Home > Blogs > Rethink IT

Introducing the VMware Validated Designs Web Site and Early Access Community

At VMworld 2015 in San Francisco we announced the VMware Validated Designs.   At the time the program was so new that we didn’t even have a web page created for it.  However, we promised folks that a web page was on its way and today I’m happy to announce that it’s up and running!   At VMworld we also announced that there would be an early access community created for the VMware Validated Designs where you can sign-up and get involved.  I’m happy to announce that that milestone has been completed as well.

VMware Validated Design Web Site

You can now learn about the VMware Validated Designs by vising the official web page located at http://www.vmware.com/software-defined-datacenter/validated-designs.html (or via the  www.vmware.com/go/v2d shortcut).   A couple highlights from this new web page worth calling out: Continue reading

VMware Validated Designs – Certified Partner Architecture Program

At VMworld 2015 there has been a lot of excitement around the newly announced VMware Validated Designs – those prescriptive Software-Defined Data Center architectures & designs being created and validated by VMware experts and made available to you.

Included as part of the VMware Validated Designs announcements is a new Certified Partner Architecture Program, and I’d like to take a minute to introduce you to this program and help you understand how it works and point you to where you can get more information.

Introducing the Certified Partner Architecture Program

Continue reading

VMware Validated Designs: Continuously Validated SDDC Blueprints

Let’s face it. Designing and implementing a Software-Defined Data Center from scratch isn’t easy.

While there are thousands of ways for you to stitch the fundamental elements of compute, storage, network, security, automation and operations together, not all of them will produce the best outcome.

By now, you’ve hopefully heard our VMworld announcement regarding the VMware Validated Designs over at the Office of the CTO blog, and have had a chance to read the related blogs here on the VMware Re-Think IT blog.

As a quick recap, VMware Validated Designs are your blueprints to the Software-Defined Data Center. VMware has synthesized the full stack of elements into a standardized and streamlined design with the availability, scale, and automation built-in. With precise guidance on how to deploy and operate your Software-Defined Data Center. These designs reduce deployment risk, realize value sooner, and makes it easy to manage the day two operations. Plus, because VMware has extensively tested the validated designs you can be confident that the infrastructure and services instantiated throughout the management, edge and compute PODs are designed to handle whatever you throw at it.

Today, I’d like to highlight a particularly unique aspect of the VMware Validated Designs that really sets them apart from all other reference designs and architectures — and that is how they are continuously validated and updated.

These are not static reference designs that are destined to become outdated and lifeless just a few months after an initial release. Rather, these validated designs are living designs that are continually being updated and modified in a prescribed manner.

Before any new software-defined data center elements are introduced, new features and capabilities are added, new software versions are released, and before any new patches and updates are made available, they must first undergo rigorous testing against the designs to re-validate and ensure full compatibility and supportability. In addition, along with this vigorous ongoing testing and validation, the associated guidelines, documentation, and walkthroughs are reviewed and, when necessary, updated as well.

VMware Validate Designs: Continuously Validated SDDC Blueprints

What this means, for example, is that if you’re running the Software-Defined Data Center based on the VMware Validated Designs and a critical issue is found, you can rest assured that when the new patch or update is made available, that VMware has already deployed, tested, and validated this patch in an SDDC environment that looks just like yours. The requirements and instructions on how to install the update will also have been validated against an environment that looks just like your environment.

The continuous validation and re-validation of the designs not only reduces the risk of problems getting introduced into the data center through updates and upgrades, but it instills confidence in the SDDC. You never have to worry about being the first to try something or risk running into an situation where an update that seemed to work for everyone else suddenly doesn’t work for you.

And there you have it – VMware has crafted a proven SDDC blueprint for the Software-Defined Data Center, complete with best practices, detailed test plans, measurement and optimization, deployment and operations guidelines and continual validation.

Next up, we’ll roll up our sleeves and explore in-depth the technical architecture of the VMware Validated Designs.

