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On June 27 we hosted our very first Cloud Foundation Tweet Chat, graciously joined by Jason Shaw, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at VMware, and Jason Marques, Senior Consultant Engineer, VxRail Technical Marketing at Dell EMC Corporation. Together, they answered some burning questions on Cloud Foundation and VxRail and the benefits of pairing the two together.

Before you dive in, you should be reminded that this unique integration provides the simplest path to a VMware and Dell EMC-based Hybrid Cloud while allowing customers to maintain networking and topology flexibility. VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail offers a future-proof, full stack integration with consistent infrastructure and operations for an integration unlike any other. Now let’s get started!

Cloud Foundation Tweet Chat Q&A’s

Q1: In one sentence, what is Cloud Foundation? What is VxRail?

  • A1 / Jason Shaw: Cloud Foundation is the simplest path to the Hybrid Cloud by delivering a single integrated solution that is easy to operate with built-in automated lifecycle management.
  • A1 / Jason Marques: VxRail is the only jointly engineered HCI system with VMware – built for VMware, with VMware, to enhance VMware. Its goal is to provide a turnkey VMware experience. That experience starts with full stack integration—control from top to bottom of software and hardware together through the inclusion of VxRail HCI System Software, which is proprietary to VxRail and automates deployment, delivers complete lifecycle management and facilitates key upstream and downstream integration points that create a truly better together experience with VxRail as the foundation.

Q2: What is Cloud Foundation on VxRail? What are the benefits of running them together?

  • A2 / Jason Marques: VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail delivers the simplest path to a VMware Hybrid Cloud while allowing customers to maintain flexibility of networking and topology. Cloud Foundation on VxRail delivers the simplest path to hybrid cloud with full stack integration that is future-proof for next gen VMware cloud technologies. Full-stack integration with Cloud Foundation on VxRail means both HCI infrastructure layer and VMware cloud software stack lifecycle is managed as one complete automated turnkey hybrid cloud experience, greatly reducing risk and increasing IT operational efficiency.VxRail HCI System Software’s unique integration between SDDC Manager and VxRail Manager combines operational transparency with automation, support and serviceability capabilities that no other VMware Cloud Foundation offer can provide.

Q3:  If I have Cloud Foundation and VxRail in my data center, what else do I need for Cloud Foundation on VxRail?

  • A3 / Jason Shaw: Today, Cloud Foundation on VxRail requires a “greenfield” deployment, so a customer would need a fresh VxRail deployment and to deploy Cloud Foundation onto this new VxRail deployment.

Q4: My company wants to move to hybrid cloud, but what type(s) of security will I find with Cloud Foundation on VxRail?

  • A4 / Jason Shaw: Cloud Foundation on VxRail provides intrinsic security built into every layer of the solution stack, from hardware silicon to storage to networking to governance controls. This helps customers make security a foundational part of the platform for traditional workloads as well as container-based cloud native workloads, rather than something that is bolted on after the fact.

Q5: When you talk about Cloud Foundation on VxRail Full Stack integration for Lifecycle Management, what does this process look like?

  • A5 / Jason Shaw: Customers have a single place to download and deploy upgrades/updates to their physical infrastructure (ex: BIOS, firmware, drivers) and software infrastructure (ex: vSphere, vCenter, NSX).
  • A5 / Jason Marques: VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail makes operating the data center fundamentally simpler by bringing the ease and automation of the public cloud in-house by deploying a standardized and validated network flexible architecture with built-in lifecycle automation for the entire cloud infrastructure stack including hardware. SDDC Manager orchestrates the deployment, configuration and lifecycle management (LCM) of vCenter, NSX, and vRealize Suite above the ESXi and vSAN layers of VxRail. It unifies multiple VxRail clusters as workload domains or as multi-cluster workload domains. Integrated with the SDDC Manager management experience, VxRail Manager is used to deploy and configure vSphere clusters powered by vSAN. It is also used to execute the lifecycle management of ESXi, vSAN and HW firmware using a fully integrated and seamless SDDC Manager orchestrated process. It monitors health of hardware components and provides remote service support as well. This level of integration is what gives customers a truly unique turnkey hybrid cloud experience not available on any other infrastructure. The full stack lifecycle management process for updating and patching is completely integrated. The VxRail Manager and SDDC Manager components have been integrated to allow for an automated and seamlessly integrated update and upgrade process using native VxRail Manager APIs and is driven using SDDC Manager to orchestrate it all. This is a unique Dell Technologies value add only with VCF on VxRail.

Q6: How does Cloud Foundation on VxRail provide a future-proof solution for my data center?

  • A6 / Jason Shaw: Cloud Foundation is based on the VMware Validated Designs or “blueprints” for the VMware Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC). Customers have a validated and tested upgrade path as the architecture moves forward.

 Q7: What are the maximum number of clusters and nodes supported by Cloud Foundation on VxRail?

  • A7 / Jason Shaw: Cloud Foundation supports up to 15 vCenters in a single Cloud Foundation deployment designed to scale to vSphere published maximums! (http://configmax.vmware.com ).

Thanks for reading through our Tweet Chat! If you can’t get enough of Cloud Foundation on VxRail, make sure to check out this solution overview.