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  • Preetam Zare

{ Day -05 } - VMware Cloud Foundation use cases and further more

Updated: Nov 29, 2019

I personally believe VCF is game changer. This goes back to the days when VMware was selling vCloud Suite (including vRealize suite) but no one knew (Including VMware PSO= how to make all these product talk and live together). These products were independently developed and had no idea how these will work together. Even the VMware PSO has struggled, tried and vCloud Suite eventually lost the value very fast.

I think and strongly believe VCF team is filling that gap and big time. Within VMware someone has finally taken ownership to make these (or Orchestrate) these product together.

VCF was released on 2016 but since last year August 2018 (Reference VMworld 2019 ) it is getting more timely updates and releases. This shows committment by VMware for this Product. Personally, this is very exicting as I know that every VCF release is tested especially the product integration and gives me confidence on LCM of the SDDC components. So even tomorrow if VMware decides to do major modification in their products (hint NSX-V), I'm not stressed at all as this will first hit VCF team.

Fundamental Architecture Building Blocks

Standardized Architecture - Based on VMware Validated Designs. There is huge focus on VVDs and this is (the most valuable resource) available online (Freely)

Full Stack Approach - Design, Deploy SDDC stack not just one product at a time. All these product are designed and following VVD.

Tested and Validated - These are tested and validated internally before released as Bundled. So in case, you release a update affecting a single product, it is indeed tested on entire SDDC components. This is an confidence for VCF customers which I talked in above paragraph.

App/Service/Infrastructure Automation - Here the completed bundle is deployed as a single stack including services and application. e.g. Horizon Domain, vRealize Suite.

Simplified Experience: Deployment, GUI are simplified to cover the entire LCM

Built-in Security: It is based on NSX, so with proper configuration and baseline this is becomes sufficiently secured. Though not without much planning

This fundamentally brings not only vSphere, NSX, vSAN and vRealize together but also based on VVDs and makes this platform ready for PaaS, IaaS, CaaS and DaaS. This can be deployed on-Premises or can be consumed in Public.

Let's me walk through some imagined scenario

1. Day:01 we deploy SDDC stack (All components)

2. Day:02 we upgrade the SDDC stack with the bundle released by VCF team. Here it can be either vSAN updates, security updates or feature updates.

3. Day:03 VMware introduces product which should/must/would be required in SDDC stack then these get engineered and becomes part of SDDC bundle. e.g. Enterprise PKS was not part of the VCF3.7 (July 2019) but it is not added in VCF 3.9 release (Sept 2019). Similiar product integration was considered by including vSphere Platinum.

vRealize Loginsight is pre-deployed and configured out of the box to start capturing the logs of all components in MGMTDOM. For the purpose of this post, following is logged

  1. vCenter

  2. Platform Service Controllers

  3. NSX Manager

  4. ESXi hosts

  5. vRealize Suite

  6. ToR and MGMT Switches

And this can be simply extended to capture logs of all components in other WLDs. So in other words, when you deploy VRI, it is automatically designed, implemented a per VVDs as logging solution (your time and money is already saved here). This is really cool. To add further to it, even load balance and 3 nodes cluster is created for vRealize Loginsight. To cover WLDs all you need is get licenses.

You can automatically deploy vRealize Automation solution. This is done via vRealize LCM API calls. Though the pre-requisites and everything else needs to be met but it becomes part of SDDC deployment stack. What is it does is, creates a platform ready for IaaS and what more, it is deployed as per guidance provided in VVDs. To complete, you configure specific WLDs to act as vRA endpoint for consuming resources. The process wise this is how it looks.

  1. SDDC manager install vRealize LCM

  2. SDDC manager then call vRealize LCM API to deploy vRA

Image Source: VMware

More detailed workflow would be

  1. To start with, you complete pre-requisites

  2. Provide Windows OVA and signed certificate (do not know yet, I need to provide much details here)

  3. Provide hostname for vRA Appliances | IaaS Web Servers | IaaS Manager Services and DEM Orchestrators

  4. Provide Service Account information

  5. Provide SQL Server information for Database

  6. Finally select vRealize Network

You can execute similiar workflow to integrate vRealize Operations