Until then, review these resources that we’ve made available for both the Foundation and Single-Region IT Automation Cloud validated designs.

Learn more about the VMware Validated Designs by visiting vmware.com/go/v2d.

Follow me on Twitter as @tenthirtyam or join me each week for VMware Communities Podcast at vmware.com/go/podcast.

VMware Validated Designs – A POD by POD Breakdown

In my last post I gave an introduction to the VMware Validated Design PODs – Management POD, Edge POD and Compute POD.  In this post I’d like to go over each of these PODs in a more detail.

Management POD

B3-F1Every IT infrastructure has a basic set of infrastructure components needed to instantiate the environment.  In the VMware Validated Design, these infrastructure components go into what is called the Management POD. In both the Data Center Foundation and IT Automation Cloud, the Management POD is comprised of a minimum of four ESXi hosts.  These four hosts are configured in a vSphere cluster with HA and DRS both enabled.  Hence you will often see the Management POD referred to as a Management Cluster.  Storage for the Management Cluster is provided using VSAN, which is nice as it eliminates any dependency on an external storage subsystem, while still providing a high-performing and highly scalable storage solution.  It is on this management cluster that we run all the SDDC “infrastructure” components, to include, but by no means limited to the: Platform Services Controller, vCenter Server, NSX Manager, NSX Controllers, etc.  Additional infrastructure components are also typically run on the Management Cluster, these can include Active Directory, DNS, DHCP and the like.

Edge POD

Continue reading

VMware Validated Design – PODs, The Building Blocks of the SDDC

If you’ve spent anytime looking into the VMware Validate Designs, then you’ve surely noticed the designs are built around what VMware is calling PODs.  The use of the term POD can be a bit tricky, at least it was for me.  I think that most of us would readily associate a “POD” with some kind of modular container that is used to store things, and if that’s the case, then you’re on the right track.  Within the context of the VMware Validated Design, a POD actually refers to something called a “Point of Delivery”, but it’s okay to think of a “Point of Delivery” as a type of container used to store things.   Let me explain. Continue reading

VMware Announces the VMware Validated Designs

In case you missed it, VMware recently announced the VMware Validated Designs.  What exactly is a VMware Validated Design?  Well, think of it as a blueprint for implementing a Software-Defined Data Center.  Here’s a link to a recent post on the VMware CTO Blog that introduces the VMware Validated Designs.  In addition, here’s a link to a brief conceptual video that provides a nice overview as well.


In the announcement, they mention there will eventually be a number of validated designs made available, but out the gate as of today, there are two. One is called the “Data Center Foundation” and the other the “Single-Region IT Automation Cloud”.  I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to these first two designs and help you understand their purpose and how they can be used to help you get started with implementing your own Software-Defined Data Center. Continue reading

Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3: Software-Defined Data Center Made Easy

By Wayne Pauley, Director, Business Development, Solutions Engineering, VMware

Last year, VMware and EMC announced the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud version 2.5. This was delivered as a fully engineered solution that included products from EMC and VMware as well as some secret sauce (software bits) that provided ready to use automation and workflows for provisioning services. What this translates to for our customers, is a proven way to see almost immediate time-to-value (day 2 operations!) when implemented on a VCE Vblock. The notion of having a service catalog of hybrid services – IaaS, DBaaS, and APPaaS – only a few clicks away is no longer just aspirational. Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud enables any data center to deliver on demand/self-service hybrid cloud – which typically takes months if not a year- in less than 28 days.

Of course, we haven’t sat still since we shipped Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 2.5 last October. The combined lab teams from the Federation companies – EMC, VCE, RSA, and VMware have continued to work together to deliver a new release, announced today, as Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.0. This release continues to deliver a fully engineered and validated solution that includes the elements of a full software defined data center, plus we have added the ability to easily and consistently create, deploy and manage advanced multi-tier applications as well as a robust Big Data solution.

First let’s dig into the upgrades to the core Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud capabilities.


