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, he SDDC Manager recognizes the added capacity and makes it available for consumption as part of a workload domain.
In VMware Cloud Foundation, two types of workload domains can be deployed: a VxRail virtual infrastructure (Virtual Infrastructure) workload domain and a special workload domain called the Management domain. VI workload domains can be created using the SDDC Manager UI or API. This VCF automated process has been co-engineered by design to integrate SDDC Manager with the VxRail API to automatically deploy VxRail HCI clusters and maintain a consistent operational experience for VxRail customers. Each workload domain can have administrative tasks that are performed against it such as create, expand, and delete. All of which are fully integrated into the VxRail API to drive a consistent HCI infrastructure operations experience using native VCF management tooling. (Note: 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 “VCF Bring Up”). Figure 5 displays the SDDC Manager UI 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.
The platform also supports the deployment of what is known as a VCF consolidated architecture. This 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 as the need for environment expansions arises. Currently, the conversion process requires a Dell 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.