Private Cloud Platforms comparison & reviews

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Analysis Summary
Rank
3rd 2nd 4th
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Pros
  • + Mature on-prem IaaS solution
  • + High-fidelity implementation of AWS APIs
  • + Proven at scale over years of operation
  • + Full-Fledged IaaS
  • + Mature Vendor
  • + Enterprise Solution
  • + Strong Storage Capability with Additional Compute and Networking Functionality
  • + Vendor Maturity and Market-share
  • + Simple and Straightforward Editions
Cons
  • - Recent acquisition concerns
  • - No administrative GUI
  • - Missing features beyond API compatability
  • - Complex
  • - Little PaaS Capability
  • - Heavily Dependent on Underlying Hardware
  • - Limited Capability
  • - Few Use Cases
  • - Temporary
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  Content  
Content Creator
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Overview
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Integrated software stack with AWS-compatible IaaS services.
VMware Cloud Foundation is an integrated software stack which bundles VMware components (see details)
The AWS Snowball Edge is a type of Snowball device with on-board storage and compute power for select AWS capabilities. (see details)
  Assessment  
Maturity
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Based on the Eucalyptus code-base that has been in production for over a decade, powering installations beyond 200K cores in size.
VMware is a strong contender in the marketplace and VCF is comprised of components that have been tried and tested in the datacenter
Snowball Edge was announced 2016 and builds on AWS which has been around since 2012
Disconnected Offering
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Can be deployed in a disconnected environment
VMware Cloud Foundation can be deployed on premises as a stack for a private cloud
Must connect back to AWS platform for full functionality
Infrastructure Services expand
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  Compute  
Virtual servers
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Virtual servers are called cloud instances (equivalent to EC2 instances in AWS)
VMware Cloud Foundation bundles vSphere which includes the ESXi virtualization platform for creating and running virtual machines and virtual appliances
Virtual servers are called EC2 instances
VM Type - General Purpose
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Virtual machine hardware can be configured to take full advantage of the underlying hosts hardware. A collection of instance types can be customized in terms of vCPUs, memory, and disk.
You can configure the virtual machine hardware to take advantage of the underlying hosts hardware
The SBE1 EC2 instance is the general purpose offering
VM Type - Compute Optimized
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Compute-optimized instance types can be customized by modifying the instance type
You can configure the virtual machine hardware to take advantage of the underlying hosts hardware. For compute optimized instances, you would increase the CPU resources
The SBE-C EC2 instance is the compute optimized offering
VM Type - Memory Optimized
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Memory-optimized instance types can be customized by modifying the instance type
You can configure the virtual machine hardware to take advantage of the underlying hosts hardware. For memory optimized instances, you would increase the memory resources
There is no memory optimized offering
VM Type - Accelerated (GPU)
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GPU instance types can be customized through advanced configuration only. No official documentation.
You can configure the virtual machine hardware to take advantage of the underlying hosts GPU hardware
The SBE-G EC2 instance is the accelerated GPU offering
Metadata URL
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Metadata URL, featuring EC2-compatible information and thus compatible with cloud-init, is reachable from instances.
There is no built-in way to access this functionality. (see details)
You get access to a subset of metadata typically available to EC2 instances through an internal URL
Rapid Provisioning
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System components enable fast provisioning, particularly of EBS-backed instances.
You can easily deploy VMs using a wizard, template, or cloning another VM
You can specify the job and resources and Amazon will configure the device for you and ship it out to you
Resize existing VM
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EBS-backed instances can be resized after stopping by modifying InstanceType attribute via ModifyInstanceAttribute request (in CLI or Console).
You can easily resize an existing VM by changing its virtual hardware after creation such as CPU and memory
Typically resize an instance using CLI modify-instance-attribute on instanceType attribute but Snowball Edge only allows you to modify userdata
Resource Management
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Resources can be managed from either the Console or CLI/API
Resources can be managed from either the vSphere Web Client or the vSphere Client
Resources such as EC2 instances cannot be managed through the console after the device is created and must instead be managed through the CLI/API adding a level of complexity
Scalability
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AWS AutoScaling APIs are supported, with performance-based triggers for up- and down-scaling.
There is no vSphere functionality to easily scale up or down VMs from the console
A cluster of 5-10 Snowball Edges can be created to offer increased durability and locally scale up or down storage on demand
VM Imaging
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Images (akin to AMIs and AKIs) can be created and shared with other cloud users. Existing instances can be saved into an image.
You can clone a virtual machine to a template which can then be used to deploy other virtual machines later
No mention in the developer guide
VM Import/Export
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Instances can be imported using raw disk or VHD formats. Exports done manually at hypervisor level. No API support for the operation exists.
You can import and export virtual machines in the OVF and OVA formats
No mention in the developer guide
VM live migration
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VMs can be live-migrated using CLI / API. In the event of a host failure instances to not automatically restart.
You can perform a live migration of a virtual machine without affecting availability, called a hot migration, using vMotion
AWS does not support live VM migration and as such we shouldnt expect Snowball Edge to do this
VM to host affinity
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Not supported. Can only be achieved by backend administration using instance migration.
You can create VM to host affinity rules within a DRS cluster
When deploying a cluster, you can select which nodes an instance runs on
VM to host anti-affinity
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Not supported. Can only be achieved by backend administration using instance migration.
