VMware Explorer Las Vegas 2023: VMware Cloud Highlights

BJ Schwein
September 14, 2023
Blogs | Cloud

VMware Explorer Las Vegas has officially come and gone. It was another great event with a lot of announcements across the entire VMware portfolio, including some big announcements around Private AI. As always, there were good breakout sessions that included some of the product enhancements that were announced during the week. Below are some of the new announcements related to VMware Cloud that I found to be most exciting.


NSX+ Policy Management delivers consistent networking and security policies for NSX deployments on-premises and in public cloud. Administrators can deploy and manage multi-tenant policies at scale across multi-site and multi-region deployments from a centralized cloud console, speeding up application and network deployment using a common policy framework and built-in operations and monitoring. NSX + Policy management now supports VMware Cloud on AWS.

NSX+ Advanced Load Balancer Cloud Controller

VMware NSX+ Advanced Load Balancer Cloud (ALB) Controller is a native and managed load balancing service that brings application awareness to VMware Cloud™ on AWS by mapping applications to the underlying infrastructure, including networks and servers.


VMware Cloud on AWS is introducing vSAN Express Storage Architecture that delivers enterprise-grade performance without tradeoff and optimizes storage to reduce cost per capacity. vSAN Express Storage Architecture will be available on VMware Cloud on AWS i4i.metal host only.

VPC Peering for external storage

You can now route traffic between two Virtual Private Clouds (VPC). Previously, to connect to a FSx for NetApp ONTAP Datastore, it required the deployment of a VMware Transit Connect that was deployed when an SDDC group was created, which added additional costs. VPC Peering will reduce costs and simplify the architecture. The NFS Datastore connection bypasses NSX and is between ESXi and the NFS Storage.

NetApp BlueXP

Customers can now use NetApp BlueXP™ backup and recovery to efficiently backup and restore their virtual machines running on VMware Cloud on AWS with FSx for ONTAP hosting the NFS datastores.

NetApp Blue XP disaster recovery is in public preview and provides the capability to simplify disaster recovery operations with setup, testing, failover, and failback for customers running VMware On-prem with NetApp storage and VMware Cloud on AWS with FSx for ONTAP datastores.

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery and Ransomware

Recently announced, VMware Cloud DR introduced a feature called Run Recovered VMs on Cloud Filesystem. VMs can continue to run on the Cloud Filesystem after powering on speeding up the failover and decreasing the failback time.

VMware Cloud DR can now protect Google Cloud VMware Engine (GA) and VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts (Tech Preview) workloads.

Bulk VM Processing for VMware Ransomware Recovery. With this new feature, users benefit from streamlined and automated recovery of up to 50 VMs at a time, speeding up time to recovery and optimizing IT resources.

Speaking of VCDR Ransomware Recovery, Converge now has a Managed Ransomware Response offering that features VCDR with Ransomware Recovery. More details can be found on the Converge site here.

VMware Cloud Software Editions:

This will provide flexibility to choose the right software stack and operating model that is right for your company. 5 Cloud editions have been announced: Essentials, Standard, Pro, Advanced, and Enterprise. Advanced has been announced as the Cloud Edition for VMware Cloud on AWS at the same price point as existing i3en and I4i metal offers. In addition to the existing VMware Cloud on AWS features, customers will now get the following new features included with the Advanced tier:

  • VMware Aria Automation
  • VMware Aria Operations
  • VMware Aria Operations for Logs
  • VMware Tanzu Transformer (Aria Migration) 30-day free trial
  • Advanced Security capabilities: Context-aware micro segmentation (L7 DFW AppID), Distributed FQDN allowlisting, User Identity-based Firewall (IDFW)
  • NSX+ Policy Management

Existing SDDCs will get these advanced features over time. The Advanced subscription tier is targeted to become available by the end of VMware’s Q3’Fiscal Year 2024 (3rd Nov., 2023)

VMware Aria Operations for Networks

VMware Aria Operations for Networks with Intelligent Assist. With its Large Language Model (LLM) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities, users will be able to easily search for network and traffic information using natural language queries. This new AI capability will eliminate the need for complicated search syntax and simplifies complex queries.

Network Insights with AI-based Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is an AI-based analysis of the network topology and anomalies. The app-aware solution looks at network and traffic dependencies while correlating with AI and Machine Learning insights.

VMware Aria Operations for Logs

Federated Queries will offer a comprehensive search experience for logs across on-premises clusters to a SaaS Instance in a single pane of glass. This solution will allow customers to more easily troubleshoot across multiple instances of VMware Aria Operations for Logs that a customer might have.

VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud

Announcing the availability of a new Amazon EC2 instance type – i4i.metal for VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud (US). vSphere 8.0 and VMware NSX 4.0 for SDDC version 1.20+. Windows 11 Support on VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud (US) with vTPM & Key Providers.

Pure Cloud Block Store

Pure Cloud Block Store is now available as a block datastore for Azure VMware Solution (AVS). This allows you to provision additional storage as needed to make full use of an Azure VMware Solution deployment without the need to scale out compute resources. On-prem FlashArray customers have the additional benefit of being able to use the Purity data services to replicate data into AVS. It is currently in public preview.

If you missed Explorer this year or you didn’t have time to attend all the sessions you were interested in, the Explore Video library can be found here. If you have any questions around any of the announcements listed here or others (as there were several), feel free to reach out to us here on the Cloud Platforms team at [email protected]

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