VMware Cloud Flex Storage is a Storage-as-a-Service offering for VMware Cloud on AWS, and enables you to provision and scale storage independently of SDDC hosts.
VMware Cloud Flex Storage is fully VMware-managed and natively integrated, so you can cost-effectively supplement your capacity needs rather than purchasing more SDDC hosts.
VMware Cloud Flex Storage (sometimes referred to informally as VMC FS) provides NFS datastores for workloads that do not require vSAN performance for mission critical or consistent low-latency storage requirements. VMware Cloud Flex Storage leverages a high availability architecture with an NVMe cache tier with AWS S3 object storage on the backend and presenting an NFS datastore to a single SDDC.
With VMware Cloud Flex Storage, you can independently provision and scale storage capacity externally to VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC vSAN storage, with up to ~400 TiB of logical/usable capacity per datastore and the ability to have up to four datastores per-SDDC.
In each storage region, you can add new datastores and mount and unmount on SDDC clusters. In addition, you can monitor datastore performance statistics such as IOPS, throughput, latency, cache hit rate, capacity, and more.
VMware Cloud Flex Storage offers a simple pay-per-utilized GiB consumption model. You can buy a subscription, or pay on demand. With this model, you can scale storage at a low cost without adding hosts, which reduces your overall total cost of ownership (TCO).
Scale-Out Cloud Filesystem
VMware Cloud Flex Storage is founded on the Scale-Out Cloud Filesystem (SCFS), which has the following built-in data services: encryption, resiliency, storage efficiency, and data integrity features that are always on by default.
Storage capacity is presented as an NFS datastore that can be attached to existing host clusters in your SDDC, which you can manage through vCenter and a dedicated management interface.
The SCFS is designed specifically to host VMDK and running or powered off Virtual Machine (VMDK) workloads. It is not intended to, nor does it support, a file system or non-VM/VMDK use case.
Advanced Data Services
VMware Cloud Flex Storage provides high performance NFS datastore services to service VMware workloads for VMware Cloud on AWS. The SCFS is a hardened high availability (HA) platform that leverages a log-structured file system with advanced data services including compression and deduplication.
One of the benefits of this approach to capacity management is that you do not have to consider deduplication and compression from a financial or billing perspective, since VMware has priced this solution to incorporate data reduction, while at the same time offering a fixed and guaranteed per/GiB price model with no variability based on data type.