You can create VM to host anti-affinity rules within a DRS cluster
When deploying a cluster, you can select which nodes an instance runs on thus also choosing which nodes it does not run on
  Networking  
Cloud virtual networking
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Overlays a virtual network on top of your existing network. Supports EDGE (EC2 Classic) and VPCMIDO (AWS VPC) modes.
VMware Cloud Foundation bundles NSX Data Center for vSphere which provides a platform programmatically managing software-defined virtual networks
The EC2 instances can have virtual network interfaces attached to them which allows them to communicate with each other and outside devices
Cross-premises connectivity
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Support for AWS VPN Gateway is available but only when using VPCMIDO network mode.
The VCF platform is integrated into the customer datacenter and provides cross-premises connectivity to other customer networks
The Snowball Edge connects into the datacenter and allows for transfer of data between the datacenter and AWS albeit in a slow snail-mail fashion
DNS hostname resolution
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DNS names for VM instances is supported automatically
You can install NSX Edge as an Edge Services Gateway (ESG) between networks which will then allow you to configure external DNS servers. (see details)
No mention in the developer guide
DNS zone management
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No mention in the documentation
No mention in documentation. Functionality would need to be built up by the end-user and then VMware components can take advantage of it
No mention in the developer guide
IP reassignment
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Elastic IP and Elastic Network Interface functionality enables flexible IP address assignment.
You can statically set an VMs IP address from vSphere as well as specify a network protocol which is a pool of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses that vCenter will assign to virtual machines
You can delete the virtual network interface attached to an EC2 instance and then create a new virtual network interface for that EC2 instance with a new static IP address
Load balancing
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Elastic Load Balancer is an included service.
You can install NSX Edge as an Edge Services Gateway (ESG) and take advantage of the logical load balancer
No mention in the developer guide
Network Interfaces
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Elastic Network Interface functionality allows attaching and detaching of virtual NICs to instances
Virtual machines can have a variety of different network adapters added and configured
The device has a set of external network interfaces for connectivity into the customer datacenter (see details)
Outbound Network Connectivity
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Can be configured to connect to external networks with both EDGE (EC2 Classic) and VPCMIDO (Amazon VPC) networking modes.
You can connect virtual machines to the physical network
The device has a set of external network interfaces for connectivity into the customer datacenter (see details)
Public IP Address
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Public IP addresses can be assigned to instances either automatically or from a pool of Elastic IP addresses.
You can connect virtual machines to the physical network
Can attach a virtual network interface to your EC2 instance and specify a public IP address for use
SR-IOV support
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Can be customized to use SR-IOV for instance networking by advanced configuration only. No official documentation.
There is a specific network adapter type (SR-IOV passthrough) designed to enable and support SR-IOV networking
No mention in the developer guide
VM Security Groups
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Instances can be added to a security group which has a specific network security policy applied to it.
Virtual Machines can be added to a security group which has a specific network security policy applied to it
Security groups exist and can be configured for EC2 instances similar to the way they work in AWS with limitations
Virtual Network Peering
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Ability to create a peering connection between two VPCs is supported.
You can set up cross-vCenter deployments as well as implement VPNs to access corporate and other cloud networks securely
Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) are not supported in Snowball Edge and thus you cannot make virtual networks to peer
  Storage  
Object storage
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Supports S3-compatible object storage using its Object Storage Gateway (OSG)
No mention in the documentation
The Snowball Edge supports S3 (object storage) as its primary purpose is downloading customer data from a remote datacenter which can then later be transferred to S3 in AWS
Block storage
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Elastic Block Storage (EBS) provides block-level storage volumes that you can attach to instances.
vSphere provides a variety of different storage options and functionalities
Block storage must exist as the Snowball Edge is capable of hosting EC2 instances but end-users have no access to block storage and cannot attach volumes themselves to EC2 instances
Shared file storage
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Shared file storage is not supported.
VMWare provides NFS but not SMB storage solutions
Once connected to the datacenter, the S3 Adapter for Snowball or NFS mount point can be used to upload data from the datacenter into the Snowball Edge
Backup
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Procedures for backing up and restoring everything except root disks of instance-store (ephemeral) instances are documented.
VCF provides backup and restore capability of components
By its nature, the device offers data backup for data stored within a datacenter albeit in a slower process
Local Data Protection
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Relies on replication features of underlying software and hardware (RAID and Ceph) for local data protection from hardware failures.
Virtual Volumes support replication capabilities for disaster recovery
The Snowball Edge employs defense-in-depth for data protection including a ruggedized tamper-reistant enclosure, 256-bit encrpytion, and a TPM
Remote Replication
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No special functionality for automatic remote replication are provided, but backup process can include transfer of backed up data offsite for disaster recovery.
Virtual Volumes support replication capabilities for disaster recovery
By its nature, the device offers remote replication for data stored within a datacenter albeit in a slower process
Snapshots
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EBS snapshots are supported in both Web console and via CLI/API.
Virtual volumes provide snapshot capability to preserve the state and data of a virtual machine at a given point in time
No mention in the developer guide
Storage Architecture
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Deployed as customer configurable two-level storage system. Support for HCI not documented.
VMware provides for a very flexible storage architechture
Each Snowball Edge node provides betwee 42TB and 80TB (see details)
Storage QoS
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Supports only a single storage class for both block and object storage.
You can configure the vSAN cluster (shared storage pool) to be either hybrid or all-flash (see details)