Improved management insights and integrated control in VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5 on Dell VxRail 7.0.400
Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:59:13 -0000|
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The latest release of the co-engineered hybrid cloud platform delivers new capabilities to help you manage your cloud with the precision and ease of a fighter jet pilot in the cockpit! The new VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on VxRail release includes support for the latest Cloud Foundation and VxRail software components based on vSphere 7, the latest VxRail P670N single socket All-NVMe 15th Generation HW platform, and VxRail API integrations with SDDC Manager. These components streamline and automate VxRail cluster creation and LCM operations, provide greater insights into platform health and activity status, and more! There is a ton of airspace to cover, ready to take off? Then buckle up and let’s hit Mach 10, Maverick!
VCF on VxRail operations and serviceability enhancements
Support for VxRail cluster creation automation using SDDC Manager UI
The best pilots are those that can access the most fully integrated tools to get the job done all from one place: the cockpit interface that they use every day. Cloud Foundation on VxRail administrators should also be able to access the best tools, minus the cockpit of course.
The newest VCF on VxRail release introduces support for VxRail cluster creation as a fully integrated end-to-end SDDC Manager workflow, driven from within the SDDC Manager UI. This integrated API-driven workload domain and VxRail cluster SDDC Manager feature extends the deep integration capabilities between SDDC Manager and VxRail Manager. This integration enables users to VxRail clusters when creating new VI workload domains or expanding existing workload domains (by adding new VxRail clusters into them) all from an SDDC Manager UI-driven end-to-end workflow experience.
In the initial SDDC Manager UI deployment workflow integration, only unused VxRail nodes discovered by VxRail Manager are supported. It also only supports clusters that are using one of the VxRail predefined network profile cluster configuration options. This method supports deploying VxRail clusters using both vSAN and VMFS on FC as principal storage options.
Another enhancement allows administrators to provide custom user-defined cluster names and custom user-defined VDS and port group names as configuration parameters as part of this workflow.
You can watch this new feature in action in this demo.
Now that’s some great co-piloting!
Support for SDDC Manager WFO Script VxRail cluster deployment configuration enhancements
Th SDDC Manager WFO Script deployment method was first introduced in VCF 4.3 on VxRail 7.0.202 to support advanced VxRail cluster configuration deployments within VCF on VxRail environments. This deployment method is also integrated with the VxRail API and can be used with or without VxRail JSON cluster configuration files as inputs, depending on what type of advanced VxRail cluster configurations are desired.
- The legacy method for deploying VxRail clusters using the VxRail Manager Deployment Wizard has been deprecated with this release.
- VxRail cluster deployments using the SDDC Manager WFO Script method currently require the use of professional services.
Proactive notifications about expired passwords and certificates in SDDC Manager UI and from VCF public API
To deliver improved management insights into the cloud infrastructure system and its health status, this release introduces new proactive SDDC Manager UI notifications for impending VCF and VxRail component expired passwords and certificates. Now, within 30 days of expiration, a notification banner is automatically displayed in the SDDC Manager UI to give cloud administrators enough time to plan a course of action before these components expire. Figure 1 illustrates these notifications in the SDDC Manager UI.
Figure 1. Proactive password and certificate expiration notifications in SDDC Manager UI
VCF also displays different types of password status categories to help better identify a given account’s password state. These status categories include:
- Active – Password is in a healthy state and not within a pending expiry window. No action is necessary.
- Expiring – Password is in a healthy state but is reaching a pending expiry date. Action should be taken to use SDDC Manager Password Management to update the password.
- Disconnected – Password of component is unknown or not in sync with the SDDC Manager managed passwords database inventory. Action should be taken to update the password at the component and remediate with SDDC Manager to resync.
The password status is displayed on the SDDC Manager UI Password Management dashboard so that users can easily reference it.
Figure 2. Password status display in SDDC Manager UI
Similarly, certificate status state is also monitored. Depending on the certificate state, administrators can remediate expired certificates using the automated SDDC Manager certificate management capabilities, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Certificate status and management in SDDC Manager UI
Finally, administrators looking to capture this information programmatically can now use the VCF public API to query the system for any expired passwords and certificates.
