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 that can scale up and out incrementally.
Starting with 4 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.
In VCF 4.0 on VxRail 7.0 or above, there are two types of workload domains that can be deployed: a VxRail virtual infrastructure (VxRail VI) 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 6 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.
Starting with VCF 4.0 on VxRail 7.0, it is possible to leverage only 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 near future. To learn more about NSX-T, please consult Appendix E: VMware SDDC common component details.
Also starting with VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 on VxRail 7.0, the platform supports consolidated architecture, which is an attractive proposition for customers who value more reduced footprint of the cloud platform than clear separation of management infrastructure from workloads. In the consolidated architecture, customer’s workloads co-exist within the management workload domain, reducing the entry point to as little as four nodes at the expense physical separation of management and flexibility of LCM upgrades. Conversion from the consolidated to the standard architecture is supported since VCF 4.2 on VxRail 7.0.131 and requires professional services engagement.
Customers may choose to enable VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu functionality on both VxRail virtual infrastructure workload domain and the Management Domain – more details on this new functionality in the next chapter.