Running a VM in the Cloud

When you move a VM from on-prem to the cloud, Velostrata shuts down the VM gracefully if it is running (requires VMware Tools to be installed in the VM), and takes a safe point snapshot of the VM prior to its move to the cloud. While moving a VM to the cloud you can:

  • Scale up the VM and assign it more CPU and RAM resources by selecting an appropriate cloud instance type.
  • Select a storage policy.

Velostrata includes a built-in rightsizing engine that provides cost- and performance-optimized recommendations. In order to provide an effective recommendation, Velostrata recommends monitoring the VM usage for at least 7 active days. 

To run a VM in GCP from on-premises or another cloud, follow the appropriate steps, below:

Run on-prem VM in GCP
  1. On the vSphere Web Client, select the desired Virtual Machine.
  2. Right-click on the VM and select Velostrata Operations > Run in Cloud.
  1. Select the Velostrata Cloud Extension.
  2. The Cloud VM Name is filled in automatically from the VM. Modify the Cloud VM Name as required.

Note: From version 3.1, the random trailing suffix is no longer added to the name.  

Note: If you select a Cloud Extension that is impaired, (Impaired) is appended to the Velostrata Cloud Extension name. It is not recommended to move a VM to run in an impaired Cloud Extension. For more information, see High Availability Overview.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Select the Project and  Instance Type (VM size). Three options are recommended for performance-optimized VMs, and three options are recommended for cost-optimized VMs.
    Note: The prices are for compute cost only and do not include disk and network costs.
    Note: If the VM has not been monitored for a sufficient period (7 days), a message appears indicating that the activity duration may be insufficient for accurate recommendations.
    Note: If the online price list is not available, no cost-optimized recommendations are provided.  
  1. Click Next.
  1. Select the Storage Policy, that is, either Write Back or Write Isolation. The choice of Storage Policy need to be carefully reviewed, as this will affect the data changes done while running in cloud:
    1. Write back (default option):  When running in cloud using the write back policy, all changes in the cloud will be written to the on-premises storage, this write-back activity happens in background, in an interval of 5GB accumulated changes or 1 hour (whatever comes first).
    2. Write isolation: When using write isolation policy, all changes done while running in cloud are kept in cloud on the Velostrata Cloud Edge and are not persisted back on-premises. When moving the VM back to run on-premises, it will go back to its state and data point in time captured in the base snapshot. Related Virtual Machines that are moved to cloud together using the Write Isolation policy should be moved back on-premises together to maintain state alignment.
  2. Click Next.
  1. Select a cloud Subnet. Typically, the selection here would be of a private network subnet. 
  2. Enter the required Network Tags (comma separated), for example, velostrata. Network tags are used by networks to identify which instances are subject to certain firewall rules and network routes. For example, if you have several VM instances that are serving a large website, tag these instances with a shared word or term and then use that tag to apply a firewall rule that allows HTTP access to those instances.
  3. Select the Instance Service Account (optional). 
  4. From the Configure Private IP drop-down list, select Auto to allow an available address on the subnet to be automatically assigned, or Static if a specific address assignment is required.
    1. If you select Static, a Static IP field appears. Enter the required static IP for the instance or specify an ENI ID (e.g. eni-xxxxx) to associate a reserved Elastic Network Interface.
  5. From the Edge Node drop-down list, select the required node.
  6. For External IP, select None, Static and enter the External IP address name (this is the name for an external IP address created on the GCP console previously) or Ephemeral (the external IP is assigned by Google).
    1. This IP appears as the Public IP Address  in the Velostrata Cloud Extension portlet.
    2. If you select Ephemeral (the external IP is assigned by Google),  the same setting persists when you detach, cleanup or cancel detach.  
    3. If you select static, you will need to populate the external IP address name, too.
  7. Click Next.
  1. Review the summary and then click Finish.

The process of running the VM in the cloud can be viewed in the Cloud Instance Information portlet on the VM Summary page, and by monitoring the created vSphere task.

You can connect to the VM when the Remote Console field in the Cloud Instance Information portlet turns green and reads "Ready". You can connect to the VM using the private IP address or FQDN.

Run AWS VM in GCP

During migration of an instance from AWS to GCP, Velostrata takes ownership of the instance disks at AWS. At the end of the process, the original AWS instance remains intact and powered off.

