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I am pleased to announce that VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 3.0 is now generally available (GA)!  We introduced VCF 3.0 at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas. This release brings enhanced flexibility and scalability, new options to enable hybrid cloud and a brand new user interface.  Let’s have a brief look at some of the new features available to you in this release.

One of the biggest changes in Cloud Foundation 3.0 is support for all vSAN ReadyNodes in the vSAN Hardware Compatibility Guide.  By expanding our hardware compatibility to all vSAN ReadyNodes, customers can enjoy much greater flexibility in choosing hardware that is right for their environments and workloads from the vendor of their choice. In addition to having the flexibility to build Cloud Foundation on any vSAN ReadyNode, our Integrated Systems partners will continue to offer engineered solutions built on top of Cloud Foundation (for example, DellEMC VxRack SDDC). Additional information on our Integrated Systems partners can be found at https://www.vmware.com/products/cloud-foundation.html#howtobuy.

Another change in Cloud Foundation 3.0 is flexibility in network switching. Customers can now implement Cloud Foundation with their choice of network switches, both in terms of hardware and topology. Cloud Foundation networking will typically include a pair of top of rack switches that support vSAN (10GbE minimum, with sufficient port counts to connect hosts and provide upstream connectivity). To assist you in preparing your network environment for Cloud Foundation, we have documented a set of prerequisites in the Cloud Foundation Planning and Preparation Guide.

Cloud Foundation 3.0 also brings an overhauled user interface based on the VMware Clarity Design System. Not only is the UI more visually striking, but the well-designed interface offers streamlined operations by organizing elements along the lines of workflows. As your cloud administrators are performing operations such as creating workload domains, adding capacity or performing lifecycle management tasks they will find that the interface provides intuitive placement of the next action.

We’ve also greatly increased the scale of Cloud Foundation in 3.0. Environments can grow as big as vSphere Configuration Maximums allow.  A key enabler of this scalability is the new multi-cluster Workload Domain. Workload Domains are the unit of consumption for Cloud Foundation-based private clouds, comprised of a vCenter server and associated ESXi hosts, vSAN datastores and NSX environment. To scale Workload Domains, new hosts can be added to an existing cluster or a new cluster can be automatically created within the Workload Domain.  New clusters within a Workload Domain can be designed to host specific workloads.  For example, 3 different clusters designed to host databases, app servers and web servers could be deployed within a single workload domain to support a 3-tier application.  This type of configuration would provide common management through vCenter, common network pools and NSX policies and workload segmentation for licensing and permissions.

The final feature I want to highlight today is support for Dual Availability Zone Stretched vSAN Clusters. As Cloud Foundation is aligned to VMware Validated Designs (VVD), Cloud Foundation administrators can follow the guidance for Stretched Cluster implementation found in the VVD to enable Dual Availability Zone configurations for Cloud Foundation.

Stay tuned to this blog for continued coverage of Cloud Foundation 3.0. We’ll be exploring additional features and functionality over the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have questions please head to our Communities site where you can find additional information and interact with some of our Cloud Foundation experts.