VMware Cloud Foundation

Announcing General Availability of VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1

VMware is pleased to announce general availability of VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1, providing important new features that deliver developer ready infrastructure, allowing customers to scale without compromise while simplifying operations of VCF deployments.  A summary of the new features and capabilities can be found below along with useful links to blogs, release notes and updated VCF documentation.

SDDC Manager Enhancements: 

There are numerous enhancements to software lifecycle management within SDDC Manager that will allow admins to skip previous releases and allows NSX-T clusters to be upgraded in parallel for faster upgrades. SDDC Manager also adds new service accounts to streamline communications between SDDC manager and the products within Cloud Foundation. These new service accounts follow VVD guidelines for pre-defined usernames and are administered through the admin user account to improve inter-VCF communications within SDDC manager.

  • VCF Remote Clusters. Extending VCF capabilities to the ROBO & Edge sites with VCF Remote Clusters was added in this release.  Now customers can enjoy the same consistent cloud operations in their core data center and edge/ ROBO sites.  Read this blog for more information.
  • ESXi Cluster-Level and Parallel Upgrades: Enables you to update the ESXi software on multiple clusters in the management domain or a workload domain in parallel. Parallel upgrades reduce the overall time required to upgrade your environment.
  • NSX-T Data Center Cluster-Level and Parallel Upgrades: Enables you to upgrade all Edge clusters in parallel, and then all host clusters in parallel. Parallel upgrades reduce the overall time required to upgrade your environment. You can also select specific clusters to upgrade. The ability to select clusters allows for multiple upgrade windows and does not require all clusters to be available at a given time.
  • Support for ESXi hosts with external CA signed certs: VCF supports APIs to perform bring-up of hosts with certificates generated by an external CA.
  • Read-only access and local accounts: cloud admins can now create “Viewer” users that have read-only access to VCF. They can also create a local account for use in break-glass scenarios where a remote identity provider is unreachable
  • Backup Enhancements: As described in this blog, with VCF 4.1,  SDDC Manager backup-recovery workflows and APIs have been improved to add capabilities such as backup management, backup scheduling, retention policy, on-demand backup & auto retries on failure. The improvement also includes Public APIs for 3rd party ecosystem and certified backup solutions from Dell PowerProtect and Cohesity.
  • vVols as Principal Storage in VCF Workload Domain: VMware Cloud Foundation now supports vVols providing a common storage management framework for external storage, providing automation for pre-defined storage including volume management and provisioning.
  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) report is available for Cloud Foundation. The VPAT evaluates compliance with accessibility guidelines as put forward by the US government (under Section 508) and the EU government (under EN 301 549).  (Levels >5 to 10.)
  • Localization : SDDC Manager will have localization support for the following languages – German, Japanese, Chinese,  French and Spanish. Customers would be able to navigate SDDC Manager UI with the above local languages
  • VMware Skyline Support for VMware Cloud Foundation. VMware Skyline brings proactive intelligence to VMware Cloud Foundation by identifying management and workload domains, and proactively surfacing VMware Cloud Foundation solution findings
  • Object Rename Support. We now allow customers to change object names after initial deployment. In this first phase, we support the renaming of Domain, NetworkPool, Cluster (NSX-T – Only Compute Cluster)
  • vCLS Support – The vSphere Clustering Service (vCLS) is a new capability that is introduced in the vSphere 7 Update 1 release and is included in the VCF 4.1 release. Its first release provides the foundation to work towards creating a decoupled and distributed control plane for clustering services in vSphere.
  • Increase pNIC support –VI Workload domains can have hosts with multiple pNICs and vSphere Distributed Switches (vDS) that can scale up-to the vSphere maximums supported in the vSphere version included in the BOM.
  • Offensive Language: Aligning with VMware’s core values, starting this release offensive language has been removed and replaced – example, “kill” would be replaced by “stop”

BOM Enhancement:

  • vSphere 7.0 Update 1 support*  
  • vSAN 7.0 Update 1 support*
  • vRealize Suite 8 Automation
    VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 will provide automated deployment of vRealize Suite 8.1, such that vRealize Suite Life Cycle Manager (vRSLCM) is automatically deployed by SDDC manager and is now VCF aware, providing simplified installations and deployments. Once installed, all of the vRealize components are deployed from vRSLCM.
  • New License with vSphere for Tanzu
    With VCF 4.1, vSphere for Tanzu will have its own license key separate from vSphere 7.0. This will be a subscription based license with term limit.  Read this Tanzu blog for more information.
  • vSAN Data Persistence Platform
    Provides a framework for modern stateful service providers to build deep integration with the underlying virtual infrastructure leveraging the Kubernetes operator method and vSphere Pod Service, allowing customers to run their stateful applications with lower TCO and simplified operations and management.  View this Data Persistence platform blog for more information.

*Note that not all vSphere 7.0u1 and vSAN 7.0u1 features and capabilities are supported with VCF 4.1 GA, refer to release notes and product documentation for further details.

For VVD:

  • Updated Bill of Materials along with updated guidance that incorporates new product versions.
  • Updated Planning and Preparation workbook, supporting the VMware Validated Design 6.1 Deployment and Solution Extension guides
  • vRealize Suite 8.1 (Patch 1) greenfield guidance, including architecture, design and deployment using VCF aware vRSLCM (vRealize Suite Lifecycle manager)
  • Start up and shut down order guidance:Start up and shut down order guidance for VMware Cloud Foundation and VVD full stack solution
  • Operational Verification guidance for VMware Validated Design 6.1
  • VMware Validated Design support for vSAN witness traffic separation for setups with multiple availability zones.

Documentation, release notes and additional resources: 

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