VVD Update – 5.0.1

Last week there was a minor VVD update released – 5.0.1. vSphere/vSAN versions were uplifted to 6.7 Update 1b and Cloud Builder (introduced to perform automated deployments from 5.0) is now at version 2.0.

NSX-T is also reintroduced to the BoM, uplifted to version 2.4 from 2.3 in VVD 4.3. Note NSX-T was omitted from the 5.0 VVD release but is now back with all associated documentation!

VVD-5-0-1

Release Notes: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Validated-Design/5.0.1/rn/vmware-validated-design-501-release-notes.html

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VVD Version Matrix

I often need to recall which version of product X was included in VVD version Y and thought others might find this matrix useful which I just updated to include VVD 5.0 (see previous blog post).

One note of caution is that the release notes where this information came from can sometimes change and so always use the release notes as the authoritative source – it can still be quite handy though. Shaded cells highlight a change from the previous VVD release.

VVD Version Matrix 2

1. vRO switched from external to embedded in VVD 4.1 – see vRA version
2. Early Access. Workload Domain only. Single Availability Zone only.

 

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VVD 5.0 is GA

A couple of weeks ago VVD 5.0 was released, perhaps a late Christmas present or timed to blow away the January blues. Either way it’s a pretty significant release with a few things that I know some customers have been asking for.

First of all vSphere 6.7 is introduced to the Bill of Materials (note still with the external PSC architecture at this time). vRA is uplifted to 7.5, which includes the new clarity user interface and native NSX-T integration, while vROps and vRSLCM are uplifted to 7.0 and 2.0 respectively. The full BoM can be found here:

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Validated-Design/5.0/rn/vmware-validated-design-50-release-notes.html

One other really important update is that the non-VMware software components which are required to support the SDDC stack have also been updated (and validated). This includes Windows 2016 (vs. 2012 R2 in VVD 4.3), and SQL 2017 (vs 2012) and Ubuntu which is used for the Update Manager Download Service is now version 18.04 (vs 14.04).

There is one major change when it comes to features which is the introduction of automated deployment in the form of Cloud Builder. Previously, automated deployment had only been possible through VMware PSO or select partners but this is something which is now available for all customers, significantly reducing time and effort in standing up a new SDDC!

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Cloud Foundation 3.0 Released

cloudLast week Cloud Foundation 3.0 went GA – this is a pretty big release and worthy of some attention. For those who aren’t familiar with Cloud Foundation, it is VMware’s integrated SDDC stack. By integrated I mean the entire SDDC stack (vSphere, vSAN, NSX, vRealize Suite) well, err… integrated! What this means is that all of the products are designed to work together in a holistic way and all the dramas of interoperability across products is taken away. Furthermore, VMware works with partners so that the hardware side of things is taken care of as well. And it’s fully automated, including lifecycle management. Oh, and it reaches into public cloud as well (hello VMware Cloud on AWS). Pretty impressive.

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Thoughts on Availability Design

A few recent engagements have thrown up some interesting conversations around design and particularly availability design, which I thought it would be worthwhile capturing here.

First of all there are a couple of principles which should be considered:

  1. Any design is only as good as the requirements which it is built on. Taking time to properly capture and validate all of the requirements with the correct stakeholders pays dividends in the end.
  2. Any design decision should ultimately be based on a business need or requirement, rather than simply a showcase of product features or functionality, no matter how impressive they may be! Think ‘why do I need to do this’?

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First Look at vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (Part 2)

A couple of months ago I installed vRSLCM and deployed an instance of vROps (see Part 1). My intention was to quickly follow that up with looking at how I could import and upgrade an existing environment but time seems to fly and this is the first opportunity I’ve had. So this is Part 2 (or maybe it should be ‘2nd Look at vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager’)…

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VCAP6-DCV Deployment Exam Experience

The VCAP6-DCV Deployment exam has been on my radar for a while and I registered for the exam to coincide with what I thought was a quieter spell where I could do a bit of brushing up. Of course life doesn’t work out like that and my quieter spell… well it wasn’t. I was a bit unsure what to expect with this exam for a couple of reasons; firstly that I’ve done a few ‘design’ VCAPs before but not a ‘deploy’ one, and so I was a little unsure as to what to expect in terms of format and question style. And, secondly my role for a few years now has been architecture focussed which means less hands-on.

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