Add and delete hosts from WLD clusters within a workload domain in parallel using SDDC Manager UI or VCF public API
Agility and efficiency are what cloud administrators strive for. The last thing anyone wants is to have to wait for the system to complete a task before being able to perform the next one. To address this, VCF on VxRail now allows admins to add and delete hosts in clusters within a workload domain in parallel using the SDDC Manager UI or VCF Public API. This helps to perform infrastructure management operations faster: some may even say at Mach 9!
- Prerequisite: Currently, VxRail nodes must be added to existing clusters using VxRail Manager first prior to executing SDDC Manager add host workflow operations in VCF.
- Currently a maximum of 10 operations of each type can be performed simultaneously. Always check the VMware Configuration Maximums Guide for VCF documentation for the latest supported configuration maximums.
SDDC Manager UI: Support for Day 2 renaming of VCF cluster objects
To continue making the VCF on VxRail platform more accommodating to each organization’s governance policies and naming conventions, this release enables administrators to rename VCF cluster objects from within the SDDC Manager UI as a Day 2 operation.
New menu actions to rename the cluster are visible in-context when operating on cluster objects from within the SDDC Manager UI. This is just the first step in a larger initiative to make VCF on VxRail even more adaptable with naming conventions across many other VCF objects in the future. Figure 4 describes new in-context rename cluster menu option looks like.
Figure 4. Day 2 Rename Cluster Menu Option in SDDC Manager UI
Support for assigning user defined tags to WLD, cluster, and host VCF objects in SDDC Manager
VCF on VxRail now incorporates SDDC Manager support for assigning and displaying user defined tags for workload domain, cluster, and host VCF objects.
Administrators now see a new Tags pane in the SDDC Manager UI that displays tags that have been created and assigned to WLD, cluster, and host VCF objects. If no tags exist, are not assigned, or if changes to existing tags are needed, there is an assign link that allows an administrator to assign the tag or link and launch into that object in vCenter where tag management (create, delete, modify) can be performed. When tags are instantiated, VCF syncs them and allow administrators to assign and display them in the tags pane in the SDDC Manager UI, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. User-defined tags visibility and assignment, using SDDC Manager
Support for SDDC Manager onboarding within SDDC Manager UI
VCF on VxRail is a powerful and flexible hybrid cloud platform that enables administrators to manage and configure the platform to meet their business requirements. To help organizations make the most of their strategic investments and start operationalizing them quicker, this release introduces support for a new SDDC Manager UI onboarding experience.
The new onboarding experience:
- Focuses on Learn and plan and Configure SDDC Manager phases with drill down to configure each phase
- Includes in-product context that enables administrators to learn, plan, and configure their workload domains, with added details including documentation articles and technical illustrations
- Introduces a step-by-step UI walkthrough wizard for initial SDDC Manager configuration setup
- Provides an intuitive UI guided walkthrough tour of SDDC Manager UI in stages of configuration that reduces the learning curve for customers
- Provides opt-out and revisit options for added flexibility
Figure 6 illustrates the new onboarding capabilities.
Figure 6. SDDC Manager Onboarding and UI Tour Experience
VCF on VxRail lifecycle management enhancements
VCF integration with VxRail Retry API
The new VCF on VxRail release delivers new integrations with SDDC Manager and the VxRail Retry API to help reduce overall LCM performance time. If a cloud administrator has attempted to perform LCM operations on a VxRail cluster within their VCF on VxRail workload domain and only a subset of those nodes within the cluster can be upgraded successfully, another LCM attempt would be required to fully upgrade the rest of the nodes in the cluster.
Before VxRail Retry API, the VxRail Manager LCM would start the LCM from the first node in the cluster and scan each one to determine if it required an upgrade or not, even if the node was already successfully upgraded. This rescan behavior added unnecessary time to the LCM execution window for customers with large VxRail clusters.
The VxRail Retry API has made LCM even smarter. During an LCM update where a cluster has a mix of updated and non-updated nodes, VxRail Manager automatically skips right to the non-updated nodes only and runs through the LCM process from there until all remaining non-updated nodes are upgraded. This can provide cloud administrators with significant time savings. Figure 7 shows the behavior difference between standard and enhanced VxRail Retry API Behavior.
