Navigating the Azure Cloud: Key Considerations for Azure VMware Solution (AVS)

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The Azure VMware Solution (AVS) is a cloud service provided by Microsoft that allows organizations to seamlessly extend their on-premises VMware environments to the Microsoft Azure cloud. It essentially enables you to run and manage your existing VMware workloads in Azure without the need to rearchitect or refactor them.

Features of Azure VMware Solution

According to Azure, some of the key features of AVS are the following:

  • Seamlessly integrate your VMware environment with Azure
  • Use your existing VMware investments with Azure
  • Deploy on dedicated cloud infrastructure in Azure
  • Microsoft workloads are best on Azure
  • Comprehensive security and compliance, built in
  • Reduce your IT costs

What does this actually mean?

Integrated VMware Environment: AVS provides a fully compatible and integrated VMware environment within Azure, allowing you to use the same familiar tools and processes you use on-premises.

Use Existing VMware Investments: AVS allows you to use existing tools and knowledge to manage your environment in the cloud. This includes things like Site Recovery Manager, the Aria Suite, and other tools such as the vSphere Client or PowerCLI

Deploy on Dedicated Cloud Hardware: This allows the ability to scale operationally utilizing fully managed, single tenant, bare metal servers. Theres also multiple ways to connect your data either using VPN or Expressroute to encrypt data at rest and in transit.

Microsoft Workloads on Azure: When customers run Windows Server and SQL Server on Azure, they get additional benefits around features, support and licensing. It provides additional unique cost savings that are passed down to the customer.

VM Migration: You can migrate your existing VMware virtual machines (VMs) from on-premises data centers to the Azure cloud, minimizing disruption and downtime.

Hybrid Capabilities: AVS enables hybrid scenarios, where you can have applications spanning both on-premises and Azure environments, allowing you to leverage the benefits of both.

Security and Compliance: You can apply Azure’s security and compliance capabilities to your VMware workloads, enhancing data protection and regulatory compliance.

Learn more at Azure VMware Solution Overview

Considerations When Using Azure VMware Solution

While AVS has alot of great features, there are also some considerations to think about when using this Solution.

Scaling and Elasticity: There are three different node types currently available, and not all node types are available in each region. There are an AV36, AV36P and AV52–each one of these have different CPU, memory and storage requirements. Each AVS SDDC can have a maximum of 12 clusters. Each cluster can have a minimum of 3 nodes and a maximum of 16 notes which also includes a maximum of 96 hosts per private cloud. It is important to highlight that while there is benefits to scaling, there are also limits and while you may not hit these from a compute perspective, since AVS utilizes vSAN you can hit this limits easily with certain storage requirements.

Security and Compliance: Security in the cloud is completely different than on-premises. Think about what toolsets are currently provided and how this ties into your security mindset.

Migration Strategy: Migrating into AVS is usually done VMware tools such as HCX. However there can be some limitations that customers may want to use other native replication technologies.

Support and SLAs: Understand the support offerings and service level agreements (SLAs) provided by Microsoft for AVS. This will help you set proper expectations for assistance and issue resolution.

Long-Term Strategy: Consider how AVS aligns with your long-term IT strategy. Evaluate whether AVS is a short-term solution or part of a larger cloud migration plan. In some cases, you may only use AVS as an on-ramp to get an application moved to the cloud, and then may look to other tools to refactor it to an Azure VM or other cloud-native application.

Storage Options: vSAN is the default storage type for AVS. There have been some external offers that have come and gone, but most users default to vSAN today.

Features and Accessibility: This is the IMPORTANT one. You need to remember, that when using AVS you do not have full access to the underlying hardware or software. You get access with a cloudadmin account that gives limited access to ESXi and vCenter Server. Features that you may be familiar with on-premises may not be available to you in a similar environment. Think about things like VAAI, XCOPY, iSCSI and other related tools or features.


Overall, Azure VMware Solution provides a bridge between your existing VMware investments and the Azure cloud, giving you the flexibility to modernize your infrastructure, take advantage of cloud capabilities, and optimize costs while still maintaining compatibility with your VMware-based applications and workloads.

I hope this blog helped you learn something new and look forward to the next one!

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