VMware Cloud Foundation supports a network flexible architecture. Customers can choose switches that meet their organization’s standard and scalability requirements. There is also increased flexibility in network configurations permitting customers to configure VLANs and other settings without fear of disrupting SDDC Manager’s automation or configuration. SDDC Manager does not require access to the physical network layer. Switches are manually configured by the customer’s network team or by the professional services engineer, if this part of implementation is also covered with a custom services engagement.
There are multiple VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail network topology options. The choice of topology design depends on preferred outcomes. The most common network topology for VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail follows a standard spine-leaf architecture. Decisions are required to determine where VLANs from the platform’s workload domains will terminate in the supporting physical network layer. Users must also determine the Layer 2 and Layer 3 boundary in multirack deployments.
For more detailed documentation on network design options, see the VxRail Network Planning Guide and Architecture Guides and the Dell Networking Guides on the VxRail Knowledge Center and Dell support portal. For more information, see Appendix A: References.
VxRail node networks for a cluster spanning additional racks can share same IP subnet (nonroutable) or assigned a different IP subnet (routable). This provides even more network configuration flexibility for customers.
VMware introduces Application Virtual Networks (AVN) in version 4.0 of the VMware Cloud Foundation platform. The AVN enables linkage for the Aria Suite (formerly vRealize Suite) cloud management components and enables connectivity to the upstream external network. The vRealize components, including vRealize Log Insight, vRealize lifecycle management (LCM), vRealize Operations Manager, and vRealize Automation, connect to the AVN when deployed (AVN deployment is optional).
AVN provides the following benefits:
NSX provides the foundation of the network virtualization layer for VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail. It provides a software-defined networking approach that delivers Layer 2 to Layer 7 networking services, such as switching, routing, firewalling, and load balancing, in software. These services can be programmatically assembled in any combination, producing unique, isolated virtual networks in a matter of seconds. NSX provides native support for Kubernetes, VMware Tanzu, and cloud-native applications.
To learn more about VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail network architecture, including NSX, see the VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail Architecture Guide.