Figure 7. Comparison between standard and enhanced VxRail Retry API LCM Behavior
The VxRail Retry API behavior for VCF 4.5 on VxRail 7.0.400 has been natively integrated into the SDDC Manager LCM workflow. Administrators can continue to manage their VxRail upgrades within the SDDC Manager UI per usual. They can also take advantage of these improved operational workflows without any additional manual configuration changes.
Improved SDDC Manager prechecks
More prechecks have been integrated into the platform that help fortify platform stability and simplify operations. These are:
- Verification of valid licenses for software components
- Checks for expired NSX Edge cluster passwords
- Verification of system inconsistent state caused by any prior failed workflows
- Additional host maintenance mode prechecks
- Determine if a host is in maintenance mode
- Determine whether CPU reservation for NSX-T is beyond VCF recommendation
- Determine whether DRS policy has changed from the VCF recommended (Fully Automated)
- Additional filesystem capacity and permissions checks
While VCF on VxRail has many core prechecks that monitor many common system health issues, VCF on VxRail will continue to integrate even more into the platform with each new release.
Support for vSAN health check silencing
The new VCF on VxRail release also includes vSAN health check interoperability improvements. These improvements allow VCF to:
- Address common upgrade blockers due to vSAN HCL precheck false positives
- Allow vSAN pre-checks to be more granular, which enables the administrator to only perform those that are applicable to their environment
- Display failed vSAN health checks during LCM operations of domain-level pre-checks and upgrades
- Enable the administrators to silence the health checks
Display VCF configurations drift bundle progress details in SDDC Manager UI during LCM operations
In a VCF on VxRail context, configuration-drift is a set of configuration changes that are required to bring upgraded BOM components (such as vCenter, NSX, and so on) with a new VCF on VxRail installation. These configuration changes are delivered by VCF configuration-drift LCM update bundles.
VCF configuration drift update improvements deliver greater visibility into what specifically is being changed, improved error details for better troubleshooting, and more efficient behavior for retry operations.
VCF Async Patch Tool support
VCF Async Patch Tool support offers both LCM and security enhancements.
Note: This feature is not officially included in this new release, but it is newly available.
The VCF Async Patch Tool is a new CLI based tool that allows cloud administrators to apply individual component out-of-band security patches to their VCF on VxRail environment, separate from an official VCF LCM update release. This enables organizations to address security vulnerabilities faster without having to wait for a full VCF release update. It also gives administrators control to install these patches without requiring the engagement of support resources.
Today, VCF on VxRail supports the ability to use the VCF Async Patch Tool for NSX-T and vCenter security patch updates only. Once patches have been applied and a new VCF BOM update is available that includes the security fixes, administrators can use the tool to download the latest VCF LCM release bundles and upgrade their environment back to an official in-band VCF release BOM. After that, administrators can continue to use the native SDDC Manager LCM workflow process to apply additional VCF on VxRail upgrades.
Note: Using VCF Async Patch Tool for VxRail and ESXi patch updates is not yet supported for VCF on VxRail deployments. There is currently separate manual guidance available for customers needing to apply patches for those components.
Instructions on downloading and using the VCF Async Patch Tool can be found here.
VCF on VxRail hardware platform enhancements
Support for 24-drive All-NVMe 15th Generation P670N VxRail platform
The VxRail 7.0.400 release delivers support for the latest VxRail 15th Generation P670N VxRail hardware platform. This 2U1N single CPU socket model delivers an All-NVMe storage configuration of up to 24 drives for improved workload performance. Now that would be powerful single engine aircraft!
Time to come in for a landing…
I don’t know about you, but I am flying high with excitement about all the innovation delivered with this release. Now it’s time to take ourselves down for a landing. For more information, see the following additional resources so you can become your organization’s Cloud Ace.
Author: Jason Marques
Related Blog Posts
New Year’s Resolutions Fulfilled: Cloud Foundation on VxRail
Thu, 10 Feb 2022 13:24:57 -0000|
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New Year’s Resolutions Fulfilled: VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves with each turn of the calendar. We hope everyone is still on track!