  • Stops the source VM in AWS
  • Creates the Velostrata VM Importer at AWS
  • Attaches the disk from the source VM to the Velostrata worker service account (velos-worker-sa).
  • Creates an instance in GCP
  • Streams data from the importer to the GCP Cloud Extension
  • Terminates the importer and re-attaches the disks to the source VM

Note: During cloud-to-cloud migrations, the VMs will be moved in write isolation mode, which means the data is not synchronized between AWS and GCP during the migration.

For detailed instructions on how to run VMs from AWS in GCP, please refer to our Runbook Automation section

Note: When you run a VM in the cloud and the instance does not start up in a healthy way, Velostrata uses VM auto healing to fix the problem and restart the instance. If this does not succeed, the Run in Cloud task is rolled back. 

To view the related events, view the Monitor > Tasks tab, like below: 

For clouds that were previously supported in other versions: 

On-prem-to-AWS: To run a VM in the cloud:
AWS Spot Prices Overview

When you run a VM in the cloud on AWS, you can choose to pay on-demand pricing or select to spot market bid.

Spot instances let you bid on spare Amazon EC2 instances to name your own price for compute capacity. The spot price fluctuates based on the supply and demand of available EC2 capacity.

You can select the defined duration for the run in cloud instance, by choosing no reservation (AWS can take back the instance) or reserve the instance for between 1 and 6 hours.

When you move an instance into the cloud using a spot market instance, the full migration wizard is not available for the instance. It is also not possible to shutdown or reconfigure a spot market instance. You are able to restart a spot market instance.

For more information, see https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/spot/pricing/.

AWS Spot Instance

If the spot market bid is unsuccessful for an AWS VM an error message appears.

To view the related events, view the Monitor > Tasks tab.

For an AWS instance, the Cloud Instance Information pane shows the Pricing Model (or Spot Market Bid or On-demand).

AWS: To run a VM in the cloud:
  1. On the vSphere Web Client, select the desired Virtual Machine.
  2. Right-click on the VM and select Velostrata Operations > Run in Cloud.
  1. Select the Velostrata Cloud Extension and enter a Cloud VM Name.

Note: If you select a Cloud Extension that is impaired, (Impaired) is appended to the Velostrata Cloud Extension name. It is not recommended to move a VM to run in an impaired Cloud Extension. For more information, see High Availability Overview.

Note: If you select to run your VM in a CE that is in the AWS Marketplace, a message appears indicating that you may incur usage costs according to the subscription terms.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Select the Instance Type (VM size). Three options are recommended for performance-optimized VMs, and three options are recommended for cost-optimized VMs.  
    Note: The prices are for compute cost only and do not include disk and network costs. Spot and reserved instances may also have price reduction plans.
    Note: If the VM has not been monitored for a sufficient period (7 days), a message appears indicating that the activity duration may be insufficient for accurate recommendations.
    Note: If the online price list is not available, no cost-optimized recommendations are provided.  
  3. Select On-Demand or Spot Market Bid for the Pricing Model.
  4. If you select Spot Market Bid, select the Defined Duration (No reservation or between 1 and 6 hours) and enter the $USD maximum price you are willing to pay for the spot.

Note: If you want to review the spot pricing history on the AWS site, click Pricing History.

  1. Click Next.
  1. Select the Storage Policy, that is, either Write Back or Write Isolation. The choice of Storage Policy need to be carefully reviewed, as this will affect the data changes done while running in cloud:
    • Write back (default option):  When running in cloud using the write back policy, all changes in the cloud will be written to the on-premises storage, this write-back activity happens in background, in an interval of 5GB accumulated changes or 1 hour (whatever comes first).
    • Write isolation: When using write isolation policy, all changes done while running in cloud are kept in cloud on the Velostrata Cloud Edge and are not persisted back on-premises. When moving the VM back to run on-premises, it will go back to its state and data point in time captured in the base snapshot. Related Virtual Machines that are moved to cloud together using the Write Isolation policy should be moved back on-premises together to maintain state alignment.
  2. Click Next.
  1. Select the required Security Groups.

Note: If you do not enter a Network Security Group, the default Network Security Group configured for the Cloud Extension is used.

Note: If public access if required from the internet to the VM, a DMZ is required with an associated security group, including appropriate inbound and outbound rules.

  1. Click Next.
  1. Select a cloud Subnet. Typically, the selection here would be of a private network subnet. When Cloud Edge nodes (A, B) are placed in different AZs, the Cloud Edge node in the same AZ as the selected subnet is automatically used, otherwise a manual node selection is required.
  2. From the Configure Private IP drop-down list, select Auto to allow an available address on the subnet to be automatically assigned, or Static if a specific address assignment is required.
  3. If you select Static, a Static IP field appears. Enter the required static IP for the instance or specify an ENI ID (e.g. eni-xxxxx) to associate a reserved Elastic Network Interface.
  4. From the Edge Node drop-down list, select the required node. When Cloud Edge nodes are placed in the same Availability Zone (AZ), a manual selection of the Cloud Edge node to use is required.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Note: If you select to run your VM in a CE that is in the AWS Marketplace, the License Type is Marketplace.
  1. Review the summary and then click Finish.

