage use to cater to storage-intensive environments.Filestore High Scale and Filestore Enterprise are VMware-certified as an NFS datastore with Google Cloud VMware Engine. Similar to Filestore High Scale and Enterprise, the marketplace service NetApp Cloud Volumes can be leveraged as anNFS Datastore for the capacity-hungry VMs.

More simplicity, scale and consistency through networking, automation and console experience

Newly introduced Terraform support for PC CRUD operations enables Infrastructure as Code automation for private cloud provisioning activities.(Preview Q3’2023) Advancements in networking are further simplifying the VMware networking architecture and experience in VMware Engine. With zero-config VPC peering during private cloud creation, as well as increasing the limits on the number of peerings allowed, it radically simplifies the task of building a connected VMware Private Cloud while enabling a variety of networking topologies. The addition of native Cloud DNS support for bi-directional DNS resolution for both management and workload resolution and support for more than 1 consumer DNS binding will also deliver enterprise needs in a simple and elegant fashion.(Preview Q3’2023) With more functionality delivered via Google Cloud API and CLI will enable users to programmatically manage their Google Cloud VMware Engine environments — these include API/CLI functions for managing the new networking model, network peering, external access rules and external IP service, consumer DNS and more.(Preview Q3’2023) Full Google cloud console experience for GCVE enables customers to manage their VMware Engine environments directly inside the console without the need to open another tab. In addition, you would view logs in the log explorer.

Improving security through more transparency and control

Over the past few months, new security capabilities have been added to VMware Engine.

Fine-grained (per-action) access control capabilities into our platform for those actions performed via API/CLI. You can select from predefined roles and custom roles in addition to basic roles — these predefined or custom roles have more fine-grained permissions to perform specific actions that apply only to VMware Engine. This way you have more control and flexibility over access control. The same will apply to those actions performed via the console once it becomes available.VPC Service Controls let you define a security perimeter for your VMware Engine resources to reduce data exfiltration risks. The service perimeter limits exporting and importing of resources and their associated data to within the defined perimeter. VMware Engine now supports a VPC Service Controls guided opt-in and policy export that enables you to attach VMware Engine services to a new or existing VPC Service Controls perimeter.More system transparency with support for ESXi log forwarding and enabling auditable procedures with customer controlled access elevation on customer workloads.(Preview) Adding more options for key management for vSAN encryption in GCVE with customer managed keys for Cloud KMS. This builds upon the already available capabilities of external 3P KMS with customer managed keys and Google Cloud KMS with Google managed keys.

Google Cloud VMware Engine Protected

We recently announced GCVE Protected, a new Google Cloud offering that offers bundled pricing for both Google Cloud VMware Engine and Google Cloud’s Backup & DR Service. With GCVE Protected, you can protect all your virtual machines on a VMware Engine node with our first-party backup and DR software for only an incremental add-on cost per VMware Engine node, giving you centralized, fast, and cost-efficient backup and recovery capabilities for your VMware Engine VMs.

This wraps up the updates for this time around. Please stay tuned for more and be sure to bookmark the GCVE release notes for updates. You can learn more about these recent updates by viewing our on-demand sessions from VMware Explore US as well as our session on GCVE at Google Cloud Next’23. Additionally, if you are looking to get started but need some guidance, be sure to check out our Rapid Migration Program (RaMP), or if you’re ready to rock n’ roll, click here to get started with a free discovery and assessment of your current IT landscape so we can help craft the right migration plan for your business.

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