The Cloud Foundation on VxRail team wanted to establish our own resolutions too. And with that, Dell Technologies and VMware have come together to fulfill our resolution of continuing to innovate by making operating and securing cloud platforms easier for our customers while helping them unlock the power of their data.
And as a result, we are happy to announce the availability of our first release of the new year: VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on Dell VxRail 7.0.320! This release includes Cloud Foundation and VxRail software component version updates that include patches to some recent widely known security vulnerabilities. It also adds support for Dell ObjectScale on the vSAN Data Persistence Platform (vDPp), support for additional 15th generation VxRail platforms, new security hardening features, lifecycle management improvements, new Nvidia GPU workload support, and more. Phew! So be resolute and read on for the details.
VCF on VxRail Storage Enhancements
Support for vSAN Data Persistence Platform and Dell ObjectScale Modern Stateful Object Storage Services
Initially introduced in vSphere 7.0 U1, the vSAN Data Persistence Platform (vDPp) is now supported as part of in VCF 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320. Check out this great VMware blog post to learn more about vDPp.
Beginning in this release, support for running the new Dell ObjectScale data service on top of vDPp is also available. This new next-gen cloud native software defined object storage service is geared toward those IT teams who are looking to extend their cloud platform to run Kubernetes native stateful modern application data services. To learn more about ObjectScale please refer to this blog post. Note: VCF on VxRail currently supports using vDPp in a vSAN “Shared Nothing Architecture Mode” only.
The following figure illustrates the high-level architecture of vDPp.
Figure 1 – vDPp and ObjectScale
As a result of this new capability, VCF on VxRail customers can further extend the storage flexibility the platform can support with S3 compatible object storage delivered as part of the turnkey cloud infrastructure management/operations experience.
Giving customers more storage flexibility resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Lifecycle Management Enhancements
Improved SDDC Manager LCM Prechecks
This release brings even more intelligence that is embedded into the SDDC Manager LCM precheck workflow. When performing an upgrade, the SDDC Manager needs to communicate to various components to complete various actions as well as requiring that certain system resources be configured correctly and are available.
To avoid any potential issues during LCM activities, VCF administrators can run SDDC Manager prechecks to weed any issues out before any LCM operation is executed. In this latest release SDDC Manager now adds six additional checks. These include:
- Password validity (including expired passwords)
- File system permissions
- File system capacity
- CPU reservation for NSX-T Managers
- Hosts in maintenance mode
- DRS configuration mode
All these checks apply to ESXi, vCenter, NSX-T, NSX-T Edge VMs, VxRail Manager, and vRealize Suite components in the VCF on VxRail environment. Figure 2 below illustrates some examples of what these prechecks look like from the SDDC Manager UI.
Figure 2 – New SDDC Manager Prechecks
Giving customers enhanced LCM improvements resolution: Check!
vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager Flexible Upgrades
VCF 4.4 has been enhanced to allow vRealize suite products to be updated independently without having to upgrade the VCF SDDC stack.
Figure 3 – vRSLCM Flexible Upgrades
This means that from VCF 4.4 on, administrators will use vRSLCM to manage vRealize Suite update bundles and orchestrate and apply those upgrades to vRealize Suite products (vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight, Workspace ONE Access, and more) independently from the core VCF version upgrade to help better align with an organization’s business requirements. It also helps decouple VCF infrastructure team updates from DevOps team updates enabling teams to consume new vRealize features quickly. And finally, it enables an independent update cadence between VCF and vRealize versions which boosts and improves interoperability flexibility. And who doesn’t like flexibility? Am I right?
One last note with this enhancement: SDDC Manager will no longer be used to manage vRealize Suite component update bundles and orchestrate vRealize Suite component LCM updates. With this change, future versions of VCF will not include vRealize Suite components as part of its software components. vRSLCM will still be a part of VCF software components validated for compatibility for each VCF release since that will continue to be deployed and updated using SDDC Manager. As such, SDDC Manager continues to manage vRSLCM install and update bundles just as it has done up to this point.
