Ordering VMware Cloud on AWS through AWS as a private individual

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This post will be all about how I went through the unknown road of ordering VMware Cloud on AWS as a private individual through AWS.

First I want to give a huge thanks to Troy Lindsay for helping me massively with all the issues that we came across.

Before I get into it, what exactly is this path? Well, simply put, instead of ordering VMware Cloud on AWS through VMware, I ordered it through AWS. This means that my AWS billing account gets billed (first eligible credit and then my credit card) instead of through VMware, for which using a credit card for VMC on AWS the first time has a $2000 fee (that you will get as credit). For me this is crucial, as a self-learning student I don’t have high budgets, nor a educational facility to ask for help, so I have to pay it out of my own pocket. With no job, it is impossible for me to get $2000 together in any reasonable length of time.

I wanted to be able to experiment with VMware Cloud on AWS for a number of reasons. First and foremost, education for myself. Learn the product, learn the ins-and-outs, learn the platform, get experience with the product (which I believe is very important, as no amount of theory will top practical usage in most cases), and of course try different scenarios (eg: Site to Site VPN, stricter firewall rules (so no “allow all” rules), setting up HCX and more) and troubleshoot any issues.

Now that you know why I got started on it, this is how it went from my perspective:

I was given an order form to fill in, so I opened that up on Office Word, filled it in, saved it and printed it, signed it and scanned it in as a PDF and send that back over to them. A different AWS team provisioned an org for me on the VMware Cloud platform, which has billing set to my AWS account. I received an email to create the organization. I created the org and provisioned the service. Once that was done, I was all set and ready to go. It worked! It takes about a day before the software-defined data center (SDDC) usage shows up in the billing dashboard, which may be something that can be improved on.

This is how VMC on AWS usage shows up in the AWS billing dashboard under Billing -> Bills

For example, if I provision an SDDC, and deleted it after about 5 hours, it takes about 10-35 hours before the charges show up in the AWS billing console. However other than that, it works great. And it is a lot easier for me to do this than to save up $2000 first. Plus, I get to use some eligible AWS credit I have. (Be sure to check this, as I believe credit eligibility for VMware Cloud on AWS is not standard.)

In the AWS Billing Dashboard, under Billing -> Credits, click the “See complete list of services” button.
Check if “VMware Cloud on AWS” is in the list. If it is not there, then the credit cannot be used for this product.