Last 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.
So what’s so good about Cloud Foundation 3.0, I hear you ask? Because Cloud Foundation is a reference design and highly automated, it inevitably means the loss of some flexibility as a trade-off for that standardisation. For example, Cloud Foundation uses that concept of ‘workload domains’ i.e. resource clusters; only in previous versions each workload domain had its own vCenter. This made things like vSAN stretched clusters impossible and limited what could be achieved with NSX. The supported hardware also had to be very tightly controlled to ensure full support. All of which made it unsuitable for some customers.
Cloud Foundation 3.0 introduces much more flexibility. For starters it’s now possible to have multiple clusters in a workload domain and vSAN stretched clusters are fully supported (albeit manually configured). The network side of things is completely opened up; choice of switches, tooling etc. enabling customers network teams to stick with what they’re familiar with and no longer presenting a barrier for adoption. The compute hardware choices have also expanded, now allowing the use of any vSAN supported ready node rather than a thinned down Cloud Foundation list. See the Compatibility Guide for more information:
” Note: With the introduction of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 3.0 and Bring Your Own Network (BYON), we no longer certify vSAN ReadyNodes and switch compatibility with VCF. As a result the VMware Compatibility Guide(VCG) will no longer display certified components for VCF 3.0. Please use VCF Planning Guide to select compatible vSAN ReadyNodes. ”
All of which means Cloud Foundation is now a very serious proposition for a great many customers to deploy a private cloud quickly and focus on the real value higher up the stack.
One final call-out, at this point it isn’t possible to upgrade to 3.0 from prior versions.
Cloud Foundation 3.0 Bill of Materials (from the Release Notes)
|Cloud Foundation Builder VM||3.0||20 SEP 2018||10044179|
|SDDC Manager||3.0||20 SEP 2018||10044179|
|VMware vCenter Server on vCenter Server Appliance||6.5 U2c||13 AUG 2018||9451637|
|VMware Platform Services Controller||6.5 U2c||13 AUG 2018||9451637|
|VMware vSphere (ESXi)||6.5 EP8||16 AUG 2018||9298722|
|VMware vSAN||6.6.1 EP8||14 AUG 2018||9152287|
|VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere||6.4.1||25 MAY 2018||8599035|
|VMware vRealize Operations||6.7||11 APR 2018||8183617|
|VMware vRealize Automation||7.4||11 APR 2018||8229492|
|VMware vRealize Log Insight||4.6.1||07 JUN 2018||8597028|
|VMware NSX content pack for vRealize Log Insight||3.7||n/a||n/a|
|VMware vSAN content pack for vRealize Log Insight||2.0||n/a||n/a|
|vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager||1.2||12 APR 2018||8234885|