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VMware Cloud Foundation is VMware’s unified SDDC platform for the hybrid cloud and it’s based on VMware’s compute, storage, and network virtualization technologies to deliver a native integrated software stack that can be used on-premises for private cloud deployment or run as a service from the public cloud with consistent and simple operations.

VMware has announced the upcoming release of VMware Cloud Foundation 2.3.  This new release comes with many new capabilities to help further simplify the tasks of deploying, operating and maintaining a VMware based hybrid cloud.

The core components of VMware Cloud Foundation are VMware vSphere, Virtual SAN (vSAN) for the storage part, and NSX, for the network and security part. With Cloud Foundation 2.3, this deep integration has been further extended to include the entire vRealize Suite with vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation (vRealize Log Insight was already included).

VMware Cloud Foundation comes also with VMware SDDC Manager that automates the entire system life cycle and simplifies software operations for the entire stack. With the new version, the SDDC Manager can now automate the deployment, configuration and ongoing lifecycle of a complete software defined data center – to include not only the compute virtualization, storage virtualization, network virtualization but also the entire cloud management part.

 

Prior to 2.3, Cloud Foundation required all servers in a rack be identical in terms of CPU, memory and storage.  But in a vSphere cluster you can have also different hosts both in sizing or CPU type (if you enable EVC compatibility). With version 2.3 it’s now possibile combining different server configurations in the same rack. This simplify future expansion.

Of course the introduction of heterogeneous server support necessitated changes to the way servers are selected during bring up and when creating workload domains.  With different server configurations in the same rack, care must now be taken to ensure that only compatible servers (i.e. all flash vs. hybrid) are used when creating a workload domain, and to ensure that the CPU, memory and storage capacity is balanced across all nodes.

Another improvement is how handle the upgrade and update process, without the possibility to access the public repository in order to discover and download updates.  Isolated environment (or at least isolated from Internet) are very commons in some verticals (for example finance). To help in these situations, we are introducing a new command-line tool with Cloud Foundation 2.3 that can be used to download update bundles outside of Cloud Foundation and then copy them over to the SDDC Manager where they can be applied.

For the hardware compatibility, VMware is continually working with server and switch vendors to certify new hardware for use with Cloud foundation. In version 2.3, the support for the latest Intel Skylake Purley server architecture as well as the Arista 7280SR(A) ToR switches has been added. For the entire HCL, check the Cloud Foundation compatibility guide.

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2857 Posts)

Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-18. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-18. Nutanix NTC 2014-18. PernixPro 2014-16. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.


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