Giving customers enhanced LCM flexibility resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Hardware Platform Enhancements
Support For New 15th Generation Intel-Based VxRail Dynamic Node Platforms
VxRail 7.0.320 includes support for the latest 15th Generation VxRail dynamic nodes for the E, P, and V series models. These can be used when deploying VMFS on FC Principal storage VxRail VI Workload Domain clusters. Figure 4 below highlights details for each model.
Figure 4 – New 15th Generation VxRail dynamic node models
Also, as it relates to using VxRail dynamic nodes when deploying VMFS on FC Principal storage, support for using NVMe over FC configurations has also been introduced since it is a part of the VxRail 7.0.320 release that VCF on VxRail customers can just inherit from VxRail. It’s like finding a fifth chicken nugget in the bag after ordering the four-piece meal! Wait, it is New Year’s—I should have used a healthier food example. Oops!
Support For New 15th Generation Intel-Based VxRail With vSAN Platforms (S670 and E660N)
In addition to new 15th generation dynamic nodes, this release introduces support for two new 15th generation VxRail node types, the S670 and E660N. The S670 is our 2U storage density optimized hybrid platform based on the PowerEdge R750 while the E660N is our 1U “everything” all NVMe platform based on the PowerEdge R650.
Giving customers more hardware platform choices resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Developer and AI-Ready Enterprise Platform Enhancements
NVIDIA GPU Options for AI and ML Workload Use Cases
As AI and ML applications are becoming more critical within organizations, IT teams are looking at the best approaches to run them within their own data centers to ensure ease of manageability and scale, improved security, and maintaining governance.
As a follow on to the innovative and collaborative partnerships between Dell Technologies, VMware, and NVIDIA that were first introduced at VMworld 2021, we are happy to announce, with this VCF on VxRail release, the ability to run GPUs within VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320 to deliver an end-to-end AI-Ready enterprise platform that is simple to deploy and operate.
Figure 5 – VCF with Tanzu on VxRail + NVIDIA AI-Ready Enterprise Platform
VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu, when used together with NVIDIA certified systems like VxRail and NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite software, deliver an end-to-end AI / ML enterprise platform. And with VxRail being the first and only HCI Integrated System certified with NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite and its supported GPUs, IT teams can deliver and provision GPU resources quickly in a variety of ways, while also allowing data scientists to easily consume and scale GPU resources quickly when they need it.
While getting into all the details on getting this set up is beyond the scope of this blog post, you can find more information on using NVIDIA GPUs with VxRail and NVIDIA AI Enterprise Software Suite using the link at the end of this post. VMware has additional information about this new support in a blog post that you can check out using the link at the bottom of this page.
Giving customers a simple path to unlock the power of their data resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Operations Enhancements
Configure DNS/NTP From SDDC Manager UI
This new feature simplifies and streamlines DNS and NTP Day 2 management operations for cloud administrators. In previous releases, all DNS and NTP configuration was included in the VCF Bring Up Parameter file that was used by Cloud Builder at the time of VCF on VxRail installation. But there was no straightforward way to make updates or changes to these settings once VCF on VxRail has been deployed. Now, if additional modifications are needed to these configurations, they can be performed within the SDDC Manager UI as a simple Day 2 operation. This feature integrates SDDC Manager with native VxRail APIs to automate VxRail cluster DNS/NTP settings. The figure below shows what this looks like.
Figure 6 – DNS/NTP Day 2 Configuration From SDDC Manager UI
Giving customers a simpler and more flexible day 2 operations experience resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Security Enhancements
Activity Logging For VCF REST API Call-Driven Actions
Administrators can now ensure audit tracking for activity that takes place using the VCF REST API. In this release, SDDC Manager logs capture SDDC Manager API activity from SDDC Manager UI and other sources with user context. This can be used to ensure audit tracking of VCF activity and making analyzing logs easier to understand. Figure 5 below illustrates this activity. The log entries include the following data points:
- Client IP
- User agent
- API called
- API method
Figure 7 – SDDC Manager REST API Activity Logging
Each of the SDDC Manager core services has a dedicated activity log. These logs are in the respective /var/log/vmware/vcf/*service*/ service directories on the SDDC Manager VM.