The process of running the VM in the cloud can be viewed in the Cloud Instance Information portlet on the VM Summary page, and by monitoring the created vSphere task.

You can connect to the VM when the Remote Console field in the Cloud Instance Information portlet turns green and reads "Ready". You can connect to the VM using the private IP address or FQDN.

On-prem-to-Azure: To run a VM in the cloud:

For Azure, select the type of Windows license to use, that is, either reuse your on-premises license (Azure Hybrid Use Benefit) or use a cloud-provided license:

  • The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is designed to help you to migrate to Azure without paying twice for the Windows license. If you have an existing on-premises Windows Server/Client license with active Software Assurance (SA), select to apply the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. This enables you to reuse your on-prem license in the cloud.
  • When using the cloud-provided license, the Windows license is included in the instance charges, and may be as much as 40% of the instance cost. 
  1. On the vSphere Web Client, select the desired Virtual Machine.
  2. Right-click on the VM and select Velostrata Operations > Run in Cloud.
  1. Select the Velostrata Cloud Extension.
  2. The Cloud VM Name is filled in automatically from the VM. Modify the Cloud VM Name as required.

Note: From version 3.1, the random trailing suffix is no longer added to the name.  

Note: If you select a Cloud Extension that is impaired, (Impaired) is appended to the Velostrata Cloud Extension name. It is not recommended to move a VM to run in an impaired Cloud Extension. For more information, see High Availability Overview.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Select the Instance Type (VM size). Three options are recommended for performance-optimized VMs, and three options are recommended for cost-optimized VMs.  
    Note: The prices are for compute cost only and do not include disk and network costs.
    Note: If the VM has not been monitored for a sufficient period (7 days), a message appears indicating that the activity duration may be insufficient for accurate recommendations.
    Note: If the online price list is not available, no cost-optimized recommendations are provided.  
  3. Select whether to Show only types supporting premium storage.
    Note: Instances that use premium storage may have a different cost.
  4. Select the Resource Group and Availability Set.
  5. (Windows) Select whether to use a Cloud-provided license, or if you have an existing on-premises Windows Server/Client license with active Software Assurance (SA), select Hybrid Use Windows Server or Hybrid Use Windows Client to apply the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit.  
  1. Click Next.
  1. Select the Storage Policy, that is, either Write Back or Write Isolation. The choice of Storage Policy need to be carefully reviewed, as this will affect the data changes done while running in clou
    • Write back (default option):  When running in cloud using the write back policy, all changes in the cloud will be written to the on-premises storage, this write-back activity happens in background, in an interval of 5GB accumulated changes or 1 hour (whatever comes first).
    • Write isolation: When using write isolation policy, all changes done while running in cloud are kept in cloud on the Velostrata Cloud Edge and are not persisted back on-premises. When moving the VM back to run on-premises, it will go back to its state and data point in time captured in the base snapshot. Related Virtual Machines that are moved to cloud together using the Write Isolation policy should be moved back on-premises together to maintain state alignment.
  2. Click Next.
  1. Select the required Network Security Group.

Note: If you do not enter a Network Security Group, the default Network Security Group configured for the Cloud Extension is used.

  1. Click Next.
  1. Select a cloud Subnet. Typically, the selection here would be of a private network subnet.
  2. From the Configure Private IP drop-down list, select Auto to allow an available address on the subnet to be automatically assigned, or Static if a specific address assignment is required.
  3. If you select Static, a Static IP field appears. Enter the required static IP for the instance or specify an ENI ID (e.g. eni-xxxxx) to associate a reserved Elastic Network Interface.
  4. From the Edge Node drop-down list, select the required node. A manual selection of the Edge Node to use is required. Select Node A or Node B. The default selection is Node A.
  5. Click Next.
  1. Review the summary and then click Finish.

The process of running the VM in the cloud can be viewed in the Cloud Instance Information portlet on the VM Summary page, and by monitoring the created vSphere task.

You can connect to the VM when the Remote Console field in the Cloud Instance Information portlet turns green and reads "Ready". You can connect to the VM using the private IP address or FQDN.