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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.

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.

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.

The Cloud Foundation 3.0 release continues to expand on the SDDC automation, VMware SDDC stack, and the partner ecosystem.

The VMware Cloud Foundation 3.0 release includes the following:

  • Support for customer’s own network vendor and topology choice
    New flexibility enables customers provide their choice of network switches, network topology, and network management tools.
  • Enhanced support for vRealize Suite components
    Including improved workflows for deploying and connecting vRealize Suite components to workload domains.
  • Cloud Foundation Builder VM
    New and streamlined method for Cloud Foundation deployment and SDDC initial bring-up using the Cloud Foundation Builder VM.
  • New user interface based on a common VMware framework and improved workflows
    Redesigned SDDC Manager interface based on the next-generation Clarity interface framework.
  • Skip version upgrade capability for Platform Service Controllers, vCenter Server, and ESX
    Ability to apply cumulative upgrades for these components.
  • Support for multiple clusters in a workload domain
    Ability to support multiple clusters per vCenter Server in VI workload domains.
  • Full certificate management in the SDDC Manager dashboard
    You can now manage, configure, and install Microsoft Certificate Authority signed certificates to the SDDC Manager user interface.
  • Dual Availability Zone (AZ) vSAN Stretched Clusters
    Manual guidance to deploy vSAN stretched clusters on Cloud Foundation across two Availability Zones.

NOTE: VMware Cloud Foundation 3.0 must be installed as a new deployment. Upgrading from earlier Cloud Foundation versions is not supported.

The Cloud Foundation software product is comprised of the following software Bill-of-Materials (BOM). The components in the BOM are interoperable and compatible.

Software Component Version Date Build Number
Cloud Foundation Builder VM 3.0 20 SEP 2018 10044179
SDDC Manager 3.0 20 SEP 2018 10044179
VMware vCenter Server on vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 U2c 13 AUG 2018 9451637
VMware Platform Services Controller 6.5 U2c 13 AUG 2018 9451637
VMware vSphere (ESXi) 6.5 EP8 16 AUG 2018 9298722
VMware vSAN 6.6.1 EP8 14 AUG 2018 9152287
VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.1 25 MAY 2018 8599035
VMware vRealize Operations 6.7 11 APR 2018 8183617
VMware vRealize Automation 7.4 11 APR 2018 8229492
VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.6.1 07 JUN 2018 8597028
VMware NSX content pack for vRealize Log Insight 3.7 n/a n/a
VMware vSAN content pack for vRealize Log Insight 2.0 n/a n/a
vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.2 12 APR 2018 8234885

VMware Cloud Foundation is now fully compatible with the entire vSAN ReadyNode Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). This brings in additional vendor choices such as Supermicro, Huawei, Inspur, etc. on the private cloud side. On the public cloud side, VMware Cloud Foundation continues to add additional partners with the newest addition being NTT Communications.

Also the networking flexibility it’s a huge value, and customers can now ‘Bring Your Own Network’:

  • Customers are not constrained by a limited selection of TOR and Rack Interconnect switches. Choose switches that meet your organization’s standard and your scalability
  • Increased flexibility in network configuration. Customers can configure VLANs and other settings without fear of disrupting SDDC Manager’s automation or configuration.
  • SDDC Manager no longer requires access to the physical network layer. Switches are manually configured by the customer’s network team.
  • There is no dependency on or VCF requirement for a Management Switch

For more information see also: