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Welcome to part three of our #VCFacts series, where we’re addressing frequently asked questions and misnomers about Cloud Foundation with hard data points and clarifying examples.

In part one, we explained why Cloud Foundation is cost-effective, why its components rank at the top of their respective categories and deep-dived into its endless automation capabilities. Last time, we showed you how Cloud Foundation complements products such as vCenter Server and vRealize, what makes it switch-agnostic, and its automated deployment and provisioning of PKS functionality.

We now turn our attention to part three, where we have even more facts in store for you. Read on to learn how to effectively advocate for Cloud Foundation’s adoption within the enterprise. 

 

Fact #7: VCF Supports All Types of Storage

 

With VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF), you can utilize your current storage. In fact, Cloud Foundation supports Network File System (NFS), Fibre Channel (FC), and iSCSI. Although vSAN is the preferred storage platform for VMware and Cloud Foundation, we recognize that you may have existing investments in external storage that you would like to continue to leverage. To enable even more flexibility when deploying Cloud Foundation, we allow external storage support for our customers and partners. Read on to get the details on the seventh fact in our #VCFacts series.

NFS Support

Cloud Foundation supports the creation of a Workload Domain on NFS storage, enabling you to continue utilizing previous investments in NFS as you begin your Cloud Foundation journey. Cloud Foundation automatically provisions NFS datastores on Workload Domain hosts. NFS-based Workload Domains can be provisioned on any vSphere-compatible server. It’s also important to note that NFS based workload domains require 3 nodes minimum.

FC Support

With the release of Cloud Foundation 3.9, FC is supported as Principle Storage. As a result, vSAN is no longer the required primary storage for Workload Domains; you can provision Workload Domains consuming VMFS-on-FC as primary storage. To create the FC-based Workload domain, a single FC LUN must be created and zoned to the hosts. SDDC Manager can then automatically create a FC datastore and mount it on all hosts in the new Workload Domain cluster.

Another reason why you may want to supplement vSAN with additional external IP-based storage is to facilitate the migration of existing VMs running on legacy iSCSI arrays over to a new Cloud Foundation workload domain. While iSCSI is not automated like NFS and FC, it’s supported. It can be connected as supplemental storage to a workload domain

In sum, you do not have to give up prior storage investments when adopting Cloud Foundation as it provides you with the flexibility to use existing NFS & FC storage, backed by the new capabilities of Cloud Foundation 3.9. You can learn more about the release of Cloud Foundation 3.9 here.

 

Fact #8: VMware Cloud Foundation Allows for Greater Flexibility

 

VMware Cloud Foundation users can enjoy flexibility in the size of their deployments. The integrated platform bundles the compute, storage, and network virtualization products from VMware into a validated, automated deployment solution that customers can use to build large-scale private cloud infrastructure. However, VMware Cloud Foundation also has an option for a “consolidated architecture,” which allows for smaller deployments of as little as 4 nodes. While standard architecture needs a minimum of 7 total nodes (4 for the management domain and 3 for the first workload domain), VMware Cloud Foundation’s consolidated architecture allows both management and customer-deployed workloadVMs to run in the same vSpherecluster. Additionally, the consolidated architecture leverages vSphere resource pools to provide performance isolation between management and user workloads.

 

So how does one go about choosing a deployment type when deploying VMware Cloud Foundation? Actually, you don’t. You might be surprised to find out that every deployment of Cloud Foundation actually starts with a consolidated architecture. From there, customers can either stay on the consolidated architecture deployment or use the SDDC manager UI to create a new workload domain on additional servers, creating a standard architecture. However, this infrastructure move doesn’t have to occur right at the beginning of the deployment process. Customers can start with fewer than 6 hosts and scale up based on their workload growth, allowing for a flexible hybrid cloud infrastructure that grows with the business.

In summary, VMware Cloud Foundation gives customers the ability to scale from a consolidated architecture model to a standard architecture by shifting user workload domain VMs from the compute resource pool to a new VI workload domain. This flexibility helps customers achieve the optimal cloud environment as they continue on their business journey.

 

Fact #9: VCF Frees Up IT Resources to Focus on Strategic Projects

 

The multi-cloud operating model is now the norm across industries, with 85% of enterprises pursuing a multi-cloud strategy. These organizations recognize the benefits that come from optimizing IT infrastructure for differing workload priorities, and for most, multi-cloud is undeniably the correct long-term approach. But multi-cloud also comes with real challenges for IT, with the use of different cloud providers meaning multiple operations platforms and dramatically increased complexity. These challenges include:

• Management of disparate clouds requires different IT skillsets.
• Multiple points of control can be time-consuming and difficult to manage.
• Incompatible cloud native stacks tie applications to specific providers or otherwise increase the development cost of building apps in a cloud agnostic manner.

The result? IT is often bogged down with daily infrastructure management and spends too much time working to keep the lights on through an ad hoc, scattershot approach. Put mildly, that’s not good enough for today’s fast-evolving, dynamic IT environment. IT instead needs a model that allows for smooth daily operations, the freedom and flexibility to quickly deploy any application anywhere, and the ability to think strategically about long-term infrastructure investments and initiatives.

A VCF-powered hybrid cloud delivers these capabilities by offering a common cloud infrastructure platform for a simplified and consistent experience across both multiple public clouds and the on-premise private cloud. For example, with VCF, an organization can use VMware Cloud on AWS alongside IBM Cloud and have visibility into both cloud environments through their usual vSphere web client. They can also maintain their applications on-premise and cost-effectively access public clouds for additional compute, storage, and networking resources as needed. The thread between all options is a common operational experience that saves IT time and money while also reducing risk.

Simplifying daily operations in this manner does not mean IT sits idly by but instead enables them to choose the cloud provider that truly makes sense given a workload’s needs—rather than defaulting to the provider with which they are most familiar. Furthermore, multi-cloud is far from a settled field. At most organizations, there is an opportunity to extend the use of multi-cloud services into new areas such as software development; mission-critical workloads; continuous integration/continuous deployment; and automation and intelligent workstreams. The latter in particular promises to increase the demand on IT in ways we can’t yet imagine.

What is clear, however, is that IT will never be bored. VCF simply ensures their energy is focused on transformation initiatives and not unnecessary daily headaches and complaints.

So, what are you waiting for? After nine #VCFacts, we know you know that Cloud Foundation is the only way to future proof your infrastructure for an uncertain but certainly eventful tomorrow. As usual, that’s not boasting; that’s just #VCFacts.