Giving customers enhanced security logging resolution – Check!
Enhanced Access Security Hardening
This release disables the SSH service on ESXi hosts by default, following the vSphere security configuration guide recommendation.
This applies to new and upgraded VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320 deployments.
Giving customers enhanced default platform security hardening resolution: Check!
Log4j and Apache HTTP Server Fixes
No security conversation is complete without addressing the headache that has been the talk of the technology world recently and that is the Log4j and Apache HTTP Server vulnerability discoveries. VCF on VxRail customers can be rest assured that as a part of this release fixes for these vulnerabilities are included.
Kicking Log4j and Apache HTTP bugs to the curb resolution: Check!
To wrap up…
Well, that about covers it for this new batch of updates. For the full list of new features, please refer to the release notes listed below. There are additional resource links at the bottom of this post. We hope to continue making good on our VCF on VxRail platform resolutions throughout the year! Hopefully, we all can say the same for ourselves in other areas of our lives. Now, where is that treadmill...?
Author: Jason Marques
Deploying VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations on Dell VxRail: Now for the Multicloud
Wed, 17 May 2023 15:56:43 -0000|
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VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations (TKO) on Dell VxRail is a jointly validated Dell and VMware reference architecture solution designed to streamline Kubernetes use for the enterprise. The latest version has been extended to showcase multicloud application deployment and operations use cases. Read on for more details.
VMware Tanzu and Dell VxRail joint solutions
VMware TKO on Dell VxRail is yet another example of the strong partnership and joint development efforts that Dell and VMware continue to deliver on behalf of our joint customers so they can find success in their infrastructure modernization and digital transformation efforts. It is an addition to an existing portfolio of jointly developed and/or engineered products and reference architecture solutions that are built upon VxRail as the foundation to help customers accelerate and simplify their Kubernetes adoption.
Figure 1 highlights the joint VMware Tanzu and Dell VxRail offerings available today. Each is specifically designed to meet customers where they are in their journey to Kubernetes adoption.
Figure 1. Joint VMware Tanzu and Dell VxRail solutions
VMware TKO on VxRail
VMware Tanzu For Kubernetes Operations on Dell VxRail reference architecture updates
This latest release of the jointly developed reference architecture builds off the first release. To learn more about what TKO on VxRail is and our objective for jointly developing it, take a look at this blog post introducing its first iteration.
Okay… Now that you are all caught up, let’s dive into what is new in this latest version of the reference architecture.
Additional TKO multicloud components
Let’s dive a bit deeper and highlight what we see as the essential building blocks for your cloud infrastructure transformation that are included in the TKO edition of Tanzu.
First, you’re going to need a consistent Kubernetes runtime like Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) so you can manage and upgrade clusters consistently as you move to a multicloud Kubernetes environment.
Next, you’re going to need some way to manage your platform and having a management plane like Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) that provides centralized visibility and control over your platform will be critical to helping you roll this out to distributed teams.
Also, having platform-wide observability like Aria Operations for Applications (formerly known as Tanzu/Aria Observability) ensures that you can effectively monitor and troubleshoot issues faster. Having data protection capabilities allows you to protect your data both at rest and in transit, which is critical if your teams will be deploying applications that run across clusters and clouds. And with NSX Advanced Load Balancer, TKO can also help you implement global load balancing and advanced traffic routing that allows for automated service discovery and north-south traffic management.
TKO on VxRail, VMware and Dell’s joint solution for core IT and cloud platform teams, can help you get started with your IT modernization project and enable you to build a standardized platform that will support you as you grow and expand to more clouds.
In the initial release of the reference architecture with VxRail, Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) and Aria Operations for Applications were used, and a solid on-premises foundation was established for building our multicloud architecture onward. The following figure shows the TKO items included in the first iteration.
Figure 2. Base TKO components used in initial version of reference architecture
In this second phase, we extended the on-premises architecture to a true multicloud environment fit for a new generation of applications.
Added to the latest version of the reference architecture are VMware Cloud on AWS, an Amazon EKS service, Tanzu Service Mesh, and Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) functionality provided by NSX Advanced Load Balancer to build a global namespace for modern applications.
