There are three paths to deploy a VMware SDDC as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Three paths to deploy a VMware SDDC
Custom, one-off design manually documented and maintained by the customer. Customers self-validate product interoperability and manually deploy and maintain individual software components. This approach is recommended for the customer that prefers a completely custom and self-validated design and has strong technical skillsets.
VMware Validated Designs (VVDs) are extensively tested, standardized SDDC architectures prescribed by VMware. Customers use guidance from VVD documentation, or contract professional services or certified partners, to deploy the SDDC. VVD codifies VMware best practices into standardized architectural designs. Recommended for the customer that values design customization over out-of-the-box integration and automation, wants flexibility to use vSAN or external storage as the primary storage architecture, and that prefers an incremental, component-based approach to adopting the SDDC.
VMware Cloud Foundation is an integrated SDDC platform with built-in lifecycle automation for the software stack. Cloud Foundation automatically deploys a standardized SDDC architecture in accordance with VMware Validated Designs for SDDC. It builds on VVD with lifecycle automation in a fully integrated SDDC platform. Recommended for the customer that desires an out-of-the-box private/hybrid cloud user experience, wants hyper-converged infrastructure as the primary storage architecture and puts greater value on automation and ease of use over design customization.