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VMware Cloud Foundation

SDDC, Private, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud – Oh My! VMware Cloud Terminology 101

I joined VMware one year ago and spent my first week attending VMworld 2019.  Frankly, I was pretty confused by the terminology.

If you are one of the roughly 60% of first-time attendees registered for this year’s VMworld, this blog is for you.

VMware keeps pushing boundaries to deliver a digital foundation that IT and developer pros build on to deliver business-critical capabilities.

A side effect of the rapid evolution of modern infrastructure and cloud solutions is the evolution of terminology used to talk about the underlying technology. Unfortunately, that may include changing key terms we use to describe solutions that build on each other. Multiple terms end up describing basically the same thing. That can be confusing.

As you get ready for VMworld 2020, take a moment to review some of the cloud infrastructure terms you are likely to hear during 275 live sessions, 550 on-demand sessions and demos, and more than 30 Hands-on Labs. Especially those related to the Multi-Cloud Track.

That way, you can focus on how the solutions can help you advance your IT and digital business goals and avoid the “Wait, wut?” moments that sidetrack your learning.

Software Defined Data Center – The Stack

For over 20 years, VMware has been known as the breakaway virtualization company.
The transformation of physical to virtual infrastructure started with compute, then network and then storage – all offering a new way to manage infrastructure with software. VMware also offers management software to optimize and automate virtual infrastructure and streamline the delivery and consumption of infrastructure services.

Together, these solutions create the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). The SDDC pools and combines virtualized resources. A single management layer can orchestrate compute, network, and storage resources together as a unified infrastructure.

The SDDC was game changing for the IT industry. As an SDDC pioneer, VMware continues to deliver tons of customer value with converged and hyperconverged infrastructure stacks that support more efficient procurement, deployment, scale, and management of physical and virtual resources. As a result, we now have over 500,000 customers that utilize this bedrock virtualization technology.

Today, these solutions are offered together as VMware Cloud Foundation™.  This is an integrated software stack that bundles compute virtualization (VMware vSphere®), storage virtualization (VMware vSAN™), network virtualization (VMware NSX® for vSphere), and cloud management (VMware vRealize® Cloud Management™) into a single platform that can be deployed on premises as a private cloud or run as a service within a public cloud. The SDDC manager, another component of VMware Cloud Foundation, automates the entire system lifecycle—from initial bring-up, to configuration and provisioning, to upgrades and patching— and simplifies day-to-day management and operations of the entire stack.

VMware Cloud Foundation™ with VMware Tanzu™ combines the capabilities of the VMware Cloud Foundation platform with the VMware Tanzu™ product portfolio. It simplifies management of containers and VM workloads across various clouds.

Private Cloud – The Same Stack But With Service Consumption

What’s the difference between an SDDC and a private cloud?  In a single term: service consumption.

Private cloud is a significant step on the IT modernization journey. IT resources are delivered as bundled and defined services, on demand, in a scalable and automated way. SDDC enables infrastructure automation, but a cloud operating model allows IT services to be consumed based on application requirements, with less focus on individual infrastructure elements.

VMware is considered the leading provider of customer-managed private cloud, and also offers solutions like VMware Cloud on Dell EMC™ managed by VMware in your environment.

Hybrid Cloud – The Same Stack Here and There

More recently—in 2017–VMware became known as a hybrid cloud company. So, how did VMware Cloud Foundation, based on the same SDDC stack, become a hybrid cloud platform?

VMware joined forces with Amazon to announce VMware Cloud on AWS.  VMC on AWS is a hybrid cloud service developed jointly by VMware and Amazon. Users can deploy a VMware-managed SDDC on AWS infrastructure and manage it with familiar enterprise tools, such as vSphere, NSX, and vSAN. This means you can migrate (rehost) workloads without the time and cost of refactoring workloads.  And, take advantage of what you already know and own. Your existing skills, your investment in training, your operational practices, and your investment in software licenses remain relevant and applicable when you migrate to the public cloud.

That’s why VMware has become the fastest and easiest path to cloud for so many organizations.

So with the VMware hybrid cloud, using the same VMware stack in your data center and in your public cloud, you get consistent infrastructure and consistent operations that unlock powerful hybrid cloud use cases that reduce cost, increase flexibility, and minimize risk.

Multi Cloud – The Same Stack Everywhere

In the VMworld 2020 Multi-Cloud Track, you’ll hear how you can build, run, manage, connect, and protect your applications across any cloud that is based on vSphere-based VMware Cloud Foundation.

What we find now is that many VMware customers use more than a single public cloud vendor. Either for business reasons (avoid lock-in, compliance) or technical reasons (unique services, geographic reach).

So VMware has extended our hybrid cloud strategy to multi-cloud, delivering VMware Cloud Foundation-based solutions on all of the world’s biggest public cloud providers and hundreds of VMware Cloud Verified partners. This allows you to deploy and leverage the value of the VMware Cloud Foundation—now often referred to as “VMware Cloud”—everywhere your workloads are deployed.

VMware Cloud is now available as VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Solution, Google Cloud VMware Engine, IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions, and Oracle Cloud VMware Solution— which all deploy a version of the VMware SDDC stack.

“Ah ha” Moment

Personally, my “Ah ha” moment at VMworld last year was when I took the VMware Cloud on AWS Hands-on Lab, and learned that it deployed the SDDC = VMware Cloud Foundation = VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure. These terms all refer to the same vSphere-based VMware stack. And the other hyperscaler VMware Cloud solutions are not exactly but basically the same stack—everywhere.

While the terminology has changed, and you will likely hear the term less going forward—at VMworld sessions and demos, in product documentation, blogs, Hands-on Labs—you may hear the VMware stack still referred to as SDDC.

I hope this helps train your eyes and ears, so you can better grok the amazing multi-cloud content at VMworld 2020.

If you’d like to keep a reference copy of this blog, register for the white paper version: From Virtualization to Multi-Cloud: 5 Stages of Application and Cloud Modernization.

Enjoy VMworld!


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