Through the standardized hardware and software architecture integrated into VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, customers can build heterogeneous workloads. Using the SDDC Manager, infrastructure building blocks based on native VxRail clusters are created that can incrementally scale up and out.
Starting with four nodes, customers can scale up leveraging the flexible hardware configurations available within a VxRail node to increase storage capacity or memory. Similarly, customers can 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 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 VMWARE CLOUD FOUNDATION 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 clicking + WORKLOAD DOMAIN in the SDDC Manager UI. This process has been co-engineered by design to leverage the existing VxRail cluster deployment process to maintain a consistent operational experiences for VxRail customers. Each workload domain can have administrative tasks that are 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 known as “Bring Up”). Figure 5 displays the SDDC Manager Workload Domain details screen after clicking the + WORKLOAD DOMAIN button in the upper right, with the option showing the VxRail integration to create a VxRail Virtual Infrastructure Setup.
Users can leverage only NSX-T for software-defined networking within VxRail VI workload domain starting with VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 on VxRail 7.0. 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 soon. To learn more about NSX-T, see Appendix E: VMware SDDC common component details.
The platform also supports consolidated architecture, which is an attractive proposition for customers who value reduced footprint of the cloud platform rather 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 of physical separation of management and flexibility of life cycle management upgrades. Conversion from the consolidated to the standard architecture is supported since VMware Cloud Foundation 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.