APPaaS Support – this release goes beyond IaaS (Infrastructure), DRaaS (Disaster Recovery), and BaaS (Backup) – to now include APPaaS (Applications), which provides for simple management of the full development lifecycle for complex and custom multi-tier applications.
Shorter Time-to-Value – deployment time has been reduced from months to under 28 days, while infrastructure provisioning time reduced 75%.
More Platforms – as always EMC continues to add more of their storage platforms and this release gives customers some awesome choices. Included are all the latest storage devices including VMAX3, Isilon, and ScaleIO.


Puppet integration makes on-going configuration management and deployment of multi-tier applications simple.
Hadoop storage can be deployed on an Isilon HDFS – allowing for quick deployment and scaling of Hadoop clusters.


Micro-segmentation and Encryption – Security is always top of mind when it comes to any IT assets and is particularly critical and we haven’t stopped making security a key objective for Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud. This version now includes micro-segmentation and encryption built in. Micro-segmentation implements a granular firewall protection at the application or VM level.

VSPEX Blue Centralized Management:

Centralized Management – For customers who have or are planning on using the VSPEX Blue platform from EMC in remote offices (ROBO) – Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.0 provides centralized management.


VMware vCloud Air integration – Standard as part of comes the solution – simply turn on the VMware vCloud Air cloud connector and from the same centralized management interface – control and configure and migrate workloads between on-premises private cloud and off-premises public cloud services. By uniquely providing complete interoperability to scale and a mature management toolset that works seamlessly across domains, even the most stringent security and compliance requirements can be met.

What does all this mean? Bottom line? If you had to implement all this on your own – it would take literally months to years to ‘build your own’. We’ve researched the time it would take to install, configure, and then write/test/validate all the scripts included – and it would take a small team a year+ to do. So what you get is a solution that optimizes all the installs, configurations details, and scripts written and tested by our joint engineering teams designed to be ready out of the box. Upgrades? Included. Support? Included. All you have to worry about is using the solution, not building it. Hybrid cloud? That was easy.

VCE and VMware: Accelerating the Software-Defined Data Center, Simplifying Customers’ Path to the Hybrid Cloud

By Loretta Brown, vice president, Federation, VMware

Today, VCE announced a major expansion to its converged infrastructure portfolio to help customers accelerate their software-defined data centers and simplify their journey to the hybrid cloud. VCE’s converged solutions continue to add additional value, as well as drive time-to-value and increase agility for customers. As a longtime partner of VCE, we congratulate them on today’s launch, and look forward to continuing to work closely with them as a part of The Federation.

IT departments continue to face pressure to keep up with the needs and demands of their businesses, with requirements for greater flexibility and agility, all while driving innovation. Through the use of the hybrid cloud, built on the software-defined data center, IT organizations are empowered to quickly and easily move workloads from the data center to the public cloud securely, and back and forth as required.

With VCE Foundations for Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, the benefits of the hybrid cloud can be realized quickly, leading to quicker time-to-value, as well as guaranteed integration and support. The solution includes factory integration of additional VMware and EMC technologies including VMware NSX network virtualization, VMware vRealize management and orchestration software, and EMC® ViPR® software-defined-storage. The solution also includes technology onramps to VMware vCloud Air, which provides organizations with seamless management, workload migration and disaster recovery between their private and public cloud environments.

Also announced today, VCE will offer a new VCE VxBlock System with VMware NSX, which provides customers with factory-based pre-integration, pre-testing and pre-validation with seamless component-level updates, ongoing lifecycle assurance, and unified single-call support. VCE VxBlock with VMware NSX will enable customers to see the same powerful agility they see in virtualized compute across the entire converged infrastructure. Read more about VMware NSX on VxBlock in Hatem Naguib’s blog here.

For more information on the VCE news today, please read the announcement here.

VMware and EMC Expand Focus on Hybrid Cloud, Partner to Deliver Solutions and Services Today

By Loretta Brown, vice president, OEM Alliances, VMware

Today, EMC shared some exciting news – as a part of the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solutions launch, the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Federation Software-Defined Data Center Edition with VMware was announced.

