Customers can purchase and apply perpetual or subscription-based licensing when deploying VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail.
The perpetual licensing model (VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail) has been the default on-premises deployment approach with VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail historically and remains unchanged. It is suitable for customers who want to maintain a CAPEX-based licensing cost model. With this approach, VMware Cloud Foundation components require license key inputs at the time of deployment and during environment expansion.
In 2022, VMware introduced new subscription offerings for vSphere, vSAN, and VMware Cloud Foundation. These subscription offerings fall into two categories: cloud-connected metered subscriptions and on-premises term subscriptions.
The cloud-connected metered subscriptions are known as vSphere+, vSAN+, and VMware Cloud Foundation+. These are multicloud workload platform subscription offerings that bring the benefits of cloud-connected VMware Cloud services to customers with on-premises workloads and who want to consume VMware software using OPEX subscription financial models.
The on-premises term subscription offers are known as vSphere-S, vSAN-S, and VMware Cloud Foundation-S. VMware introduced these subscription offerings to meet the needs of organizations that cannot connect or do not want to connect their on-premises infrastructure to the cloud but still want to consume infrastructure using an OPEX subscription financial model.
All these subscription options are supported with VxRail and VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail offerings.
This section describes VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail deployment architecture and requirements for using VMware Cloud Foundation+ with VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail. It also describes the relevant VMware Cloud Foundation+ component architecture and networking requirements associated with deploying the vCenter Cloud Gateway Appliance used to connect to VMware Cloud Services. In particular, it introduces the VMware Cloud Console for metering and hybrid cloud services features. Finally, it provides an overview of Day 2 operational considerations related to LCM and how, with VxRail, the VMware Cloud Foundation+ life cycle service complements the on-premises cluster LCM experience delivered through VxRail HCI System Software.
VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail offers best-in-class on-premises and cloud-connected infrastructure in a single solution. As a true hybrid cloud platform, VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail delivers new administrator, developer, and hybrid cloud services to new and existing VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail deployments.
A range of high-value cloud-connected services provides administrators and developers access to a comprehensive workload platform that can span multiple VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail deployments. The VMware Cloud Console offers global visibility and centralized management of all VMs and container-based workloads.
VMware Cloud Foundation+ delivers a simple and flexible subscription model. Customers can leverage their existing capital expense (CAPEX) investments and easily shift to an operational expense (OPEX) model with a pay-as-you-grow subscription without needing to refactor workloads.
By transforming existing on-premises VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail deployments into a SaaS-enabled infrastructure, new and powerful cloud services can be seamlessly onboarded as they are released using consumption-based economics.
Figure 23 depicts the high-level architecture available with the VMware vSphere+, vSAN+, and VMware Cloud Foundation+ offerings with VxRail. High-valued VMware Cloud Services, such as Admin Services, Developer Services, and Add-on Services, will continue to be developed and enhanced and be made available over time to customers to extend the capabilities of their on-premises VxRail environment.
VMware Cloud Foundation+ adds a new cloud-connected architecture for managing and operating full-stack HCI in the data center.
VMware Cloud Foundation+ is powered by VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5 and later and uses vSphere+, vSAN+, and a Cloud Gateway Appliance to provide access to the VMware Cloud Console as part of the full-stack architecture.
The vCenter Cloud Gateway Appliance is at the core of the solution. Each vCenter Cloud Gateway is a VM appliance that the cloud administrator installs into the VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail environment. The vCenter Cloud Gateway Appliance securely establishes the communication between on-premises VMware Cloud Foundation instances and VMware Cloud, facilitating the monitoring and management of all VMware Cloud Foundation+ instances from the VMware Cloud Console (VMC).
The VMware Cloud Console delivers new cloud-connected services, providing a global inventory, alerts, capacity management, and critical security vulnerabilities awareness for each VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail instance. Virtual machines can be deployed directly from the VMware Cloud Console, allowing users to choose where to deploy a given workload and the best-suited infrastructure to run workloads on.
Empowered with these new capabilities, organizations can achieve greater operational efficiencies by enabling simplified, global management of VM-based and container-based enterprise workloads across VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail instances. Also, ccustomers can streamline maintenance windows, improve security posture, and gain immediate access to new features and cloud services.
The following figure illustrates the high-level architecture of VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail.
To benefit from the VMware Cloud Foundation+ offering, customers must deploy a minimum supported version—VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5 on VxRail 7.0.400 with vCenter 7.0 U3h. The enablement of VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail currently requires a conversion performed as a Day 2 operation after initially deploying VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail. VMware Cloud Foundation+ includes vSphere+, vSAN+, and a required embedded NSX term subscription license as a part of the subscription offering.
All on-premises vCenter and SDDC Manager instances are never configured to connect to the VMware Cloud directly. Instead, the on-premises infrastructure that hosts all customer workloads connect to the VMware Cloud Console through deployed virtual Cloud Gateway Appliances that securely communicate with on-premises vCenter instances and SDDC Managers. These Cloud Gateway Appliances transmit the metered infrastructure usage to the VMware Cloud, enabling a pay-for-what-you-use level of consumption economics. All this is delivered with VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail operations compatibility in mind. VMware Cloud Services and VMware Cloud Console interactions complement the value-added on-premises infrastructure management environment that VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail offers through Dell CloudIQ and the VxRail HCI System Software, and the System Software integrations with VMware Cloud Foundation SDDC Manager.
VMware Cloud Console does not replace existing on-premises VxRail infrastructure operations tools when vSphere+, vSAN+, and VCF+ are used with VxRail. Together, they deliver a complementary management experience for VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail environnments, simplifying customer operations.
For the vCenter Cloud Gateway Appliance to work correctly in VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail environments that use VMware Cloud Foundation+, the following prerequisites must be met:
The following figure illustrates these networking considerations for deploying the vCenter Cloud Gateway Appliance.
VMware Cloud Foundation+ on VxRail helps customers deliver the benefits of the cloud to on-premises workloads. IT teams can begin supercharging productivity with admin services designed to enhance operational efficiency and centralize management with the VMware Cloud Console. VMware Cloud Foundation+ helps by enabling customers to monitor global inventory and alert status easily, and even allow customers to provision VMs to any subscribed VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail workload domain cluster from a centralized SaaS-based portal. It helps customers accelerate innovation with integrated developer services, allowing them to take advantage of integrated VMware Tanzu component services and features in available VMware Cloud Foundation+ offerings. As a result, it enables customers to manage, operate, and run VM and container workloads on a common on-premises, modern full-stack cloud HCI. Finally, it allows customers to transform their on-premises infrastructure with cloud integration by extending on-premises workloads with add-on hybrid cloud services when needed and gain the flexibility of OPEX-based consumption while improving ROI from existing investments.