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As customers continue to expand their VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) footprint at global scale, there is a growing set of real-world deployment requirements that is driving further innovation to the product. These requirements surface through customer interactions and help the VCF product team to prioritize and address these requirements as rapidly as possible.

Today VMware is announcing a new set of capabilities that increase scale, flexibility and control with the General Availability of VMware Cloud Foundation Release 3.9. The table below not only illustrates these new capabilities, but spotlights how the VCF R&D team executes an agile development methodology to rapidly deliver new features and innovations to address customer requirements in a timely manner.

Table 1: Cloud Foundation Capability Evolution

The latest release of VMware Cloud Foundation fulfills critical customer requirements, supporting new features and configurations that enhance market leading capabilities that have been delivered over the last 12 months. With VCF 3.9, customers can confidently add more diverse workloads across more geographic locations, streamlining the management and operations of these global Hybrid Cloud services built upon VMware Cloud Foundation.

Let’s take a closer look:

VMware Cloud Foundation Multi-Instance Management

In order to manage large scale Cloud Foundation deployments, it’s important to be able to federate multiple SDDC manager instances into a single dashboard that provides a view of global resources, workload domains and software updates. Learn more about the Multi-Instance Manager feature in this blog from the product management team and VCF Multi-Instance Management demonstration.

Figure 2: VMware Cloud Foundation Multi-Instance Management

Cluster Level Upgrade Support

The ability to manage software upgrades for a distributed global infrastructure provides flexibility and removes operational issues and complexity that can result during upgrade cycles. VCF 3.9 has taken the power of SDDC Manager LCM and added cluster-level control and manageability applied to large, geographically distributed data center and edge locations. This enables administrators to select the cluster or group of clusters at any location and schedule the update to occur when required to adhere to operational procedures. By leveraging this new capability in VCF 3.9, upgrades can be performed in tighter maintenance windows and in environments where multi-cluster workload domains may operate independent clusters running at desired release versions.

Figure 3: Cluster Level LCM with VCF 3.9

External Fibre Channel Arrays as Principal Storage in Workload Domains

In February 2019, VCF 3.5 introduced the ability to support supplemental (secondary) storage arrays within workload domains. While vSAN is always deployed in management domains and the default for primary WLD storage, there are customers that would like to utilize their existing array as principal storage to preserve their capital investments. This capability provides greater flexibility and cost savings, while also helping workloads that have ultra-low latency requirements within a VCF WLD.

Figure 4: VCF 3.9 Configuration Using External FC Storage as Principal Storage

Also new with VCF 3.9 is the ability to configure external Fibre Channel (FC) arrays as primary storage in a VCF WLD to provide the needed performance for transactional or analytic applications. This also provides customers the ability to leverage the array for specific data protection and off-site disaster recovery requirements. In addition to providing better investment protection from existing storage systems, this new capability provides an excellent mechanism to migrate to vSAN based services once the external storage arrays come off of maintenance.

Enhanced Networking for ReadyNodes and Dell VxRAIL, Composable Dell EMC PowerEdge MX

VCF 3.9 includes broader networking support that has been previously supported in ReadyNode and other configurations, including Layer 3 Aware IP addressing, supporting multi-rack configurations, including NSX-T VI WLDs supported across multiple L2 domains and racks.  Additionally, VCF 3.9 supports Dell EMC VxRail to be deployed in stretch clusters, scaling deployments with layer 3 networking in multi-rack configurations and new support for leaf and spine network configurations.

The Dell EMC PowerEdge MX, designed with Dell EMC kinetic infrastructure, is now supported in VCF 3.9, delivering composable infrastructure that dynamically and elastically provisions the physical resources through DMTF Redfish API integration with SDDC Manager.

VCF 3.9 is a sizable release that delivers several key features and capabilities that address requirements for today, but also serve as a platform to achieve the next growth inflection point.

If you are traveling to Barcelona for VMworld Europe, you can learn more by going to the VMworld session catalog and searching for VMware Cloud Foundation. The Wednesday Showcase Keynote (HCI3551KE;  November 6th @ 11AM) will feature John Gilmartin and Cormac Hogan highlighting the Foundation for your Future Proof Infrastructure.

For more information go to vmware.com/go/cloudfoundation