Through the standardized hardware and software architecture integrated into Cloud Foundation on VxRail, customers can build heterogeneous workloads. Using SDDC Manager, infrastructure building blocks based on native VxRail clusters are created that can scale up and out incrementally.
Starting with 8 nodes, customers can scale up leveraging the flexible hardware configurations available within a VxRail node to increase storage capacity or memory. Customers can similarly scale out by adding nodes in single node increments to a cluster. The physical compute, storage and network infrastructure becomes part of a single shared pool of virtual resources that is managed as one cloud infrastructure ecosystem using the SDDC Manager. From this shared pool, customers can organize separate pools of capacity into what are called workload domains, each with its own set of specified CPU, memory and storage requirements to support various workloads. As new VxRail physical capacity is added, it will be recognized by the SDDC Manager and made available for consumption as part of a workload domain.
There are four types of workload domains that can be deployed: a VxRail virtual infrastructure (VxRail VI) workload domain, a Horizon workload domain, a PKS workload domain, and a special workload domain called the Management domain. VxRail VI workload domains are created by simply clicking + WORKLOAD DOMAIN in SDDC Manager. This process has been co-engineered by design to leverage the existing VxRail cluster deployment process in order to maintain a consistent operational experience for VxRail customers. Each workload domain can have administrative tasks performed against it such as create, expand, and delete. The management domain is the only one that is not allowed to be deleted; and it is created during initial system install (also referred to as “Bring Up”). Figure 7 displays the SDDC Manager Workload Domain details screen after clicking the + WORKLOAD DOMAIN button in the top right, with the option showing the VxRail integration to create a VxRail Virtual Infrastructure Setup.
In VCF on VxRail version 3.8 and above, it is possible to leverage either NSX-V or NSX-T for software-defined networking within VxRail VI workload domain. NSX-T is the next generation, hypervisor independent SDN platform from VMware, which is in the center of current innovations in this space and is expected to replace NSX-V in the future. However, please note that the Management Domain is currently based on NSX-V only. To learn more about NSX-T, please consult Appendix E.
VMware Cloud Foundation can layer Horizon and VMware PKS as additional optional solutions on the top of pre-provisioned Virtual Infrastructure (VI) workload domains.
A PKS workload domain automates installation of VMware PKS components, such as Pivotal Platform Ops Manager, BOSH Director, PKS Control Plane and Harbor Registry to enable you to deliver production-ready Kubernetes deployment for developing and running container-based workloads on NSX-T backed VI workload domain. VMware NSX-T supplies Kubernetes clusters with advanced container networking and security features, such as micro-segmentation, load balancing, ingress control, and security policies. PKS domain supports multiple Compute Availability Zones, recommended for production deployments.
When the PKS workload domain is deployed from SDDC Manager UI, Kubernetes clusters can be automatically deployed simply using a single command from the PKS control plane CLI interface. After that developers can quickly and easily deploy their containerized workloads using the familiar native Kubernetes CLI/API interface they’re already familiar with when interacting with Kubernetes services in the public cloud.
A Horizon domain automates deployment of VMware Horizon infrastructure components to enable you to deliver virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and remote desktop session host (RDSH) desktops and applications quickly and easily. These can be delivered as persistent, linked clone, or instant clone desktops. The Horizon domain can include VMware App Volumes for dynamic application mounting and User-Environment Manager for a persistent end-user experience.
The Horizon domain consumes one or more NSX-V backed VI workload domains and aligns to the Horizon best practices architecture. Horizon desktop management components are deployed as part of the Horizon workload creation process. The Horizon domain is decoupled from resource provisioning, one or more VI workload domains must be created before deploying a Horizon domain. Horizon domains can be leveraged as a fast, efficient, and consistent way to stand up Horizon VDI environments that can be IT provisioned or used as part of a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) capability when integrated with the vRealize Automation cloud management features.