IT departments continue to seek tools to drive greater levels of innovation, all while meeting the evolving and urgent needs of their businesses application demands. With a hybrid cloud, IT organizations have the freedom to move application workloads from the data center to a secure public cloud — with the flexibility to transfer these application workloads back and forth as needed. With these new offerings, and a long-standing partnership, EMC and VMware continue to help our joint customers achieve greater agility with better business outcomes through hybrid cloud offerings that are trusted, as well as simple to deploy and use.

With the now available EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Federation Software-Defined Data Center Edition with VMware solutions, customers get tight integration of EMC solutions and VMware vCloud Air, providing customers with an easy and accelerated path to automate and deliver IT as a service, within their own data centers and extending into the public cloud. This solution provides best practices for deploying a software-defined data center based private cloud on-premises while extending IT virtualization infrastructure capacity to VMware’s public cloud – vCloud Air.

VMware and EMC have also partnered to develop professional services offerings to accelerate our mutual customers’ adoption of the software-defined data center to provide timely results and benefits. Additionally, organizations can take advantage of web-based and instructor led training for the EMC Hybrid Cloud solutions.

Customers can quickly assess their current application portfolios for proper deployment in the software-defined data center for maximum usability and economic benefits. Helping our customers develop their skills to take advantage of this new technology is a major milestone in accelerating adoption and achieving maximum benefit from day 1.

To learn more about EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solutions, please check out the following resources:

• Press release: EMC Redefines Hybrid Cloud for the Enterprise
VMware vCloud Air web site
EMC blog: “Simplicity and Choice? EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solutions Deliver Both” by Peter Cutts, vice president, Cloud Solutions at EMC

Get to Know the Federation Software-Defined Data Center

By Loretta Brown, vice president, OEM Alliances, VMware

“Software-defined” anything – it’s rapidly becoming a top item on every IT decision maker’s “To Do” list. The potential benefits are too significant to ignore or pass off as the latest trend. There’s not a single IT manager today who isn’t challenged by the velocity of change, the unprecedented exponential growth in data, and the near-instant demand for IT services. A Software-Defined Data Center delivers the speed, flexibility and control IT needs to support the applications of the new mobile-cloud era, as well as the legacy applications that run the business.

But for many customers, the question is not “Should we adopt a software-defined strategy” but more to the point, “How quickly can we adopt a software-defined strategy?” Faced with a variety of choices and challenged to move fast, customers need more than a “Do it Yourself” answer.

And that’s why today’s announcement by the EMC Federation of businesses — EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II), VMware (NYSE:VMW), Pivotal and RSA. is so relevant. Today, the Federation announced the availability of the Federation Software-Defined Data Center. This solution is a combined effort of the Federation to bring best-of-breed products into a fully integrated, engineered, tested and validated solution for customers and partners. Designed to meet the needs of mission critical enterprise applications, the Federation Software-Defined Data Center will help IT managers and decision makers accelerate their transition to a Software-Defined Enterprise.

By abstracting, pooling, and automating across the infrastructure – compute, storage and networking – we have enabled an environment that can deliver IT at business speed. This solution includes a reference architecture, solutions guide, and newly developed software that automates hundreds of orchestration workflows to accelerate deployment.

The Federation Software-Defined Data Center solution includes:

Management and Orchestration: VMware vCloud Automation Center, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite, VMware IT Business Management Suite, EMC Storage Resource Manager
Hypervisor: VMware vSphere, the industry’s most widely deployed virtualization platform
Networking: VMware NSX, the network virtualization and security platform for the software-defined data center. VMware NSX brings virtualization to existing networks and transforms network operations and economics.
Storage: EMC ViPR and EMC Storage, EMC Storage Resource Manager

I invite you to learn more about the solution – visit emcfederation.com for more details on the Solution and the Federation.