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Market leaders are using Cloud Foundation to transition to hybrid cloud, leveraging an integrated cloud infrastructure that provides a consistent operational model. IT staffers understand the importance of following VMware’s lead to a simple, secure, and agile path to a hybrid cloud. Although IT decision-makers are familiar with the benefits of Cloud Foundation, they still need well-researched data points and specific examples to effectively advocate for its adoption within the enterprise. To make it easy for them to get their organizations on board, we’re providing answers to frequently asked questions and busting common myths with #VCFacts.

In our last #VCFacts post, we addressed how Cloud Foundation is cheaper than alternatives, explored why each individual component ranks at the top of its respective category, and discussed its endless automation capabilities. In this blog, we turn our attention to a whole new set of facts. Now, let’s get started!

Fact #4: SDDC Manager complements products such as vCenter Server and vRealize

Cloud Foundation eases the migration to a complete Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) using SDDC Manager. SDDC Manager is Cloud Foundation’s centralized management software that automates the lifecycle of components, including bring-up, configuration, infrastructure provisioning, and upgrades/patches. By doing so, it simplifies the deployment, provisioning, and ongoing operations of a SDDC.

SDDC Manager doesn’t duplicate functionality in existing management products or replace them. Rather, it complements them by providing enhanced functionality that enables admins to create and continuously monitor the SDDC. Below are just some of the capabilities SDDC Manager provides that supplement products such as vRealize and vCenter Server:

  • Automated configuration and lifecycle management

SDDC Manager automates the installation and lifecycle management of vSphere, vSAN, and NSX, making it easy to build and maintain the SDDC and ensure that the software components remain up to date. It also automates the installation and configuration of vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Operations, and vRealize Automation as part of the Cloud Foundation standardized architecture.

  • Creates and manages workload domains

SDDC Manager automatically provisions workload domains, which are a logical abstraction of physical infrastructure capacity. It deploys and configures one vCenter Server instance as part of each workload domain. With SDDC Manager, cloud admins can build, expand, and remove workload domains using a fully automated process.

  • Monitors the logical and physical resources of Cloud Foundation

SDDC Manager automatically notifies users when patches and upgrades become available for software components and lets users schedule them to coincide with regular maintenance windows. These patches and upgrades have already been pretested to ensure that all the individual software components will work together. In addition, SDDC Manager monitors each of the hardware components and tracks the health status.

In conclusion, SDDC Manager enhances existing VMware products because it configures, provisions, monitors, and manages the resources of Cloud Foundation. Now, that’s nice.

Fact #5: Cloud Foundation is switch-agnostic

VMware Cloud Foundation users are free to choose their network switches when they deploy Cloud Foundation, in terms of both the hardware and topology. What this means is that Cloud Foundation is  switch-agnostic, supporting any enterprise network switches, network topologies, and network management tools.

Typically, Cloud Foundation networking involves a pair of top of rack, enterprise-grade switches that meet the requirements of vSAN and support the scale demands of a highly-connected set of vSAN hosts (10GbE minimum, with sufficient port counts to connect hosts and provide upstream connectivity). For assistance in preparing their network environments for Cloud Foundation, users can find a documented set of prerequisites in the Cloud Foundation Planning and Preparation Guide.

Together with being able to deploy Cloud Foundation on any supported server (including vSAN ReadyNode, integrated systems, composable systems or the jointly-engineered VMware Cloud Foundaton on Dell EMC VxRail solution), being switch-agnostic gives Cloud Foundation customers the flexibility to deploy clouds that meet business demands.

We continuously update Cloud Foundation to keep up with the demands of our users. For example, we extended support to any network switch and new network topologies to meet users’ growing need for greater flexibility and choice. Thus, the presumption that network switch options are too limited is a misnomer. That’s why it’s important to know all the #VCFacts.

Fact #6: Cloud Foundation automates deployment and provisioning of PKS

VMware Enterprise PKS enables organizations moving to hybrid and multi-cloud deployments to operationalize container services with production-grade Kubernetes orchestration. Cloud Foundation supports PKS, allowing users to automate and accelerate predictable deployment and provisioning of PKS environments in a cloud operating model.

When it comes to complex Kubernetes environments, admins often lack effective resources for managing infrastructure at scale. The integration of PKS and Cloud Foundation solves this common challenge. It delivers a single framework that makes it easy to manage traditional VM workload domains with consistent infrastructure, operations, and seamless developer experience. As a result, admins can efficiently standup production-grade Kubernetes clusters, saving several hours in manual work and reducing costs. Some of the other central benefits for PKS with Cloud Foundation include:

  • Consolidating hardware silos to reduce complexity
  • Simplifying infrastructure provisioning with automation
  • Adopting self-driving operations to assure performance
  • Enabling lifecycle management of the entire SDDC stack
  • Delivering agility via self-service and application automation
  • Extending the boundaries of the data center with hybrid cloud

Ultimately, Cloud Foundation makes it easy to deploy and manage VMware Enterprise PKS with built-in lifecycle management of the entire stack. Whoever says Cloud Foundation doesn’t support PKS, doesn’t know their #VCFacts.