VMware Cloud SDDC

VMware Cloud – Improvements to Service Release Cadence

The VMware Cloud platform continues to evolve to enable VMware customers and partners to take advantage of new and exciting capabilities. VMware provides frequent updates to the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) technologies that make the platform so powerful. These updates are the foundation for VMware Cloud’s continuous stream of innovation.

The SDDC release cadence distinguishes between two flavors of updates.

Essential SDDC version: These deployments (even numbered SDDC versions such as 1.10 and 1.12) provide the stable base as the Organization (“Org”) default for all new SDDC deployments as well as upgrade targets for existing SDDC deployments. The Essential release includes all “v” sub-releases for that parent SDDC release number – e.g., 1.10v2, 1.10v3 etc. – with the latest sub-release being the default SDDC deployment and upgrade vehicle.

Optional SDDC version: These are optional SDDC deployments (odd numbered versions such as 1.11, 1.13) that can be enabled based on customer request. The Optional release includes all “v” sub-releases for that parent SDDC release number – e.g., 1.11v2 etc. – with the latest sub-release being the optional SDDC deployment and upgrade vehicle.

Table 1.1 illustrates the cadence and details of the SDDC upgrades based on VMware Cloud Platform and release SDDC version type.

VMware Cloud on AWS

For VMware Cloud on AWS, the Essential SDDC version is deployed every 6 months (approximately). All SDDCs are upgraded to an Essential SDDC version once released, and all new Orgs deployed will automatically be deployed with the latest Essential SDDC version release.

Optional SDDC version releases for VMware Cloud on AWS are provided every 6 months (approximately). Customers may generate a request to have Optional SDDC version deployed to a new SDDC, but an upgrade to an Optional release is not supported.

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

The VMware Cloud on Dell EMC solution follows the Essential/Optional SDDC version release cycle. Once a SDDC version has been released, we work with our partners to test and create an update for the VMware Cloud on Dell EMC platform. This additional testing means the Essential and Optional SDDC versions are available approximately 2 weeks after they are released for VMware Cloud platform.

Table 1.1

VMware Cloud on AWS VMware Cloud on Dell EMC
Essential Optional Essential Optional
Examples 1.10, 1.12 1.11, 1.13 1.10, 1.12 1.11, 1.13
Frequency ~ 6 months ~ 6 months 6mo + 2 weeks**  6mo + 2 weeks**
New SDDC deployments Org default set to Essential Exception process to request new deploy Latest essential for new deployments Optional Upgrades not available for new deployments
Upgrades All SDDCS will be upgraded to every Essential release Upgrades will not be supported to an Optional release SDDC upgraded to Essential on release Upgrades will not be supported to an Optional release

** delivery of VMware Cloud on Dell EMC updates are dependent on the validation of SDDC version release with Dell EMC and in some cases may also include firmware updates for the underlying infrastructure.

There is no change to Documentation, SLA, GSS, SRE support across these releases. Full support and access to online documentation will be available.

By introducing these two flavors of releases, customers now have the flexibility to skip an “Optional” release. For more information, please contact VMware GSS or your VMware customer success representative.

Commonly asked questions:

Q: What is the default version for new SDDC deployments?  

A: By default, all new SDDC installs will be implemented using the Essential SDDC version.

Q: How can I get access to deploy an Optional SDDC version? 

A: Customers can request an Optional SDDC version through GSS.

Q: Can Optional SDDC versions be used for production deployments?  

A: Yes. Optional SDDC versions are fully backed by the VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC SLA and include GSS support.

Q: Can I have an Org with a mix of Essential and Optional SDDCs?  

A: It is highly recommended to maintain a consistent SDDC version within an Org.

Q: If I start with an Optional SDDC version, what will be my upgrade version?  

A: The Optional SDDC will be upgraded to the next available Essential SDDC version.

Q: Can I request for an upgrade to an Optional release?

A: Upgrade to an Optional release is not supported. Customer can choose to deploy new SDDCs on an Optional release via the above mentioned exception process. Any new SDDCs deployed on an Optional release, will be upgraded to the next Essential release, when available.


For other information related to VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, here are some more learning resources for you:

VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC