The Introduction section summarizes the business IT challenges and trends that lead to the VMware SDDC and VMware Cloud Foundation solutions. For additional details, see Appendix B: Business IT challenges and trends, Appendix C: VMware software-defined data center (SDDC), and Appendix D: VMware Cloud Foundation.
VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail provides the simplest path to the hybrid cloud through a fully integrated platform that leverages native VxRail hardware and software capabilities as well as unique VxRail integrations (such as vCenter plugin and full stack integration) to deliver a turnkey user experience with full stack integration. Full stack integration enables customers to experience both the HCI infrastructure layer and cloud software stack in one, complete, automated lifecycle, turnkey experience.
VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail provides a consistent hybrid cloud experience unifying customer public and private cloud platforms under a common operating model and management framework. Customers can operate both their public and private platforms using one set of tools and processes with a single management view and provisioning experience across both platforms. Customers are able to build, run, and manage a broad set of workloads from traditional and legacy applications to virtual desktops, as well as next generation workloads from artificial intelligence and machine learning to cloud native and container-based workloads. VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu, available since version 4.0 of the platform, is a major architectural upgrade thanks to integration of Kubernetes directly into the vSphere hypervisor.
What allows Cloud Foundation to build a complete software-defined data center on VxRail is SDDC Manager and VxRail Manager software integration. SDDC Manager orchestrates the deployment, configuration, and lifecycle management of vCenter, NSX, and some of the vRealize Suite components above the ESXi and vSAN layers of VxRail. It enables VxRail clusters to serve as a resource platform for workload domains or as multi-cluster workload domains. It can also automatically enable VMware Tanzu for container-based workloads with built-in native Kubernetes orchestration. Integrated with the SDDC Manager management experience, VxRail Manager is used to deploy, configure, and lifecycle manage ESXi, vSAN and HCI infrastructure hardware firmware. VxRail lifecycle management is accomplished using fully integrated and seamless SDDC Manager orchestration that leverages VxRail Manager to execute it natively.
Through the standardized hardware and software architecture integrated into VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, customers can build heterogeneous workloads. Using SDDC Manager, infrastructure building blocks based on native VxRail clusters are created enabling customers to scale up and scale out incrementally.
VxRail Manager delivers automation, lifecycle management, support, and serviceability capabilities integrated with SDDC Manager and vCenter to extend the VMware Cloud Foundation management experience and simplify operations. VxRail Manager functionality is available in vCenter through an HTML5 plugin.
All VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail lifecycle patching and upgrade operations are orchestrated using SDDC Manager. As a part of this monitoring, SDDC Manager automatically discovers when new VxRail and VMware Cloud Foundation updates are available for download and proactively notifies the administrator accordingly within the user interface. All updates are scheduled, executed, and orchestrated by SDDC Manager but may be executed by either SDDC Manager or VxRail Manager using integrated APIs.
Dell EMC delivers the #1 hyper-converged infrastructure portfolio purpose-built for HCI with the latest generation Dell EMC PowerEdge server platform. This portfolio delivers tailor-made performance and reliability powerful enough for any workload, combined with an advanced approach to intelligent deployment and operations that simplify and accelerate IT. Dell EMC HCI on latest generation PowerEdge servers are powerful and purpose-built platforms that provide the ideal foundation for software-defined data center initiatives.
VxRail nodes are available with different compute power, memory and cache configurations to closely match the requirements of new and expanding use cases. As requirements grow, the platform easily scales up or scales out in granular increments.
VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail can be delivered as either a cluster of nodes that leverages the customer’s existing network infrastructure, or as an integrated rack system with or without integrated networking. With rack assembly services from Dell EMC, VxRail rack integrated systems can be delivered with customer-chosen rack and networking component options.
Dell EMC Services accelerates the deployment of VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail with a full range of integration and implementation services. Dell EMC Services helps IT organizations quickly realize the value of their investment both by deploying the hardware and software components of VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, as well as achieving IaaS through integration of this integrated cloud platform into their application portfolio, operating model, and enterprise infrastructure.
Customers have a choice of support and maintenance options that can align to their business model ranging from a single vendor Dell EMC support experience to obtaining support from Dell EMC, VMware, and third parties for network switches and racks. Dell EMC support is recognized with an over 95% customer satisfaction rating and has received multiple awards.
VxRail Manager provides integration with Dell EMC Secure Remote Services (SRS) and other Dell EMC support related platforms, including online chat support and enabling the ability to open service requests from within its VxRail Manager vCenter plugin. The plugin also provides links to VxRail Community pages for Dell EMC Knowledgebase articles and user forums for FAQ information and VxRail best practices.
This paper also includes references of where to look for more information and an appendix to provide additional detail on VMware products used in the SDDC.