New TMC functionalities were also added that were not part of the first reference architecture, such as EKS LCM and continuous delivery capabilities. Besides the fact that AWS is still the most widely used public cloud provider, the reason AWS was used for this reference architecture is because the VMware SaaS products have the most features available for AWS cloud services. Other hyperscaler public cloud provider services are still in the VMware development pipeline. For example, today you can perform life cycle management of Amazon EKS clusters through Tanzu Mission Control. This life cycle management capability isn’t available yet with other cloud providers. The following figure highlights the high-level set of components used in this latest reference architecture update.
Figure 3. Additional components used in latest version of TKO on VxRail RA
New multicloud testing environment
To test this multicloud architecture, the Dell and VMware engineering teams needed a true multicloud environment. Figure 4 illustrates a snapshot of the multisite/multicloud lab infrastructure that our VMware and Dell engineering teams built to provide a “real-world” environment to test and showcase our solutions. We use this environment to work on projects with internal teams and external partners.
Figure 4. Dell/VMware Multicloud Innovation Lab Environments
The environment is made up of five data centers and private clouds across the US, all connected by VMware SD-WAN, delivering a private multicloud environment. An Equinix data center provides the fiber backbone to connect with most public cloud providers as well as VMware Cloud Services.
Extended TKO on VxRail multicloud architecture
Figure 5 shows the multicloud implementation of Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations on VxRail. Here you have K8s clusters on-premises and running on multiple cloud providers.
Figure 5. TKO on VxRail Reference Architecture Multicloud Architecture
Tanzu Mission Control (TMC), which is part of Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations, provides you with a management plane through which platform operators or DevOps team members can manage the entire K8s environment across clouds. Developers can have self-service access, authenticated by either cloud identity providers like Okta or Microsoft Active Directory or through corporate Active Directory federation. With TMC, you can assign consistent policies across your cross-cloud K8s clusters. DevOps teams can use the TMC Terraform provider to manage the clusters as infrastructure-as-code.
Through TMC support for K8s open-source project technologies such as Velero, teams can back up clusters either to Azure blob, Amazon S3, or on-prem S3 storage solutions such as Dell ECS, Dell ObjectScale, or another object storage of their choice.
When you enable data protection for a cluster, Tanzu Mission Control installs Velero with Restic (an open-source backup tool), configured to use the opt-out approach. With this approach, Velero backs up all pod volumes using Restic.
TMC integration with Aria Operations for Applications (formerly Tanzu/Aria Observability) delivers fine-grained insights and analytics about the microservices applications running across the multicloud environments.
TMC also has integration with Tanzu Service Mesh (TSM), so you can add your clusters to TSM. When the TKO on VxRail multicloud reference architecture is implemented, users would connect to their multicloud microservices applications through a single URL provided by NSX Advanced Load Balancer (formerly AVI Load Balancer) in conjunction with TSM. TSM provides advanced, end-to-end connectivity, security, and insights for modern applications—across application end users, microservices, APIs, and data—enabling compliance with service level objectives (SLOs) and data protection and privacy regulations.
TKO on VxRail business outcomes
Dell and VMware know what business outcomes matter to enterprises, and together we help customers map those outcomes to transformations.
Figure 6 highlights the business outcomes that customers are asking for and that we are delivering through the Tanzu portfolio on VxRail today. They also set the stage to inform our joint development teams about future capabilities we look forward to delivering.
Figure 6. TKO on VxRail and business outcomes alignment
Learn more at Dell Technologies World 2023
Want to dive deeper into VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations on Dell VxRail? Visit our interactive Dell Technologies and VMware booths at Dell Technologies World to talk with any of our experts. You can also attend our session Simplify & Streamline via VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations on VxRail.
Also, feel free to check out the VMware Blog on this topic, written by Ather Jamil from VMware. It includes some cool demos showing TKO on VxRail in action!
Author: Jason Marques (Dell Technologies)
Contributor: Ather Jamil (VMware)
- VxRail page on DellTechnologies.com
- VxRail InfoHub
- VxRail videos
- Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations VMware page
- TKO on VxRail Reference Architecture