VMware Validated Design is a data center design that spans compute, storage, networking, and management. VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) is a reference architecture for how to deploy, operate, and maintain a VMware SDDC.
VxRail HCI includes a software stack for system management, virtualization, and VM management. It is deeply integrated with the VMware environment and includes the following management software:
vSphere ESXi is a bare-metal hypervisor. The VxRail HCI System Software directly installs ESXi onto the physical server host. vSphere ESXi hosts and their resources are pooled into clusters that contain the CPU, memory, network, and storage resources that are available for allocation to the VMs. Clusters scale up to a maximum of 64 hosts and can support thousands of VMs.
vCenter Server management software runs on a virtual or physical server to oversee multiple ESXi hypervisors as a single cluster. An administrator can interact directly with vCenter Server or use vSphere Client to manage VMs from a browser window anywhere in the world. For example, the administrator can capture the detailed blueprint of a known, validated configuration—a configuration that includes networking, storage, and security settings—and then deploy that blueprint to multiple ESXi hosts.
For day-to-day VM management, you can use vCenter Server to directly manage the VMware stack on the VxRail system. This vCenter Server, which orchestrates the cluster deployment and life cycle management, has the following limitations:
For more information, see the Dell EMC VxRail vCenter Server Planning Guide.
VxRail HCI uses VMware vSAN software. vSAN is fully integrated with vSphere and provides full-featured and cost-effective software-defined storage. vSAN software is integrated directly into the hypervisor. This architecture distinguishes vSAN from other solutions that typically install a virtual storage appliance (VSA) running as a guest VM on each host. Embedding vSAN integration into the ESXi kernel layer has obvious advantages in performance and efficient memory footprint requirements. vSAN has little impact on hypervisor CPU utilization (less than10 percent), and it self-balances based on workload and resource availability.
vSAN presents storage as a familiar data store construct and works seamlessly with other vSphere features such as vMotion. It aggregates locally attached disks from hosts in a vSphere cluster to create a pool of distributed shared storage. Capacity is easily scaled up by adding disks to the cluster nodes and scaled out by adding ESXi hosts. This distributed shared storage provides the flexibility to start with a small environment and scale it over time.
Storage characteristics are configured using vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) software. SPBM enables you to set and modify object-level policies, whenever needed, to control storage provisioning and day-to-day storage management using service-level agreements (SLAs).
vSAN is preconfigured when a VxRail system is first initialized and is managed thereafter through vCenter. The VxRail system initialization process discovers locally attached storage disks from each ESXi node in the cluster to create a distributed, shared-storage data store. The amount of storage in the vSAN data store is an aggregate of all the drive capacity in the cluster. The vSAN software presents a robust, secure, and efficient shared datastore to all nodes within a VxRail cluster.
In-kernel vSAN enhances VxRail efficiency by providing:
VMware vRealize Log Insight is a highly scalable log management tool designed for big data. Extensible across physical, virtual, and multicloud environments, vRealize Log Insight enables administrators to connect to everything in their environment, providing a single location for log collection, storage, and analysis. Its predictive analytics, machine learning, and root cause analysis tools enable faster problem resolution.
Key features include: