The VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail solution is integrated end-to-end to fully enable a software-defined cloud platform that is designed for the rapid deployment of physical resources into managed consumption pools, and for the provisioning of these resource pools on-demand to meet flexible and resilient workload requirements.
VxRail provides the physical resource foundation for the cloud delivery platform. VxRail is a set of specially engineered and manufactured compute nodes that when logically bound together after initial configuration, represent a single managed cluster for virtual workloads.
Figure 1. VxRail cluster representing a pool of virtual resources
VxRail integrates software products from VMware with custom software engineered from Dell Technologies so that the physical compute, memory, network, and storage resources are placed under a virtualization layer to be managed and controlled as an adaptable pool of resources. The physical disk devices on each VxRail node are encapsulated under the virtualization layer to create a single consumable data store for the virtual workloads. In addition, a virtual switch is created during initial configuration and distributed across the entire VxRail cluster. The Ethernet ports on each node are placed under the virtualization layer to enable connectivity between virtual machines on the VxRail cluster, and to enable connectivity to end-users.
When integrated with VMware Cloud Foundation, the VxRail cluster is positioned as an individual building block to supply compute resources for consumption in Cloud Foundation virtual workloads. Cloud Foundation allows users to dynamically allocate and assign VxRail clusters into individual consumption pools, known as Virtual Infrastructure (VI) workload domains. A VI workload domain represents the logical boundary of consumable resources, and all functionality within these boundaries is managed through a single vCenter instance. Under this model, VI workload domains can be planned and deployed to support the distinct requirements of individual organizations or a set of applications.
Figure 2. VxRail clusters as building blocks for Cloud Foundation virtual workload consumption
The resources of individual VI workload domains can be expanded through the addition of individual nodes into a VxRail cluster, or through the addition of an entire new VxRail cluster into a VI workload domain. The physical resources are automatically added to the VI workload domain pool upon completion of this event.
The networking resources for each VI workload domain are also logically segmented, so that the distinct requirements for a set of applications can be individually managed. With the layering of the VMware’s Cloud Foundation software stack on VxRail virtual switches, enterprise networking features such as routing, VPN, and security from NSX-T are embedded and enabled into each VI workload domain.
Figure 3. Cloud Foundation VI workload domains with fully virtualized resources
With support for NSX-T logical routing, virtual machine traffic that previously had to pass through to the physical network can now traverse the virtual network when established on a Cloud Foundation on VxRail VI workload domain.
Virtual machines running will connect to the network using a logical switch in a Cloud Foundation domain. Cloud Foundation on VxRail supports the linking of these virtual switches into an extended logical network, known as a segment. This allows virtual machines in different VI workload domains to connect to each other through this extended switch fabric.
Figure 4. Virtual machines connected to an extended logical network with routing services
If a virtual machine requires routing services, the extended logical switch, or segment, can use routing services within the virtual network. To support connectivity outside of the virtual network, the virtual routing services will form a peer relationship with existing upstream physical routers in the data center to form a seamless connection between the physical and logical networks.